Fitness Instructor Insurance - What Do You Need?

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Fitness Instructor Insurance UK

Working as a fitness instructor can be a lucrative option for anyone with the right qualifications and a passion for health and fitness. Quality instructors can easily lead groups of 20+ paying customers on a single session, and also offer a more premium, personalised service to any customer looking for a more tailored programme.

When you’re at work, your customers put their health and safety into your hands, relying on your expertise and knowledge to help them push their limits without overstepping the boundaries of their bodies. Sometimes accidents happen, however, and a quality fitness instructor’s insurance policy can help protect you from a huge range of potential risks.

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Popular Types of Insurance for a Fitness Instructor

Every fitness instructor is different, with some preferring to run larger, group-centric sessions and others who would rather create more personalised sessions and plans for their customers. Either way, the importance of having appropriate insurance as a fitness instructor is clear, offering you protection for a wide variety of dangers, from a customer hurting themselves through to being unable to work yourself.

Common Types of Fitness Instructor Insurance & What They Cover
1.Public LiabilityCoverage if a customer, member of the public or other business/trainer incurs damages/injuries due to your work
2.Employers' LiabilityLegally required in the UK if you hire a staff member, will protect you if that staff member becomes injured or unwell as a result of their work for you
3.Professional IndemnityProtection if your clients or customers believe you were ‘professionally negligent’, perhaps providing poor advice or service
4.Sports EquipmentCovers the cost of replacing any equipment you’ve lost, broken (away from your home) or had stolen
5.Personal AccidentHelps keep money coming in if you’re unable to work due to short/long-term injury or illness
6.Business Use VehicleCovers your vehicle for the additional risks of travelling to multiple destinations for sessions

Fitness Instructor Insurance Examples

  • Public Liability: While carrying your equipment through a public gym, you bump into somebody and knock them over. They’re injured, and unable to work for 3 weeks. They sue you for their lost income.
  • Employers’ Liability: You’ve hired a contractor and allowed them to borrow your equipment. While working, they injure themselves and believe your equipment is at fault. They sue you for damages, as they’re unable to work for 6 weeks.
  • Professional Indemnity: One of your customers isn’t happy with the results they’re seeing, and believes your service is to blame. They sue you for a refund.
  • Sports Equipment: You leave your equipment in the locker room of a public gym while taking a shower and it’s stolen.
  • Personal Accident: While working out in your own time, you hurt your leg and can’t work for 4 weeks.
  • Business Use Vehicle: You’re driving to a gym for your first session with a customer when you’re involved in an accident

FAQ’s

Most good fitness instructors would hold, at minimum, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurances. The combination of these two will protect you from many of the most common dangers faced by fitness instructors, such as causing damage in a gym, if a customer is unhappy with your service and even if a client feels your programme caused them injury—which can happen in the world of health and fitness.

If you hire any staff, even if only as a part-time/short-term (say, a personal assistant to manage your inbox and calls) then you’ll also need Employers’ Liability insurance. It’s illegal to hire staff in the UK without a policy, and you can be fined up to £2,500 per day for each day you operate without it.

Finally, Personal Accident/Income Protection and Sports Equipment insurances can help cover your earnings if you’re unable to work due to injury/illness (Personal Accident/Income Protection) or any equipment you rely on is broken, stolen or lost (Sports Equipment).

While it isn’t a legal requirement, most fitness instructors hold a Professional Indemnity policy. Public gyms are unlikely to allow you to operate within them without one, and many customers are unlikely to work with you if they feel you aren’t sufficiently covered.

If you’re looking to offer out your services as a freelance fitness instructor, perhaps leading group sessions at a local gym or heading into a busy office to run a lunchtime session, then you’re probably going to be asked to show proof of your policy before you’re hired. Simply put, you’re likely to find it difficult to find the amount of work you might be looking for if you don’t have Professional Indemnity (and Public Liability too!).

Yes, you’ll almost certainly need Public Liability to be a successful fitness instructor. Most potential customers will want to see your policy before hiring you (gyms, businesses, etc. will definitely not consider hiring you if you’re not appropriately covered) so it’s worth having it sorted before you get started.

It isn’t technically a legal requirement in the UK, but you should treat it as if it is. When you consider the average settlement in 2019 was £13,500 it’s really not worth taking the risk.

Business Use Vehicle insurance is a legal requirement for anybody in the UK using their vehicle for work-related driving such as driving to visit clients or multiple work locations other than commuting back and forth to a single place of work. It’ll cover you for the additional risks that business-related driving exposes you to, such as driving to unfamiliar destinations and making longer journeys than the average driver.

You’re most likely to need Business Use Class 1, the lowest level of Business Use coverage, but if you have any questions check out our guide.

Health and fitness can be a risky business. Injuries and accidents can happen, and when they do you could be liable if a judge believes you’re at fault. Insurance helps alleviate these risks, offering you protection if (and when) things do go wrong.

Apart from helping to protect you financially, insurance is also a requirement to operate in most public gyms, and many potential customers and clients won’t work with you if you don’t meet their insurance requirements—public gyms/big businesses especially will refuse to hire you if you’re not appropriately insured.

So, while having insurance is absolutely the right thing to do, it’ll also enable you to grow your business and gain new clients you might not have access to without.

Everything that applies indoors applies outdoors when it comes to fitness instructor insurance. You’ll still need Public Liability and Professional Indemnity (and Employers’ Liability if you hire any staff) for the same reasons outdoors as you’d need it inside a gym or fitness studio.

You shouldn’t need anything additional to cover working in the great outdoors, but do keep in mind the risks of working outside—hazards such as slippery pathways and cold weather could make it more likely for your customers to sustain an injury.

What insurance do I need as a fitness instructor?

Almost all fitness instructors will hold Public Liability and Professional Indemnity policies. Most specialist fitness instructor insurance businesses will sell them together, because if you need one then you’re likely to need the other. The combination of the two forms the backbone of most fitness instructor insurance policies, providing many instructors with the coverage they need to do their job safely.

If you hire somebody to work for you, even if they’re part-time or on a contract, then you’re legally required to have Employers’ Liability. If you don’t employ (or ever intend to) any staff, then you probably won’t need a policy, but keep it in the back of your mind in case your business grows to the point that you do.

Sports Equipment, regularly coupled with Goods in Transit (which some providers will add on for free) is great for making sure you’ve got the equipment you need to do your job effectively at all times. The combination of the two will make sure your equipment is covered whether you’re working, on the move or it’s being stored securely, so you’ll be able to quickly replace anything that does go missing/gets broken.

Personal Accident (or Income Protection) coverages come in many forms, but are all designed to cover you if you’re unable to work due to injury or illness. Some are more short-term, focused on protecting you if you’re off work for a few weeks, and some are more long-term, covering you if an illness or injury prevents you from working for the foreseeable future.

Finally, if you’re going to be using your vehicle to support your business, then you’ll need to upgrade your Social, Domestic & Pleasure insurance to Business Use cover. Remember that it is illegal to be on the roads in the UK without the correct insurance, and traditional Social, Domestic & Pleasure coverage won't protect you if you're using your vehicle to drive to clients or multiple workplaces, so make sure you're appropriately protected beforehand.

How much does Fitness Instructor insurance cost?

A policy including £2M of Fitness Instructor Personal Liability insurance is likely to cost roughly £75 per year. A typical Fitness Instructor insurance policy, that includes £2M of Public Liability, £1,000 of Equipment cover and Personal Accident insurance would cost around £250 annually.

graph showing the average cost of fitness instructor insurance in the UK
Average Cost of Fitness Instructor Insurance
£2M Public Liability£75
£5M Public Liability£123
£2M Public Liability, £1,000 Equipment£142
£2M Public Liability, Personal Accident£181
£2M Public Liability, Personal Accident, £1,000 Equipment£248
£2M Public Liability, Personal Accident, £1,000 Equipment, 1 Employee£550

What impacts the cost of Fitness Instructor insurance?

Like other insurances, many ‘standard’ factors will play a part in how much you end up paying for your cover—your age, industry experience and where you’re based will naturally play a part in how insurers assess your risk level.

You may also see the following questions when signing up to a policy—these are factors likely to increase the cost of your coverage, but keep in mind if you do meet the criteria you’ll need to be honest with your insurer, otherwise they may be within their right to void your insurance in the event of a claim.

  • Working with/training professional athletes
  • Offering services outside the UK
  • Massage treatments
  • Loaning out your equipment/premises to other businesses

You’ll naturally save money on your coverage if you’re older/more experienced, but otherwise the best way to save is to compare as many providers as possible, opt for lower coverage levels (although keep in mind some employers might have a minimum value requirement) and look for discounts on coverages when you take out more than one policy with the same provider.

More Information on Types of Fitness Instructors Insurance

Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance protects you if a third-party (general public, other company/instructor, customer) incurs damages due to your work. Financially, it’ll cover the costs of any legal expenses during your defense and any compensation a court may eventually award against you.

Employers’ Liability Insurance

Employers' Liability Insurance is designed to protect your employees in the event they become injured or unwell while working for you. Like Public Liability, it’ll cover both legal expenses and compensation costs.

It’s illegal to hire staff in the UK without it, so if you are bringing someone onboard you’ll need to consider the costs of a policy—our research indicated that adding just one employee to a £250 policy more than doubled the cost.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

If a customer is unhappy with your service, or feels you’ve been ‘professionally negligent’ (caused them injury, not delivered the agreed results) then Professional Indemnity Insurance will cover you.

Given that working as a fitness instructor is as much about providing guidance and advice as it is actually running sessions, it’s highly advisable that you hold a policy—most fitness instructors wouldn’t work without one.

Sports Equipment Insurance

Sports Equipment Insurance does exactly what you’d expect, insuring the equipment you use for work from accidental damages, loss and theft. It can help mitigate the impact on your customers (and your bank account) if something does go wrong.

Personal Accident Insurance

Personal Accident Insurance is especially important in an industry where injuries and illness can keep you off work. It’ll cover your income while you’re away, helping to cover any bills you’ve got and helping to maintain your standard of living.

Business Use Vehicle Insurance

Business Use Vehicle Insurance covers you for the additional risks of business driving. Driving without the appropriate insurance is illegal in the UK, so you risk fines and points on your license if you don’t have one while using your vehicle to support your work.

Where can I find the best Fitness Instructor insurance?

Every insurer has their benefits and disadvantages, but when looking for the best Fitness Instructor cover there are a few things you might look out for:

  • 24/7 support lines (email, phone)
  • More robust coverages
  • Complementary insurances/additional extras
  • Great reviews on websites like TrustPilot

And, of course, keep an eye on the price to get the best deal possible.

Luke Masters

Prior to NimbleFins, Luke studied economics at Brunel University and worked at FreshMinds, Investigo and BMW. His work in data analytics, pricing, strategy and business development now help him write business insurance content to support SMEs. Read more on LinkedIn.

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The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.