What are gym insurance requirements for new gym owners?

Dean Laming ACIIBy Dean Laming on March 16th, 2023

There’s never been a better time to become a gym owner. Around 14% of Brits are members of a gym (roughly 10 million people in total), and this number only expected to keep growing as healthy living trends increasingly finding their way into the public consciousness.

However, while the prospects of success are higher than ever, having insufficient gym insurance cover can derail things quicker than you can say “one…more…rep…”. 

Our guide to gym insurance requirements will set you straight and ensure you have sufficient cover for your own gym. 

What insurance do I need for a gym?

Gym insurance isn’t a single product — here at Fitness Gold, we offer a vast range of covers under that single banner. Some of these are applied automatically and are important to gyms for similar reasons they are to businesses more generally. Two types of cover almost every gym owner needs to have are employer’s liability and public liability insurance.

Employer’s liability insurance

Employer’s liability insurance is legally required for gyms employing any staff or trainees. If an employee (such as a personal trainer) is injured while working for you, and you are found to be at fault, you would be liable to compensate that worker financially. Should you need to pay compensation, employer’s liability can help you to meet that expense. 

Public liability insurance 

Then, there’s public liability insurance. We offer this as an automatic cover for gyms too – and it is vital to businesses that make regular contact with members of the public, as gyms clearly do. Unfortunately, a gym is a place where members can be especially vulnerable to picking up injuries.

However, the key question is when your staff would be to blame for those injuries. You shouldn’t expect a gym-goer to readily let one of your personal trainers off the hook if, say, that trainer fails to properly explain a piece of equipment that then causes an injury to their client. They could hold the trainer — or more to the point, your gym — responsible. 

Given that compensation claims can total millions of pounds, you could take much comfort from holding public liability cover, for which we can issue a standard limit of up to £5 million.

Do I require specialised gym insurance?

There are specialised insurances available to gym instructors, but whether you need them depends on the exact nature of your role. As part of this, you should consider whether you are employed directly by a gym or work freelance or independently for one.

If an organisation like Virgin Active or David Lloyd Fitness employs you directly as a trainer or fitness instructor, leaving you with guaranteed clients and a fixed-rate wage, research your gym’s insurance policy. You might find out that you fall under it and therefore don’t need your own plan.

However, OriGym, the provider of personal training courses, warns that “if you are independent, or freelance, the likelihood is that you will need to take out some sort of insurance plan, particularly if you own your own gym and equipment.”

How do I insure my gym’s equipment?

If you have invested in expensive equipment, you should try to account for all of it. Which type of insurance you require depends on where exactly the equipment is, however.

Contents insurance

If you keep certain items in the gym itself, it could prove worthwhile to take advantage of the contents cover of our gym insurance product. 

As we provide this on a ‘new for old’ basis, you need to carefully consider how much it would cost to replace your items with entirely new ones. It doesn’t matter if your current supplies were bought second-hand; the ‘as new’ value influences the level of contents cover necessary. 

Goods in transit and items away from the gym insurance

You might also regularly transport certain pieces of equipment from one location to another. In that instance, you could still insure these items with our goods in transit cover. This, too, is applied as standard, and covers damage to any applicable items while they are in transit in a vehicle in the UK.

What about business items that are away from the gym but not in transit in the above manner? You can insure those items as well, albeit strictly in the UK and with separate, optional cover for ‘items away from the gym’. Take careful account of the terms and conditions when applying for this cover.

Should I insure the gym’s building itself? 

If you rent your premises, ask the landlord whether the building is insured. If it isn’t, or you own the property and know it isn’t covered, then adding buildings insurance to a policy could prove to be shrewd. This protects you in the event of the structure being damaged, which includes the walls, windows and roof, in addition to any permanent fixtures and fittings.

The amount of cover you need will depend on the particular nature of your gym, with the primary consideration being the cost of reconstruction and repair. You will need to insure for the full rebuild cost, which will include a number of extra considerations, such as:

  • Architects’ and surveyors’ fees
  • Shoring up and removal of debris
  • Shop fronts, blinds and fitments (including signs)
  • Internal decorations to ceilings, walls etc
  • Landlord’s fixtures and fittings

How much does gym insurance cost?

How much gym insurance costs depends on a number of factors, including:

Your experience – If this is the first time you’ve opened a gym, you’re likely to be seen as more of a risk and will probably have to pay more for your insurance as a result.

Your claims history – Similarly, gym owners who have had to make insurance claims in the past are also generally deemed more of a risk, so will likely pay more for their cover. 

How secure your gym is – The same logic applies to gym owners with more insecure premises, or those in areas with high crime rates.

How much cover you need – Naturally, the more insurance you buy, the more it will cost. However, this can ultimately save you in the long run, as more comprehensive cover means you’re less likely to need to pay any compensation out of your own pocket. 

With all that being said, the cost of our gym insurance starts at £61 a year.

You can begin the process of securing your own bespoke gym insurance from Fitness Gold today by hitting the big red ‘Get a Quote’ button at the top right of the page. We will then guide you through the next steps, and you’ll get comprehensive cover in no time.

If you’d like to find out more about gym insurance, then don’t hesitate to contact us at your nearest convenience.

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