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It’s important to bear in mind that there are a few essential things that need to be in place before you can truly think about elevating yourself as a PT. One critical consideration is insurance.
Before we explore the different types of personal trainer insurance and the options open to you, it’s important to underline the importance of the qualifications that you need to be qualified.
There is no shortage of personal training courses on the market and a good number of these do not lead to industry-recognised qualifications. When you buy your insurance, you won’t necessarily need to provide evidence of your certificate, but when you make a claim (e.g. somebody is suing you), then you most definitely will. So, it’s essential that you have the right qualifications from the outset.
It may be an obvious thing to state, but insurance is a guarantee of compensation for any losses that may occur. These losses could impact a range of things, including a person’s finances, health, or even their life. In today’s society, blame culture is rife and there are countless solicitors and law firms who handle personal injury claims that will subsequently jump at the chance to initiate court action.
Even with the most rigid of procedures in place or in the safest of environments, accidents do happen. As a qualified personal trainer, having insurance gives you peace of mind.
It’s important to note at this stage that if you are an employed personal trainer, you should be covered by your employer’s insurance and there won’t be any need for to take out an additional policy.
This is naturally dependant on you operating within the boundaries of your role. For example, if you’re a qualified personal trainer and that’s the extent of your experience, covering a yoga class without an appropriate qualification would make you and your employer liable. Not to mention the fact that you’ll likely be putting clients at risk of injury.
For personal trainers, there are two main types of insurance that you should be aware of:
This essential insurance is designed to give you peace of mind should your clients injure themselves (or allege an injury has occurred) while under your supervision/training. This also extends to actual or alleged damage to third party property.
This type of insurance is also known as professional liability insurance and it will protect you in the event of alleged professional negligence. The scope of what this covers is broad, but a specific example would be if a client isn’t achieving their desired goals and claim that it’s because of your poor guidance and training.
There are also two other types of insurance that personal trainers might want to take note of. Unlike public liability or professional indemnity insurance, these aren’t seen as critically important, however, you may still want to consider them.
If you’re working as mobile PT, running outdoor bootcamps, or even bringing your own equipment into a gym where you rent a space, it’s natural that you’d want to protect this equipment. This insurance is designed to compensate you if the worst should happen and your equipment is lost, damaged or even stolen. As well as physical equipment, some insurance providers may also cover money stolen from you.
Most self-employed personal trainers are their business, so if they don’t show up to train clients, they don’t get paid. This insurance creates a safety net for your income if you get injured and aren’t able to work. Depending on the policy, you could also receive a payout to cover the cost of any treatment you might need to get you back on your feet.
For trainers who solely operate on a freelance basis, this isn’t something you need to be concerned with. However, if you’ve opened your own gym or even if a fellow PT is stepping in to cover for you while you’re on holiday, this insurance needs to be in place.
From provider to provider, insurance policies are likely to subtly differ from one to another, so it’s important that you do the research to ensure you’re getting the right amount of cover.
It may not seem like the most entertaining of reads, but it’s always important that you check the small print of any policy you’re thinking of taking out. With regards to the specifics, here are some important details that you should consider:
If you’ve ever taken out insurance on property or possessions then this term will already seem familiar to you. This is simply the amount that you’re covered for, which in the event of a claim will go towards legal costs and any payouts which are applicable. For fitness professionals, liability amounts could range anywhere from £1m to £10m.
This is related to things that you won’t be covered for. If you’ve signed up to a policy that only covers you for training clients in a gym but you decided to run an outdoor bootcamp, you would be culpable should the worst happen. It’s important that before you sign up with any insurer, you know you’ll be covered for any and all types of personal training that you want to do.
Excess will be another familiar term for those who have taken out insurance policies before, for example on a car. Excess refers to the amount you would have to contribute if you made a claim, which may differ quite significantly from provider to provider.
One important point to note is that it may seem like paying no excess is the best option, but this usually has a bearing on your premiums (the amount you’ll pay for the insurance per month or year). Usually the lower the excess, the higher the premium and vice versa.
For qualified personal trainers there is no shortage of insurance options, and that can only work in your favour as you’ll be able to shop around and compare policies. Some companies will solely deal with fitness professionals, while others will provide insurance for a range of things, including fitness.
HFE’s research has typically shown that fitness industry insurers are a quarter of the price of big-name, generic providers. If you’re looking for an affordable insurance solution, particularly if you’ve just launched your own personal training business, they would be the perfect place to start.
A few insurers you may have heard of who carry an incredibly positive reputation include Insure4Sport, Protectivity and FitPro.
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