A Fitness Club Best Practice Must
Just because you require you clients to sign a waiver for injuries sustained in the fitness club, it doesn't mean that your business is shielded from lawsuits that may occur. See it is one thing if your member has an illness or injury as a result of working out, but another if your equipment is the cause for the injury.
I have see in my local gym in Clermont two insidences where two old patrons collapsed from over exhursion. One of them unfortunately passed away from a heart attack that he suffered while walking on the treadmill. Is this the owner of the Gym's negligence that this happened, no but if a lawsuit ensured he would need his business insurance policy to defend him to deny the claim.
Now lets say someone was injured as a result of faulty gym equipment breaking down. This would be a different story in that it was the owner of the gym's responsibility to make sure the equipment is in good working condition before people start using it. I recall reading about a gentleman who was doing dumbbell curls while sitting on a fitness ball that ended up popping causing him to hit the ground abruptly causing him to injury his back. If a claim was filed this could go against the gym for negligence.
It is a difficult business being a fitness club owner as you don't necessarily have equipment that is designed for one size fits all. you may have someone who is a seasoned veteran who works out all the time, with a low body weight and than someone who is massively overweight who is in the gym for the first time of their life trying to get in shape. i'm sure there are statistics somewhere that would support that the second example person would be more prone to accidents or equipment failures because of their size.
A gym owner cannot go around to every piece equipment listing disclaimers that if you are over a certain weight that you cannot use that piece of equipment. The plastic ball is a good example. Once you hit a certain weight that ball is not going to function properly and map possibly pop. If it can be proved that the injury from the popped ball is a result of negligence than the fitness club owner will be held liable. The professionals at Southern Insurance Group will make sure your fitness club insurance policy is up to date covering all the exposures that can occur in one's gym.
Rare as these situations are, they do occur. For protection, you need staunch insurance coverage from an agent who understands the business. Southern Insurance Group can provide you with an insurance program customized to the fitness industry. The right fitness insurance protection needs to be a best practice for your club.
Why is that so important?
Health Club Business Trends
Health club trends over the past 20 have been been evolving quickly. People are getting bigger and bigger with every direction we are turning being super sized. Restaurants are serving larger portions and we tend to be offended if our plate is not overflowing with food. Whatever the reasons are, people are getting larger which equates to more people joining gyms to try to lose the excess weight.
Because better health leads to a more productive workforce, many corporations are providing employee incentives for gym memberships. Larger corporations are even setting up fitness facilities in their place of business as an incentive to stay in shape. Just like a regular gym, the corporate owners are needing to beef up their insurance plans to cover possible lawsuits that may arise from people working out in their facility.
We provide one of the most comprehensive health and fitness insurance programs available today. With six main coverages to your policy, our insured health and fitness clubs, their owners and their health club members are fully protected.
Clermont Health and Fitness Insurance Program
The program offered by Southern Insurance Group includes the following six coverages:
1) General Liability
- Comprehensive General Liability – Start as low a 300,000 in coverage and go up from there.
- Premises Liability-protect you of liability acts that take place on your premisis.
- Special Events coverage outside the club is included for the entity and professional instructors or consultants Personal Injury Liability
- Coverage extended to contracted professionals for additional premium-This is for trainers who help patrons in the gym.
- Coverage for tanning available-if you have beds you need this endorsement to protect you from the tanning bed injuries.
- Liquor Liability coverage available-not many gyms serve alcohol but the ones that do definitely need this coverage.
- Abuse or Molestation coverage available-unfortunately most gyms have shower facilities where these things occur.
2) Professional Liability
- Health and Fitness Professional Liability coverage form – limits available up to $1,000,000 per professional incident and $3,000,000 aggregate
- Coverage extended to entity and employed professionals including lifeguards, racket sports instructors, aerobic & fitness instructors
- Blanket limits with large in-house capacity-it may give a blanket allowance instead of listing every piece of equipment in the gym.
- Special Causes of Loss coverage on buildings, contents, business income and extra expense-
- Coverage extended to include property of customers in your care, custody or control-Al ot of people leave their stuff at the gym while they work out.
- Coverage for outdoor pools and court surfaces-if a gym has outdoor facilities coverage has to be amended to cover these exposures.
- Spoilage-most gyms sell smoothies and other related nutritional beverages that can spoil if there is a power outage.
- Signs (attached or unattached)-if a sign is damaged this will provide payment for repair or replacement.
- Precious metals, including trophies-some gyms but mostly martial arts facilities may need coverage for these items
- Business income and extra expense-if the gym is shut down due to a claim this provides supplemental income during this period
- Pollutant clean–up and removal-not common but can be added to cover this exposure.
4) Umbrella/Excess Liability
- Limits up to $15,000,000 available-Umbrella policies start at one million and go up from there.
If the gym has business vehicles, a commercial automobile policy is recommended to cover the below exposures.
- Owned auto
- Hired and non-owned auto
- Hired car physical damage
- Rental Reimbursement for private passenger vehicles
6) Crime and Fidelity
All business' that deal with employees and people writing checks to the company or maybe even paying in cash have the exposure of theft, forgery and employee dishonesty. southern will review the costs of these items to give you the options of securing this coverage.
Southern Insurance Group
- Theft, Disappearance and Destruction - $10,000
- Forgery or Alteration
- Employee Dishonesty
Southern Insurance Group is veteran health and fitness facility insurer. We will review your club, customer base and exposures to customize this comprehensive program to your business.
Contact us today and discover how we can help protect you against potential losses like those at the beginning of this article. See how we can get you in an insurance “fitness” program that will protect and enhance your health club for many years to come.