Working as a personal trainer can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s a risky business to enter without specialist insurance. Failing to protect yourself could severely impact your earnings, or worse – your reputation as a fitness professional.
Don’t panic, though. Here you’ll find everything you need to know concerning the question: what insurance do personal trainers need?
Table of contents
- Why is it important to get insured?
- What insurance do personal trainers need?
- What insurance do online personal trainers need?
- What insurance do you need when working overseas?
- How to choose a provider
Why is it important to get insured?
As a personal trainer, you have a duty of care to yourself and your clients.
Getting insured is a must if you want to work for gyms and sports centres, as most require proof of this before allowing you to train clients. It will also protect you from several possible outcomes regarding liability claims.
It can cover you for Loss of Earnings if you become injured and unable to work, as well as for any damage, loss or theft of any equipment you utilise with clients.
What insurance do personal trainers need?
Before deciding on the cover you need, it’s important to understand the different types of insurance available for personal trainers.
We’ve listed each option below, alongside example scenarios, so you can see when your cover will come in useful for you and your business.
Public Liability Cover
This is one of the most crucial forms of insurance for personal trainers. It provides protection from claims made against you by third parties, including clients and gyms or sports centres that permit you to run sessions from their facility.
Claims of this nature could sit within the realms of using equipment incorrectly, using faulty equipment, causing damage to equipment, poor advice or instruction, or harassment, to give a few examples.
Public Liability Cover will ensure you maintain your reputation as a fitness professional, as it protects you against even the most unlikely claims and the legal fees associated with them.
- A client puts in a claim for an injury they sustained during one of your sessions.
- One of the gyms you run your services from deems you liable for damage to their hack squat machine, as it broke whilst you were using it with a client.
Professional Indemnity Cover
This type of personal trainer insurance centres around the consequences of a client perceiving the advice you give them as poor or incorrect. This is especially true if they sustain an injury that leads to Loss of Earnings.
Even if you’re not at fault, a client can still accuse you of professional negligence through the instruction you give, and you may need to defend yourself in court.
This can be costly, both financially and to your reputation in the industry. Still, you can avoid this burden altogether by gaining specialist indemnity insurance from a reputable provider.
- A client accuses you of providing poor nutritional advice that has negatively affected their health.
- A client claims that your guidance caused their injury and subsequently left them unfit to work – they are now suing you for financial loss.
Personal Accident Cover
Accidents can happen to every fitness professional, no matter their experience level. Working in the fitness sector means you’re more susceptible to picking up an injury, whether it’s due to overworking yourself or through no fault of your own.
Covering yourself for all forms of personal accidents, from minor injuries to those so severe they could result in long-term unemployment, is a wise decision.
This is one of the most popular types of insurance for personal trainers, as good Personal Accident protection policies help cover the cost of the specialist treatment required to get you back on your feet, such as physiotherapy or dental treatment.
If an injury sustained during one of your sessions leads to loss of sight, loss of limbs, permanent disablement or accidental death, getting this beforehand can mean you’ll receive compensation.
- You pull your shoulder during an exercise demonstration with a client. You require physiotherapy to ensure your recovery isn’t prolonged and you remain fit to work.
- You fall during a group exercise class and fracture your ankle. You need to claim for physiotherapy and Loss of Earnings as you’re out of work for 6-8 weeks.
Loss of Earnings Cover
When you choose a reputable provider, insurance for Loss of Earnings over a set period due to serious injury should be an optional extra that comes with Personal Accident cover.
It’s sensible to take out this kind of insurance, as sustaining an injury that forces you to pause your sessions and lose clients in the meantime can be devastating to your business.
At Insure4Sport, we provide the option to add Loss of Earnings cover when you take out a Personal Accident policy with us. You could be compensated up to £750 per week for up to 52 weeks, meaning you can train clients with complete peace of mind.
- You pull a muscle in your back whilst transporting some kettlebells to a group exercise class, and you require physiotherapy and Loss of Earnings cover for 4-6 weeks.
- You suffer a life-changing injury during a session, leaving you unable to work. Your policy allows you to gain compensation for up to 52 weeks, so you can reassess your situation without financial struggle.
Sports Equipment Cover
Getting specialist insurance is the only way to guarantee that any investment you make into personal training equipment is secure.
If you’re planning on training clients in their homes or in another location where you’ll be utilising your own equipment, this becomes especially important.
If any items of equipment are lost, damaged or stolen, you’ll avoid the unnecessary stress of having to replace it out of your own pocket, or worse – being unable to teach until you can afford to do so.
A good sports equipment insurance provider will cover repair or replacement costs in the above circumstances.
- Your client accidentally damages a set of dumbbells during one of your training sessions at their home, and you need to get them replaced.
- Whilst transporting it to an outdoor boot camp, your equipment is stolen from the boot of your locked car – it needs to be replaced ASAP, or your scheduled sessions with clients can’t go ahead.
- You own a gym, and a member just damaged your new £1,500 treadmill – you need to claim repair costs to get it fixed.
Employers’ Liability Insurance
Employers’ Liability cover is one of the key types of insurance for personal trainers who are looking to grow their brand and need to hire other trainers.
Suppose you’re thinking of becoming an employer. In that case, you should know that you are legally required to hold an Employers’ Liability Insurance policy. This can still apply even if your staff are self-employed or volunteering.
Those who fail to comply could be fined up to £2,500 for each day that no cover was in place, so it’s important to prioritise this.
Ultimately, Employers’ Liability Insurance safeguards your business if an employee puts in a compensation claim against you, and you’re held liable. It will also usually cover associated legal fees.
- You set up your own personal training studio, and one of your staff members injures themselves on duty. They make a claim against you for injury due to employer negligence.
- You are a gym owner, and one of your staff members becomes ill. They assert that this is due to the working conditions within your facility and make a compensation claim.
What insurance do online personal trainers need?
Now that we’ve covered the main types of insurance for personal trainers, it’s time to answer one of the most frequently asked questions on this topic.
Suppose you’re setting up an online personal training business in 2022 and want to protect yourself from claims. In that case, you’ll need to ensure that you’re covered to teach via online platforms.
The tricky part is finding a provider that covers you for online sessions. As this is a relatively new form of coaching, the law surrounding liability in this situation is grey.
Online sessions remove one key element to personal training – guiding your clients through their form and exercise execution. You have limited control over the client’s interpretation of your advice, meaning they could be more likely to injure themselves.
You should also consider cover that extends overseas if your content is accessible in different countries. Otherwise, you could be left vulnerable to costly claims.
We recognise how the world is evolving with the rise in online training in the wake of COVID-19. So, Insure4Sport provides the option to add cover for online personal training, which extends to many online clients from abroad (full FAQs here).
What insurance do personal trainers need when working overseas?
If you plan on working outside of the UK, you need to ensure you select a policy that covers you to work with clients abroad. Never assume that your policy will extend to other countries.
Worldwide cover is the best option, as you know you’re insured no matter where you train. It’s especially useful for those wanting to work onboard cruise ships.
Take note, you will need to be a UK resident if you’re seeking insurance from a provider based in this location. Claims will also usually need to be brought against you in a UK court.
How to choose a provider
This is the most important decision when looking into what type of personal training insurance you need.
Ultimately, the provider you choose will determine the quality of support you’ll receive if you need to make a claim. Select a poor-quality provider, and you may receive little to no help.
The main things to look out for:
- Are they a specialist in PT insurance?
- Do they cover the specialist areas you work in? (i.e., sports massage, training with children)
- Do they cover the situations you want to work in (i.e., online or overseas?)
- How are their Trustpilot reviews?
Giving the provider a call or checking out their reviews is a great way to determine the quality of their service and how likely they are to support you if you need to make a claim.
We recommend doing your research before purchasing any personal trainer insurance policy.
Do I still need insurance if the gym I work at is insured?
Yes, especially if you’re a freelance personal trainer.
Even if you’re employed by the gym, the cover isn’t guaranteed to protect you fully if a client makes a claim against you for something that is allegedly your fault.
Should I declare any extra qualifications that I earn to my insurance provider?
Yes. If you fail to do so, you may not be covered for the additional services you provide.
Will waiver forms signed by clients mean I am not liable in the event of a claim?
No. While waiver forms are incredibly useful as an extra layer of protection, they should not be treated as a replacement for insurance.
Waiver forms can be dismissed if a case is taken to court, as clients can accuse a trainer of gross negligence relating to any terms laid out in their agreement. This would make any liability waiver void.
What do I need to get insurance?
All reputable insurance providers will request a copy of your personal training certificates to assess whether they have been achieved through a course provider endorsed by CIMSPA. They are the UK fitness sector’s governing body.
You just need to get qualified through a regulated personal training course and submit proof of your certification.
Specialist personal trainer insurance from Insure4Sport
If you’re launching your personal training business in 2022, protecting yourself through insurance is the first step.
At Insure4Sport, our range of specialist personal trainer insurance options is created with all fitness professionals in mind. Whether you’re a sole trader, an employer, or you’re branching out into online personal training, we’ve got you covered.
Click the button below to learn more about how our specialist insurance can help you and get an instant online quote.