Case Study: Insurance Claims for Personal Trainers 

Case Study: Insurance Claims for Personal Trainers

By Josh Pillsbury, BSc.

If you’re a personal trainer or fitness coach, you might question why you need insurance at all. But having insurance means you don’t need to take the brunt of the financial fallout if a client sues you or you face another type of loss.


This article provides three case studies of when a personal trainer may need to claim their professional liability, general liability, and content insurance policies. But first, let’s introduce John and Greg.


John is a personal trainer who does one-on-one training and hosts group fitness classes. He’s a contractor at a popular gym in the city for one-on-one training and hosts group fitness sessions in a spare room at a local bowling center, which he rents. His contract with the gym required him to get professional liability insurance and general liability insurance. John also purchased content insurance due to his insurance agent’s suggestion.


Greg is a car mechanic. At work, he continually bends over to look at engines or to replace tires. He needs to be in good shape to do his day-to-day tasks, which may require heavy lifting. Greg works as a contract employee, and his employer pays him on an hourly basis. He is not eligible for benefits with his employer.


Professional Liability Claim

John is working with Greg on their first one-on-one training session. John decides that Greg should start off squatting four sets at 200 lbs. As Greg begins, John gets distracted by his phone, and Greg falls backward and hurts himself.


The injury is severe. Greg is unable to return to work for six weeks. Because Greg is a contract employee, his employer only pays him for the time he works. Greg isn’t eligible for enough sick days to cover all his time off.


Greg, who is unable to earn an income for six weeks, sues John for negligence. The lawsuit seeks damages equal to six weeks of Greg’s income as a car mechanic.


In this situation, John doesn’t need to worry because he purchased professional liability insurance. His insurance covers the cost of legal fees as a result of Greg’s lawsuit. If John is found negligent, his insurance policy will also cover any damage awards payable to Greg.

General Liability Claim

John teaches group Zumba classes at a local bowling centre’s spare room. He’s brought a fancy speaker setup to play energetic music as he takes his class through a Zumba session.


Today, Greg is late for John’s Zumba class. He comes running in, hoping not to miss much of the session. But, as he’s rushing, Greg trips over the power cord that John uses to power his speaker system and severely injures himself.


After a visit to the hospital, the doctor says that Greg can’t return to work for at least three weeks. This injury means Greg will lose out on three weeks’ worth of pay. Greg decides to sue John as a result.


Due to John’s general liability insurance, he won’t have to worry about Greg’s lawsuit. Similar to the professional liability situation, John’s insurance policy covers the cost of legal fees, damage awards, and settlements.


Contents Insurance Claim

In addition to hosting classes at his local studio, John is a mobile personal trainer and often stores his valuable equipment in his truck. John’s business electronics and equipment are essential assets to his company. He usually travels with his laptop, phone and camera, in addition to resistance bands, various weights and mats.


Today, John’s creating a workout plan for Greg at the local coffee shop and parks around the corner. To John’s surprise, Greg is also at the coffee shop three tables down. John goes over to say hello and tells Greg that his training plan should be ready soon.


When John returns to his vehicle, his video camera is gone, and all the equipment in the bed of his truck is missing. Someone must’ve stolen them while he was chatting with Greg.


Usually, John’s homeowners insurance only covers business property up to $2,500. He would have to come up with thousands of dollars to replace this equipment. But John’s business insurance policy protects him from the financial fallout of this situation. His video camera alone was $5,000! Depending on the amount of coverage John purchased, he can likely claim enough to replace all his electronics and equipment.


Although insurance may sound like another expense, your personal training and fitness business needs to protect itself from these worst-case scenarios.

 Josh Pillsbury is a passionate insurance sales leader and entrepreneur with a track record of business building. In 2017, he co-founded of the Vancouver based insurtech, Insura Solutions, a commercial lines underwriting automation solution, and held the title of CEO when they were acquired by APOLLO in June 2019. Most recently, he was a finalist at the Insurance Business Canada Awards for 2020’s Business Development Manager of the Year and held the position of Vice President, Partnerships at APOLLO insurance.

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