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I am a successful personal trainer (instructor/coach) with a number of regular clients. What insurance coverage should I have for my business?

I own a small karate academy (dance studio, yoga/pilates studio, fitness facility). What insurance coverage should I have for my business?

Growing Industry. The health and fitness industry is an expanding and dynamic force in the present economy. Figures from 2013 place total revenues for the industry at $22.4 billion and memberships in health clubs at 52.9 million. These figures are projected to increase. Seniors are becoming active and enthusiastic consumers of personal trainer services and health club facilities. Health insurers embrace fitness programs as means of improving the overall health of their insured populations, often to the point of subsidizing health club memberships and activities for their insureds. The long-standing American affection for sports, active-lifestyles and robust health is alive and well.

Small Business Opportunities. While much of the health and fitness industry is dominated by large-scale and franchised operations, there is considerable room for individual entrepreneurs and smaller-scale facilities. In fact, in 2014, thirty-six percent of all industry establishments were run by a single trainer or instructor, and these operations earned twelve percent of all industry revenues. This level of small business penetration is made possible by the relatively low start up costs of a personal training business or of a small gym or exercise studio, and by the importance of the personal relationship between the instructor and his or her clients.
Martial Arts Studio Insurance

Insurance Requirements. If you are a personal trainer/coach/instructor, or if you operate a small-scale gym, exercise facility, fitness studio or martial arts academy, you need to consider what insurance coverage you should have to protect you, your personal assets, and your business in the case of loss or liability. Specifically you will need to consider the following insurance coverages: 

General liability coverage will indemnify you for alleged negligence resulting in bodily injury, property damage or personal injury that might occur on the premises that you own, rent or occupy.

Professional liability coverage will protect you against claims of bodily injury to a client arising from a failure to render appropriate professional services.

Personal injury coverage  will protect you against claims alleging libel, slander or wrongful invasion of privacy.

Medical payments coverage will cover medical expenses of third parties incurred as a result of bodily injury.

Properly coverage will protect you from damages to the buildings or premises that you may use in your business, including losses due to equipment failure and business interruption. 

In addition, depending upon the nature of your business and activities, you may want to obtain: protection against claims arising out of alleged misappropriation of advertising concepts such a copyrighted slogans or symbols you may use in the course of promoting your business; coverage for defense against allegations of sexual misconduct; and cyber coverage that protects against certain losses that you may incur if someone hacks into your business records or website. Finally, if your business has one or more employees, you will also need to obtain workers' compensation insurance.

Surety Bonds. You will also need to determine whether California requires that you post a surety bond in connection with your business or activity. For example, health studios that accept memberships require the posting of a surety bond. Many of the insurers who can supply the coverages indicated above will also be able to provide you with any required bond.

Trainers and Facilities. The health and fitness industry is a broad and encompasses a large number of activities, including: personal training, coaching and instruction, fitness studios, gyms, health clubs, sports and recreation facilities, dance studios, aerobics studios, and martial arts training and studios (judo, karate, taekwando, capoeira, and many more), yoga, pilates, racquet sports, and swimming.

If you are a personal trainer or instructor, or if you operate an exercise or recreational facility of the sort mentioned above, and you are unsure of your insurance needs or how to obtain proper coverage for your business, please contact me. I would be pleased to discuss your situation with you. And might even be be tempted into a session or two at your gym.

Alex Pfeifer
Pfeifer Insurance Brokers
650 762-8070
alex@pfeiferins.com


          

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