Before writing this article on insurance for personal training, I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of some sexy catchy title, or an opening line to grab your attention and keep it. But let’s be honest, personal trainer insurance isn’t exactly riveting. It isn’t a topic that you deep, deep down want to be reading about right now. However, you’re here because you KNOW it is VITAL and you need a few practical bits of advice to steer you in the right direction.
Now, we have no affiliations with any insurer, nor am I some kind of Personal Trainer Insurance expert, but I do have some knowledge of the inner workings of insurance in Australia having worked at IAG for 4 years (one of the largest insurers down under, think NRMA, CGU, SGIO, & SGIC).
Now, let’s start with the question you’ve been mulling in your mind.
Do I need Personal Trainer Insurance / Insurance for Personal Training?
The simple answer is YES YOU DO!
Well, for ONE key reason:
- To protect yourself, your personal training business and your livelihood. Ultimately, insurance for Personal Training is a relatively small investment (depending on your business), to ensure you’re protected in the event of an accident or injury.
And here’s the thing, there are risks to exercising! Anyone who’s played any sport or exercised for many years will have at one stage or another – had an injury occur.
Obviously as a Personal Trainer, we want to do everything in our power to minimise the chance of these injuries occurring! But in the worst case scenario – if an injury does occur, you want to make sure you’re covered!
Also, this what differentiates you as a Fitness Professional! Legally, anyone could call themselves a Personal Trainer, go to the park and start training someone. However, that person could not get insurance for Personal Training.
The second question Personal Trainers ask is…
What type of Personal Trainer Insurance Do I Need?
Broken down, basically, your insurance needs to cover two key things: Public Liability and Professional Indemnity. So, what are these things?
- Public Liability Insurance for Personal Trainers: provides protection for you and your business in the case where a member of the public makes a claim because they were either injured or there was damage to their property as a result of your business.
For example, a client trips over a piece of equipment and gets injured. They may be able to seek compensation as a result: medical, loss of income, etc. Public liability provides you piece of mind that you are protected if this were to happen.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance for Personal Trainers: this insurance refers to events where a client alleges your advice as a trainer was negligent and caused harm or led to a loss.
Examples of this: a client claiming your programming or coaching was negligent and they were injured, or a client developing rhabdomyolysis after an intense session and ending up in hospital. While the second one is an extreme example, it is an entirely possible one as some people tend to overexert themselves during a workout session, to the point that they almost throw up.
Now all general polices should provide you cover for both Public Liability and Professional Indemnity to the tune of (roughly), $10-20million and $5million respectively. These are the basics that you NEED as a trainer. From here you can head down a rabbit hole of additional cover for your equipment, your premises, your income, your own health, etc etc.
Now I’m sure you’ve all heard of horror stories of insurers not paying out claims in the past which leads to the next question…
What Else Should I Be Aware of When it Comes to Personal Training Insurance?
Before choosing any provider, the one thing you need to know is – will they cover your business for what you do? An example of this is with home insurance. Often flash flooding is covered, but not other types of flooding? Why is this important? Ask anyone who owned a home around the Brisbane rivers when they flooded in the years gone past. The lesson is KNOW YOUR COVER!
Are you covered to:
- Run Boxing sessions?
- Train children?
- Train pregnant women?
- Use kettlebells?
- Do Olympic Lifting sessions?
- Do I need registration with some form of body? (e.g. Fitness Australia, Physical Activity Australia, FITREC).
These usually won’t be listed in your policy so you need to specifically ask your insurance provider if they will cover you.
- Train kids: unless you have completed your SISFFIT012 and SISFFIT013 most insurance companies will not insure you to train children. These are ‘elective’ units in Certificate III and IV, so depending on where you studied, you may already have these. If you didn’t study this elective with your original certifications – you will need to obtain it elsewhere – a CEC course is not enough.
- Work with pregnant women: unless you have completed a CEC course in training pregnant women most insurance companies will not cover you to train pregnant women
- Teach boxing classes: unless you have completed a boxing CEC course or have an extensive background in martial arts, most insurance will not cover you to teach boxing classes.
Everything is, is a super “grey” area.
Let’s use Kettlebells as an example, will your Personal Trainer insurance cover you to use Kettlebells when training your clients?
Their answer will most likely be “we’ll cover you for anything you are have been trained to do, so as long as you can prove that you have been trained in that field, we will cover you.”
Now, this can be a little ambiguous. Maybe you didn’t specifically cover Kettlebells in your qualification… Or maybe you did but you can’t prove it. Does this mean that you can’t use kettlebells with your clients – even though you’re a fully qualified Personal Trainer?
We can’t answer that, and the only way to find out is to see what happens once a claim is made.
Or if you want to be 100% safe, complete a CEC course in that specific piece of equipment/field – then you should be covered AND you have a piece of paper to prove it.
The other question is are you legally allowed to be there; training in a park or from your home.
Ensure you ask these questions, ensure you’re covered for what you do. There isn’t much point in paying for personal trainer insurance because you think you’re covered to work with children, only to find out your policy isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
I also recommend where possible get in writing what you’re covered for. The last thing you want is for someone from your insurance company to tell you on the phone you’re insured to use kettlebells with your clients, you forget about it, 2 years later an accident happens, you contact your insurance and now the new staff member tells you you’re not covered. What are you going to say? I spoke to some bloke a year ago and he told me? It will be much safer if you have it in writing or at least keep a record of it somewhere – I spoke to “insert name” on “insert date” and they clearly told me I was covered.
Now to the final question and the one you’ve probably been waiting for…
Who should I get my Personal Training Insurance with? And How much does Personal Training Insurance cost?
Now, this will ultimately depend on what business you run, but I’m going to provide you with some of the options available in Australia.
One that is a no brainer is if you’re currently a Personal Training student. Fitness Australia provides FREE insurance for 12 months for Personal Training students which include; $10million in professional indemnity, public liability, products liability cover, and up to $100,000 legal fees cover. For more details, you can check it out here.
For most other fitness professions there a couple of companies to check out, which all provide you with the fundamental coverage from $100-300(ish) per annum:
Fitness Australia refers registered professionals to Guild Insurance. They work closely with your association to tailor a personal trainer insurance policy suited to your unique needs. With Guild Insurance, you enjoy the convenience of defending your professional reputation with the best support all in one policy:
- Professional Indemnity – cover that protects you for what you do in your everyday profession
- Products Liability – protects against claims for property damage or personal injury arising from products sold by your business
- Public Liability – covers the cost of claims made by the public that are related to your business activities
Guild Insurance offers unrivaled elements of cover, including:
- Good Samaritan cover that protects you during emergency situations wherein you provide first aid or assistance.
- Cover for accidents and property damage that occur when you’re working at a third-party location such as the home of a client.
- Breach of confidentiality cover following an actual or alleged unintentional breach of confidentiality carried out by you.
- Liability cover in the event of important document loss, such as confidential client records.
- 24/7 claims support
Moreover, no matter what level of cover you select, there is an attractive one set excess fee of $250. There is also a range of other minor insurances included in a single policy, making it easy and convenient to retain all your important documents in one place.
The policy from Guild Insurance includes:
- $5 million professional indemnity
- $100k property in your care cover
- $10 or 20 million products liability
- $10 or 20 million public liability
- Fast claims service with unparalleled customer service
- A dedicated personal account manager
- User-friendly and updated risk management website
As a fitness professional, you want to ensure your insurance policy is always in fit form. The policy from Guild Insurance is designed in such a way to suit the unique needs of your profession. Keep thriving knowing you’re protected by Guild Insurance who keep your best interests as a personal trainer at heart.
Physical Activity Australia is currently partnered with MARSH Insurance to provide coverage if you’re a personal trainer, Pilates instructor, yoga instructor, boot camp trainer or related fitness qualified professional. It is also applicable to registrants of other qualifying fitness associations such as Fitness Australia, Australian Fitness Network, FIA Fitnation, and The Health & Fitness Association of Australia.
The cover provides General Liability protection for up to $10 million or $20 million. It also provides Professional Indemnity of up to $5 million or $10 million.
- General Liability up to $20 million: insurance cover will pay up to $20 million in damages for which you are liable.
- Professional Indemnity up to $10 million: insurance cover in place for all activities you engage in as a fitness professional qualified and accredited to instruct by your association.
Activities not covered by the policy from MARSH (even if you are qualified to perform these activies) include: Dietetics, Physiotherapy, Martial Arts, Self Defence, Contact Boxing, Gymnastics, Acrobatics, Wrestling, Acrogym, Participation in Matches or Sporting Events, Swimming Teaching or Coaching, Life Guarding, Ocean Swimming and Professional Sports Coaching.
Pricing guidelines are as follow:
- Sprint Level $100 – 1 year package. Includes Professional Indemnity ($5 million) and Public Liability ($10 million).
- Marathon Level $130 – 1 year package. Includes Professional Indemnity ($10 million) and Public Liability ($20 million).
To take out a policy with MARSH, you can call them to discuss your insurance or apply directly through their website. Ensure you have your Association Registration Number, nominated email address, and a credit card.
BizCover provides a range of different personal trainer insurance options to suit your needs. With just a single phone call or a few clicks on their website, they can provide your business with multiple quotes from leading insurers. Their insurance for personal trainers and fitness professionals include:
This protects your business from losses incurred as a result of claims of alleged or actual omissions or negligent acts in the provision of your professional advice or service, including:
- Creating training plans that are ineffective or unsuitable
- Personal injury claims due to the personal trainer’s professional negligence
- Providing misleading or wrong advice in relation to food preparation and dietary plans
Professional indemnity insurance will also cover legal costs associated with managing or responding to claims covered by the policy such as:
- An award of legal costs against you
- Compensation payment as a result of a claim, including court awarded damages
- Claim investigation costs
- Disciplinary proceeding costs
- Reasonable legal costs incurred in responding to or defending the claim
Public Liability Insurance
This is required if you operate as a contractor to a fitness studio or a gym. This is also needed to obtain a council permit so your business can operate in public areas.
- Bizcover’s Public Liability Insurance for personal trainers covers:
- Personal injury suffered by a third party (e.g. a client or a member of the public)
- Damage to property owned by an external party due to your business activities
- Legal and defence costs associated with the claim
This covers against loss, damage or theft of expensive fitness equipment. It can also provide cover for stock such as protein bars, supplements, etc.
Personal Accident and Illness
If you were to fall ill or seriously injure yourself, you will need time off work to fully recover. This insurance can provide levels of cover for income loss, permanent disablement, or even death due to injury or illness.
There are many other possibilities but these are the big three which will suit most standard personal trainers. If you been more bespoke cover the best bet is to contact an insurance broker who can sort out a policy specific to your needs.
And if you’re wondering, do I really need Personal Trainer Insurance in Australia? It’s not like the United States where litigation is a lot more common. A quick google search can tell you, there’s been a few high profile cases over the years
Lawyer Sues Over Workout Injury: Sydney Morning Herald 2009
National Gym Chain, Personal Trainer Sued After Man Spends Week in Hospital 2017
So to conclude, is Personal Trainer Insurance sexy? No… But it is a vital part in your business whether you work from a park, work from a home studio, or pay rent in a big box gym: you’ll need Personal Trainer Insurance to protect you in the unlikely event that someone is hurt or you’ve been deemed negligent in your services. Insurance protects you and provides you with piece of mind that you are covered if something happens.
If you currently used a different provider that you’re happy with please support the community and let us know who in the comments below.