Not sure if you need personal trainer insurance, or whether it's even right for you? Here is everything you need to know, along with our top picks, which covers a variety of pricing and needs.
Personal Trainer Insurance is a business insurance package policy, which includes general liability and property protection, for companies and individuals that offer fitness coaching to the public. Personal trainers may either be sole proprietors, incorporated business owners, independent contractors, or even employees.
Regardless of structure, personal trainers carry a responsibility for the health, safety, and welfare of their clients. That responsibility makes them possibly liable for a client's injury, loss, and death in the course of providing training services.
You may need personal trainer liability insurance to earn or maintain a license, certification, or privileges at a public or private gym, health club, or CrossFit facility. This includes:
Indeed, anyone that offers fitness instruction services to the public for a fee, whether on gym premises, online training, or private or group fitness classes, needs personal trainer liability insurance.
Landlords and lenders may also ask you to carry personal trainer liability and property liability insurance. It is strongly recommended because supervised exercise and personal training sessions carry many risks and hazards. You, as a personal trainer—regardless of your client's fitness level—have a general duty to protect them from physical injury and harm while providing services.
Personal trainer liability insurance is a tool you can use to manage these risks and protect yourself from financial losses from legal costs and medical costs that can occur in the event your client is injured.
Personal Trainer Insurance is a package of both general liability and property, sometimes called a business owner's policy. Both are also available separately. General Liability protects the trainer from third=party claims, legal costs, and medical expenses. In contrast, Property Insurance protects the trainer's building, provides equipment coverage, or even their client's assets from physical damage or loss.
Gymgoers, Crossfit participants, and personal training clients participate in the hazard of exercise, which carries an assumption of risk. Some gyms and trainers may even require their clients to sign a waiver holding the gym or trainer harmless for any client injury or loss. Regardless of how any injury or loss occurs, our litigious society means the trainer can be blamed, even if it's not their fault.
Personal trainer liability insurance, also known as a general liability policy (GL), is the minimum your solo personal training business needs for appropriate coverage. However, property coverage is something you should strongly consider.
If you own a gym or lease a space where you conduct training, both GL and property will be required by your landlord or possibly by your mortgage or financing company prior to occupancy, build-out, or disbursement of funds. This is because the financial risk of not having insurance could expose you to many millions of dollars in claims, including legal fees, medical bills or reimbursement, tort actions, and restitution.
If you are an employer, you may also be required by the state to carry workers' compensation insurance. This will cover the benefits as specified in the state workers' compensation law, including medical costs for an employee who suffers a bodily injury, or death, during the course of business because of an accident or other occupational hazard.
Workers' compensation is sometimes paired with Employers' Liability coverage. Under employers' liability insurance, a trainer would be covered if they are held legally liable due to an employee's bodily injury.
Personal Trainer Professional liability insurance is coverage in the event that a trainer makes a mistake that harms a client. It can sometimes be known as E&O, or errors and omissions insurance. This covers good faith accidental clerical or other mistakes made in the ordinary course of business, resulting in loss to another.
Cyber liability is another example of professional liability insurance. This type of insurance covers personal training businesses from losses related to database breaches, hacks, or thefts of private customer information. This can include banking, identity, health, and fitness information.
Personal Trainer Insurance is affordable. However, monthly premiums will vary based on location, coverage amounts, business type, deductible, coverage type, and any endorsements or add-ons. The average policy for a sole trainer starts at an average of around $50 per month, up to much higher—especially for training businesses that have a gym location, multiple trainers, and employees.
While there are a variety of factors to consider when choosing the best insurance company for your personal training business, the most important thing to consider is the quality of the carrier you choose. Remember, your financial protection is only as good as the company providing that protection. Always choose a company with an AM Best rating with a minimum of a B and higher:
AM Best is a rating agency that grades insurance carriers, indicating an insurance carrier's ability to pay claims and satisfy financial obligations. A rating Below "B" signals a carrier is at risk of financial insecurity or suspension. Always choose an A-rated carrier to protect your personal training business.
Here are some other points when picking your insurance company to protect your and your personal training business finances:
Coverage area is the location or locations where you will conduct your business. Carefully evaluate where you will train and hold fitness classes. Here are some probable training locations:
Regardless of where you train, not only will you need some property coverage and general liability, but you will need to make sure you are covered in that location. If you work in multiple states, verify with your carrier that your coverage applies out of state.
Coverage amounts are usually offered at $250,000 intervals up to several million. Always choose more coverage than you think you need, proportionate to affordable monthly premiums and deductible amounts. Coverage is priced in bands, so the more protection you buy, the less expensive coverage is per thousand. Keep in mind, a single claim against you or your business can balloon to millions in medical, legal costs, and damages, putting your personal finances and professional training business in jeopardy.
The structure of your business will determine what type of personal trainer insurance you need. Whether incorporated or a sole proprietorship, small businesses will typically qualify for a business owner's policy. Businesses that own significant assets or have revenues in the millions, with more than a handful of employees, may require commercial property insurance and commercial general liability insurance.
21st-century insurance carriers offer quoting electronically and can be quoted and bound instantly. Choose a carrier with a website where you can review your policy, request certificates of insurance, and modify coverage easily 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Choosing the best company means selecting one that can be reached immediately after a loss, with excellent claims customer service. Insurance protection is only as good as their ability and inclination to support you. This includes a fair and fast claim resolution and their pledge to defend you against a claimant that files a legal complaint.
Before an insurance company will pay on a claim, the deductible portion typically has to be paid by the insured. Insurance is a risk management tool, not a raffle or lottery system. Carriers manage their financial exposure by making payout of claims contingent on a financial commitment from the insured. This is to minimize adverse selection and insurance fraud. Deductibles and monthly premiums usually have an inverse relationship.
The lower the deductible, the higher the premium, and vice versa. If you don't believe you will have enough cash on hand to pay the deductible, choose the lowest deductible with higher monthly premiums so you can spread that financial risk over time.
Each personal training business is different and has different needs. Endorsements or add-on coverage include:
These types of policies may be needed by some businesses but not others.
Regardless, if you are a new business or an established enterprise, carefully evaluate all the risk exposures your personal training business can incur during its operations. Waivers signed by clients do not totally absolve you from the costs and liability of claims or losses.
Also, remember that insurance premiums are typically considered a business deduction, so you can maintain proper coverage and potentially reduce your tax liability. If you decide to carry minimal coverage, such as only a small general liability policy, consider exploring umbrella coverage that can offer additional protection in the event your business or personal policies aren't adequate to cover a loss.
Always get at least two quotes from different carriers. When carriers compete for business, consumers win. Answer any application questions truthfully to get the most accurate quote for coverage. Omissions or concealment on an insurance application could result in denial of claims, cancellation of coverage, or even criminal liability.
If you have colleagues or know other personal trainers, ask them about their experience with their carrier and the cost of coverage. Be sure to compare apples to apples when judging coverage only by monthly premiums.
Insurance requirements for personal trainers depend on the criteria specified by licensing and certification bodies, as well as any landlord, mortgage or finance company, or fitness facilities. Each may require a certificate of coverage as evidence, or be named as additional insured, of either general liability or property coverage.
Protecting your financial assets and income, as well as the health, safety, and property of others, will afford you peace of mind to focus on operating and growing your business, instead of worrying about what bad things could happen.
Next is a digital-first insurance carrier, offering seamless and instant quotes and coverage. They are their own carrier, with an excellent "A-" rating by AM Best. You can easily get a quote to cover your personal training business, and they serve a variety of other trades and businesses.
Yes, personal training certification is strongly recommended before you start a training business. There are several certifying bodies for fitness professionals, of varying pedigree, that make it quick and affordable to get your personal training certification online:
Personal training is a profession dedicated to the health and well-being of others. It can be a well-paid occupation and business that doesn't require a significant investment to start. Experience, education, and safe practices will ensure your success as a personal trainer.
Proper certification and insurance tailored to the fitness industry are great marketing tools to build trust and confidence with clientele.
Waivers are a type of voluntary disclosure and release form businesses use to shift responsibility for accidental injury or death to their customers. This typically comes in the form of a contract of adhesion, meaning it is "a take it or leave it" contract. If you don't accept their terms, you cannot participate in their services.
Regardless, whenever a member of the public engages in an activity with inherent risks, including sporting events, there is an assumption of liability that the participant accepts. That said, waivers only offer a certain amount of protection—do not apply in willful, criminal, malicious, or grossly negligent circumstances— and will not protect you from the costs of defending a suit filed by a claimant.
Professional liability insurance is affordable coverage that protects you as a trainer if you make an unintentional mistake that results in harm or loss to another. While General Liability may be more critical, a package policy that includes professional liability coverage is an affordable way to protect yourself in the event of a claim.
Personal trainer insurance coverage covers the cost of a claim up to the specified limit of a policy coverage amount, including legal costs to defend against the action and any requested damages, replacement or repair of damage or loss to property, and medical expenses incurred by another injured party.
The best liability insurance for trainers comes from carriers that offer a variety of package policies that include general liability and property coverage for personal trainers, as well as a professional liability component.
Virtual classes are covered by professional liability insurance under personal and advertising injury. Make sure to verify this directly with the carrier or your agent before purchasing.
Some carriers offer a discount for personal training students while they achieve personal trainer certification. Next and Hiscox both offer reduced rates for lower policy limits or student discounts.
Occurrence form coverage is for incidents that happen during a policy period, regardless of when the claim is reported. For example, this covers a scenario where your personal training client is injured during a workout but then only files a claim months or even years after the incident.
This is in contrast to a claims-made policy, where the loss and the claim must be reported during the policy period. Both occurrence and claims-made coverage with extensions are either included in insurance policies, or are available as an optional endorsement for a fee.
The word occurrence in a policy can also mean a specified dollar amount limit of coverage per incident or "occurrence." This would be different from the aggregate limit of a policy which may be limited per year, total per incident, or a total maximum over the lifetime of a policy.
Most personal trainer liability insurance policies feature a deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.
Examples of general liability claims fall into four categories:
Examples of professional liability claims fall into three categories:
Negligence or errors and omissions: Sending sensitive physique photos or private health and fitness information to an entire email list or accidentally posting it on social media accidentally or without permission.
Breaches of contract or failure to uphold contracted services: Taking payment for training but never providing those services.
Serious financial damages due to alleged oversight: Not asking if a client has a heart condition resulting in an overly intense workout that results in a heart attack and death.
Types of exercise covered are routine and typical workouts performed in safe conditions or fitness facilities. This would exclude extreme risk-taking, such as jumping from extreme heights, or unsupervised and dangerous exercises—such as bench pressing extreme weights without a spotter.
Yes, several carriers offer instant online quotes and binding, as well as certificates of insurance which can be downloaded instantly.
Some carriers and agencies also offer a mobile phone app to make accessing your policy convenient and simple.
The cheapest personal trainer insurance policy is only as good as the quality of the carrier. Make sure to chope based on carrier rating and affordability, rather than just premium dollars. Remember, just one claim can result in catastrophic losses in the millions of dollars
Insurance for personal trainers can be quoted and bound instantly, online, 24/7. As soon as the application and payment are submitted, the policy can be printed or downloaded with proof of insurance.