As a gym owner, you have more risk than many other businesses because your operations include engaging people 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 is usually between $500 to $2,000 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 can not only identify additional coverages but 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 have 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 can drain the business’ bank account.
Additionally, the specific policies you need and how much you pay for them depends 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.
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 sent 468,315 people to the emergency room in 2019, 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 less than 2,000 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
$450 to $1,500
$500 to $2,500
$250 to $1,000
$900 to $5,000
$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. It may also inquire 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 cafe 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.
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 damage to property that are the result of your general operations, such as 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 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 will 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 just 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.
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 states’ workers’ compensation laws so you can stay in compliance.
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, failing to meet professional standards, or making 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 or on- 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 the 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.
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.
Top Gym Insurance Providers
Comparing offers from top-rated carriers and quick access to certificates of 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 the 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 that submits your information to available carriers and typically returns multiple offers. You can review these quotes on your own or review them 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.
Sports Fitness Insurance Corporation
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 insures. One of the key areas SFIC can underwrite is fitness centers with unique operations that may result in a decline from other carriers. SFIC can offer policies to exercise studios that use rebounders, tanning beds, and tumbling, and can even cover 24-hour access clubs.
K&K Insurance Group
K&K Insurance Group is a great choice for athletic clubs that offer more 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 the fundamentals, such as general liability, as well as less common coverages like crime, event cancellation, and inland marine.
Insurance321 is an online insurance marketplace that matches gym owners to the best carrier or agency for their particular operations. You provide basic information about your gym, and Insurance321’s technology connects you to a company it knows can write your policies. This saves you time and effort it takes to research and apply to multiple carriers.
Gym Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Gym insurance doesn’t cover every risk but is often confused with different risks. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions.
Is there insurance to cover early gym membership cancellations?
Membership cancellation isn’t a covered loss. This is not considered a qualified claim on any of your gym insurance policies. However, you might want to add a clause to your contracts that institute a fee for early cancellation.
Does my insurance cover independent contractors?
If your gym uses personal trainers and exercise instructors who are independent contractors, you may want to require them to carry their own liability insurance. Otherwise, you could be on the hook if they’re sued for their actions in your facility. The easiest way to handle that is to be named as a certificate holder on their certificates of insurance (COI). This reduces risk to your gym and your insurance company.
What obligations do gyms have to prevent injuries on-premises?
People join your gym assuming that you are an expert, so you have an obligation to develop and enforce safety procedures. These might include wiping down equipment after use, keeping an incident log, and requiring training on proper form. Enforcing these procedures can reduce the likelihood of claims against your business, and that can keep gym insurance costs down.
Do liability waivers hold up in court?
Liability waivers can hold up in court, but they aren’t 100% ironclad. For example, a signed liability waiver does not allow you to act negligently. You still have an obligation as a fitness expert to keep your clients safe from injury.
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 risk than a trip and fall where 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, with many companies not covering the business type. Don’t get frustrated. Brokerages like CoverWallet have the resources to help you navigate the process quickly.