In 2012, the Insurance Journal reported that as many as 75 percent of U.S. businesses didn’t have enough insurance.
If we’re all honest here, insurance for gyms is a subject that doesn’t always get a lot of press in entrepreneurial circles. Sure, folks will hype up the benefits of writing your own paycheck and throwing up the deuces at your old job. And many of those same people will also emphasize the wonders of setting your hours and having no ceiling on your earning potential.
But in many cases, the paperwork is just as important as your marketing slogan, if not more so. To that end, we’ve put together a list of things that gym owners should know about taking out gym insurance. Pull up a chair, get comfy, and get ready to take some notes.
Is Insurance For Gyms Necessary?
Even if all the experts say that you should get insurance, there are generally no Insurance Police launching an investigation and shutting down your facility if you let your policy lapse. But from a self-preservation standpoint, there are at least three really good reasons to make insurance a top priority for your gym:
1. You Never Know What Can Happen
According to NOAA, there are roughly 16 natural disasters that occur every year in the U.S. And lately, it seems like every year there’s a major hurricane making headlines. But even if you’re not necessarily on high alert for a natural disaster, fires can happen and customers can take nasty spills while lifting weights or attempting to do some cardio.
Insurance makes it possible for you to have a plan even if your building burns down and your city is on tornado watch tomorrow.
2. It Can Protect Your Personal and Professional Finances
Weight loss, fitness, and body goals are all extremely touchy subjects. So much so that many Americans would consider it a social faux pas to comment on another person’s body.
So when a customer is disgruntled or people are unhappy with the progress they’ve made, it’s not unusual for lawsuits or claims of false advertising to occur along with them. Getting your gym insured can save you the financial pain of having to pay for a lawsuit partially or wholly out of pocket.
3. To Keep Your Clients Happy
Think back to the days before you opened your gym. As a gym-goer, would you have felt comfortable going to a place where the weight-lifting machine could fall on you and you’d have no guarantees of fair compensation for your injury?
For most of your current and future customers, fully insured equipment and trainers are a selling point for your facility.
What Kind of Insurance Do Gym Owners Need?
At the end of the day, insurance coverage can only protect you if you’ve taken out the right policy. But what should be on the table for your gym? Here are some common types of business insurance that companies like apollocover.com will often recommend:
1. General Liability Insurance
A gym isn’t like an opera house or a main-floor motel where your itinerary of activities mostly involves sitting down or sleeping. Your clients are being active. They’re pumping iron, they’re hitting the treadmill, or they’re engaging in some combination of all the above.
If you plan to offer classes to members of the public, you could quickly find yourself in legal trouble if someone trips over a mat or a misplaced dumbbell. General liability insurance can cover your legal fees if you’re sued. And it can also help with judgment amounts and settlement costs.
Between its slip and fall coverage and its overall flexibility, this type of insurance is a must-have for gym owners. And in most cases, we can all agree, that the cost of liability insurance is generally less than the cost of a lawsuit.
2. Contents Insurance
No matter what type of gym you’re planning to run, we can all agree that purchasing equipment is expensive. Treadmills alone can cost upwards of four figures, while fitness machines, weights, mats, and mirrors can also set you back a pretty penny. If you intend to offer classes through an app of some kind, you may also need to count the price of buying cameras and video editing software into the mix.
However, if your gym is damaged by a fire or a group of petty thieves, your building isn’t the only valuable item that could be at risk. Your office furniture, your debit machines, and the actual workout facilities themselves could also be damaged to the point of having to be replaced. Content insurance allows you to get coverage for your gym’s property.
3. Professional Liability Insurance
If you’re offering personal training or classes, you and your team will often be giving a form of professional advice to your customers. And any time you’re providing that hands-on experience, there’s an opportunity for things to take a turn for the worse.
What happens if a customer takes your advice on stretching and ends up pulling a hamstring in the process? Or what if someone who has medical conditions you don’t know about ends up having their problems made worse after taking your class?
Professional liability is designed to cover these sorts of situations. And you can’t go wrong taking out an extensive policy that can protect both you and your staff.
The Right Gym Insurance Could Save Your Business
Gym owners are in a unique position. First, you get to spend your days helping people slim down, build muscle, and gain confidence. And then, you get to share your passion for being in shape with others who are a little more behind on their fitness journeys.
To keep the good times coming to your gym, it’s important to protect your bottom line. As such, insurance for gyms isn’t just a nice-to-have -it’s an absolute necessity. And you should be exploring your options today.
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