As a gym owner, you have more risk than many other businesses because your operations involve people who are engaged in strenuous exercise. Gym insurance covers the costs associated with injuries and lawsuits. Annual gym insurance costs depend on the specific policy you’re buying. For example, general liability insurance usually costs between $500 to $1,700 per year for small fitness studios.
The list of policies gym owners need doesn’t stop with general liability insurance, so it makes sense to work with a professional who cannot only identify additional coverages but can also point you toward top carriers. Online insurance broker CoverWallet can do both. Get a free, no-obligation quote today.
What Is Gym Insurance?
Gym insurance is a combination of several policies, such as general liability, property coverage, and workers’ compensation. Sometimes, gym owners are required to get certain policies to fulfill contractual obligations, but even if that’s not the case, gym insurance is a good idea. Without it, lawsuits and other hazards could drain the business’ bank account.
Additionally, the specific policies you need and how much you pay for them depend on the type of facility you have. A boutique fitness studio where a single owner teaches every class most likely doesn’t need workers’ compensation but may need professional liability insurance. A full-service health club with massage therapy, youth fitness lessons, and juice bars will pay more than a small gym.
People join your gym on the assumption that you’re an expert. Therefore, you have an obligation to develop and enforce safety procedures like wiping down equipment after use, keeping an incident log, and requiring training on proper form. By enforcing these procedures, you’ll lower the likelihood of claims against your business and keep your gym insurance costs down.
Who Needs Gym Insurance?
Gyms come in many forms these days, and gym insurance is usually appropriate for nearly all of them, including:
- Boutique membership clubs
- Health clubs
- Fitness centers
- Pilates, yoga, and spin studios
- Franchise operations
- 24/7 key access clubs
Every business faces the possibility of a claim, but the physical nature of the operations and the equipment required can make a gym more prone to risk. When it comes to sports and recreational injuries, exercise and exercise equipment had a 27% decrease in the number of injuries resulting in an emergency room visit―at 377,939 incidents vs 2019’s 468,315―according to the National Security Council Injury Facts.
Not all of these injuries occurred in someone’s gym but, at the same time, an emergency room visit isn’t the only way a gym owner can end up in court. Ultimately, every gym and fitness center owner needs business insurance to protect their assets.
Gym Insurance Costs
Because gym activities are at high risk for many hazards, gym insurance costs are often higher than coverage for other industries. Our estimates are for small facilities—gyms of around 2,500 square feet and revenue of $750,000 or less—and the total insurance costs come to more than $10,000 per year. Larger gyms and fitness centers that offer additional services should expect to pay more.
Gym Insurance Costs & Deductible
Annual Premium Cost
$500 to $1,700
Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)
$360 to $1,100
Property deductible: $0 to $1,000
$500 to $2,500
$250 to $1,000
$900 to $4,000
$400 to $1,800
$500 to $1,000
Several things can affect gym insurance costs. The application process asks about your location size, the number of employees and members, and your revenues. You may also be asked about additional services that affect eligibility and rate like offering massage therapy and selling supplements.
For many insurers, the following operations make you ineligible for coverage or could significantly impact your gym insurance costs:
- Training minors
- Selling private labeling supplements
- Having a café on site
- Martial arts
- Hosting fitness competitions
Offering these services doesn’t mean you can’t get coverage, but it may mean you have to do a little more legwork. This is one reason CoverWallet is a good option for gym owners. It partners with many top insurance carriers, so working with them means you can complete a single application to get multiple quotes.
Top Gym Insurance Providers
Comparing offers from top-rated carriers and quick access to certificates of insurance
Providing general liability insurance
Small fitness studios that offer unique classes and services
Full-service athletic clubs
Gym owners who want to be matched to the appropriate insurer
CoverWallet is a great choice for owners of gyms and fitness centers who want to compare policies based on price and coverage. As an online broker, CoverWallet offers a simple digital application for submitting your information to available carriers. This typically returns multiple quotes, which you can review on your own or with an insurance professional. CoverWallet is also transparent with its prices, listing minimum premiums for various policies. General liability policies for gyms start at $39 per month.
The Hartford is an optimal choice for those who wish to get coverage from a provider that offers customized policies for all professions, including gyms and fitness center owners. The Hartford is well regarded for its general liability insurance, which is reflected in the 4.8 out of 5 rating from policyholders that leave feedback on its site. The Hartford also provides information to gym and fitness center owners on how to start, grow, and mature their businesses via the Business Owner’s Playbook.
Sports Fitness Insurance Corporation
The Sports Fitness Insurance Corporation (SFIC) is a carrier that only covers businesses in the health and fitness industry. Because of this, SFIC can often underwrite more risks and provide more affordable options than other insurers. SFIC can underwrite fitness centers that have unique operations and equipment, such as rebounders, tanning beds, or tumbling classes, which may be declined by other carriers. SFIC can also cover 24-hour access clubs.
K&K Insurance Group
K&K Insurance Group is a great choice for athletic clubs that offer services other than fitness training like spas, babysitting services, and restaurants. Moreover, K&K can also cover tennis clubs and other sport-specific operations. The company offers a full program of coverage options for full-service health clubs that includes fundamental policies like general liability as well as less common coverages like crime, event cancellation, and inland marine.
Commercialinsurance.net is an online insurance referral service that matches gym owners to the best carrier, agency, or broker for their particular operations. You provide basic information about your gym, and Commercialinsurance.net identifies the insurance companies that can offer you a quote. Once you pick the offer you want, you’re connected directly to a representative who can bind your policy immediately—often for less than you’d pay on your own.
Gym & Fitness Center Insurance Policies
What It Covers
Nonemployees’ claims over property damage, bodily harm, and advertising injury
The cost of repairing or replacing business-owned property
Injured employees’ lost wages and medical bills
Legal costs in allegations of negligence
Medical bills for an injured participant
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance covers physical injuries and damages to property that are the result of general operations like trip-and-fall accidents. Most general liability policies also pay for advertising injuries, including defamation and damage to rented premises.
While liability policies may start with $300,000 limits, you can find general liability insurance with a $1 million per-occurrence limit and a $2 million aggregate limit. The per-occurrence limit is the amount your insurer pays for each claim, and the aggregate limit is the total it’ll pay during the life of the policy.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance pays for damage to your business-owned property, up to the policy limits. Most policies cover damage caused by:
You can buy commercial property policies that cover the physical location of your gym and all of its contents, such as exercise equipment or the contents. Gym owners who rent their business space need a commercial property policy that covers any equipment, furnishings, or inventory your business owns as well as the structures and fixtures in your portion of the building.
Pro tip: A BOP that combines general liability with commercial property insurance is usually the most cost-effective way to get these two fundamental policies. What’s even better is that BOPs usually include business interruption coverage.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance covers employees who get hurt while working for you. It pays medical expenses, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, and survivor benefits if an employee dies in a workplace accident.
Workers’ comp regulations vary by state, but many business owners need a policy the moment they hire staff—sometimes even one part-time employee. In some states, however, you don’t need workers’ comp insurance until you’ve hired a few workers, so be sure to check your state’s workers’ compensation laws so you can stay in compliance.
Pro tip: If your personal trainers and exercise instructors are independent contractors, it’s best to require them to carry their own liability insurance. Otherwise, you could be on the hook if they’re sued for actions that happened in your facility. One way to resolve this is to be named as a certified holder on their certificates of insurance (COI) to reduce risk to both your gym and your insurance company.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions (E&O), covers your legal defense if you or one of your employees is accused of negligence, fails to meet professional standards, or makes an error while providing professional services. For example, a client might sue if you failed to teach proper weightlifting form or started him on an exercise program without evaluating his fitness level. This is different from general liability, which covers injuries and property damage common to all businesses.
Gym owners who offer one-on-one training sessions may also want to consider getting a professional liability policy with abuse and molestation coverage, especially if those sessions are offered in private. Abuse and molestation coverage typically pays for the business owner’s legal defense if a client alleges sexual misconduct.
Pro tip: Ask your agent if both your general liability and professional liability policies have only on-site coverage or offer both on-site and off-site coverage. On-site coverage only applies to activities at your insured facility. If you or your employees ever offer services at other locations, then you need off-site coverage too.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage pays an injured client’s immediate medical or dental bills regardless of fault. It’s usually a component of general liability insurance and, sometimes, it’s optional, but it’s important coverage for gym owners to get because it can keep minor injuries from developing into major claims.
Let’s say a client trips over a misplaced medicine ball and sprains her ankle. A gym owner who has medical payments coverage can send her to urgent care for an X-ray. Not only does this keep the client from hobbling around on her bad ankle and making her injury worse, but it shows your concern for her health, which can reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit.
Additional Types of Gym Insurance
While most gyms and fitness centers have similar operations, some may find that they need additional policies to be fully protected. Two common situations that might not be covered by basic gym policies are retail operations and special events.
Product Liability Insurance for Gyms
Gym owners who choose to sell products, such as supplements, workout clothes, or fitness equipment, can be sued if those goods end up causing harm to consumers. Product liability insurance covers this risk for products sold in the gym.
Most gyms have sufficient product liability coverage in the products-completed operations portion of their general liability policy. However, if a significant portion of your revenue comes from retail, or you make any of the goods you sell, then you may need a standalone product liability policy.
Pro tip: While membership cancellations aren’t a covered loss on any of your gym insurance policies, the best way to cover possible losses because of this is by adding a clause to your contracts that institutes a fee for early cancellation.
Event Insurance for Gyms
Event insurance, sold as a standalone policy or rider added to an existing policy, covers you if you host large events that increase your exposure. For instance, let’s say you host a CrossFit challenge. You have more people in your gym than on a regular workday, and all of them have a chance of getting injured during a competition. Event insurance covers your liability for their injuries.
Every gym owner needs to obtain policies that cover their risks, including both supervised and unsupervised workouts with various machines and equipment. Gyms have more risks than just a trip and fall—clients may get injured in a workout or even suffer cardiac arrest on an exercise bike. Don’t go bankrupt because you were confused about policies.
Getting a gym insurance quote can be frustrating, as many companies don’t cover this business type. But don’t get frustrated—brokerages like CoverWallet have the resources to help you navigate the process quickly.