December 3, 2018 Cory Marr

Health, Beauty, and Fitness

Professional liability insurance covers your health, beauty, or fitness business if you’re sued for performing professional services, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.

Whether you’re a fitness/yoga instructor, a massage therapist, barber, or stylist you’re in the rapidly growing health, beauty and fitness industry.

As a health, beauty and fitness professional, your job is to promote good health and improve the lives of your clients through proper exercise, nutrition, therapy, or care. It’s a very personal connection you have with your clients and they depend on your expertise.  Their health and wellbeing is – quite literally – in your hands.

Businesses in this industry are as diverse as the people running them. Whether you work out of your own facility, at the client’s home or engage your clients with video conferencing, here are some different types of insurance coverage you’ll need to make sure your business and your clients are fully protected.

What kinds of Health, Beauty, and Fitness professionals can buy insurance online?

Health, Beauty, and Fitness is a pretty broad category. There are a number of professions who are eligible to buy insurance online:

  • Health Professionals – This includes many different kinds of therapists, healers, those practicing meditation and massage, and more.
  • Yoga Instructors – From Bikram Yoga to Zen Yoga, and everything in between.
  • Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors – Tennis instructors, weight training, CrossFit, and more.
  • Beauty – Barbers and hair stylists.

Is insurance different for individual health and fitness professionals and premises, like gyms, studios, or offices?

The principles are the same, but some of the coverages differ slightly.

There is a higher general liability risk with a premise. If you are operating a gym, for example, and are leasing space, you are liable for all activities that happen on the premises, including any slips and falls, or claims of harassment, which will trigger a General Liability insurance policy to cover. Commercial landlords require tenants to have at minimum a general liability insurance policy to operate in their leased space. Individual health and fitness professionals will also want to get a General Liability insurance policy, but it is included with their Professional Liability insurance package from Apollo.

Commercial landlords require tenants
to have at minimum a general liability
insurance policy to operate
in their leased space.

If you are operating as a gym or studio you will also want to ensure that any improvements you make as a tenant are covered by the right insurance policy. That’s why tenants improvements insurance applies only to health and fitness premises, and not to individuals in the health and fitness industry.

Whether you have a premise, or you are an individual, you will need Professional Liability insurance to defend against claims of professional negligence.

Professional Liability Insurance for Health, Beauty, and Fitness Professionals

As a fitness instructor, coach or therapist, your clients depend on your expertise. You’re not just a professional, you’re a business owner and insurance is a key component to operating a small business.  Clients come to you with their goals, injuries, or other concerns seeking your professional guidance to help them get better. They are sometimes literally putting themselves into your hands. Being a professional also means you are held to a high standard, expected to reflect the years of knowledge you’ve collected and specialized training you’ve completed. You are legally required to perform your duties with a certain level of care fitting of someone with your level of expertise.

Any technique, procedure or piece of equipment used incorrectly could result in serious injury to your clients. If you’re a massage therapist, using certain oils can cause your client to have an allergic reaction. Some exercises can also be risky. Even something as innocuous as a deep squat could lead to injuries for people with prior knee problems you might not have been aware of.

Any technique, procedure or piece
of equipment used incorrectly could
result in serious injury to your clients.

You’ve built up a good reputation over the years and your clients trust you, but it only takes one incident to put everything in jeopardy. If one of them feels that you were negligent or failed to properly render professional services, they can sue you. Even if you’ve taken all the right steps to make sure everything is done correctly and as safely as possible, the cost of legal fees alone could impair your ability to continue doing business. And don’t forget that the allegations don’t have to be true. Frivolous lawsuits are expensive too. To protect against this risk, make sure you have professional liability insurance in place.

Professional liability insurance will pay for any damages the court awards to the plaintiff but also many costs associated with your defense (lost wages, legal fees, expert testimony, etc.). These extra costs are paid for on top of your limit of insurance. Many clubs or studios won’t even let you see clients in their facilities without proof of professional liability insurance in place.