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What our Nerds say about fitness instructor insurance

As a fitness instructor, you might not be in control of your clients’ bodies, but they will nevertheless look to you for guidance, motivation and support. Sadly, if something were to go wrong, they might look to blame you as well.

If you work for a gym or studio, you should be covered by your company’s insurance policies. But if you are a self-employed fitness instructor, you are responsible for your own insurance and should ensure you have protection against the financial cost of claims against you or your business.

What is fitness instructor insurance?

When working with people, especially while they are exercising, there will always be the risk of injury. As a fitness instructor, you could be found liable if your clients are injured.

That is why it might be worth considering taking out a comprehensive fitness instructor insurance package. Not only will it cover you if one of your clients gets hurt on your watch, but it can help protect your equipment, your business premises, and even your own health.

The two main policies in a fitness instructor insurance package will typically be public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.

Public liability insurance for fitness instructors would cover the compensation costs and legal fees related to injury, illness or property damage caused by your business activities. For example, a client making a claim against you for a muscle they tore in one of your fitness classes.

» COMPARE: Public liability insurance

Professional indemnity insurance for fitness instructors, on the other hand, is designed to deal with claims of negligence or error that arise from advice you give to your clients.

An example of this could be a client falling short of their weight loss targets based on a fitness plan you created. The client may claim that your plan was inadequate, and that they will incur financial loss trying to meet their targets through other means. Professional indemnity insurance would cover the costs for such a claim.

» COMPARE: Professional indemnity insurance

A good fitness instructor insurance plan doesn’t just stop with public liability and professional indemnity cover, however. If you have any employees who are not family members, you are legally required to take out an employers’ liability insurance policy.

Meanwhile, given the expensive equipment you may be working with as a fitness instructor, you may want to make sure you also have sports tools and equipment insurance. This will help pay to replace items, such as dumbbells and running machines, if they are accidentally damaged or stolen.

Of course, as a fitness instructor you are also at risk of injury. That is why many fitness instructor insurance packages also include personal accident cover. This means if you get hurt while on the job, you may be covered for your lost income.

Do fitness instructors need business insurance?

If you work for a gym or studio, you will likely be covered by their company insurance policies. If you are self-employed, however, you will need to source your own insurance.

The only form of insurance you are legally required to take out is employers’ liability insurance. The government states that you need a policy worth up to £5 million from an authorised insurer, if you employ anyone that isn’t a family member. This form of insurance is designed for if an employee is injured or falls ill because of the work they do for you.

Other than that, which insurance policies you take out as a fitness instructor is down to you. But you should be aware that just because most forms of insurance aren’t required, this doesn’t mean they are not worth considering. There are a number of scenarios where you may be relieved to have taken out a comprehensive fitness instructor insurance package.

For example, if a client were to injure themselves during the aerobics class you run, and they decided to make a claim against you, public liability insurance would cover your costs. The same is true if you visited a client at their home gym, and damaged some of their equipment.

If you were to advise your client on a course of exercise, and they then suffer an injury that prevents them from working, you may need the protection of a professional indemnity insurance policy.

Meanwhile, if your training weights were stolen from the boot of your car, or your exercise bike was damaged by an inexperienced client, sports tool and equipment insurance would help cover the costs of replacing your items.

Say you were leading a class, and ruptured a tendon in your foot that meant you could not work for the duration of the injury. Personal accident insurance would provide cover for your loss of income during that period.

What does fitness instructor insurance cover?

There isn’t one type of insurance called ‘fitness instructor insurance’. Instead, it is an umbrella term for a collection of policies best suited to that profession. Each of those policies will cover the compensation costs and legal fees related to a claim.

Below, we go into which policies you can expect your fitness instructor insurance to typically include, and what it might not normally cover.

» COMPARE: Business insurance with NerdWallet

What is usually included in fitness instructor insurance?

When searching for fitness instructor insurance, most providers will include the following policies as standard:

  • public liability insurance
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • sports equipment insurance
  • personal accident insurance

Other optional forms of insurance that may be useful to a fitness instructor include, but are not limited to:

  • employers’ liability insurance if you are an employer
  • business buildings and contents insurance if you own your business premises
  • product liability insurance if you sell any goods

What isn’t usually included in fitness instructor insurance?

What your fitness instructor insurance doesn’t cover will be determined in part by what you choose to pay for.

So if you don’t include sports tools and equipment insurance, and your running machine is accidentally damaged, you won’t be able to make a claim to replace it.

It is also important to note that you may need to take out separate cover for work laptops, phones and speaker systems, as not every equipment insurance policy will include these as standard. Similarly, your sports tools and equipment insurance won’t cover damage caused by general wear and tear over time.

How to choose the best fitness instructor policy for you

The first thing to do before looking to choose your fitness instructor insurance package is to carefully consider the risks attached to not only the fitness industry in general, but to your specific business.

For example, if you work freelance as a fitness instructor, your needs will be slightly different to that of someone who owns their workspace.

Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, you can use our fitness instructor insurance comparison tool to help find the right deal for your business.

» COMPARE: Fitness instructor insurance

Fitness Instructor Insurance FAQs

What insurance do I need as a fitness instructor?

Technically, the one form of business insurance you are legally required is employers’ liability insurance, and then only if you employ non-family members.

However, as a fitness instructor it is worth considering:

  • public liability insurance
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • sports tools and equipment insurance
  • personal accident insurance

To work out what fitness instructor insurance you need, you should carefully assess the specific risks associated with your business and industry.

» MORE: Do I need business insurance?

How much is insurance for a fitness trainer?

The cost of your fitness instructor insurance premium will depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • the number of policies you decide to purchase
  • the level of cover you want from each policy
  • whether you are self-employed or a limited company
  • if you are a company, the number of employees you have
  • the location of your business

What is the importance of having appropriate insurance as a fitness instructor?

Injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to exercise. And as a fitness instructor, you may be found liable if a client suffers one under your watch.

Protecting yourself from the financial costs of such a claim is just one reason to take out fitness instructor insurance. You can also help protect your work equipment and potential loss of income with a comprehensive package.

Do you need insurance to teach fitness online?

If you are teaching fitness online, it is still worth considering taking out a fitness instructor insurance policy, even if it is not a legal requirement. This is because client injuries can still arise from sessions you lead online, leaving you just as liable for a claim to be made against you as if you were teaching in person.

Do I need insurance to work in a gym?

If you are an employee of a gym, you should be covered by your employers’ insurance. You should make sure that you check this with your employer.

However, if you are a self-employed or freelance fitness instructor, renting space in a gym or studio, it is your own responsibility to source your insurance. While the only legally required form of business insurance is employers’ liability insurance, it is still worth considering taking out a fitness instructor insurance policy that offers a wider range of cover.

Does a fitness instructor need public liability insurance?

With any public-facing job, it would be recommended to take out a public liability insurance policy. Especially in an industry, such as fitness, where injuries would be fairly common.

A public liability insurance policy for fitness instructors would cover you if a client, visitor or other member of the public made a claim against you for injury or property damage that occured due to your business activities.

What other types of business insurance should I consider as a fitness instructor?

There are other forms of business insurance you could consider as a fitness instructor, which might not typically be included in an insurance package for your profession.

For example, if you own your own gym or studio, you may want to look into business interruption insurance. If your gym had to close because of an unforeseen event, such as a flood or fire, that prevented clients from visiting for a significant period of time, business interruption insurance could help cover the financial losses caused by this closure.

Meanwhile, if you are a freelance fitness instructor travelling to multiple worksites (e.g. gyms, studios or client’s homes), you may find you need to take out a business car insurance policy.

About the author

Connor Campbell
Connor is a writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and The Independent. Read more
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