Contributor, Benzinga
November 17, 2023

Gym insurance consists of one or more types of commercial insurance. It is designed to protect you from the financial risks associated with common losses. The most common type of gym insurance is general liability insurance but may include professional liability and workers’ compensation

It’s never been easier to explore your insurance options online. Your insurance agent will recommend the right combination of commercial policies to cover the risks your gym or studio might face, including general liability, product liability and other liability insurance to protect your business from lawsuits, injuries and property damage common to the industry. Benzinga’s guide to gym and fitness center insurance will introduce you to a few policy providers, help you decide on the types of coverage you need and anticipate your expenses.

Quick Look: Best Gym Insurance

  • Best for General Liability: The Hartford
  • Best for Hard-Training Gyms: Liberty Mutual
  • Best for Gym Owners: Tivly
  • Best for Gym Start-Ups: CoverWallet
  • Best for Yoga Instructors and Personal Trainers: Simply Business
  • Best for Customization: Hiscox

Best Gym Insurance

No matter where you operate your business, you’ll have dozens of choices when it comes to selecting a gym insurance provider. Not sure where to begin your search? Consider getting a quote from a few of Benzinga’s top-recommended insurance providers below.

1. Best for General Liability: The Hartford

Gym insurance from The Hartford gives you access to two centuries of experience in the commercial insurance business. The Hartford supports small businesses, including gyms and fitness studios. It offers reasonably priced policies, human agents to talk to and a focus on education that can help your business soar.

Its free Small Business Playbook provides entrepreneurs in the gym or fitness business with actionable ideas. For example, The Hartford has a free step-by-step business plan template and guidelines for businesses in every phase of growth.

The Hartford's general liability insurance policy can help protect you when others claim that your business caused bodily injury or damaged their property.

Some common features that The Hartford's liability policies typically include are paying third parties, not the policyholders, legal defense fees and protecting you and your employees.

Pros

  • Extensive experience in commercial insurance
  • Specializes in supporting small businesses, including gyms and fitness studios
  • Offers educational resources like the Small Business Playbook
  • Provides a personal approach with human agents
  • General liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage claims

Cons

  • May have higher premiums compared to newer market entrants
  • Policies might be more generalized and not as tailored to specific gym needs

2. Best for Hard-Training Gyms: Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual Insurance is known for excellent insurance coverage across the board. For gym insurance, it partners with the Sports & Fitness Insurance Corp. (SFIC).Since 1985, SFIC has focused on insurance for the fitness industry, allowing it, in partnership with Liberty Mutual, to make sure you have the right insurance coverage. If you are a gym owner, personal trainer or yoga instructor, it is worth calling Liberty Mutual to get a quote.

Pros

  • Renowned for comprehensive insurance coverage
  • Partners with Sports & Fitness Insurance Corp. for industry-specific expertise
  • Tailored insurance coverage for various roles in the fitness industry

Cons

  • Limited direct focus on gyms as it operates through a partnership with SFIC
  • Might not offer the same level of personalized service as smaller, niche providers

3. Best for Gym Owners: Tivly

Tivly is your go-to clearinghouse for researching numerous insurance companies. You fill out an easy online form, and Tivly matches you with the provider that fits your needs.

Benzinga’s guide offers gym-specific insurance companies to contact directly, but if you want to explore many insurance company options, Tivly can help. Representatives are trained to direct you to the insurance provider most highly regarded in your industry.

Tivly does the shopping for you so you can save time getting quotes. Best of all, Tivly works with over 200 of the best commercial insurance carriers in the country to get you quality coverage for less.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of options by working with over 200 carriers
  • Simplifies the process of finding the right insurance through an easy online form
  • Saves time in getting quotes by doing the comparison shopping for you

Cons

  • As a clearinghouse, it may lack the depth of specialized knowledge about gym-specific insurance needs
  • Quality of service may vary depending on the matched provider

3. Best for Gym Start-Ups: CoverWallet

Coverwallet, trusted for its responsive agents, strives to provide the right type of insurance for your gym, promising and delivering immediate coverage with your certificate of insurance emailed to you in minutes.

Signing up for insurance is easy with ready-to-go packaged deals.

Coverwallet offers standardized coverage plan levels of basic, standard and pro packages, priced at $39, $49 and $89 per month, respectively. Or your Coverwallet agent can customize the right coverage for your needs.

Pros

  • Known for responsive customer service
  • Offers immediate coverage with quick issuance of insurance certificates
  • Provides packaged deals and customizable coverage options

Cons

  • Standardized packages may not meet all the specific needs of different gyms
  • Online-focused services might not suit people who prefer in-person interactions

4. Best for Yoga Instructors and Personal Trainers: Simply Business

If you are a yoga instructor or personal trainer, Simply Business should be your first place to call for a quote. Its agents are experts at protecting you in the event of a claim against your business. As Simply Business explains, “The rate of injury rose from 9.5 per 100,000 students in 2001 to 17 per 100,000 students in 2014, amounting to nearly 30,000 yoga-related injuries reported from emergency departments during that period.”

If you are a teacher or trainer, your students could get hurt and make a claim against you. It’s important to ensure you’re protected. They offer various plans for each budget and the friendly staff puts customer service first to ensure you get the best experience.

Pros

  • Tailored specifically for yoga instructors and personal trainers
  • Knowledgeable about the specific risks and needs in these professions
  • Offers plans to fit individual budgets and prioritizes customer service

Cons

  • May not offer as comprehensive coverage options as larger, more general providers
  • Specialization might limit options for gyms that offer more than yoga or personal training

5. Best for Customization: Hiscox Insurance

  • securely through Hiscox's website
    securely through Hiscox's website
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    Small businesses with both part and full-time employees
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Hiscox is a small-business insurance provider that can help you whether you are hiring your first employee or simply looking for a better policy. Discounts for multiple policies are available, there are no added fees, and you may adjust your payment options to fit your budget.

When you register with Hiscox, you can look into policies that include:

  • Small-business owner insurance
  • Errors and omissions
  • General liability
  • Professional liability

You can speak with a licensed insurance adviser over the phone, reach out via email or review the resources section to learn more about your insurance options.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of policies, including professional liability and general liability
  • Provides discounts for multiple policies
  • Flexible payment options to suit various budgets
  • Personalized service with licensed insurance advisers available

Cons

  • Might be more expensive because of the high level of customization and personal service.
  • Small-business focus may not align with the needs of larger gym operations

Each of these companies has distinct strengths and potential limitations, making it important for gym owners to carefully evaluate their specific needs against what each insurer offers.

What Gym Insurance Covers

A lot of things can go wrong in a gym, and you don't want to be personally liable for the claims. Gym insurance mitigates the costs associated with claims. If you own a gym or fitness center, you might not be aware of the potential legal liabilities and financial risks you take when you conduct your day-to-day operations. Possible risks include:

  • Injuries or fatalities to customers or employees
  • Incorrect advice from trainers or instructors
  • Food poisoning or allergic reactions from food or beverages
  • Broken equipment
  • Defective products
  • Data breaches
  • Business interruptions
  • Lost income
  • The property, building and additional facilities
  • Vehicles owned by the gym

Types of Gym Insurance

Gym insurance is an insurance policy underwritten to cover the specific risks of a gym. It can consist of one or more policy combinations to cover different aspects of risk. The specific types of insurance you’ll want will vary depending on the structure of your business, the state where your business operates and the number of clients you have. Each type of insurance provides coverage for different circumstances, and you can combine policies to fit your needs.

Take a look at some of the most common types of insurance protection gym owners use to safeguard their businesses. 

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is the most common insurance purchased by business owners because it covers claims from third parties stating you are responsible for their losses. Most general liability insurance policies include the following coverage:

  • Third-party bodily injury: This coverage helps you pay for legal expenses if a customer makes a claim against you or makes a claim for medical expenses after being injured on your property.
  • Third-party property damage: This coverage helps you pay for legal expenses if a customer makes a claim against you or makes a claim as a result of an employee damaging their property at your business. It also protects you if an event occurs that results in a loss that you are held liable for, such as a burst pipe that damages a customer’s laptop.
  • Advertising damages: This coverage helps you pay for legal expenses like settlement and judgment costs in situations such as if a competing gym or fitness center accuses your business of copyright infringement or defamation and takes you to court.

General liability insurance is a must-have coverage for all gym owners because injuries are common as are other incidents businesses incur. 

Commercial Property Insurance 

Commercial property insurance is a type of insurance protection that helps you pay for repairs and replacements if your physical space or business equipment is damaged. Commercial property insurance is similar to homeowners insurance because it provides you with a list of covered perils when you sign onto your policy. Some examples of common covered perils include fires, burglaries and vandalism.

If your property is stolen or damaged during a covered peril, your commercial property insurance will help you cover the costs of restoration up to your policy limits. Specialized commercial property insurance policies may be required for certain types of expensive fitness equipment. 

Depending on your gym’s circumstances, you may need an additional policy or a rider to your existing policies to cover personal trainers or yoga instructors working at your gym as self-employed contractors. A discussion with your insurance agent will help you determine additional coverage your business needs or whether you must require your trainers to carry their own business insurance.

Business Owners Policy (BOP)

If you need both commercial property insurance and general liability insurance, consider purchasing a comprehensive BOP instead of seeking coverage for both from different providers. A BOP is a single policy that combines a general liability insurance policy and a commercial property insurance policy with a single premium from one provider.

Most business owners prefer to purchase a BOP instead of purchasing both types of coverage individually because insurance providers offer discounts when you bundle them together.

Professional Liability Insurance 

Professional liability insurance helps you cover the cost of legal expenses if a client sues you for negligence. This insurance is a must-have if your gym offers fitness classes or personal training services.  

Professional liability insurance isn’t the same type of protection as general liability insurance. General liability insurance provides coverage for claims of negligence made against your business as a whole, while professional liability insurance extends to claims of negligence made against your work. Say you mop a floor, a client slips and falls and decides to sue you for the cost of medical bills. This situation would be covered under your general liability insurance. 

On the other hand, imagine a client signs up for personal training services and doesn’t see the progress promised by his or her trainer. If that client sues your business or makes a claim for negligence or failure to provide services paid for, your professional liability insurance would provide you with coverage because this claim specifically applies to your business services. 

Using self-employed contracted workers paid via 1099-NEC rather than as W-2 employees can influence the type of professional liability insurance you should buy. Work with your agent and be sure to provide honest information about how your business works to make sure you are protected.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of protection that compensates your employees if they’re injured while performing work-related responsibilities. For example, if an employee falls off a ladder while changing a lightbulb and sprains an ankle, workers' compensation insurance will typically help pay for medical bills while the employee recovers. If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury, workers' compensation may also help cover funeral expenses.

Many states require that business owners carry some form of workers' compensation as soon as they hire their first full-time or part-time employee. Coverage requirements vary by state. If you have at least one employee on your payroll, be sure to speak with a local representative to learn more about how much of this protection your business needs to carry.   

Cost of Gym Insurance

The price that you’ll pay for gym insurance will vary depending on a wide range of factors. Some of the data that your insurance provider might use to determine your rates may include:

  • Value of your training equipment: From free weights to treadmills and specialized training equipment like ballet barres or deadlifting safety belts, your gym probably has thousands of dollars worth of equipment on site. As the value of your equipment rises, your insurance costs will increase because you have more to lose in the event of a fire or act of vandalism.
  • Number of employees you have: If you have more employees on your payroll, you’re statistically more likely to need to file a workers’ compensation claim. Expect your insurance to become more expensive as you add members to your gym.
  • Types of services you offer: Physical fitness and exercise come with risks. Some types of activities have a higher risk of physical injury than others. An insurance provider may want to assess the risks associated with each activity or class you offer before calculating your insurance premiums.
  • Your claims history: If you’ve made a claim on your business insurance in the past, you’re more likely to need to file another insurance claim in the future compared with a business owner who has never filed a claim. Expect to pay more for coverage if you have a claim on your record.
  • Your location: Some areas are more likely to suffer damage from a natural disaster or targeted crime than others. If your business is located in an area where damage is statistically more likely to occur, you’ll pay more for your commercial property insurance.

The average gym owner can expect to pay around $75 per month for workers’ compensation insurance, about $70 per month for a BOP and $35 per month for professional liability insurance. 

How Gym Insurance Works

The term gym insurance doesn’t refer to a singular specific policy. Instead, it considers a set of common types of coverage gym owners use to fill in multiple coverage areas in which they may face an expense.

As a general rule, gym owners should maintain a comprehensive general liability insurance policy as well as a commercial property insurance policy with a high enough coverage limit to protect their gym’s training equipment. You may be able to save money on both types of coverage by combining them on a single BOP. If your gym provides personal training or classes, you should also consider adding a professional liability insurance policy.

Depending on the nature of your business, where you live and the number of employees you have, you may not need a workers’ compensation policy. Speak with a local insurance representative to learn more about coverage minimums in your area.

Getting Coverage for Your Gym

Remember, every insurance provider uses its own formula to determine what you’ll pay for coverage. It’s possible to find 10 insurance policies with the same types of coverage and coverage limits at 10 different price points.Getting a quote from at least three of Benzinga’s six recommended gym insurance providers. Getting a quote takes as little as a few minutes but can potentially save you hundreds of dollars by the time you choose a policy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q

What insurance is needed for a gym?

A

A gym typically requires several types of insurance for comprehensive coverage. This includes general liability insurance to protect against bodily injury and property damage, professional liability insurance for claims related to professional advice or services, property insurance for gym equipment and premises, workers’ compensation insurance if the gym employs staff and product liability insurance for products sold by the gym.

Q

How much does gym insurance cost?

A

The cost of gym insurance varies based on factors like the gym’s size, location, type of activities offered, number of employees and the insurance provider and policy details. Small to medium-sized gyms might pay anywhere from several hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars annually, but this is a general estimate and can vary widely.

Q

Who needs gym insurance?

A

Gym insurance is essential for gym and fitness studio owners to protect against liability and property damage. Anyone involved in the operation, management or instruction at a fitness facility should consider gym insurance to mitigate risks.