Given the fast pace of todays busy adult lives, work and family obligations, many people have joined a gym as a convenient way to get consistent exercise, control their body weight, and relieve stress. As todays gyms have expanded to fill that need, offer more classes, stay open longer hours, gyms have become a place where injuries can occur frequently. Gym owners must ensure they have adequate liability insurance for their gyms and health clubs if they are to protect themselves and their financial investment.
The hazards that lurk in any gym vary, of course, and may include unfamiliar equipment, broken equipment, weights left in precarious positions, not enough room to safely maneuver, and more. In some cases, the hazards are human-related.
Even though you require all clients to sign an informed consent document, they may still attempt a lawsuit if they are injured at your gym. No matter how carefully your legal documents are drafted, you may still be liable depending on what happens in your gym. To offset the medical costs resulting from an injury, you must carry general liability insurance for your gym.
What Risk Management Practices Support Liability Insurance for a Gym?
While there is no way to permanently eliminate all the risk associated with owning and opening a gym, good risk management practices can lend support and reduce your liability.
Injury Risk Management – your trainers and staff must stay alert and aware to potential situations that could cause a client to be injured. Check the equipment before every class, watch how clients are using the equipment, and be ready to step in to stop an injury from occurring. Also, you should have a standard medical emergency procedure and every employee should be trained to handle basic medical emergencies.
Equipment Risk Management – your equipment must be in proper working order and it should be positioned in such a way that a client wont be hurt when using it. In addition, you should have procedures in place to inspect equipment regularly as well as to isolate equipment from use when it is broken and should not be used.
Trainer Risk Management – your trainers should be familiar with the proper operation of all equipment to minimize the chance of accidents. When a new machine is brought into the gym, make sure every trainer learns how to use it correctly. Review proper usage guidelines with every client before they use any exercise equipment. Offering your clients a free training session ensures they know how to use the equipment and reduces your overall risk.
Staff Risk Management – all staff should have a background check performed prior to hiring to ensure that they are safe to be in contact with your clients. This reduces your risk and improves your access to affordable liability insurance for your gym.
A good liability insurance for your gym will protect you and your financial investment in the event an accident, injury, or property damage occurs. A good liability insurance plan for your gym will also protect against claims of libel, slander, and wrongful invasion of privacy, as well as having:
Adequate per-incidence and policy limits
Coverage for sexual abuse incidents
Adequate policy limits for property damage claims
When choosing liability insurance for your gym, you must consider working with knowledgeable and experienced insurance professionals that not only understand your business risks, but also care about protecting you and your business assets from financial harm.