Finding the right insurance for your gym or fitness studio is an important step in protecting your business and achieving long-term success.
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Operating a gym or fitness studio brings significant risks. Although you likely work hard to provide a safe environment and professional staff, there’s always a possibility of accidental injuries, unexpected disasters like fires or storms, or lawsuits brought by dissatisfied clients. Securing comprehensive business insurance coverage will help financially protect you from these and other hazards.
What insurance coverage do I need for my gym or fitness studio?
While there are many types of coverage for companies to consider, these insurance policies are particularly important for gyms and fitness studios:
General liability insurance provides protection for incidents of third-party property damage, bodily injury, personal injury, or advertising injury. Since gyms are frequented by large numbers of clients who engage in physical activities, there’s a greater risk for accidents to occur. Your gym or fitness studio may contain exercise and weight training equipment, swimming pools and saunas, and showers and locker rooms, which all present unique hazards for patrons and visitors. A customer could slip and fall on wet flooring near the pool or a heavy set of weights could fall on a customer. With general liability insurance, accidental third-party injuries and property damage would be covered.
General liability insurance also provides coverage for third-party bodily injury or property damage that results from product liability. If your gym or fitness studio sells special fitness equipment or prepares food like smoothies or shakes, you could be held liable if a customer is injured or becomes ill.
In addition, general liability insurance’s personal and advertising injury component can cover third-party non-physical injuries and reputational damage from libel, slander, copyright infringement, and more.
- Property damage: One of your fitness instructors accidentally knocks a student’s brand new phone from a shelf onto the floor, damaging the phone. Your general liability policy would cover the damages.
- Bodily injury: One of your gym’s members slips on a wet floor in the locker room and falls, breaking her wrist. Your general liability policy would cover her medical costs and would provide funds for any resulting lawsuit or settlement.
- Products and completed operations: A member of your fitness center has a severe allergic reaction to a protein shake he purchased from your juice bar. The member has a nut allergy, and your business failed to inform him that the protein shake contained almond powder. He sues your business. Your general liability policy would cover the costs of the lawsuit.
- Personal and advertising injury: You create a new logo for your gym’s spin class advertisements. Unfortunately, the logo you used in your ad looks very similar to another fitness company’s logo, and they sue you for copyright infringement. Your general liability policy would cover the lawsuit and any resulting settlement.
If your business employs personal trainers, dieticians, or physical therapists, their advice or recommendations to clients could open your business up to liability. If one of your employees suggests exercises that aren’t appropriate for a client’s abilities or pushes them beyond their limits and causes a physical injury or trauma, your clients could sue. Professional liability insurance provides protection against lawsuits related to your professional services, covering legal fees and any settlements or judgments against you.
- One of your yoga instructors encouraged a new student to perform a difficult yoga position. The student injures his neck while practicing. He sues you, alleging that you were negligent in instructing him to try exercises he wasn’t ready for. Your professional liability insurance would cover the lawsuit.
It’s important to note that the employment structure of your gym affects who is covered by your professional liability policy. If your staff are employees, they should be covered by your professional liability insurance. If you have independent contractors working as personal trainers or instructors at your gym, they are likely not covered by your policy and you will need to require them to have their own insurance. It’s a good idea to look carefully at your policy to understand who is covered.
Many fitness centers require users to sign a liability waiver. When they are compliant with state laws and created under legal advice, these waivers can decrease your liability in some situations; however, they cannot prevent all lawsuits or remove all liability, and they may not hold up in court, so it’s critical to have insurance policies to protect you.
Commercial property insurance will provide funds to replace or repair your business property if it is destroyed or damaged by a covered peril. Since gyms rely heavily on their locations and equipment, this is a particularly crucial coverage for them. Damages to your building, office equipment, and fitness machines can add up, and without insurance, the costs may put serious financial strain on your business. Commercial property insurance can provide the coverage you need if your business is hit by a windstorm, hail, fire, vandalism, or other covered hazard.
Commercial property insurance covers the following:
- Buildings belonging to or leased by your company
- Contents of the building, including furniture, equipment, and tools
- Property of others while it is under your care, custody, or control
- A lightning strike causes a fire to break out at your gym, damaging the building as well as treadmills, exercise bikes, and other equipment. Your commercial property insurance would pay for repairs to the building and replacing the damaged exercise equipment.
Business income insurance, also known as business interruption insurance, provides coverage for loss of income and operating expenses if your business must temporarily close due to property damage. Business income insurance is particularly important for gyms and fitness centers as the majority of revenue is brought in only if their physical location is open. If you’re forced to shut down temporarily, you may lose out on revenue while also still having to pay fixed operating expenses like rent, utilities, and payroll. Business income insurance can provide funds to address your lost income or revenue while your business recovers from property damage.
- A severe windstorm damages the roof of your fitness center, forcing you to shut down while undergoing repairs. Business income insurance would provide you with funds to cover your lost income while your business is temporarily closed.
Commercial crime insurance provides protection from financial losses related to crimes such as theft, burglary, robbery, forgery, and fraud. Fitness studios and gyms may have cash on hand, in addition to expensive fitness and electronic equipment, and as with any business that owns commercial property, you may be the target of crime. Commercial crime insurance can provide coverage for crime-related losses due to outside third parties as well as internal employees.
- Over the weekend, you discover that cash from the safe in your back office has been taken. Security footage shows that a member of the weekend cleaning staff stole the cash. Commercial crime insurance would provide coverage for this loss.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial and medical benefits for employees who suffer occupational injuries or diseases. Workers’ comp also provides death benefits for dependents in the case of a work-related employee death. For gyms and fitness studios, workers’ comp coverage is essential, as your employees are frequently involved in physical activity that may lead to injuries. If an employee is injured and is unable to work, workers’ comp can provide funds for the injured employee’s medical treatment, a portion of their lost income, and in some cases, physical rehabilitation expenses.
Workers’ compensation insurance regulations differ by state, but in almost every state, employers are required to secure this coverage. Check with your local workers’ comp laws to understand what is required of your business. Failure to secure adequate coverage can result in fines and even imprisonment in some states.
- A trainer at your gym is moving a rack of weights when he injures his back. He must receive medical treatment and is unable to return to work while recovering. Workers’ compensation would provide funds for his medical expenses and a portion of his lost income during his period of recovery.
- Cyber liability insurance protects companies from financial losses related to hacking, data breaches, and other cybercrimes. This can be a helpful coverage if your gym or fitness center stores names, addresses, credit card numbers, and other customer data.
- Equipment breakdown insurance covers equipment when it breaks down due to something internal, like a mechanical failure. It provides funds to repair or replace damaged equipment and cover lost business income while the equipment is out of commission.
- For smaller gyms and fitness studios, a business owner’s policy (BOP) could help provide a wide range of coverage in a convenient package. A business owner’s policy combines the major property and liability risks that small businesses face, including general liability, commercial property, business income, and extra expense coverage.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for gym insurance will vary based on the type of insurance coverage and the risk profile of your business. Insurers consider factors such as:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Claims history
Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, a gym with a history of frequent claims will face higher premiums. 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 coverage for gyms and fitness studios:
|Provider||Business Interruption||Business Owner's Policy||Commercial Auto||Commercial Crime||Commercial Property||Cyber Liability||Employment Practices Liability||General Liability||Product Liability||Professional Liability||Workers' Compensation|
Business Insurance and Coronavirus
COVID-19 has had a major impact on businesses such as gyms and fitness centers, and gym owners may be unsure about how their business insurance will handle this situation. It’s important to understand that you cannot purchase a new policy to cover coronavirus-related losses that have already occurred; insurance policies will not cover losses that have already been discovered.
For businesses that have business income or business interruption coverage, the losses you’ve suffered from having to temporarily cease business operations due to COVID-19 are, in most cases, not covered. These policies typically only cover losses caused by a direct physical loss or damage, like a fire or theft. Some business interruption policies will include coverage for losses caused by “communicable or infectious diseases,” but this is rare.
How workers’ compensation insurance handles coronavirus cases varies widely depending on the state. If you have employees who contract coronavirus on the job, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation payments in some states.
If your business continues operating and a client or other third party sues you claiming that they contracted coronavirus after visiting your business, some commercial general liability policies will provide coverage, depending on your individual policy and the laws of your state.
Consult our FAQ on coronavirus and business insurance for more information.
When you run a gym or fitness studio, your business could be affected by a number of common risks. Unexpected disasters like fires, accidental injuries or property damage, and lawsuits from clients who feel your professional work harmed them can all have a devastating impact on your business. Obtaining a range of business insurance is a critical step that will protect you and your employees from the financial consequences of unforeseen events.