Navigating Personal Trainer Insurance During the Coronavirus

For the vast majority of 2020, personal trainers and gyms have been some of the worst hit due to restrictions and limitations surrounding COVID-19. As the industry adjusts to the “new normal” personal trainers are having to adapt to new health and safety concerns with innovative means.

Understanding the strengths and limits of your personal trainer liability insurance is a smart starting point towards developing your own best practices. As you tell your clients, small, obtainable goals build on each other until you find yourself thriving in the post-COVID fitness landscape.

Ways COVID Has Changed the Fitness Industry Forever

In many locations across the country, in-person activities are still severely limited, if not banned altogether. Mandatory shut-downs and stay-at-home-orders have put a significant pressure on small businesses like personal trainers. COVID-19 has caused many traditional brick and mortar operations to fail including seeing Gold’s Gym filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amidst the pandemic. Examples of stalwarts in fitness like these and the countless trainers that are still struggling to make ends meet are what has punctuated a year of incredible upheaval. 

In-person service providers like fitness professionals were disproportionately affected by the collateral damage caused by the pandemic. The health and safety of clients being paramount, new safety protocols were rolled out across the board - at tremendous cost of both time and money. In some locations, fines were even put in place for businesses that didn’t comply with local mandates.

For many, this process has also necessitated being able to pivot to a more digitally-focused service offering. Charging for access to livestream personal training sessions has allowed many trainers to continue to stay connected with clients and still help them achieve goals. The age of COVID-19, perhaps more than at any other time, has made the benefits for mind and body that accompany exercise so vital for our overall well-being. 

Importance of Personal Trainer Insurance 

Changes in the industry like what has been experienced over the past year show just how vital having safety nets in place are. Life is full of unpredictable events. If we were to tell ourselves this time last year that in 2020 the entire world’s population would be hampered by a global pandemic, not too many of us would have believed it. The point is, personal trainer insurance is for the what-ifs that come from operating in the business of fitness. 

For example, coverages like general liability protect you from the unexpected like a slip and fall injury at your place of business. Professional liability coverage is crucial for fitness professionals since this covers you when someone gets hurt while following your instructions. Other protections like product liability, rental damage coverage, and an identity protection plan just make sense for anyone wanting to be able to do personal training long-term. 

While COVID-19 coverage is excluded from most personal trainer liability insurance programs, the protections provided are engineered to protect professionals from the most common forms of risks faced today. With a solid insurance plan in place and by taking precautions seriously, personal trainers can help decrease the amount of risks they’re facing in today’s health climate.

Protecting Your Personal Training Business During a Pandemic

Following the recommended guidelines set forth by entities like the CDC and your local and state leaders is the best place to start. While these can vary based on location, safety principles include maintaining a distance of 6 feet between people, wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and cleaning and disinfecting common areas and surfaces. Limiting the number of people inside your facility is also a good idea and may already be a mandate in your area. 

While vaccines continue to be developed, the best course of action is to have safety protocols in place. If no in-person training is allowed in your location, you may consider switching your services to an online format. Just make sure you’re still protecting your career by having a personal trainer liability insurance plan in place that covers virtual fitness sessions with clients.

Going Virtual with Live, Online Personal Training 

There are a lot of benefits to redeveloping the traditional in-person training model and moving your services to a more online-centered format. It also doesn’t take very much to get started. As we just mentioned, the most important step to offering online personal training is to make sure your insurance covers live sessions in the digital space. 

Benefits of Online Personal Training

Little Overhead Required to Get Started

Today’s streaming methods can be accomplished with very little in the way of an initial capital outlay. Most people already have most of what they need in a smartphone with a good camera. Accessories that make your production a little more professional are relatively inexpensive and widely available. Lights, additional cameras, camera mounts, and other production tools can contribute towards a better viewer experience. 

Live Sessions Let You Set Your Schedule

Offering your sessions via a livestream like Skype helps you decide when and how you offer services and to whom. Livestreams also provide a chance to connect with your clients wherever they may happen to be which can decrease the odds of no-shows and cancellations. There are various methods out there for managing and distributing your sessions such as with subscription-based models. 

Content Can be Reused 

The key to digital marketing today is to add as much content as possible around a specific segment. If you produce a killer abdominal workout video, you can reuse and spin off the content in so many ways. Take a soundbite from the video and turn it into a quick podcast, write a few blogs with tips from the video and post them on your free IFG website, or if you produce a workout video that’s really popular, create a “text only” document for the program and distribute it across channels. The possibilities for “upcycling” content is endless.  

Distribute to a Wider Audience

By shifting your focus to online personal training, you aren't as restricted to any one geographic location like you were with in-person training. This opens you up for establishing credibility in new markets, garnering new visitors to your offering and converting them into paying users of your personal training services.

Hone in on a Specific Fitness Segment

Being online also helps personal trainers narrow their focus with more chances for volume within that specific segment. For example, a personal trainer may really favor working with developing athletes and so focuses their service offering on attracting more from this segment. Being able to offer training to audiences beyond your limited geographic scope opens up more possibilities for catering to a specific demographic. 

With Insure Fitness, our programs are designed to cover professionals across their careers and include coverage for personal training virtual classes. We believe trainer insurance should move with you, which is why we build portability right into our policies. Move gyms, change how you offer service, or even move across the country and your policy follows you every step of the way.

Ways to Improve Your Training Service Offering During Downtime

For many personal trainers, either the number of sessions they were able to provide were drastically reduced, or they were not able to offer services altogether. Switching to an online format has helped many still be able to provide sessions even when in-person workouts are not possible. But when facing a downturn in activity, professionals can still take time to invest in an incredibly important aspect of their business - themselves.

Taking the downtime to increase your knowledge, seek additional certifications, read, research, and truly grow as a fitness professional is an investment you’ll never regret. Small investments in your own training pays huge dividends over the life of your career. New expertise means new clients which means new opportunities.

Also, take advantage of free resources available at your disposal. NASM, for example, has a number of different free fitness content resources available during this time to help fitness professionals continue to develop even if they aren’t able to provide the same level of services. 

As a member of Insure Fitness, members receive access to an entire fitness content library for personal trainers to cultivate and grow their knowledge. Discounts on top gear can open up new and better ways to push clients through specific workouts. We even offer free workout playlists to members so the perfect pump-up tune is always on deck. 

Signing up for Personal Trainer Liability Insurance in Minutes

Having personal trainer insurance at your side is an incredible asset, especially during uncertain times. Our program is tailored for personal trainers, offering safeguards and additional benefits that add value to all that insurance does for the modern fitness professional. 

We don’t make you fill out a bunch of long questions to get quoted. You’ll know what you’ll pay and what you’re getting long before filling out our quick online application. After checkout, you’re all done; enjoy full access to your insurance coverage and benefits. Accessibility is just one reason our program is rated so highly among personal trainers today.

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