Reducing Risks as a Personal Trainer

November 18, 2023


Did you know that the fitness industry in Canada is expected to increase by 171% in 2028? Canadians are generally relatively active, with only roughly 6% of Canadians admitting that they don’t exercise at all. Now, getting personal training and exercising don’t necessarily have to co-exist, but personal training has showed to be a tremendous asset in helping individuals – especially those in otherwise sedentary jobs – exercise more, exercise better, and learn how to move in a way that suits their physique and physical health goals. For many people, personal trainers are a critical component in their day-to-day  – or weekly – exercise routine.

And why not? Physical trainers bring expertise, motivation, and curated physical routines to the picture. As a personal trainer, you either work independently out of one or numerous gyms, or you work as part of a coaching team. Whichever is the case for you, as a personal trainer you may face risks, whether that’s dissatisfied clients (or even clients alleging your recommendations caused them injury), gyms going out of business, injuries to third parties, and more.

What’s the solution to reduce your risk as a personal trainer? Personal trainer insurance.

Insuring a Fitness Facility vs. Insuring Individual Personal Trainers

Insuring a personal trainer’s individual business is a little different than insuring a fitness facility. A fitness facility might have a business insurance policy that closer resembles what you might expect of a traditional commercial insurance policy. A fitness facility, for example, will need to insure its physical property – i.e., through commercial property insurance, all its employees, its liability, and acquire specialized insurance for any events it hosts or any non-fitness related services.

An individual personal trainer may not need insurance for a commercial space, but they may need specialized coverage for the services they provide – usually through the form of a professional liability insurance policy – and added coverage for any products they sell, or for their digital data (usually in the form of cyber insurance.)

Both policies contain some similarities, but insuring a fitness facility is usually on a much larger scale than insuring an individual personal trainer. All trainers should have their own separate personal trainer insurance, to protect themselves against costly liability claims.

Personal Trainer Insurance: What It Covers

Personal trainer insurance may include any number of different insurance coverages, from general liability insurance and errors omissions to cyber liability insurance and commercial property. It depends on the scale of your business, what services (or products) it offers, where it operates, and more.

Here are some examples of what coverages may be included in personal trainer insurance:

  • Professional Liability Insurance (E&O): PLI offers coverage for misconduct, failure to deliver a service as advertised, negligence. In short, if a client perceives your service to have not been delivered as promised, they could sue you. Or, if your client believes their injury can be traced back to the services you provided, they could hold you liable for their injuries.
  • Cyber Insurance: As part of a comprehensive business insurance plan, this coverage protects your organization from cyber threats. For personal trainers, where much of their data is contained virtually, cyber insurance can protect their business’ rep from costly legal claims due to privacy breaches.
  • Product Liability Insurance: Product liability insurance can protect your business from claims alleging your business’ product, whether that’s a protein powder, exercise band, etc., caused injury or resulted in property damage.
  • Commercial Property Insurance: If you do own a physical studio or even just an office in a larger gym, commercial property insurance protects your business’ physical assets from losses due to theft and vandalism, and more.

Risk Management Tips for Personal Trainers

Roughly 81% of health and fitness businesses fail in their first year. To succeed, your personal training business will need more than insurance – it will need risk management. Risk management can go a long way to ensuring the overall health of your business, and its long-term sustainability. Insurance is a part of risk management, but it’s certainly not the entire picture.

Here are some risk management tips:

  • Obtain proper certification and qualifications: Ensure you have the necessary certifications and qualifications to work as a personal trainer, depending on what you “specialize” in. This helps establish your expertise and credibility in the field.
  • Conduct thorough client assessments: Before starting any training program, conduct comprehensive assessments of your clients’ health, fitness levels, and any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries. This information will help you design safe and appropriate exercise programs for each of your clients.
  • Develop tailored exercise programs: Create individualized exercise programs that consider your clients’ goals, abilities, and limitations. Avoid using a one-size-fits-all approach and always adapt the program based on their progress and feedback.
  • Communicate clearly with clients: Clearly explain the risks and benefits of each exercise or training technique to your clients. Provide proper instructions on how to perform exercises correctly, emphasizing the importance of proper technique to reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Obtain informed consent: Have clients sign a consent form acknowledging that they understand the potential risks associated with exercise and training. This form should also include any medical information and release you from liability for injuries resulting from their participation.
  • Maintain proper documentation: Keep detailed records of client assessments, exercise programs, progress charts, and any incidents or injuries that occur during training sessions. This documentation can be essential in case of disputes or legal issues.
  • Get insured: As mentioned previously, insurance is just one step of an overarching risk management strategy for your business. It can help protect your business liability from common scenarios, and enhance its long-term chances of survival.

Excalibur Insurance is happy to work with any personal trainers needing insurance coverage tailored to the individual way they conduct their business.

Give us a call today or request a free personal trainer insurance quote.