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Is Your Fitness Business Protected?

by Kevin Kerridge, Hiscox

Let Professional and General Liability Insurance help your business stay fit

For most people a new year means a renewed commitment to getting fit.  But as the owner of a fitness business you’ve got that goal covered 365 days a year – and by staying fit you’re protecting yourself from health risks.  Can you say the same for your business?  Is it protected from risk with small business insurance?

 What would happen if someone got hurt in your class tomorrow?  It could be something as simple as a student slipping as she leaves your hot yoga class or twisting his knee while weightlifting under your instruction.  Without liability insurance, this accident may force you into bankruptcy and cost you your business.

Professional liability insurance

Professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions insurance or E&O coverage, protects your business if you are sued for performing services negligently.  Whether you make a mistake or not, if a client perceives that you have they can sue your business for malpractice, errors, or negligence. 

It’s important to have tailored professional liability insurance so that you’re insured for the services your business provides, rather than general risks other types of small business insurance cover.  If you have professional liability coverage tailored for the risks personal trainers face you don’t have to worry about being sued out of business.

Here’s an example of professional liability coverage for a fitness trainer in action.  An older client follows your exercise or strength training program, which includes a hefty amount of physical exertion.  Afterwards he feels dizzy and experiences chest pain; he’s rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a heart attack.  A few weeks later the client files a claim that it was your training that caused his heart attack.  Professional liability insurance would protect and represent you in a covered claim, potentially saving you thousands of dollars and many hours of anguish.

Another example of why fitness professionals need PL insurance involves fitness training in the form of coaching.  A family hires you to prepare their teenage daughter for the upcoming swim season.  During a particularly athletic workout she feels shoulder pain that goes on to persist for a week, leading to an MRI.  The test shows she has a torn rotator cuff that will require surgery to fix, effectively ending her season and possibly her entire swimming career.  The family sues for damages, activating your professional liability insurance so you don’t have to face a covered lawsuit alone.

General liability insurance

You’ll also want to consider general liability insurance, which protects your business from third party claims for bodily injury, associated medical costs, and damage to someone else’s property.  For example, while waiting to begin a training session, a client trips on an exposed extension cord, hurts himself, and blames you.  Your general liability coverage would defend you against covered claims. 

You spend your days helping people reach their physical fitness goals.  Take a few minutes tonight and help your business by getting a free quote for small business insurance from an insurance partner that offers coverage tailored for fitness businesses and understands the risks you face. 

 

The contents of this article and the linked materials do not offer legal, business, or insurance advice related to the needs of any specific individual business. Claim scenarios are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to the terms and conditions of the policy in question. Please consult your professional advisor. 

 

About the author: Kevin Kerridge is the director of small business insurance for Hiscox, a company that provides customized business insurance for small business professionals such as consultants, IT professionals, bookkeepers, real estate agents, architects, engineers, and many more.

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