Teaching powerhouse core moves to clients are very satisfying. You enjoy showing elderly neighbours and young college students alike how to alleviate chronic pain and strengthen their bodies using the Pilates method. Most days you work from your home studio in one-on-one appointments. Other days you teach a Pilates mat class at the local fitness center. You have years of experience and distinguished Pilates certifications. However, you aren’t ready for true business success until you buy liability insurance.
You see professional liability insurance is meant to protect you and your business from future litigation brought by an unhappy client. In the United States, it’s been reported small businesses collectively pay $20 million per year in civil liability costs. These civil lawsuits start out as a claim by a client that the small business caused either intentional or accidental damage. As a result of the alleged damages, the customer expects the small business owner to make amends through compensation.
Of course, not all small business civil lawsuits result in the company losing the case. However, the small business will still have to pay for legal representation as the lawsuit works its way through the justice system. If this were to happen to your Pilates business, could you come up with the cash for legal representation? Or, worse yet, what if the judge does side with your former student and you are left to pay a settlement for damages?
What Is General Liability Insurance for Pilates Instructors?
General liability insurance, also known as Commercial General Liability (CGL), will protect your Pilates business from another business or individual’s claims of property damage, bodily injury, and medical losses.
In summary, general liability will shield you from:
- Property damage
- Personal injury/Advertising Injury, including libel
- Non-Employee Bodily injury
A general liability policy will cover, up to the policy’s liability limits, any claims made against your Pilates business. This type of liability policy will also help you pay for the legal costs created by a lawsuit. Remember, even if the lawsuit seems frivolous and the judge agrees, you’ll still have to come up with money for court and attorney fees. This could really cut into your bottom line.
What Is Professional Liability (E&O) Insurance for Pilates Instructors?
Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions) insurance is different than General Liability because it’s meant to protect your business from incorrect advice or training. You need E&O insurance if you provide professional services for a fee, just the same as electricians, real estate agents, accountants, insurance agents, and consultants do to their clients.
Lawsuits can arise if a customer believes your business misrepresented its services, failed to provide important information, or simply performed poorly.
Examples of when your professional liability (E&O) insurance will help your business:
- Coverage for any mistakes in your professional Pilates instruction
- Liability for medical costs as a result of your professional mistake
Insurance underwriters review your particular industry and determine the level of risk involved. Your Pilates professional liability coverage costs, and even the policy terms, may be slightly different than a CPA, electrician, or plumber. However, E&O coverage takes the same action for all professions. Once you file a claim, the insurance company will appoint an attorney to represent you in court as you defend the alleged error in your instruction.
To learn more about the Pilates liability insurance, please click the link.
Should You Buy General Liability or Professional Liability?
Many business owners do buy both types of liability insurance if they offer both professional services and do any of the following:
- Go to a student’s home to provide instruction
- Invite students to visit your home studio for one-on-one instruction
- Use social media (like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook) to advertise your services
- Use traditional advertising via newspaper ads, radio commercials, direct mail flyers, telemarketing calls
BizInsure can review with you the liability plan that works best for your business set-up.
What Are the Limits of Liability?
All insurance coverage has set limits of liability which is basically a cap to the amount of money the insurance carrier will cover for your claim(s). In the case of Pilates liability insurance, there are two different liability limits included in each policy: per occurrence and aggregate.
Per Occurrence Liability Limits: Each time you file a claim against your liability insurance this limit is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for that particular claim. Any costs that exceed the liability limit will be your responsibility.
- Professional Liability (E&O) Insurance per occurrence liability limits normally range from $500,000 to $2,000,000
- General Liability Insurance per occurrence liability limits normally ranges from $300,000 to $1,000,000.
Aggregate Liability Limits: The total cost of all claims filed under your liability insurance is the aggregate. The aggregate liability limits for your policy is the maximum amount of money the insurance company will pay for all claims. Same as E&O insurance, you will be responsible for any costs that surpass the liability limit.
- Professional Liability (E&O) Insurance per occurrence liability limits normally ranges from $500,000 to $2,000,000.
- General Liability Insurance per occurrence liability limits normally ranges from $600,000 to $2,000,000.
Does Pilates Liability Insurance Have a Deductible?
Professional (E&O) Liability Insurance usually has a deductible of $1,000. General Liability coverage normally does not have a deductible amount. You will want to clarify this with your insurance specialist to know how your particular plan is written.
The deductible on your Pilates E&O insurance is the same as your health or auto insurance. If you have a claim that is going to be paid out, you will need to first meet your designated deductible amount.
How Much Does Pilates Liability Insurance Cost?
A typical policy can run between $500 and $1,000 for 12 months of coverage for a small company with only the owner as an employee. We can tell you that the minimal costs of liability insurance are well worth the investment. Plus, you’ve already invested a lot of money and time into starting and running your Pilates business. Why not spend the extra few dollars to protect your dream?
American small business owners like yourself collectively pay $20,000,000 per year in civil liability cases. The possibility of you also being caught up in a civil lawsuit by a disgruntled student is very real. Liability insurance is meant to be your first defense in fighting such a claim, as well as the resource you will need to settle a liability claim. If you do not have a Pilates liability insurance plan in place, then you will have to rely on revenue from your business. Or, even worse, you’ll have to dip into your personal savings or credit cards to cover costs. Why do that?
You can easily purchase a general liability insurance plan and/or a professional (E&O) liability insurance plan for less than what you pay for coffee each morning. Look at buying liability insurance the same as you did buy Pilates equipment or paying for certification programs. Insurance for your business is an investment in your continued success. Why wait another day to buy liability coverage and further expose yourself to additional risks? What if tomorrow is the day one of your students gets hurt during your instruction? Without liability insurance, what will you do?