If you have been working for a commercial gym for the majority of your time as a personal trainer, you have probably not even thought twice about personal trainer insurance (a.k.a. liability insurance).
This guide will inform you about everything you need to know about insurance and why it is essential.
Introduction to PT liability insurance
If you are trying to actually and start working for yourself at home or in a small studio in town, you need to think about picking up some form of personal training insurance to protect yourself against potential lawsuits.
Exercise and fitness are tough on the body and injuries are just something that is prone to happen no matter how hard you try to prevent them. There is a long list of potential injuries that your clients can get from weightlifting.
They could be something as minor as a muscle strain, or it could be something as serious as an ACL tear. Either way, you need to take preventative measures to protect yourself from a lawsuit that could easily cause you to file bankruptcy.
I have tons of clients that have come to me with pre-existing conditions and injuries. People like this are even more prone to reinjuring themselves. Although it is rare for one of your clients that you have a good relationship with will sue you for damages, it is better to be prepared for the worst!
Although I believe that most of my clients trust me and understand the inherent risks of personal training, they’re still the possibility of a lawsuit. Personal training insurance is not that expensive in the long run, and it is something that could very well protect your whole business.
Medical bills and lawyers can quickly rack up a hefty bill. With personal training insurance, you will be protected up to a certain amount of money depending on what type of package you purchase. That is if you are found guilty and at fault for injuring your client.
Even though most of your clients will sign a liability waiver at the beginning of working with you, that does not always hold up in a court of law. So whether you are working for yourself at home, in a private studio or hire other personal trainers, make sure you have liability insurance to cover your butt.
Working for a local or corporate gymnasium
If you are currently operating under the scope of another person or corporation, then you probably already have liability insurance within the contract that you have with them.
Most personal trainers that work for large gymnasium such as 24-hour fitness do not even know that they are covered. Most of them have never even heard of PT insurance because they never have to think about it before.
If you are applying for jobs and want to know if you will be covered, ask the place that you are applying to! But in my personal experience, even people that own small studios that hire personal trainers will include everyone that works underneath them.
But to make sure, ask them. I have experienced individuals that have put themselves at risk because they did not know that insurance did not cover them.
If you work for a commercial gym such as 24-hour fitness but decide to work with some of your clients outside the scope of the gym, you are putting yourself a high risk because their policy will not cover you.
Large corporate gyms usually take one-third of how much money the client pays. The salesperson usually takes one third as well.
I have seen personal trainers that are frustrated with how little they make (compared to how much their clients are paying) and try to work around the gym by taking their clients outside and working out with them on their own.
A lot of these trainers do not realize is that liability insurance does not cover them once they are outside the gym and can get themselves in serious trouble by doing this.
The different types of liability insurance
In general, there are three different categories for personal trainer liability insurance. The classes are broken down into general insurance, insurance for studio owners and insurance for club owners.
The general insurance will discover one person, and this is the type that I recommend if you want to branch out on your own (just as long as you’re not hiring any other trainers).
I could not find prices for the studio trainer insurance because you need to ask them for quotes. But I did find out that this type of insurance is meant for individuals that run a studio that is smaller than 4000 ft.² and is generally used for small-group personal training such as aerobics, circuit training or Pilates.
The club owner insurance is directed towards individuals that have more extensive facilities such as health clubs. This is the most comprehensive type of personal training insurance I can find. This is meant to cover you and anyone that you hire under the scope of a health club.
In general, I will be focusing on individual personal training insurance. In the Instance That You Break off from Your Gym and Work for Yourself, or as an Independent Contractor I Want You to Be Covered.
Places to get personal training insurance
There are dozens of different places that you can purchase liability insurance from. Even the largest companies such as Geico offer liability insurance packages for personal trainers.
In my opinion, it is probably best to buy personal training insurance from a company that deals with personal training, such as your certifying agency. Most of the larger certifying agencies also offer personal trainer insurance for an additional cost.
Large agencies such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE) or the National Academy of sports medicine (NASM) offer great coverage at affordable prices. Other large organizations such as ACSM and NSCA offer them as well.
You do not need to purchase insurance through the same people that you got your certification from. You can mix and match because they’ll pretty much offer the same type of coverage.
I suggest you shop around for the best prices because some agencies have deals at certain times.
How much will it cost me to get liability Insurance?
ACE and NASM both have very similar prices for trainer insurance. If you are certified through NASM, it is cheaper to purchase through them because you receive a discount. There are typically two options you can choose from.
You can purchase a one-year policy or a two-year policy at a slightly discounted price. And for each of these one or two-year policies, there are three levels of coverage(depending on how much money you want to get covered for).
Each option that they provide has an “annual total” coverage as well as a “per incident” coverage. For example, if you chose to purchase the cheapest coverage option, you would be covered for $3 million(annually)/ and $1 million(per incident) for a total of $172 per year.
This means that for one single incident they will cover you up to a $1 million for the medical bills etc. for that person. It also says that they will cover you up to $3 million for most accidents over the course of one year.
Let’s break down the options and prices for NASM’s insurance policies.
Prices for a one-year policy
“annual total”/ “per incident” – total yearly cost
- 3 million/1 million – $172/year
- 4 million/2 million – $232/year
- 5 million/2 million – $237/year
Prices for a two-year policy (slightly discounted)
- 3 million/1 million – $316/2 years – You save $28
- 4 million/2 million – $427/2 years – you save $37
- 5 million/2 million – $437/2 years – you save $37
Conclusion on personal trainer insurance!
I hope you liked my article on personal trainer insurance! Remember if you are currently working for a corporate gymnasium such as 24-hour fitness and would want to start working with some of your clients outside of the gym (so that you can make more money), you need to get insurance because you will no longer be covered by the corporate insurance.
This is even true if your only training one or two people on your own. You do not want to risk a lawsuit because you could quickly lose all of your money. Personal training insurance is excellent for merely having peace of mind for your business.
And in all honesty, it is not that expensive. The cheapest option will only cost you $172 per year, and I guarantee that will quickly cover between 95% and 99% of all injuries.
To reach the $3 million limit on that plan, you would need to injure lots of people and have all of them consider you responsible. If you are doing this, you probably should not be in the personal training industry in the first place.
ACE recommends that you get insurance for at least a half million dollars for your annual coverage. The most basic coverage that I talked about in this article is six times the recommended amount.
So there should be no hesitation on your end, go out and get insured! If you have any more questions about liability insurance leave me a comment down below. Please like this on social media if it was helpful to you! Happy personal training!
Tyler Read has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Tyler is also a certified personal trainer with NASM, ACE and CSCS. Tyler’s main goal is to help people get started in the personal training industry and to become successful personal trainers. Tyler is the owner of Personal Training Pioneer which helps people get started in the personal training industry and become successful.