If you train clients and require specialised insurance, you may be asking whether you require Public Liability or Professional Indemnity coverage. I’ve heard of these, but what exactly are the differences? Let’s have a look. This difference could help you make a decision about whether you’d opt to go with a gym public liability insurance or a professional indemnity insurance coverage within your gym. 

Public Liability 

This protects you from bodily injury or property damage caused by a third party. If a claim was brought against you because someone in your care suffered a significant injury or accidentally damaged property, Public Liability would cover your legal bills if the matter went to court. 

Most gyms and fitness centres will not let you teach on their premises unless you can verify you have public liability insurance – and it’s easy to see why. It is important to consider taking out personal gym insurance or even look up gym public liability insurance. 

Even if you undertake a risk assessment prior to and after each class or training session, you may miss certain hazards, or something unexpected may occur, which is why Public Liability insurance is so important.

Here are some instances of what Public Liability insurance can protect you against:

  • You’re a personal trainer, and you’re working out with a customer with a resistance band. The band cracks and slams into them, injuring them severely. They accuse you of utilising defective equipment.
  • You’re a dancing instructor who’s teaching a class. There is moisture/water on the studio floor, and someone slips while doing a routine, injuring themselves severely.
  • You’re in charge of a group exercise class. A client spills a weight or barbell on the studio floor, causing substantial damage. You’ll be held liable for the harm.
  • You work as a martial arts coach. At the studio you’re renting, a pupil is practising kicks and misses their aim or mistimes a move, causing damage to a wall or door. A lawsuit has been filed against you.

Professional Indemnity

This protects you in the event that someone is injured or becomes extremely ill as a result of advice you’ve given and claims it’s your fault.

While most people only purchase Public Liability, you’ll require Professional Indemnity if you’re giving advice or collecting a charge for it. Coaches and teachers, therefore, require this form of insurance. 

Professional Indemnity would protect you in the following situations: 

  • You instruct a client to stretch before and/or after a session. They harm themselves while doing the exercises and blame you.
  • During a one-on-one session, you coach a client to execute a certain exercise. They leave and do the activity, resulting in a sprain or perhaps a fractured bone.

If this happens, Professional Indemnity will protect you from lawsuits brought against you as a result of a careless error or omission in the advice you’ve given to consumers or clients.

In Summary

  • You would file a claim under Public Liability if someone in your care was injured or caused damage to third-party property during a class or session.
  • It’s Professional Indemnity if the claim is for anything that happened outside of the class or session as a result of advice you gave.

You won’t have to choose between the two, thank goodness. If you’re a coach or instructor, you’ll have ample Professional Indemnity coverage as part of your Public Liability policy. This will cover your gym insurance cost.