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General Liability Insurance for Sports and Fitness Businesses

General Liability Insurance for Sports and Fitness Businesses

Get a quote on General Liability Insurance

Businesses in the sports and fitness industry are particularly prone to third-party injuries and various accidents that pose liability risks. It is important to consider Commercial General Liability Insurance to protect your business against third-party incidents that you may be held liable for.

What is General Liability Insurance?

General Liability Insurance—also known as Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance—financially protects your business if you unintentionally cause bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, or advertising injury to a third party. 

Given the nature of the sports and fitness industry, the liability exposures for these businesses are extensive. Patrons of your fitness facility are likely engaging in a number of physical hazards, and improper use of fitness equipment can cause various types of injuries. Your business may see hundreds of customers a day on your business property, and even with safety at the forefront, accidents simply happen. 


Why do sports and fitness businesses need General Liability Insurance?

In the sports and fitness industry, businesses are particularly vulnerable to incidents covered by General Liability Insurance. Your business may receive heavy foot traffic on a day-to-day basis, increasing the likelihood of accidents occurring. If your facility houses locker rooms, showers, swimming pools, saunas, or pools, there is greater risk for slip-and-fall incidents. 

Perhaps your business requires your trainers, instructors, or employees to travel to client locations to conduct their work. In doing so, your business is at risk of damaging third-party property. If your business sells products—such as fitness equipment or health supplements—you are liable for harm that your products may cause your customers.

In addition to these types of risks, General Liability Insurance can protect your business from lawsuits based on non-physical injuries. For instance, if you are accused of copyright infringement in advertising, slander, or libel, General Liability Insurance provides financial protection against these claims. If your business engages in marketing or advertising, this type of risk coverage may prove beneficial.

What does General Liability Insurance cover?

General Liability Insurance covers bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury. Your CGL policy will assist with the medical expenses and legal fees associated with these third-party claims. 

Bodily Injury

General Liability Insurance financially protects your business if a third party (who is not an employee) suffers a bodily injury while on your business premises or in the course of your business operations. CGL could cover costs related to the injury including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and legal fees. For the sports and fitness industry, this component of coverage is particularly important given the high chance of accidents in these very physical environments. 


Property Damage

General Liability Insurance offers financial protection when your business or one of your employees causes damage to the property of another person or another company. Many sports and fitness trainers travel to various locations and client sites as part of their services, which increases the likelihood of property damage to third parties. 

Take note that this coverage does not apply to your own business property. In order to receive coverage for your own property, consider commercial property insurance. Additionally, General Liability Insurance does not cover any third-party property that is under your care, custody, or control. Coverage for that type of property could be provided under an additional endorsement for voluntary property damage


Products and Completed Operations

Products and completed operations coverage offers financial protection from third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage resulting from work that you have completed or from a product you have manufactured, sold, or distributed. This coverage is essential if your business makes or sells fitness equipment or health foods. If a customer injures himself or becomes ill after using your products, your business could be held liable.


Personal and Advertising Injury

Personal and advertising injury coverage provides protections for third-party non-physical injuries caused by you or your employees during the course of business. It is important to note that CGL covers personal and advertising injury claims only if the offenses were committed unknowingly.

In the sports and fitness industry, commonly covered claims include offenses such as privacy violations, copyright infringement in advertising, slander, or libel.  


Legal Defense

If your sports and fitness company faces a lawsuit for a reason covered by General Liability Insurance, your insurer will cover the costs to defend yourself against these liability claims no matter who is at fault. This includes attorney fees, court costs, expert witness fees, and other expenses. Your insurer will cover the cost to defend your case up to the limits of your policy. CGL policies typically do not subtract your legal fees from the limits of insurance.

Medical Payments

Regardless of who is at fault, General Liability Insurance will pay for medical expenses resulting from an injury that happens on your property, adjacent to your property, or as a result of your business operations. Your CGL insurance will pay medical expenses up to the policy’s medical expenses limit. It is important to note that this coverage is different from bodily injury coverage, which pays if your company is found to be at fault. 

What are the exclusions to General Liability Insurance?

Common exclusions to General Liability Insurance are as follows:

What are the limits of General Liability Insurance?

The limit of insurance is the maximum that the insurance company will pay in claims. In Commercial General Liability Insurance, there is often a limit per occurrence (the maximum amount that the insurer will pay for a single loss) and a limit per year (the maximum amount that the insurer will pay for the policy year).


Pricing and Quotes

AdvisorSmith found the average cost of General Liability Insurance for sports and fitness businesses was $477 per year. This average cost was based on sports and fitness businesses with up to $500K in revenue for coverage of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million in aggregate.

Pricing for General Liability Insurance is based upon the unique risks your business faces. Insurers consider factors such as:

Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, a gym with a history of multiple claims will probably have higher liability premiums than one with relatively few past claims. Premiums also rise as you increase the limits of insurance. Different insurance companies have different models for rating risks, so it is worth comparing pricing across different insurers.

In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer General Liability Insurance:

ProviderGeneral LiabilityBusiness Owner's PolicyProduct Liability

Final Word

Commercial General Liability Insurance remains one of the most commonly purchased insurance types for businesses and for good reason. No business is completely accident-free and CGL protects your company from third-party claims of property damage, bodily injury, and advertising injury. The importance of this coverage for businesses in the sports and fitness industry cannot be overstated. The very nature of the work within this industry exposes businesses to countless risks, accidents, and bodily injuries. Make sure your business is prepared for these incidents with Commercial General Liability Insurance in place.

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