10 Liability Risks Every Personal Trainer Should Know About
Fitness trainers and coaches are exposed to risk all the time. And while it is not possible to eliminate all risks associated with this line of work, it is possible to minimize risks with the help of insurance. Even if you are employed by a gym that has insurance coverage, there are instances where the business policy will not cover your activities as a trainer.
Risks vary depending on the type of physical training you provide, the clients you work with, and the location where you train. Your expertise will also have an effect on which occurrences and incidents you may be exposed to in your profession. For example, if you use technology to train your clients remotely, you may be tempted to think that you do not need as much coverage for liability. On the contrary, you are still exposed to the same obligations as those trainers who personally work with their clients.
Since we have established that general liability insurance is indeed vital, the next step is to identify the risks associated with the profession before you start shopping for cheap personal trainer insurance.
Injury sustained while the client is being supervised
It is your responsibility as a trainer to screen your clients and educate them about how they can avoid bodily injury. You also need to gauge their capability to perform certain routines carefully.
False claims about your expertise as a trainer
You could also be exposed to liability risk if you falsely advertise your experience and training. Be honest about what you can and cannot do to avoid issues.
Providing advice that caused injury and illness
If your work involves giving advice about nutrition, make sure that your insurance policy covers any malpractice claims that may arise.
Slander and defamation
If statements you made caused personal injury to one of your client’s reputation, you could be liable for a defamation suit.
Damage to your client’s personal property
If you coach your clients in their homes, you could be liable for damage to property. For example, you could break one of your client’s equipment during training.
Promising unrealistic results
There is a significant danger when you promise your client-specific results. Always provide a disclaimer that there are no assurances or guarantees to the training program.
Using client’s pictures and videos as marketing material without their consent
Before you use your past client’s results in promoting your business, ask for their permission first. Have the client sign a release form before producing any marketing material.
Errors, omissions, and other negligent acts
Any allegation of something you did or did not do in performing your work is a risk. Make sure that the policy covers these incidents.
Conducting business interstate
If you intend to work with clients from different states, you are also exposed to additional risks. Since laws vary from one state to another, make sure that you are aware of specific regulations that apply to the health and fitness industry.
Operating a website increases your risk
If you plan to put up a site to advertise your work, make sure that you publish all necessary disclaimers to protect your business interests. Be mindful of privacy laws, especially if you are using your website to gather personal information from your clients.