Statista reports that in 2015, approximately 25.4 million individuals were practicing yoga or Pilates.
The site also notes that about 8 million people participated in Pilates training in 2013 (). So what does this mean for your Pilates business? The more people who engage in Pilates, the greater the risk that something will go awry. To protect yourself, your business and your reputation from unforeseen circumstances, it’s imperative that you have good insurance coverage.
Are you already covered?
You might think your personal or homeowners insurance has you covered, but it usually does not protect you for accidents caused by “business-related incidents,” according to Alexis Kimball, risk advisor for Deland Gibson Insurance Associates Inc. in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. She advises Pilates instructors to invest in insurance specifically designed to offer protection for their business. She notes that a professional liability policy covers claims due to injury during practice. “Products liability should be obtained if you sell or use equipment in your practice,” Kimball said. So if your client twists a knee while using the Reformer and ultimately needs surgery, this particular plan will pay for their medical expenses if they file a claim against you.
For broad coverage outside the class setting, Kimball recommends general liability, which will cover injuries that occur onsite, like slips and falls. She said, “Slips and falls are the most common accidents and it is important to have insurance coverage for this scenario. Financial implications could be medical expenses, lost wages due to the injured person’s inability to work, pain and suffering, mental anguish and any number of other expenses due to a lawsuit.”
According to Property Casualty 360°, slips and falls account for 10 percent of all claims.
Look for industry-specific policies
You might think purchasing a general insurance policy that applies to a variety of workers in the fitness and health care industry would be sufficient. Not necessarily so, said Kimball. “It’s important to conduct a business analysis to determine potential exposures prior to purchasing a policy. Whether you purchase a general policy or one specific to the industry, you want to have an insurance policy that covers you for all the areas of your business,” she said. “For example, a policy can be different for an instructor teaching mat-based Pilates versus an instructor teaching Reformer training.”
Insurance is worth it
As Pilates gains in popularity, the risk for claims becomes greater. “Inexperienced clients, aging population and an increasingly litigious environment give rise to insurance claims. Even a single claim can ruin someone’s career,” said Kimball. “From the money spent defending a claim, to the time away from teaching and running their business, not to mention the reputational risk they may face,”
Pilates instructors without insurance could face disaster. A savvy instructor makes sure their insurance coverage is adequate and up-to-date.