Why do personal trainers need insurance?
Your clients depend on you to keep them in good shape. But what happens if they push too hard, become careless and then get injured while training with you? Who’s responsible, and who will foot the bill?
Claims of injury from your instruction
You work hard to build your business, only to be taken down by a lawsuit. It’s one of the most significant risks and potentially a big mistake not to buy the best personal training insurance you can afford.
Unforeseen accidents during PT sessions
People constantly move around during physical activity, and equipment is lying about. Accidents happen, and you could be required to pay compensation if the injury is serious.
Failing duty of care
Suppose you look away or take an urgent phone call, and something happens to your client at that moment. You could be failing your duty of care; your reputation and bank balance could be on the line if legal claims follow.
Something you said is taken out of context
You often get up close and personal with your clients. Something you do or say to a participant could be easily misinterpreted.
Public liability insurance for personal trainers
Public liability insurance shields personal trainers from claims of injuries or property damage.
Because personal trainers have regular face-to-face contact with clients and the public during their day, public liability becomes an essential cover.
What does personal trainer public liability insurance cover?
If someone makes a claim against you for causing an accidental injury or property damage or loss, public liability will provide legal defence and pay compensation if you become liable.
As a personal trainer, you might conduct sessions in a gym or a park, possibly at the client’s premises. When you’re hosting a session when the client comes to you to train, you’ll be required to see the space is suitably safe.
- accidental injury or death
- accidental property damage
- A client rolls their ankle on a mat and pursues you for medical costs
- You accidentally damage equipment at a client’s home, such as a phone or computer, and they demand you replace it.
- A member of the public accidentally gets hit by a ball or other piece of equipment and sues you.
- A client breaks gym equipment while training with you.
Professional indemnity insurance for personal trainers
Professional indemnity insurance for personal trainers provides cover against issues such as an accusation of negligence, breach of duty of care or making a mistake.
Personal trainers provide health and fitness advice and guidance. Professional indemnity insurance is an affordable safety net should the worst happen, and you need to defend a legal claim from one of your clients.
What does personal trainer professional indemnity insurance cover?
Professional indemnity protects personal trainers from claims or accusations of wrongdoing from their professional advice.
- Failing your duty of care
- Making a mistake
- Acting negligently
- Giving the wrong advice or recommendation
For example, you may face financial demands from a client because:
- In one of your sessions, you instructed a client to exercise at home. They take your advice and sustain an injury they blame you for. Professional indemnity insurance would be needed in this situation because their injury resulted from your professional advice.
- Being a personal trainer means you spend a lot one on one time with your clients. Something you say or do could be taken out of context and next thing you know your client is suing you for professional misconduct.
How has professional indemnity helped personal trainers
Ryan, a personal trainer on a large gym contract, was accused of incompetence.
An inexperienced client decided to do an exercise improperly and injured himself. Since Ryan was working for himself, the client sued Ryan’s business for damages, alleging Ryan didn’t provide adequate instruction before his accident occurred.
Luckily, on the gym’s insistence, Ryan had professional indemnity in place; his insurance provider paid all of Ryan’s legal fees, and the legal team successfully defended him against the claim.
What professional indemnity limit do personal trainers need?
The professional indemnity limit you need will reflect your particular personal training activities. When choosing a limit, consider how often you work, how many clients you have, and possible financial impacts if your training advice goes wrong.
Switching your professional indemnity insurance
Typically, in the UK, if you cancel a professional indemnity policy, you can no longer claim against it.
Therefore, if you switch your personal trainer insurance provider, be sure your new policy covers your past work; this is called “retroactive cover”.
Should I keep professional indemnity insurance if I retire from being a personal trainer?
It’s wise to keep your professional indemnity if you’re taking a break or retiring from personal training. Claims against professional misconduct can surface months or years after you delivered the work.
Remember: If you cancel your policy, your insurance coverage will end, including coverage for any previous work.
How long you keep your cover in place is up to you. Consider the type of personal training you did and the likelihood that a client might bring a claim against you.
Other insurance personal trainers buy
The additional insurance required as a personal trainer will vary based on your situation. Have you considered if you have the resources to handle a legal conflict? How would you manage a tax-related concern? And if a customer refuses to pay, what steps would you take? These are important considerations to keep in mind.
Commercial legal expenses insurance
Most commercial legal expenses insurance will protect personal trainers against various tax and legal issues you may encounter due to your profession, which are not picked up by professional indemnity or public liability.
At Suited, we combined £100,000 of commercial legal expenses insurance with helplines and other tools to better assist personal trainers in dealing with these issues. We call this Business Legal Protect, and it’s part of your subscription.
Business Legal Protect provides qualified advice and assistance with:
- Legal and tax matters concerning your business
- Criminal prosecution
- Contract disputes
- Unpaid invoices (over £200)
- HMRC investigates your tax affairs
- You need legal help chasing a significant unpaid invoice
- You wish to take a business partner or client to court over a breach of contract
Shopping for personal training liability insurance
Whether or not you decide to use Suited personal training insurance to protect your business, it’s worth keeping the following in mind:
Cheap personal training insurance
When choosing personal trainer insurance, don't just focus on price. Look for good customer service and accessibility. Suited offers multiple ways to contact us and fast responses to your concerns.
The reputation of the insurer is important
Insurance needs to be there when you need it most. The payout reputation of an insurer is essential. Suited uses financially sound insurers with an A+ rating.
Many providers charge fees to amend or cancel
Low initial prices often hide additional charges to pay monthly, amend or cancel your policy. At Suited, we charge no extra fees, and you can cancel anytime with no more to pay.
Some policy wordings are restrictive or have a high excess
Some providers will offer attractive prices, but it is at the expense of cover given. Suited professional indemnity and public liability have £0 excess.