Do I need insurance to train a client in another gym?

By Darragh Timlin on April 15th, 2019

It can be a fast-paced life if you decide to become a personal trainer. After all, you deal with a high number of clients per week and also need to build up a range of different timetables, exercise regimes and healthy eating plans that are personally tailored to their body types. While some people may be content to exercise in an open/public place, there are others that may want to train in a gym. That way they can have access to a range of exercise equipment during their session.

However, if you do not have your own gym, you may start to wonder about whether or not you can train your own clients in a different gym. Whilst most gyms may feel a bit uncomfortable about you using their facilities to train clients, perhaps as they employ their own professionals, there are some who may allow you to use their equipment. But even then, you will need to be aware of the dangers that your client could encounter during their workout. Do not go in unprepared! Instead, consider whether or not insurance could benefit you during these training sessions.

An important note

Before we dive into what sort of insurances you may need to train a client in a different gym, it is important that we define whether or not it is okay to actually use a gym altogether. Generally speaking, the facilities that the gym provides are not yours to use freely. Even if you buy a gym membership to work out alongside your client, some gym owners will not be happy that you start using their property for your business (so you’re probably best asking first – as this may end in you losing your gym membership altogether).

Whilst you can take an alternative route by working out in a public space or by renting a studio, if you do want to work out in a gym, it is always wise to speak with the owners. They may demand that they are allowed a small percentage of your earnings, but if you agree to it then you may have full access to their equipment.

The last thing you want to do by training in their gym is to damage your reputation. Be open and honest with the gym owner and you may be able to reach a compromise. You also may want to consider whether or not you intend to keep your training solely confined to the gym or whether you want to spread it out. Staying in the gym can lead to some bad training habits as explain, so be sure to mix up your training sessions with some al-fresco work out routines and jogs. If all else fails then you can look into purchasing your own equipment and potentially a studio to work in. There is no shame in using equipment that you usually would find in the home to enhance your client’s workouts – it could even be a positive move to show them what’s already available.

The gym’s insurance policies

When you begin looking into your chosen gym’s insurance policies, one of the main things you need to remember is that whilst they may cover you and your activities, they will only cover you to a certain extent. As you do not work for the company, that means that you are not covered within their policies. That means that if you or your client get hurt or damage any of the equipment, you may end up getting a hefty court case on your hand. Insurance serves to protect the gym from any legal problems, rather than you. So always be sure to invest in a form of insurance, such as personal trainer insurance, to make sure that you and your client are always protected. It can take just one accident to push a lawsuit onto you and your business. So, avoid it by researching your chosen gym and their policies before arranging any gym uses.

Liability insurance

Before you even think about your clients and their workout routines, you need to purchase liability for yourself and for any clients who train under you. Nowadays, you can get liability insurance for many aspects of your work. However, for personal trainers, it is imperative to get some in order to avoid complications. These could include:

  • gym equipment
  • training injuries
  • training illness
  • inadequate training

You can choose between general liability insurance and public liability insurance. Whilst you may have to pay more for public liability, it will cover you for a lot more than general liability insurance. Not only will it protect you against injury or damage to third parties, but it will also cover the equipment you use that doesn’t belong to you.

Malpractice cover

As a personal trainer, you are responsible for taking control of your client’s exercise regimes and nutrition diets. Your clients may have heard a lot of fitness myths, but it is up to you to place them on a healthier routine. That is why, whether you choose to work out in a gym or in a public area, it can be heartbreaking to know that your clients are not happy with your work. This is why you will need protection against any negligence claims. By malpractice cover – which comes as standard in our policies – you can feel comfortable enough to continue to train your clients without worrying about any potential consequences.

Waivers and insurance

Wherever you decide to work out, you may want to combine the idea of your client signing a waiver. This is entirely your decision, and you may need to seek some advice on how this should be structured, and worded.  Whilst it is never a good idea to have the waiver on its own, as clients could claim that they did not know that the gym’s fitness equipment was broken, they are a good way of providing your client with the risks that your training regimes can entail. That way if a problem does occur, you can also indemnify yourself and make it clear that your client was aware of the potential dangers of the schedule. With that said, it is up to you to create a personalised fitness plan that will not end up with your client getting hurt. Make sure to do your research, for instance by looking up healthy weight loss regimes online, before personalising them to suit your clients’ expectations.

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