Insurance Coverage for Fitness Leaders

Let's shed some light on key areas to get Fitness Leaders and facilities asking questions and thinking about liability insurance coverage. 

These days it seems like we have insurance for everything. 

The need for Fitness Leaders to have their own policy is very important. It’s essentially insurance for the services Fitness Leaders provide to the class. As a professional, it is their responsibility to protect themselves with adequate insurance to provide coverage if they were to be sued by a class participant’s injury resulting from a class they were instructing.

Some Fitness Leaders are under the impression that the insurance policy of the facility will cover them, if they are ever sued. This is not always the case, and it’s something that all Fitness Leaders need to be aware of.

Often there are inquiries asking if Fitness Leaders are covered under the insurance policies of the Municipalities or fitness
centers where they teach. If a Fitness Leader is an independent contractor and teaches in a facility owned by someone
else, then they are mostly likely NOT covered by the general liability or professional liability policy of the facility. Facilities may
require proof of the Fitness Leader’s insurance before teaching in the facility.

If a Fitness Leader is a direct employee or owner of the facility where they teach, then they are most likely covered by that
facility’s general liability insurance. Fitness Leaders always need to verify this with the facility. In turn, the facility operator
needs to determine if their insurance policy covers Fitness Leader liability as well. As a municipality or organization there
are many things to think about to run effective and valued fitness classes, including insurance and proof of a current fitness

The bottom line is that every Fitness Leader, whether they are employees or independent contractors, need insurance to
protect themselves from liability exposure. Having their own insurance policy is as important as keeping their certification
status current. The good news is that it is relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain, as long as they hold a recognized

SPRA Fitness Leadership certification provides Commercial General Liability Insurance coverage for $2 million. For example, if a client is injured and sues you for liability, this coverage will pay to defend you in court and will pay the settlement if you are found liable. As a fitness leader, your registration and renewal fees automatically pay for your insurance. As long as
you keep your registration current, you will automatically be covered.

For facilities, SPRA Fitness Leaders in good standing also reduces liability risk for your organization. Having insurance helps Fitness Leaders do what they do best– help community members become more active and healthy!

Wendy McKellar
SPRA Consultant, Physical Activity and Fitness

This article was previously published in the Summer 2018 issue of DIRECTION magazine. Read it for free online, and find more articles on managing risk in the recreation sector.