Working as a personal trainer can be a rewarding career. Not only do you get to help your clients achieve their goals and transform their lifestyles, but it’s also the opportunity for you to work for yourself. If you are self-employed you also need to consider how to protect yourself and your business from the different risks that you will face as Personal Trainer.
Where do I start?
Personal Trainers have a unique set of risks that they should consider covering themselves for. Firstly they work in an environment where people are exposed to a number of physical risks; this could be in the form of using heavy weights and equipment. If someone were to trip over some weights or equipment, and injure themselves, you could be found liable (this may not just be a client, it could also be a member of the general public). To cover these types of risk consider public liability insurance which will provide financial protection in the case someone suffers an injury (or even damages property) as a result of you providing your training services.
As a personal trainer you’ll also be giving advice to your clients, ranging from the type of exercises to do, how to perform exercises and even what foods to eat, which can make you liable if anything were to go wrong because of this advice. To cover yourself against this risk you should consider Professional Indemnity Insurance, which can help protect you for any claims that may arise due to any advice that you have given in your professional capacity.
Luckily many insurers have realised that trainers face both these risks and have combined the two covers into one insurance package. So you can choose to get one policy rather than two.
What about you?
Your body as a trainer is one of your biggest business assets, and it also gets put under some pretty extreme demands day to day. You’re required to be on your feet and active, even when you’re not your best.
If you were injured and unable to train or run classes, how would you still work and make money?
A Personal Accident Policy can help provide an income if you are unable to work due to an accident, by paying you up to 85% of your income (to a maximum of $3000 per week). You can also include cover for illnesses as well.
It is scarily easy to injure a client.
No change can occur without stepping outside of your comfort zone, but for even the most experienced trainer it can be hard to know when you’ve pushed your clients too far.
A middle-aged man engaged with a personal trainer, who did the prerequisite health checks and assessments before starting a 12 week exercise program. The PT had the man perform a particular exercise that resulted in the man suffering a severe spinal injury. So severe that, 48 hours later, he could barely move and had to have spinal fusion surgery on his back.
This resulted in a 2 year court case where the trainer was found to be negligent in providing a safe training program. As the trainer was giving the advice to perform the exercise, this claim would come under a Professional Indemnity policy.
How much to cover yourself for?
If you have no idea where to start, the most common level of cover for personal trainers through BizCover is for $1,000,000 Professional Indemnity and $10,000,000 Public Liability. A combined policy can start at from as little as $21 a month.