Sports and Fitness Business Insurance
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Professional liability insurance for sports coaches and fitness instructors

Professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions insurance or malpractice insurance, protects sports coaches and fitness instructors against the costs of client lawsuits over unsatisfactory work.

Professional liability guards against work mistakes

An instructional error at your gym, Pilates studio, martial arts class, or other fitness business could result in a violation of privacy or injury to one of your clients. To recoup the cost of medical bills or mental anguish caused to the client, they could file a lawsuit against your business.

Professional liability insurance for fitness instructors and sports coaches can provide the coverage your business needs to stay afloat while dealing with these types of legal matters. This policy is also called errors and omissions (E&O) insurance or malpractice insurance, however these policies aren't exactly the same.

Professional liability provides coverage related to:

  • Failure to deliver promised results
  • Accusations of negligence
  • Incomplete or substandard work

While malpractice insurance protects fitness and sports instructors from lawsuits related to:

  • Client bodily injuries due to improper instruction
  • Economic damages from a patient's lost wages or healthcare costs
  • Missed appointments and undelivered services

These types of liability coverage can be required by some states and sports facilities.

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What coverage can professional liability insurance provide for sports and fitness businesses?

Even the most experienced instructor or coaches can make a mistake or be sued for a claim of substandard care, such as an accidental injury or unfulfilled fitness objective, as well as violating a client's privacy.

Professional liability and medical malpractice insurance can help cover the cost of legal defense, including the cost of hiring a lawyer. These policies can also include additional types of coverage for unique risks, such as sexual misconduct and molestation defense coverage.

Specifically, this type of insurance coverage will help protect sports and fitness business from:

Client injuries due to improper instruction

Even if you’re not at fault, an accusation that your fitness session caused an injury could lead to an expensive lawsuit.

For example, a yoga instructor's student could claim that a pose aggravated a back injury, or someone in a Zumba class might suffer a knee injury. For these and similar incidents, the result could be a costly legal battle.

Medical malpractice insurance can help cover attorney’s fees, settlements, court-ordered judgments, and other costs when someone claims their injury was caused by your advice or technique.

Failure to deliver promised results

In the sports and fitness industry, broken promises can have a significant impact on your customers. If a client takes you to court over an unfulfilled fitness objective, such as failure to meet a guaranteed weight loss or wellness goal, your professional liability insurance policy could help pay for the resulting legal fees.

Accusations of negligence

Clients typically have high expectations when it comes to health and fitness. If your work doesn’t meet their standards, you could be accused of negligence.

Professional liability insurance can help pay for the cost of a lawsuit alleging substandard work. That could include a yoga student who is unsatisfied with the quality of your instruction, or a personal training client who files a lawsuit because the program doesn’t meet his expectations.

Privacy violations and breaches of confidentiality

If a client accused your physical therapy practice of violating their privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), it would probably be a covered claim under your professional liability insurance coverage.

Additionally, if a patient sues you for unintentionally breaching the confidentiality agreement between you and them, your professional liability policy will typically cover your legal defense costs and any settlements or judgments.

Other important sports and fitness instructor insurance policies

While malpractice and professional liability insurance covers errors and accusations of negligence, it doesn't offer complete protection or peace of mind.

Other sports and fitness insurance policies to consider including in your insurance plan are:

General liability insurance: This policy covers expenses related to customer injuries and property damage. A general liability policy also covers advertising injuries, such as an accusation of slander from a competing business.

Business owner's policy (BOP): This policy bundles general liability coverage with commercial property insurance, often at a lower premium than if the policies were purchased separately.

Workers' compensation insurance: Workers' comp is required by most states for businesses with employees. It helps pay for medical expenses from work-related injuries.

Commercial auto insurance: This policy covers the cost of an accident involving your work vehicle. State laws determine how much auto liability insurance you need.

Cyber insurance: Sometimes called cyber liability or cybersecurity insurance, this policy helps fitness businesses recover from financial losses due to data breaches and cyberattacks. It's recommended for any business that stores customer information.

Get free quotes and buy online with Insureon

Are you ready to safeguard your sports and fitness business with professional liability insurance? Complete Insureon's easy online application to get quotes from top-rated U.S. insurance companies.

Once you find the right policy to meet your insurance needs, you can begin coverage and get a certificate of insurance in less than 24 hours.

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Updated: March 18, 2024
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