Business of Fitness

Insurance Lingo: 9 Key Terms Every Personal Trainer Should Know

“Insurance”: yikes. If you’re anything like me before I became a certified insurance advisor at Next Insurance , the word brings you anything from mild anxiety to extreme frustration. For me, the hardest part about working in the insurance industry was understanding and remembering all of the confusing terms. At Next Insurance we believe in full transparency and our certified advisors will always speak to you in plain terms that tell you exactly what the policy “legalese” translates to in plain English. But in case you’re doing some comparison shopping, here’s a quick starter guide to the insurance jargon that you’ll see during your search.

Let’s start with a biggie. Premium, in this context, is just a fancy word for the price you’ll pay for your insurance. Generally, premiums are collected on an annual, quarterly or monthly basis. Make sure that you’re comparing prices for the same time period as you weigh your options! Our affordable policies have premiums ranging from about $11-16 per month (or $130-$190 per year), depending on how much coverage you want.

Another word you’ll commonly see along with premium is deductible. An insurance deductible is the amount that you would be responsible for paying before your insurance kicks in. With NEXT’s personal trainer policies, your deductible is ZERO – the insurance will cover you immediately, so there’s no out of pocket expense!

Now let’s dive into the kinds of coverage these premiums will apply to. The bread-and-butter of all commercial insurance policies is what’s called General Liability (GL) insurance. GL coverage applies to bodily injury (a client gets injured during a session) and property damage (they slam a medicine ball into the mirror of the gym where you’re training and the gym holds you responsible for breaking it). Of course, there’s an increased risk of injury anytime physical activity is involved, and since you probably train at a few different locations, it’s important to make your employers happy by providing them proof that they are safe should anything happen. With a GL policy in your pocket, you can have the confidence to push hard in your sessions, giving your business that extra edge.

There is also Professional Liability insurance, another key type of coverage for personal trainers. This is the insurance that you might also hear called, “errors and omissions” and it covers just that: when you make a mistake or oversight while training someone and it results in an injury or damage. For a personal trainer that might be unintentionally teaching an improper technique or leaving out a key safety detail. In a comprehensive policy, this will also include an “abuse or molestation” clause. It sounds scary, but it’s really important for personal trainers to be protected in case a client misinterprets your corrective touch as inappropriate.

It’s also important to check that your policy isn’t full of exclusions, or things that the insurance policy won’t cover. For instance, injury that arises in a pool might not be covered because swimming and other water-based exercise programs have historically been considered riskier than most land-based ones. Make sure you know what exclusions are in the policies you’re considering, so you can determine which offers the most fitting coverage for your specific training methodologies.

Now, once you have a policy, you might be asked to add a gym or client as an additional insured (AI). This doesn’t mean you’re insuring the whole gym, but instead provides a way to tie you to them on paper in case a client files a suit against the gym. It makes them more comfortable letting you use their space to train! Unlike many traditional insurance companies, Next Insurance will never charge you to add an AI – we understand that you may contract with many different entities and therefore need this option readily available.

Finally, there is the certificate (or proof) of insurance (COI). As a personal trainer you’ve probably heard gyms or clients ask you to show your COI so they know you’re insured. This is a document that you generally need to request from you insurance company. At Next Insurance, we provide instant digital copies of your COI so that you can easily access and share them.

NEXT is thrilled to partner with NASM and offer affordable, transparent, and fast insurance to certified trainers. Whether you’re just starting your search for insurance or you’ve been around the insurance block a few times, we’ll always tell you exactly what your policy offers and help answer any questions you might have about the policies and what’s in them. But if you’re required to speak a little insurance jargon with other companies, I hope this quick overview provides a jumping off point that enables you to ask the right questions and purchase a policy that suits your business – no one knows it better than you!

NASM is excited to partner with Next-Insurance as our preferred insurance provider. To learn more about their personal trainer coverage, please visit their site here.

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The Author

Natalie Cutler

Natalie Cutler

Natalie is a certified insurance advisor and senior member of the Next Insurance A-Team, where she helps business owners find the right insurance policies for their needs. She also dabbles in market research, excel model building, and blog content writing. She majored in Contemplative Studies at Brown University and now uses the mindfulness skills she learned there to keep calm and upbeat in the face of insurance emergencies!

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