- by Eric Reingen
- February 28, 2022
Planning to start a gym business or take over one? No matter what path you take to ownership, one of the first things you’ll need to do is get insurance. Now you don’t necessarily need to be proficient in insurance lingo or the fitness industry to know what kind of coverage is best for your business. But, if you plan to stay in the game for the long haul, don’t overlook the importance of investing in a solid commercial gym policy.
Think of gym insurance as a safety net. A general liability policy offers coverage for events that involve customer injuries and other specific losses, but it doesn’t cover every aspect or other pertinent potential risks. Your situation is unique and no matter the similarities you may encounter or notice from other professionals or among your peers, risks vary considerably. A one-size or generic policy simply won't do. While you may feel more comfortable starting with a basic policy that may leave your gym business vulnerable in some areas, you can’t overlook the benefits or importance of having a robust commercial gym insurance policy that may include the following addendums.
Commercial Property Insurance
Let’s face it, a safe building or facility and the right equipment are critical to any fitness center. Members will come and go, and your gym equipment is bound to sustain significant wear and tear. There are also calamities that you can anticipate and implement strategies to mitigate against, but the reality is you could still end up blindsided and up a creek without a paddle from the unexpected. For instance, theft, earthquakes, floods, and vandalism are common events that commercial property insurance offers protection against.
Normally, events like those can cause short-term and long-term interruptions in operations, damage or destroy buildings and the equipment inside and make it extremely difficult for any business to recover and resume operations as normal. A closed business doesn’t make money, but it does require money to be spent as far as rent/lease payments, maintenance, taxes, etc.
The right commercial gym insurance policy that includes your gym’s equipment and facility can mean the difference in its ability to bounce back strong with minimal loss and interruptions or not at all with liabilities that may result in it going out of business. Not having enough commercial coverage can also lead to the possibility of your business falling somewhere in between where your gym is operating at a substantial loss that may take time to break even or recover from.
More people and businesses are relying on the internet, online cloud services and software and credit cards and ACH transactions to send payments and manage and store data and operate. Cyber threats are an all too real risk that can lead to financial ruin and more. Cybersecurity Magazine states that in the last year alone, there was at least one cyber-attack on 61 percent of small size businesses. Both customer and business data are extremely vulnerable to cyber threats and the costs associated with the consequences can be staggering.
Cyber insurance is vital for any gym business that plans to store and use digital data in its operations as it offers protection against losses associated with data breaches, IT system and network damage, etc.
Depending on the services and specializations your gym offers, you’ll likely use a vehicle or a few for transportation for networking events, conferences, training sessions and more. It’s not enough to assume that your contractors or employees or even your personal auto policy will cover vehicle damage, medical expenses and other costs associated with accidents that can occur. The unfortunate reality is most personal auto liability policies do not provide coverage for business-related claims.
Consider this: If you or a trainer end up driving to a fitness conference to promote your business and end up in a five-car collision, a personal auto claim is likely to be denied, regardless of if there are expenses related to your personal vehicle and business items or injuries to you or your trainer. There’s also the possibility that an approved claim pays out less, leaving you on the hook for the rest. You could also end up being sued by a third party from the accident, whether you caused the accident or not.
Commercial auto insurance provides peace of mind and protection against liabilities like those mentioned above and medical and property damage costs that you or your employees may incur while using the vehicles for work-related purposes and duties. They have higher coverage limits and are better suited to help offset the elevated risks of using a vehicle for a fitness or gym business.
Commercial Umbrella Liability
Insurance policies come with coverage limits. Personal limits are much lower than commercial policy limits. Most insurers offer several tier levels for policy limits for policyholders to choose from, but those limitations are not always enough to adequately cover some gym businesses with considerable assets and specific coverage needs. To help lessen their liability risks, business owners can add a supplemental policy that helps lower reduce the impact of liabilities that exceed the limits of their gym’s standard insurance policy.
Gyms and fitness centers are prone to employee accidents and injuries. Even with the most advanced or comprehensive safety and accident protocols in place, accidents can and still will happen. Accidents and workplace illnesses can be expensive to deal with, especially if they involve your workers, trainers, or other professionals. Not only do you need to account for the impact on your gym’s operations, but there’s the cost of worker-related medical expenses and lost wages.
Incorporating workers’ compensation coverage into your commercial gym insurance package is essential in minimizing employee turnover and preventing lawsuits and additional liabilities while covering the medical costs of employee illnesses or injuries that occur at your gym.
Play it Safe With Commercial Gym Insurance
One can never be too prepared against the unexpected, especially when it comes to the weather and cyber threats. In the business world, the consequences include more than fines and penalties. The dangers of not having commercial gym insurance could spell long-term trouble for your business and result in reputation and regulatory liabilities as well.
Take measures to optimize your gym’s reputation, success, and longevity by investing in commercial insurance that covers all your gym’s assets. This often requires more than a general commercial liability policy. To learn commercial insurance options that offer better protection for your gym, assets, and customers, call
310-937-2007 to speak with a NEXOFit insurance representative today.
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