As a yoga instructor, chances are you probably don’t spend much time thinking about yoga instructor liability insurance.
You probably spend most of your time thinking about how you can better serve your students with new sequences, better cues and more education. With a heart for service and a mind geared towards growth and wellness, it may not come naturally to you to think about the business-related aspects of your teaching. Things like insurance, taxes and budgets can take the back burner for a successful yoga teacher as you continue to focus on being the best teacher you can be.
But a good yoga teacher must also be a good business person and no matter where you are on your teaching journey, now is a good time to think about protecting yourself.
When you move from being a yoga practitioner to a yoga teacher, you open yourself up to some increased risks. That risk must be managed to ensure the health and longevity of your career.
But don’t let insurance worries interrupt your Shavasana. Yoga instructor liability insurance is the solution.
If you’ve never given a thought to your risk as a yoga teacher, you’re not alone. Yoga teacher training is deep in asana and the yoga philosophy, and depending on where you study, you may not have had any instruction about business or risk management.
The good news is your risks as a yoga instructor can be managed quickly, easily and with only a small cost.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about yoga instructor liability insurance.
What is Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance?
Simply put, yoga instructor liability insurance protects you if you are found responsible for injuring someone or damaging someone’s property. It can seem like these things are far-fetched, but with more and more people practicing yoga every day, the risk for teachers grows.
There are many risks yoga teachers face every day and most of them you probably don’t think about. If you protect yourself with yoga instructor insurance coverage you really shouldn’t have to think about risks.
Why Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance?
Yoga has become big business, a billion-dollar business to be precise. According to a study by Yoga Journal and the Yoga Alliance, yoga practitioners spend $16.8 billion on classes, accessories and gear.
The number of yoga students is growing everyday with more people than ever practicing the ancient practice. The same survey found there are 36.7 million yogis in the United States. Further, 74 percent of those have been practicing yoga for fewer than five years.
Yoga injuries are on the rise
Yoga injuries are on the rise, especially among older adults.
A study in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, titled Yoga-Related Injuries in the United States From 2001 to 2014, found that there were 29,590 yoga-related injuries seen in hospital emergency departments from 2001 to 2014.
Yoga injuries became almost twice as common in 2014 as in 2001. As if that increase isn’t enough, among senior citizens, yoga injuries skyrocketed: During the same time, the rate of yoga injuries among adults 65 and older increased more than eightfold.
There are professional risks
Even yoga teachers face risk in their profession. There is the chance of a student injury, someone else’s property getting damaged, or even claims of slander or libel.
We live in a litigious society
No one and no one profession is immune from getting slapped with a lawsuit. The costs for small businesses – including yoga instructors – are high and can be impossible to recover from. The cost to defend a typical lawsuit can range from $3,000 – $150,000.
The Two-Fold Anatomy of Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance
Yoga instructor liability insurance is made up of two major types of liability insurance – commercial general liability insurance – sometimes referred to as “slip and fall” insurance and professional liability insurance which covers claims arising out of your actual teaching.
The two coverages are grouped together and referred to as yoga instructor liability insurance. You can think of them as the two wings of insurance that protect your teaching practice.
So, what exactly do you get when you purchase yoga instructor insurance? Here is a breakdown of the coverages and how they respond to protect you and your profession.
Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance: Protection from General Liabilities
As stated, general liability insurance is the most basic type of liability insurance. This affordable insurance protects you from accidents that occur on the premises where you teach, or if someone’s property is damaged on the premises.
This coverage may be required if you are going to open a studio in a rented space or teach at a special event or symposium.
What it includes and How it Applies:
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily injury liability protection is part of general liability coverage. This coverage protects you if you are found responsible for someone injuries. Bodily injury liability protects you from things like slips and falls or damage to someone’s property on the premises where you are teaching.
Remember that general liability is for general liabilities. This doesn’t cover you for injuries or damages that arise from your actual teaching. For that, you need professional liability insurance also known as errors and omissions insurance, which we’ll get to in a minute.
Property damage liability
Property damage liability coverage protects you if someone’s property is damaged on the premises where you teach. An example may be a client’s designer purse is ruined when a water leak erupts in the locker room. Property damage liability is going to protect you from those costs.
Personal and Advertising Injury
Personal and advertising injury coverage responds to claims of libel, slander or copyright infringement.
Medical payments coverage is available even if there is no lawsuit. The coverage pays for medical costs if someone is injured on your premises.
Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance: Protection from Professional Liabilities
Professional liability insurance covers you for claims made related to your profession. This is the coverage that is specific to your teaching.
Professional liability insurance protects you from claims arising from your professional services – teaching yoga or yoga teacher training. It kicks in to protect you from claims of injury, libel, slander or copyright infringement. It is a must have coverage for today’s yoga instructor.
The coverage extends to include cover for: Defense Costs
If a claim is made against you, defense costs coverage kicks in to defend you against the claim. This coverage is there no matter if the claim is legitimate or frivolous. For example, if a student claims they suffered an injury based on your instructions or assistance during a class, defense costs apply.
Libel or Slander
Yoga instructor insurance coverage protects you from claims of libel or slander. In today’s world of instant communication and social media, it’s easy to be caught in a misunderstanding. For example, a social media post about a studio or teacher can be taken out of context and you can end up being sued for slander. Professional liability insurance defends you against such cases.
Other Perks that Come with Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance
Your policy will follow you anywhere you go. If you decide to sub for a friend at a studio across town, your yoga instructor liability policy goes with you. Want to teach at an out of town conference – you’re covered.
The coverage is affordable
Yoga instructor liability insurance costs are low. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable types of insurance you can purchase.
It gives you peace of mind
Being insured properly offers peace of mind. You can teach freely and enjoy your work knowing that you’re covered if something goes wrong.
Protects your yoga business
Proper yoga instructor liability insurance helps to protect you and your business. Accidents and lawsuits happen to the best business people. Having the proper insurance in place means that you can continue your work even if you encounter a worst-case-scenario.
Embrace the Calling and Get Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance
As a yoga instructor, you are a professional teacher imparting instruction and advice. It’s a noble and satisfying career path, but like any other profession, it comes with liabilities.
Don’t let the liabilities stop you. Get informed and protect yourself. Having the proper yoga instructor insurance and professional liability insurance is an investment that you can’t afford to not make.
Purchase coverage quickly and easily. Coverage confirmation is available immediately.
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 Yoga Journal, (2016). 2016 Yoga In America Study. [online] Available at: http://media.yogajournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016YIAS-Release-Final.pdf [Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].
 Sawin, T. and McGwin, G. (2016). Yoga-Related Injuries in the United States from 2001 to 2014. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. [online] Volume 4(11). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5117171/ [Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].
 Klemm Analysis Group. (2005). Impact of Litigation on Small Business. No. 265. [pdf] Washington, DC: SBA Office of Advocacy, page 3. Available at: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/rs265tot.pdf