All kinds of businesses carry liability insurance as a way to protect themselves from lawsuits should a client slip on a wet floor or fall off a chair in the meeting room, for example. Whenever a client is on your property you are liable for their health and safety, so should they suffer some kind of accident or injury while in your care (so to speak) you could find yourself on the hook for medical bills and other expenses.
Of course, there are other types of liability as well, concerning the products a business manufactures, how they are promoted, copyrights, and so on. But when you’re a personal trainer, the main type of liability you’ll likely be concerned with is the physical variety.
But how does liability insurance apply when you don’t operate out of your own business location?
Does the average personal trainer really need to pay for this type of insurance?
Face it. You NEED Liability Insurance
There are a couple of reasons why you might not think you need liability insurance.
- If you work in a gym facility as an employee, the business you work for should have their own liability coverage, letting you off the hook for this expense. But if you merely operate out of a gym as an independent contractor you might have to carry your own liability coverage since the gym’s insurance may not account for any accidents that happen on your watch, leaving you to figure out how to cover the resulting medical bills and/or lawsuits.
- Or you might think that if you do house calls for training sessions instead of opening your own facility you won’t have to carry liability insurance. But this is not the case. You might assume that homeowners insurance covers your clients for accidents that occur on their property (assuming that they are owners and not renters), or that they’ll rely on their own medical coverage in the event of accident or injury (supposing, of course, that they carry personal health coverage).
- You might even make your clients sign a waiver absolving you of any responsibility. But none of these are iron-clad guarantees that an injured client won’t sue.
In fact, you might want to proceed on the assumption that every client injured in the course of your training sessions will want you to pay for any medical bills or other expenses that result, whether they are otherwise covered or not. If they don’t want to, their insurance providers certainly will, in order to avoid the burden of payment falling to them.
Under this assumption you really have no choice but to purchase liability insurance to pay for any costs that arise when one of your clients is injured during a session. This is even more important if you run a sole proprietorship rather than a corporation since your personal assets could be at stake in the event of a lawsuit.
Whether you’re operating independently in a gym, visiting clients in their homes, or seeking mortgage rate pre-approval to open your own shop, you need to add in the cost of liability insurance to your calculations if you want to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build.