With an increasing number of fitness enthusiasts getting qualified and becoming personal trainers, it’s important that those who take this step are properly insured. However, it isn’t always easy to know where to start.
For anyone new to the industry or looking to learn more, this guide provides an overview of what insurance you will need to practise as a personal trainer. We also share some best practice tips and answer your commonly asked questions about personal trainer insurance.
What We'll Cover
Yes, it’s a legal requirement to be insured as a personal trainer whether you are employed by an organisation (such as a gym), work as a freelance personal trainer or run your own business.
No matter how careful you are, when you are working with clients in an active profession like personal training, there’s always things that can go wrong. For example your client could get injured, you could get injured, or equipment could get damaged. To make sure all parties involved are protected, personal trainer insurance is a must.
Do you need insurance if you are a personal trainer in a gym?
Most gyms are equipped with their own insurance policies, yet personal trainers are often required to have individual coverage on top of this. This ensures they are not left vulnerable should any accidents happen.
If you’re looking for a job as a personal trainer at a gym, always check with your employer first to see if you come under their insurance policy. Even if you are covered, you might want to consider extra personal insurance for any work you undertake outside of that gym too.
If you work for yourself and rent gym space on a flexible basis, you’ll need to make sure that you arrange your own cover.
Do you need insurance if you teach fitness classes?
Yes. Training a group poses its own unique challenges - the diverse fitness levels and potential for injury make having insurance not just wise, but imperative. If you teach group classes, check your insurance policy to make sure you are covered for these.
Do you need insurance if you are an online personal trainer?
Even though you aren’t physically in the room with them, if you train clients online you’ll still need personal trainer insurance.
The world has seen a surge in online personal training, especially post-pandemic. Digital platforms come with their own set of intricacies, however if you're going to train clients online you need the right insurance to cover yourself.
Most personal trainer insurance policies cover online training and coaching, but you should check to make sure with your insurance provider first if you plan to train online.
A scenario no personal trainer wants, but must prepare for. Should a client sustain an injury during a session, then insurance ensures you're not left financially burdened from any claims for compensation.
It's not just about the clients. Trainers, too, can suffer injuries. This facet ensures you're protected from potential losses if you're rendered unable to work.
From resistance bands to treadmills, your tools are your trade. Having the right insurance means that if your equipment faces damage or theft, you're not left footing the hefty bills to replace it.
Insurance isn't one-size-fits-all. Depending on the nature and scope of your services, you'll need varying coverage. However, there are two types of insurance that every personal trainer must have as a legal requirement. These are public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. Let’s take a look at these in more detail below:
Public Liability Insurance
Public liability insurance will cover you in the event that somebody gets injured while under your supervision, or if property gets damaged in the gym that you are operating in. It’s your role to make sure your clients are carrying out the exercise correctly, but accidents can always happen.
For example, if a client injured themselves while you are working on an exercise with them, they could make a compensation claim against you. Or, if a machine got damaged while you were working on it with a client, the gym could claim damages to property. Public liability insurance will protect you in both of these instances.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Professional indemnity insurance protects against claims arising due to professional oversight or unintended misinformation. As experts, personal trainers give advice that clients trust, so if this advice leads to injury or illness you could end up in a situation where a client tries to claim against you.
For example, a client could make a claim against you if you advise them to change their diet and they get ill as a result. If this happens, professional indemnity insurance will cover you.
Employers Liability Insurance
For those expanding their horizons and hiring staff, employers liability insurance becomes mandatory, shielding you from potential claims from team members.
While not always mandatory, there are some additional types of insurance that you can get as a personal trainer which could offer peace of mind:
Personal accident insurance
This type of insurance is helpful if an unforeseen injury halts your ability to work.
Loss of earnings insurance
This type of insurance acts as a buffer against unpredictable events that might hamper your earning potential.
Beyond the basic insurance requirements, personal trainer equipment insurance can be more comprehensive, covering even minor damages to your equipment.
Cyber and data insurance
With more trainers going online, this type of insurance has become pivotal, protecting trainers against cyber threats and data breaches.
Costs can be as diverse as the services you offer. Multiple factors come into play. It's prudent to seek multiple quotes, ensuring you get comprehensive coverage without breaking the bank.
What insurance will cost you, depends on factors such as:
- The services you provide
- Your typical clients
- Where you provide your services
- The equipment you use
Typical insurance for a personal trainer will cost anywhere from ~£150 a year. This will include sports liability up to £5m and professional indemnity to £1m, as well as personal accidents, loss of earnings and sports equipment cover.
Finding the right insurance cover takes time, so be patient and do your research. You can start by looking at price comparison websites, such as Go Compare and Compare the Market. But you may find that the results are too generic, and don’t include the fitness-specific providers you need.
Specialist providers include:
- FitPro: Fitness specialists for more than 30 years, insurance covers PT, group fitness, yoga, sports massage, and is underwritten by Aviva.
- Insure4Sport: Specialist insurance for personal trainers. Cover includes online sessions and public liability insurance starts at £1 million of cover.
- Protectivity: Protects fitness professionals running one-to-one, group and online sessions in the gym, in a client’s home or a public area.
- Hiscox: Tailored insurance for freelance PTs and fitness instructors which includes multiple products.
When it comes to insuring yourself as a personal trainer, the number one rule is to take nothing for granted.
Here are four things to check before signing on the dotted line:
- Location: One of the best things about being your own boss is the flexibility that comes with it. You can work when you want, where you want. However, that may not always be the case. For example, as a fitness instructor you may find you are not covered to train clients in your own home.
- Excess: You can usually expect to pay a few hundred pounds in excess. But you may find that some policies have a much higher excess in certain circumstances. Chances are these situations won’t arise. The question is: Are you willing to take the risk?
- Added extras: Different policies offer different levels of cover. Comprehensive insurance will cover a lot, but maybe not everything you need. Cover for gadgets, equipment, or work outside the UK may need to be added to the policy.
- Client forms: Release forms may have legal implications, while other forms are there to inform your work and sure-up your relationship with the client. Be clear on what is required for each one.
The takeaway from all this? Always read the small print. It is essential that you know exactly what you are – and more importantly – aren’t covered for.
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