Safety isn't a slogan, it's a way of life - Anonymous

Many personal trainers have this question- am I covered under gym insurance as coach? Often times, a personal trainer is held responsible for the accidents that happen during fitness training, irrespective of the real reason. And this is a primary reason why you, as a fitness trainer, should ask your employer this- Do I have insurance as a personal trainer? 

Clients seek a personal fitness coach to get in shape and exercise in a safe way. But there is no guarantee that things will go as planned in sports training or in-home coaching. There can be injuries or accidents that maybe nobody's fault. It is thus advisable to get yourself insured as a personal trainer under the professional indemnity cover that helps you fight the battle in case a client decides to sue you for any unforeseen events.

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Why Do Personal Trainers Need A Public Liability Cover?

Ypga instructor
Yoga, if not done correctly can injure your muscles | Source: unsplash.com

Thinking about sports coaching or fitness training may probably give you an adrenaline rush. The thought of working with enthusiastic and motivated clients via in-home training sessions or at your own fitness center is sure to keep you motivated to run your personal training business. You may eagerly wait for your training sessions to demonstrate skills in strength and cardio training or even an outdoor workout session in the local joggers' park.

Fitness training, indeed, is a matter of great fun and motivation, if done properly. But it is definitely not a bed of roses. It is imperative that you take precautions while pursuing your passion for being an active sportsman and your dream of being your own boss while helping others achieve their fitness goals. For starters, get a professional indemnity cover. You need to be insured in the same way that you need life or medical insurance.

Sometimes, basic sports skills and passion combined cannot help you become a fitness professional. By definition of the term personal coach, you are in the business of offering individual attention to someone or a group of people as a personal trainer or fitness coach. The term coach is the most crucial component here. As a coach, you are offering individualized, tailormade sessions to suit the individual's needs. You take all of your coaching knowledge and know-how and apply it to each session: motivation at all times, behaviors adapted to the personality of the client, nutrition, health, and wellness advice, management of sensitive cases (obesity, overweight, the stress of daily life, physical health) and dips in moral (lack of self-confidence, lack of purpose, etc.).

Trust is another important pillar here. The client trusts you for a long period of time- months, days, weeks- to be with them along their journey of health and fitness transformation. Whether you do it through muscle-building, or weight training, or endurance training, cardio workouts, pilates, yoga, or Zumba, at the end of the day, your goal has to align with that of the client. You are perceived as a top athlete, which in turn attracts more students to your sessions.

In a way, you are entering a said/unsaid agreement with your client and making clear commitments, and ensuring results. This is the reason why you will be held accountable for any damages suffered during the physical exercise training sessions. And hence, it is advisable to get a public liability cover. This policy coverage will give you the benefit of fighting legal battles if it comes to that.

Understand the Need for Protection

physical education
Where the body is involved, it is always a good idea to get insured | Image Courtesy: Pixabay.com | Image credit: Gerd Altmann

As a personal coach, you need professional indemnity cover to stay protected. Insurance coverage is part of what you do. When you are in the business of protecting others and teaching them safe exercise methods, it is advisable to get yourself protection as a first step.

As a sports teacher, when you are marketing your business, you approach new clientele with an objective to attract more students. It is but obvious that you might brag a little bit about your service offerings, like

  • your outstanding abilities to deliver results
  • a unique method of training that only you offer
  • guarantee of safe and appropriate training equipment
  • minimum or nor risk of injury

But more often than not, things don't go as planned. Do they? Imagine this- a student goes overboard, motivated by your encouragement, and forgets about his bodily limits to end up being hurt. Who gets blamed first? You, the personal trainer. And if your luck is too bad, it might become a legal liability. And this is binding especially in cases where there is a prior agreement or contract with the person and some financial compensation has been agreed upon.

As a personal trainer, make foresight an asset. Remember that the student is letting go of their fears and trusting you completely as their teacher. The client is vulnerable during the entire duration of training. The training can also get very intensive depending on the type of goals you set-

  • weight loss
  • bodybuilding
  • diet control
  • core training

Along with the vulnerability, comes an added responsibility for you to ensure that you go out of the way to care for your students. This means,

  • checking again and again if she is doing okay
  • asking about their endurance level
  • close monitoring
  • giving breaks and not overdoing

All this talk of caring and ensuring safety boils down to you getting a public liability cover. As they say, you better be safe than sorry.

Am I Covered Under Gym Insurance As Coach?

personal training workout
Gym instructors need to be extra careful not to tarnish the brand image of the gym.

There are many health clubs and gyms that offer a professional indemnity cover as part of your package when they hire you. Also, thanks to better awareness, there are many insurance companies who are also waking up to these problems faced by personal trainers and offering protection to cover foreseeable damages. You can easily get an online quote or call up the insurance agency or a broker or agent to get more information.

Faced with these dangers of the job of a fitness coach, many insurance companies offer to protect you and will give you an insurance quote online.

Three Main Types of Insurance Policy

Insurance coverage for personal trainers ensures that you are protected against legal damages in order for you to perform safely and smartly. This is especially beneficial for small businesses and sports activities that do not have a lot of exposure in terms of clients and revenues.

General Liability Insurance

Also known as public liability cover, this type of coverage does not directly concern you or the client. Rather it covers you against damage incurred through an incident or vis-a-vis a property, caused by a third party. For example, there could be someone working at your fitness center other than your client, who trips over a yoga mat. Or the cleaning guy may break a part of your treadmill, unintentionally. In these types of situations, general liability insurance can help you recover the damage.

Professional Indemnity Cover

This is probably the most important type of insurance that a personal instructor can get. You can claim professional liability insurance in the case where a client is injured during training like physical exercise, or a sports program, or a bodybuilding regime set by you. This also covers any and all advice you give to the client that they may implement during their own time. This implies that if your clients choose to follow your professional advice without your supervision or outside the purview of your gym, claims under this type of insurance will also take care of such incidents.

Equipment Cover Insurance

As the name suggests, this type of insurance covers you against damages incurred to any equipment used during your sessions with clients.

There is, of course, the fourth type of insurance to cover for damages caused to the personal trainer himself. This is covered under your claims of personal accident insurance and it has you covered against injuries sustained during training.

Is Insurance Necessary for A Sports Instructor?

What are the best sports films of all time?
Any form of sport comes with its own risks and chances of injuries.

Safety starts with awareness. Awareness starts with you - Anonymous

On any online teaching platform like Superprof or anywhere else in the world, you will find all kinds of teachers, trainers, and coaches. They widely differ from each other. But a lot of them offer sports coaching and physical education training as an added service to end beneficiaries. The Physical Education (PE) teacher, for example, is usually associated with a secondary school in India. They even offer in-home coaching and training after school hours. This has two benefits:

  1. For the student, the extra hours of training add to their stamina.
  2. For the PE teacher, this means bonus remuneration.

But do they need to be insured for this after school activity as well?

The simple answer to that is YES. It is as necessary as setting the right prices for your session. As part of their job at school, their pay package should ideally include an insurance component. But outside, it is advisable to get insured if you are offering in-home training sessions.

So, basically, no matter what kind of training you impart or whatever the nature of your employment might be, it is always advisable to get insured and be protected. Also remember that as a personal trainer, you yourself are the brand. There is no point in taking the unnecessary risk of tarnishing that brand name by not getting you covered by insurance. Start with practicing what you preach. Protect yourself before protecting others. 

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Pragnajyoti

Doctor, dog lover, traveler..