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What are the insurance requirements for fitness instructors?

21/09/2023

Yoga class, insurance requirements for fitness instructors.

The fitness industry has grown impressively in recent years, and there are over 60,000 fitness instructors working in the UK.

Over 55% of them are self-employed. So why do fitness instructors need insurance?

Whether you’re teaching yoga to the over-70s or running a boot camp for new mums, fitness instructors’ insurance should definitely be part of your regime.

Because sometimes when you get physical, things can get painful. In more ways than one.

Even if you only work online, you’re still responsible for the safety and well-being of your clients. And you can still have claims made against you.

So, what exactly are the insurance requirements for fitness instructors?

It’s never a one-size-fits-all. Your policy will be made up of different kinds of insurance depending on what you do. However, there are some types of insurance that all instructors will need.

Let’s dive in deeper.

You can’t run away from a claim

Yep. No matter how fit you are, a claim will always catch up with you. So, it’s a good idea to add fitness instructor insurance to the programme.

Getting physical with members of the public can be a risky business. If someone gets tangled up and twists something in your Zumba class, you could end up dancing to the tune of ‘Under Pressure’.  

What seems like a minor injury at first could evolve into something more serious. Your Zumba enthusiast could end up out of action (and out of work) for a long time. If they think their injury was caused by your bad instruction, they’ll want some compensation.

It’s easy to think that being a one-man band means there’s less risk. And that the insurance requirements for fitness instructors like you amount to zilch.

But if anything, working solo is more of a reason to get insured. Because even a minor claim can cause major financial problems for a small business.

Those ‘whoops’ moments

One type of insurance that should be at the top of your list is public liability. This is the one that covers you for accidental injury or damage.

It’s the insurance you’re most likely to need as a fitness instructor. People are inherently clumsy (and sometimes that includes you).

Let's say a client takes a spectacular tumble over a dumbbell you’ve left out and puts their back out. Or you get way too enthusiastic with your high kicks and smash up a client’s expensive smartwatch.

Public liability is there to soften the blow. It’ll pay for any legal fees racked up in your defence, as well as compensation awarded to your client.

Keeping your reputation shipshape

Another one that you can’t afford to work without is malpractice insurance.

Of course, you do everything you can to ensure you’re training people correctly and safely. But everyone’s capable of taking their eye off the ball.

And in all honesty, even if you didn’t, but someone accused you of doing so, it could still cost money to defend yourself.

When you’re pushing people to their limits, sometimes they push back. It might not be that you’ve instructed them wrong. It could just be some advice you’ve given, like suggesting a particular supplement. Or giving them a workout plan that doesn’t…well…work out.

Malpractice insurance has your back in the event of a negligence claim. If someone comes to harm or doesn’t see any progress in their fitness journey, and they believe it’s because of the way you instructed them, you could have a claim on your hands. And the costs in these kinds of cases can be totally out of the ballpark.

Having malpractice insurance means your legal and compensation costs will be covered.

Malpractice and public liability often come as a package deal for fitness instructors. If you’re wondering what type of insurance is required for a fitness instructor, this is it. It’s probably the most valuable policy you can have.

The heart of your business

Own or hire a studio that’s full of expensive equipment? Then you need to think about studio insurance.  

From Pilates machines to weights and benches, exercise equipment can carry a pretty hefty price tag. If anything in your studio were to get damaged or stolen, it could hit your business finances pretty hard.

And when we talk about damage, we really mean the accidental type or an unforeseen event like a fire or flood. Studio insurance will pay to repair or replace your equipment, furniture, fixtures, and fittings. So you can carry on. Business as normal.

If you’re not fixed in one place and take equipment out and about, you’d benefit from portable equipment insurance. If anything gets lost, damaged, or stolen, no matter where you are, your insurance will pay for it to be repaired or replaced.

Virtual is still reality

Plenty of fitness instructors are doing online classes these days. And whilst it might save you money, it doesn’t spare you from the risks.

OK, so you might not have to worry about portable equipment insurance or public liability, but malpractice insurance will still be relevant. Just because you’re teaching virtually, it doesn’t make you any less responsible for your clients’ well-being.

It’s tempting to allow more people into your class when you don’t have to worry about floor space. But make sure you don’t take on more people than you can handle. Always give thorough instructions and offer variations for different levels of ability.

You also need to consider cyber insurance. Unfortunately, businesses are a prime target for cybercriminals, and fitness instructors are no exception. If you’re the victim of a cyber-attack, cyber insurance can help you get your business up and running again.

Oh, and don’t forget – if you employ anyone you need employers’ liability insurance. It’s the law, so you can’t skip this one.

Tread carefully

Fitness instructors should consider their insurance requirements as part of their business plan. Because keeping the nation fit, whilst rewarding, can cause you some aches and pains.

With the right insurance policy behind you, you’ll be able to keep a healthy bank balance and a strong reputation. Whatever the world of work throws at you.

Want to know more? Head to our fitness instructor insurance page. Alternatively, you can give us a ring on 0345 222 5391.

Image under licence from istock

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