Personal Trainer Insurance: What It Is, How to Get It

Personal trainers should have general and professional liability insurance, and may benefit from other coverage.
Dec 13, 2021

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Business insurance can help protect personal trainers and other fitness instructors from client claims of bodily injury, property damage or professional mistakes.

Here’s what you need to know about personal trainer insurance and how to find the right coverage, as well as some of the best options to consider as you compare providers.

What is personal trainer insurance?

Personal trainer insurance can refer to several types of policies that protect you from lawsuits, financial losses and damage that occur as a result of business operations.

Whether you’re a freelance trainer, you train in multiple gyms or you teach virtual classes, the right business insurance will help mitigate the common risks you face as a personal trainer or fitness instructor, such as:

  • Client injury or property damage as a result of a workout or training session.

  • Accusations that you made mistakes or were negligent in your training.

  • Defective workout equipment that injures a client or damages their property.

  • Getting into a car accident while driving to a training session.

  • Theft of or damage to your workout equipment.

What types of insurance do personal trainers need?

At a minimum, personal trainers should have general liability insurance and professional liability insurance. Two well-known personal trainer certification organizations — the American College of Sports Medicine, or ACSM, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM — both recommend that their members purchase these two types of policies.

Some clients or gyms may ask that you provide proof of liability insurance before they agree to work with you. Your contract may require that you show a certificate of insurance, or COI, as part of the agreement.

ACSM and NASM also recommend that you get your own personal trainer insurance even if you have some coverage from an employer. An employer’s policy may only provide limited coverage, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be covered for any services you provide independently.

General liability insurance for personal trainers

General liability insurance typically covers legal and settlement costs associated with claims of third-party bodily injury, third-party property damage and personal and advertising injury.

For example, if your client trips over a barbell on the floor during a training session and breaks their arm, your general liability policy would cover any resulting medical, legal or settlement costs. Similarly, if you’re demonstrating an exercise for a client and you drop a weight, smashing their laptop in the process, your policy would cover the costs to replace the computer.

Professional liability insurance for personal trainers

Professional liability insurance, sometimes referred to as errors and omissions insurance, usually protects you from claims of professional negligence, errors or oversights and breach of contract. This type of insurance covers legal and settlement costs associated with these claims.

If, for instance, you teach an exercise class and an attendee later claims that it was too rigorous and they’ve torn a muscle, your professional liability policy would cover you in the case of a lawsuit from that attendee.

Or, you might be training a professional athlete to help them prepare for a national competition. The athlete does not perform as well as they would have liked and claims that your poor training has lost them potential sponsorship deals. Your professional liability insurance would cover any resulting lawsuit and settlement costs.

Additional insurance options for personal trainers

Depending on the size of your business and the specific risks you face, additional insurance coverage may be beneficial. The chart below shows some of the types of insurance that may be applicable for personal trainers and fitness instructors — and what these policies typically cover.

Type of insurance

What it covers

Business property or buildings that are damaged by certain accidents, weather events or other hazards. If you rent a space for training, your landlord may require you to have this policy.

If a water pipe bursts in your training space and damages the floor, your business property insurance would cover the cost to replace it.

Claims of physical injury or property damage as a result of a defective or flawed product, such as exercise equipment.

If you bring a punching bag with you to a training session, and a defect in the product causes your client to injure their ankle, they could file a lawsuit against you.

Your product liability insurance policy would cover any medical fees, as well as legal and settlement costs.

Medical expenses of employees that are injured or get sick while at work. Most U.S. states require employers to have workers' comp for their employees.

If one of your trainers trips over a yoga ball, leading to a knee injury, their medical expenses would be covered under your workers’ compensation policy.

Vehicles that you use for business purposes, such as driving to meet clients for training sessions.

Covers accident-related expenses resulting from injuries, death or property damage.

If you’re leaving a client’s house and back your car into their garage, your commercial auto insurance policy would pay to repair the garage door.

Financial losses caused by data breaches, hacking, ransomware and other cyberattacks.

If hackers release the credit card numbers of all your clients, and one of the clients sues your business, your cybersecurity insurance would cover legal fees and settlement costs.

Personal trainers that teach virtual classes might find this type of policy particularly useful. You may also be able to add data breach coverage to your general liability policy.

Many insurance providers also offer several types of insurance bundled into a business owner’s policy, or BOP. BOPs typically combine general liability insurance and commercial property insurance and sometimes include business interruption insurance.

How much does personal trainer insurance cost?

Personal trainers can get professional and general liability from the insurer Next starting at $132 per year, according to the NASM website. Insure Fitness Group, on the other hand, offers bundled coverage for $179 per year.

Ultimately, the cost of your personal trainer insurance will vary based on factors such as:

  • Coverage limits.

  • Number of policies.

  • Business location.

  • Type of training your offer.

  • Professional certifications you have.

  • Number of employees you have.

  • Previous history of claims.

In general, the more risks your business faces — and the more coverage you need — the higher your premiums will be. For example, a personal trainer who works from home will likely have lower business insurance costs than one who rents space in a gym and has an employee.

Best options for personal trainer insurance

Big-name companies, like Nationwide and Progressive, can connect you with a provider that offers personal trainer insurance, or you can work with industry-specific providers, such as Insure Fitness Group. Certain fitness organizations also partner with insurance companies to offer customized policies for their members.

Here are some of the best personal trainer insurance providers:

Next Insurance

If you want to get a customized policy quickly, Next Insurance may be a good option.

Next offers specialized personal trainer insurance that typically includes coverage for general liability, professional liability, commercial auto, workers’ compensation and commercial property. Next prices their standard bundles at three levels, Basic, Pro and Pro Plus, based on the coverage limits you need.

With Next, you can get a quote and manage your entire insurance policy online, as well as add additional insureds and get certificates of insurance for no extra cost.

NASM also partners with Next to provide general liability and professional liability coverage starting at $11 per month.

Insure Fitness Group

If you’re looking for industry expertise, networking or additional resources, Insure Fitness Group may be a suitable provider for you.

Insure Fitness Group provides business insurance exclusively to personal trainers and other fitness professionals. The company’s customized personal training policy includes coverage for general liability, professional liability, products liability, rental damage and stolen equipment.

The cost of Insure Fitness Group’s policy is $179 per year and only $25 per year for personal trainer students.

Like Next, Insure Fitness Group allows you to generate a quote, purchase your policy and manage your coverage online. Insure Fitness Group also offers its members discounts, exclusive content and other industry-specific perks.

ACE Liability Insurance

If you have (or are training to receive) a certification from the American Council on Exercise, you can participate in the exclusive ACE liability insurance program.

This program offers discounted rates on liability insurance policies to ACE-certified professionals through a partnership with Philadelphia Insurance Companies. When you get a quote or manage your policy, however, you’ll be doing so through the PHLY system and not through ACE.

ACE liability insurance provides coverage for general and professional liability, sexual abuse liability, products liability, medical payments and damages to premises. According to the ACE website, a one-year premium for this coverage starts at $172 and a two-year premium starts at $294.

If you already have an ACE certification, it might be worth comparing a quote of their discounted rate to other quotes you receive.

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How to get personal trainer insurance

As you start shopping for business insurance, keep these three steps in mind:

1. Determine what type of policies and how much coverage you need

Think about how your business operates on a daily basis. Evaluating your risks can help you decide which types of personal training insurance you need and whether you should consider additional policies on top of general liability and professional liability coverage.

2. Get multiple quotes

Once you’re ready to start looking at different insurance policies, you can work with a broker, use an online marketplace or contact insurance providers directly. Unless you have more complex insurance needs — say, you’re running a gym with multiple trainers — you may prefer either of the latter options. Using a marketplace or getting quotes from providers directly can be more hands-on and faster than working with a broker.

3. Compare providers and purchase a policy

NerdWallet recommends getting quotes from multiple insurance providers before making a decision. As you compare your options, consider:

  • How much the policy costs.

  • What coverage is included.

  • What kind of customer service the provider offers.

  • Reviews and complaints about the provider.

If you need to add an additional insured or generate a certificate of insurance, it will be helpful to understand how that process works with your provider ahead of time so that you can complete those tasks quickly after buying your policy.

» Use our guide for more information on how to get business insurance.

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Answer a few questions and we'll match you with an insurance partner who can help you secure quotes.