Gym Insurance Tips – Why Do I Need Public Liability?
At Insync we provide cover for hundreds of gyms and fitness centres across the UK, including many start-up businesses. One of the most common questions we are asked is why does a gym need liability protection and what exactly does it cover?
What Is Public Liability Insurance?
As the name suggests, public liability insurance provides protection against compensation claims and expenses for injury, or damage to property, from a member of the public following the actions of you, or one of your employees, in the course of your business.
How Does that Impact a Gymnasium?
It might sound obvious, but clients are at the heart of your business, however, they also represent risk in terms of potential liability losses. Should a client suffer an injury or illness as a result of attending your gym they could seek financial compensation, and without adequate liability protection both your personal and business assets could be at exposed.
What Type of Claims Do You Receive from a Gym?
Whilst claims come in all shapes and sizes, the most common claims for fitness centres tend to fall into the following two areas:
#1 Slips and Trips – Still our number one claim area, particular in changing rooms or on flooring where wet surfaces have not been cleared. Best practice is to ensure regular checks are made (and recorded) and adequate signage / warnings are in place whilst cleaning is undertaken.
#2 Equipment Issues – From loose nuts on weights, to saddles falling on cycling or rowing equipment, we’ve seen them all! Check (and record) all equipment on a regular basis and ensure that any damaged items cannot be accessed.
Do I Still Need Cover if all of my Personal Trainers have their own insurance?
Absolutely, whilst any self-employed trainers should carry their own cover, as the gym owner you are still responsible for the safety and protection of your clients (and other visitors). A trainers’ policy would respond if someone tripped over their own equipment bag, however the more general claims highlighted above would still land at your door.
In reality, personal trainers are more likely to see a professional indemnity claim following injury through incorrect advice or instruction provided.
Is PL Insurance Compulsory?
Whilst public liability cover is not a legal requirement, some local authorities may insist on you having an adequate policy is place before you can start to trade. Whilst there are some areas of risk which you may be comfortable to manage yourself rather than purchasing insurance (for example a 3-year-old laptop), liability claims can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds (or more) and we would not recommend operating without cover.
It is worthy of note that most fitness centres will employ staff and with this in mind, you are legally required to purchase a minimum of £5m employers liability insurance. The good news is that all of these covers can be provided in one simple gym insurance policy.
How Much Public Liability Cover Does a Gym Need?
Whilst cover can be arranged from a minimum limit of £1m, based on growing court compensation awards we would recommend a limit of at least £2m. For larger gyms much higher limits should be considered.
Is Gym Insurance Expensive?
Full gym insurance packages start from as little as £250 (plus insurance premium tax), but each policy can be tailored to your exacting requirements including gym equipment, general contents, liability protection, money, loss of profits, legal expenses and more!
Free Business Insurance Review
Insync provides a free review with one of our expert business insurance advisors who can help you find the right level of cover at the right price from our panel of the UK’s leading insurers.
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About the Author
I’m passionate about family, sport, technology and business.
In fact, I have always been fascinated by business, whether it was running the school tuck-shop or my Saturday job in the local store, I was always looking for ways to improve or view things differently.
I have enjoyed an amazing career fast approaching 25 years in the insurance industry, which has given me real insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by SME businesses in today’s ever-evolving marketplace.
I co-founded Insync Insurance, to offer companies a new way to buy and manage their business insurance. A synergy of digital servicing and personal expertise - utilising the latest technology to enhance relationships, not to replace them.