There are many facets involved with working and thriving as a personal trainer and these include everything from branding to finding the right place to work. 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.
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 still sadly rife and there are countless solicitors and law firms who handle personal injury claims and 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 and 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 then 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:
Public liability insurance – 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.
Professional indemnity insurance – 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.
Equipment insurance – 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.
Personal accident cover – 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.
Employer’s liability insurance – 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:
Liability – If you’ve ever taken out insurance on a 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.
Exclusions – 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 – 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. This amount 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, which includes 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 REPs (the Register of Exercise Professionals).
One provider who HFE works closely with is FitPro. First established in 1990, FitPro is recognised as a world leader in professional fitness development. It currently has thousands of members worldwide and is hoping that HFE students and graduates will join and take advantage of its ongoing professional resources and education. For over 25 years FitPro has provided specifically designed insurance schemes for fitness industry professionals to cater to the needs of those who require flexible insurance.
Darren Orton, Business Manager from FitPro had this to say about the insurance options that they provide: “FitPro is proud to be supporting HFE through the provision of personal trainer insurance, backed by AVIVA as the No 1 insurer in the UK. It completes a wonderful pathway for personal trainers seeking advancement in the industry.”
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