Personal Trainers: Don’t Let Gym Injuries Hurt Your Business

February 07, 2013

You push your clients to work hard and get results, but what happens when you push too hard and your client gets injured?

“If it ain’t hurting it ain’t working, ” the exercise mantra goes. But what if you’re a personal trainer who is hit with a big claim from one of your customers? Your business could wind up in a world of financial pain if you don’t have personal trainer insurance.

For example, you’re in the middle of resistance training with one of your executive clients to get him in shape for an upcoming triathlon, when suddenly he cries out in pain as he crumples to the floor of your gym. The client is rushed in agony to the emergency room and you wait anxiously to hear how he is. However, the call you receive next day isn’t from him, but his lawyer; he says your client has ruptured his Achilles tendon, which will require surgery and will mean he has to hobble around in a plaster cast for weeks. That will not only rule him out of the Ironman contest but also the charity walk to Machu Picchu he had planned for months. What’s worse, he blames you, claiming you pushed him too hard in the gym, and, this time, he’s going to make you hurt.

Even though you know the workout you gave him wasn’t to blame – it was the same session you’ve given dozens of times to many other customers – you’re facing a messy and costly lawsuit from one of your best customers and a lot of negative publicity for your growing business. Now it’s your turn to sweat.

Specialist insurance coverage is available for personal trainers that protects against negligence claims, paying for your legal fees as well as any compensation awarded to clients for the injuries they sustain while you’re training them.

You can also buy general liability insurance to cover you against bodily injury claims that may arise outside of your personal training services. If a client slips on a pool of water created by a knocked-over water bottle and blames you for his torn knee ligament, your policy would protect you against his claim, to the extent you are liable up to your policy limits, and for his related medical costs.

The skill of a good personal trainer is in working clients hard without pushing them too far. But injuries are inevitable at a gym, so it’s important to make sure an unfortunate accident doesn’t push your business too far into the red zone by getting the right insurance cover.