The Ins & Outs of Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance aka PLI insurance aka malpractice insurance aka errors and omissions insurance (oh my!), is one of the most important safeguards personal trainers and other fitness professionals need to protect their careers for the long haul. 

In today’s personal trainer insurance deep dive, we’ll be zeroing in on this vital element of a stout insurance plan and detail how you can get in on the action with professional liability coverage in a matter of minutes. 

What is Professional Liability Insurance?

If you're looking for a professional liability insurance definition, well, you have come to the right place. Professional liability insurance is usually one coverage element as part of an overall policy. Professional liability covers events that are directly related to the fitness instruction you provide. To speak insurance-ese, professional liability insurance is coverage from third-party claims for accidents, injuries, and/or property damage that occur as a result of your professional capacity.

In simpler terms, professional liability insurance covers you from mishaps that might occur during a training session with a client. Malpractice insurance is another common name which we can break down as meaning “bad practice”. A client who is hurt or has their property damaged during a session may decide to seek a lawsuit to be compensated. They are alleging that the fitness professional was negligent in some way and that they sustained a loss as a result.

Where Does Professional Liability Come From?

Liability is a risk of having to pay for something the law says you are responsible for. Professional liability, therefore, is the risk of having to pay for something that’s related to the services you provide as a fitness pro. 

Unfortunately, risk is all around us and even more so for an involved and hands-on profession like fitness training. Clients are coming from all walks of life, from all levels of fitness, with past injuries, and current conditions. Beyond that, accidents can, and do, simply happen. The statistics are indeed sobering. The National Safety Council cites that a whopping 378,000 injuries occurred from exercising in 2020 alone. A separate study from the National Institute of Health found that the majority of injuries that occur at fitness facilities happen as a result of overexertion. 

What Does Professional Liability Insurance Cover?

Now, the good news is that insurance can act as a safety net against the risks that are all around us in the world of fitness. Professional liability insurance from Insure Fitness Group has been specifically tailored just for the unique types of risks facing today’s fitness professionals. This all-inclusive plan most definitely covers professional liability matters and it’s important to note the program we provide covers both the costs of the claim and any legal defense fees that are necessary. 

A client who is doing some heavy front squats trying to reach their one rep max may pass out and be severely injured in the fall. An ambulance might be needed to transport the client to a hospital where they receive treatment. They may require rehab work to recover and could miss work while they do so. All of these events carry a huge cost in a single claim event. That’s why Insure Fitness Group’s professional liability section provides up to $1 million per occurrence and $3 million as an individual annual aggregate. If an injured party decides to sue after an accident, your professional liability insurance will help cover the costs of legal defense. 

What to Look for in Professional Insurance for Fitness Pros

Fitness instructors, group fitness leaders, personal trainers—all of these professionals know their way around fitness. But spotting a high quality professional insurance plan can be daunting especially when search engines return so many different results. So how do you pick a best-in-class insurance plan just for fitness? 

A few of the “top items” any professional insurance plan worth its weight should include:

Coverage Limits: Limits can be a bit of a tightrope. Too little and you risk not having enough to cover all the costs should an unforeseen event pop up. Too much and you will be paying for more than you will ever need. That’s why our plan is made just for fitness. We don’t cover a thousand different professions like some of the other big companies out there because we wanted to focus all of our attention on the perfect amount of coverage for fitness instructors. That’s why you’ll see $1 million per event and a $3 million annual total for the three biggest types of risks in fitness today.

General and Professional Liability Coverage: We’ve covered professional liability, but you also want to see general liability coverage on a solid insurance plan. General liability is also referred to as slip and fall insurance since that's an unfortunately common event. If a client slips on some chalk leftover from a previous session and injures themselves, general liability coverage would kick in. 

Product Liability Coverage: Another really important coverage with all the fitness equipment you likely use is product liability coverage. If a piece of equipment malfunctions and a client is hurt, they may hold you responsible since you instructed them in the machine’s use. Product liability coverage applies in situations like these so the costs don’t have to come out-of-pocket.

Rental Damage Coverage: Many professionals in fitness today decide to rent space at a gym or other facility in order to provide sessions. With a rented space, the renter can be held responsible for repairing damages that occur. That’s why our plans include up to $100,000 in rental damage coverage to help cover repair costs. 

Stolen Equipment Coverage: Let's face it, fitness equipment can be expensive and is pretty important for just about any kind of fitness instruction beyond bodyweight exercises. If that equipment is stolen in a robbery-by-force, our members never have to worry because they’ll have $1,000 with a low $250 deductible to help pay for replacements. 

Identity Theft Coverage: In a world where we all rely on digital platforms more than ever, the chances are unfortunately high that a cyber event will occur at some point that compromises our data online. IFG includes up to $25,000 of identity restoration services from dedicated experts should your identity be compromised.

Killer Benefits Included at No Additional Cost: Last up, a plan provides maximum value when it includes benefits you can use from day one. With IFG, we partnered with the best names in fitness products and business services to get our members special discounts and deals that really tack on the value received. There’s also whole libraries of curated content from top fitness pros sharing their tips for success and even free music playlists to help rev up your next session.

IFG sought to create a truly superior plan in our offering for fitness insurance for the modern professional. That means being there with our members wherever and however they choose to operate. Whether that’s as a 1099 contractor doing in-home sessions, an employee at a national chain gym, or through online sessions.

Other Insurance Provisions that are Important

While it can be easy to gloss over the terms of professional insurance, this is where a policy can make or break what it provides. Two of these provisions are called portability and occurrence form coverage. 

Portability means you can move gyms or clear across the country and your IFG insurance policy follows you. Not every plan out there offers this which can be a real bummer if your situation changes during your policy term.

Occurrence coverage means you can file a claim even after your policy expires. Claims made is the other type out there which says you have to file claims while the policy is active to have them considered. Claims made can mean you have no coverage whatsoever just because of timing which was not something we wanted to pull on our members.

Comparing Options for Professional Liability Insurance 

Now, as we just looked at a quick internet search for something like “professional liability insurance California” is going to yield page after page of results. Narrowing down your choices with all of your newfound knowledge of the ins and outs of liability insurance will help, but that’s still a lot of clicking back and forth. That’s why we did a lot of the legwork for you and created an entire comparison guide for how our plan stacks up against the competition. 

Why put our competitors' info on our site? Because we’re that confident that we provide the best blend of affordability and coverage in one rock-solid package. Check out the comparison guide to get a better idea of how plans look side-by-side and to help find the best plan for your unique situation. 

Get Covered Now

The best news? You can sign up for professional liability insurance with no long questionnaire in just a few minutes. Our online system was streamlined to give great coverage fast with upfront coverage and pricing information. It’s what we do at IFG.

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