From personal trainers to fitness instructors, the health and fitness industry covers many occupations.
But one thing that is shared by most small business owners in the industry is that they offer guidance to clients and interact with them – both of which pose different risks to their business.
If you own a health and fitness business and offer advice to clients, you may want to think about getting an Allied Health Combined Liability policy.
This type of insurance offers both Professional Indemnity (PI) and Public Liability (PL) insurance, merging two crucial policies into one and lowering the likelihood of unforeseen events.
Here’s a snapshot of how PI and PL insurance could protect your health and fitness business.
Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance
Professional Indemnity cover is an essential policy for professional health and fitness workers. It’s designed to protect against financial loss for claims arising from acts of negligence, errors or omissions which involve a breach of your professional service.
Since many personal trainers provide a service, there are a whole host of reasons why PI insurance is important.
Whether you are encouraging your clients to try a new exercise or giving nutritional advice, your business is exposed to the risk of a claim every time your business provides a service.
Public Liability (PL) insurance
Every day you work closely with your clients and members of the public, making Public Liability insurance a vital type of cover personal trainers. It provides cover for legal costs and compensation for claims made against you by third parties for injury and property damage.
A claim could arise from forgetting to clean a spill on the floor, causing someone to slip and injure themselves or accidentally dropping a dumbbell on your client’s new phone.
The relationship between Public Liability and Professional Indemnity
Clearly, both PI insurance and PL insurance are important to the protection of personal trainers, but for different reasons.
PI deals with claims resulting from negligent service while PL deals with third-party injury or property damage.
But what happens if your negligent service causes third-party injury or property damage? Does the claim get covered by your Professional Indemnity or your Public Liability policy?
Unlike traditional professions such as accounting, where a negligent act results in financial loss, for some personal trainers, the professional service they provide comes with an implied risk of injury.
Take this real-life claims example
A personal trainer created an exercise program targeted for their client’s goals to lose weight and improve their health and wellbeing.
Over the weeks, the client complained of a sore back when doing squats, but the personal trainer insisted that they continue with the exercise.
This was until the client was taken to hospital due to unbearable back pain and underwent spinal surgery.
The client made a claim^ for damages including economic loss, medical care, and loss of future earnings. The total bill was more than $300,000.
How an Allied Health Combined Liability policy could save the day
With the case above, it could be ambiguous whether the risk would fall under a Professional Indemnity or a Public Liability policy.
It could be argued that the personal trainer provided negligent advice that resulted in financial loss, which would be covered by PI insurance.
Equally, a third-party injury occurred, which would be covered by PL insurance.
If your personal trainer business had separate PI and PL policies through different insurers, this could lead to delays in the claims handling process, whilst the insurers assess who is responsible for covering the claim.
This is why an Allied Health Combined Liability policy could save the day, as it provides you with cover for both risks through one insurer, removing any confusion.
Fortunately, in the case above, the personal trainer bought an Allied Health Combined Liability policy, and the insurer covered the full amount.
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