We asked the team at FitPro to talk us through why a Personal Trainer would need insurance and some of the common questions that might arise when considering this important subject.
Important: The views within this article are those of the blogger and not necessarily shared by Study Active. Study Active does not issue insurance nor directly sell insurance. The information in this article is for informational purposes only.
Insurance. It may not be as gripping as a pull up bar, as dynamic as a box jump or as thrilling as a pistol squat but the truth is, without insurance, coaching your clients towards these exciting moves – or even just getting them up out of a chair and moving – is at your peril. Without insurance, you are putting yourself and your clients at risk.
Really, you have no choice but to grit your teeth and delve into the small print. Without insurance, you have no protection if a client makes a liability claim against you.
What’s a liability claim?
A liability claim can be very expensive for you if you don’t have insurance. If a client or participant is injured during one of your sessions, then they could make a liability claim against you. Having the right insurance means that the financial liability of meeting these costs should be met by your insurer, rather than coming out of your pocket.
Tell me more …
If a client suffers an injury, they may claim against you for compensation and/or medical costs. If you think about it, claims like this could run into the thousands. However, the right insurance will mean that the financial liability of meeting these costs will fall to your insurance provider, minus any excess you have agreed on that is attached to the policy. The excess is the amount you will have to pay towards the costs. It is nominal compared to the costs of a claim.
Why might someone blame a Personal Trainer for an injury?
Participating in exercise does carry a certain risk. A client could fall off the equipment or trip up, for instance. This means you do need to have insurance, as insufficient or a complete lack of insurance could result in expensive liability claims being made against you.
Your clients may also ask you for advice or you may offer advice as part of your service. If a client suffers ill effects as a result of your advice, then you need to be protected by insurance in case they make a claim against you.
What should a Personal Trainer look for in an insurance policy?
Insurance policies can vary significantly, so you will need to read the small print to ensure the cover provided is right for you. Details to consider include:
- Liability – What is the financial amount for which you are covered in the event of a claim?
- Exclusions – Are you covered for the specific areas of instruction?
- Excess – Will you have to make a contribution towards a claim?
What qualifications does a Personal Trainer need to take out insurance?
You should hold a minimum of a Level 2/3 qualification or equivalent in your area of instruction. If you are going to be teaching more than one discipline, you’ll need supporting certificates in each area of instruction.
If you teach an activity outside of your area of training and someone is injured, you could be found liable because you were instructing participants in an area you may not be qualified to teach.
You’ll need to check with your insurance provider to confirm that you are appropriately qualified for the area of instruction.
Can I get insured as a Personal Training student?
Absolutely. Insurance is available to students who are working towards gaining a Level 2/3 instructor qualification through a nationally accredited training provider, such as Study Active.
Will insurance include any specialisms I’ll be working in?
The insurance should include regular fitness activities. This will be on the basis of holding supporting qualifications to include Personal Training, Gym Instruction, Exercise to Music, Circuit Training, Functional Training, Strength & Conditioning, Indoor Cycling, Aquatic Fitness, Yoga, Pilates, Pre & Postnatal, Pad & Bag Work, Dance, Nutritional/Dietary Advice, Online Training, Outdoor Training, Children's Exercise, Fitness Testing and Bootcamp, among others.
If you are qualified in other specialisms, then you should be able to get extended cover for your other fitness activities from a good insurance provider. Check out Fitness Professionals Ltd for example, which offers this type of cover.
You can also get cover for working with specialist population groups, which include individuals who require specialist care and attention such as GP referral, cardiac rehabilitation or cancer rehab. You may also choose to work with clients with other long-term conditions. It is important to remember that you can only be insured in the specialisms that you are qualified to work in.
What if I want to teach online as a Personal Trainer?
You’ll need to check with your insurer to make sure your insurance includes online training. Ensure it covers the type of online training you’ll be doing, whether that be live, interactive face-to-face training such as Zoom, pre-programmed video content such as YouTube or live streaming sessions through Facebook or Instagram.
For online training, you should pre-screen your participants before each session and always provide a disclaimer.
If a participant has any medical conditions, injuries, illness or any other condition (such as pregnancy), they should be referred to their GP for approval and work within any limitations.
You should provide sufficient health and safety information when giving online training. For example, point out that participants should ensure the environment is safe and should create enough space to move freely without obstacles, obstructions or other hazards. They also need to make sure any equipment they are going to be using is safe and in a suitable condition.
And it’s not just participants who can suffer an injury …
You will want to take out personal accident insurance too, which provides an income for you if you are unable to work as a fitness instructor due to an injury as a result of an accident.
Equipment needs insuring too …
If you own equipment, equipment cover is important to protect against accidental loss or damage, including theft of equipment.
Does a Personal Trainer need to consider anything else?
Insurance provides an important legal safety net. However, you should also take steps to minimise the risk of a claim being made against you. You should always make clients aware of the risks of exercise and give them the opportunity to decide for themselves if they wish to participate by signing a waiver and agreeing to informed consent.
In conclusion - Why does a Personal Trainer need Insurance?
Thank you to the team from FitPro for taking the time to discuss the importance of insurance and some of the aspects a Personal Trainer should consider when deciding what is right for them.
FitPro offers comprehensive insurance cover for fitness professionals. Head on over to https://www.fitpro.com/studyactive to find out more about discounted prices for Study Active PT Graduates.