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Does exercise improve your mental health?
Insurance. It’s something that you need to have. 
 
Nobody likes getting insurance but in some cases it’s compulsory to fulfil certain tasks or roles. 
 
This is the case for personal trainers or fitness professionals. To be a professional personal trainer and charge for your services you need to be covered in certain areas. 
 
There are also other forms of cover that it would be prudent to have if you are embarking on a career as a self-employed personal trainer. 
 
Below we look at some of the different types of insurance you will need. 

Do I really need insurance? 

It can be tempting to go without insurance when starting out, especially as it is another expense. However, it’s actually a legal requirement to have certain kinds of insurance if you’re working as a professional. 
 
Anything else is probably just common sense. If you’re working with people and doing physical activity there’s a higher chance that accidents and incidents could happen. This is something we mentioned in our top tips for freelance personal trainer’s blog
 
This need for cover is relevant even if you do training online. In fact, in virtual training, you have even less control over what your clients are doing so there is a greater chance that something could go wrong or they could incorrectly follow your advice, leading to an injury or illness. 
Chart showing mental health increase

Will my gym cover it? 

It may be that you work out of a local gym or are contracted to run classes or sessions there. Whether or not that gym provides insurance cover for you, depends on the gym. 
 
It’s possible that if you have a professional relationship with them or they’re employing you to be there on a regular basis, they may have some insurance cover in place. 
 
However, there’s no guarantee it will cover everything you need so it’s best to check with them to see exactly what is covered. You also might be liable for the gym equipment you use so it’s important that you have insurance to cover this. 
 
So, what types of cover do you need? 

Public Liability Insurance for Personal Trainers 

There are different types of liability insurance for businesses and freelancers, but public liability insurance is what you will need if you are a personal trainer. 
 
In fact, there are specific types of insurance for personal trainers. 
 
This covers you if something goes wrong whilst doing your job. That might be if a client sustains an injury; slips on a wet floor, breaks their arm etc. or some property is damaged, and you are held personally responsible. 
 
If a claim is made against you, you’re covered for damages and any other necessary fees. 

Employer Liability Insurance 

If you’re just working on your own, then the above is all you will need. However, if you employ anyone else you’ll also need something called employer liability insurance. 
 
This protects you as an employer if the employee makes a claim that they sustained an injury/illness or some other inconvenience as a result of working for you. 
 
Hopefully this won’t happen and if it does, hopefully you’ll be in the right, but it’s important to have that security just in case. 

Professional Indemnity 

The other insurance you are legally required to have as a personal trainer is professional indemnity insurance. 
 
This is important because a significant part of your role involves giving advice that could have a big impact on someone’s life. As such there’s always a possibility that you could be held accountable for the actions of a client, whether they’ve followed your advice properly or not. 
 
PI protects you if someone rightly or wrongly makes a claim against you for what they deem to be poor or inadequate advice or guidance that has led to some form of inconvenience. 
 
Hopefully you’re a true professional and this won’t be your fault, but some people are quick to point the finger of blame and will seek compensation where they can get it. Professional indemnity will cover the costs of defending your case or making any necessary compensation payments. 

Other forms of insurance you may want to consider 

Other types of insurance cover are quite common amongst businesspeople and freelancers. Many of these aren’t offered exclusively to personal trainers but are nonetheless good to have in this role. 

Personal Accident Cover 

In a role which involves lots of physical activity and contact with machines or weights, there is a higher risk of injury, making this a good investment. 
 
This provides cover if you sustain minor or major injuries whilst doing your job. It will cover the cost of recovering from the accident, including physiotherapy and potentially provide compensation if this accident negatively affects your business or lifestyle. 
 
This isn’t about covering for incidents that happen outside of work. That’s covered in income protection. 

Income Protection (or Loss of earnings cover) 

If life circumstances mean you end up losing out on business or you have to cease trading altogether, this will cover the earnings you lose out on. It doesn’t cover any recovery or rehabilitation required to get you back to work but will cover you for the time you’re off work. 
 
Again, it makes sense for someone in a face-to-face role to have this as it theoretically wouldn’t take much to prevent you from carrying out training sessions. 

Equipment Cover 

The final thing you might want to consider is equipment cover which, as you might expect, covers the cost of any equipment or tools that get lost, stolen or damaged. 
 
This should cover the costs of replacing the items. For a role which makes use of a lot of potentially expensive equipment this could be hugely valuable. 

Am I covered overseas? 

Some personal trainers travel overseas to do training and gain more experience. This is one of the potentially exciting opportunities afforded by the career. 
 
If this is the case or you’re delivering sessions virtually overseas, you will want to know whether your insurance covers you for this. 
 
Unfortunately, coverage outside the UK is unlikely to be included as standard. The good news is it can be easily added as an extension to your cover, so you shouldn’t have to take out a separate policy. 

For full coverage check out suppliers and find out more on personal training qualifications 

Obviously, it’s important to check individual policies to find out exactly what is covered as well as understanding what policies your gym has in place. 
 
There are many great providers out there so be sure to ask an expert who they would recommend. 
 
Insurance and protecting yourself is covered in many of the qualifications needed to become a personal trainer as it’s an essential part of the job. We offer all the qualifications you need to become a fully qualified personal trainer. 
 
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