Many people rarely consider the need for professional group fitness instructor liability insurance. It makes sense, however, that in our litigious society precautions should be taken to ensure that those who choose to earn their living as a fitness instructor are protected against legal damages, whether the charges are warranted or not. Most insurance companies will cover actual fitness facilities as well as their employees up to a certain limit and under certain conditions; however it may be only the lowest coverage possible with certain exclusions and conditions. If you are an independent fitness instructor, or even working full time for a fitness facility, it is vital that you consider protecting yourself with a group fitness instructor liability insurance policy.
What is Group Fitness Instructor Liability Insurance?
Group fitness instructor liability insurance protects physical fitness instructors against damages incurred or legal actions brought about by claimants as a result of the instructor’s training duties.
Common reasons for litigation against instructors include:
o Muscle injuries
o Joint injuries
o Back injuries
o Broken bones
o Bruised bones
Most group fitness instructor liability insurance policies will cover the common causes or hazards that can occur during training and result in the losses mentioned above. Common claims include:
o Injury as a result of poor supervision
o Injury as a result of poor training technique and education
o Injury as a result of overtraining
o Injury as a result of lack of adequate stretching or cool down periods
People can also claim mental damages, stress, or humiliation. For this reason it is extremely important that your group fitness instructor liability insurance policy gives you the most specific and comprehensive coverage possible. Although certain endorsements (additional coverage) may add to the total premium that you pay each year, in the end it will be well worth it. Too many frivolous lawsuits are settled in favor of the plaintiff to warrant gambling with your coverage amounts and limits.
Limits of Coverage
As for the limits of coverage, most insurance companies will offer a basic policy with an aggregate limit of $500,000, $1,000,000 or $2,000,000. They may also have a per occurrence limit that is significantly less than the total policy limit. It is important to understand this distinction because if your policy limit is $1,000,000 but your per occurrence limit is only $100,000, this means you are responsible for paying any monies owed to the other party that exceed the $100,000 limit. For example, if the judgment against you is $150,000 and the per occurrence limit is $100,000, you will be responsible for paying the remaining $50,000 out of pocket. If you do not have the $50,000 in cash or savings immediately available for payment, wage garnishment and even asset liquidation can occur.
When considering a group fitness instructor liability insurance policy, remember that it is always best to be over insured and not need it than to be underinsured and end up with a large debt that you will have to end paying for the rest of your life.