Why Insurance Is a Must Have for The Modern Yoga Teacher

Aug 13, 2018 · 8 minutes to read

Yoga instructors make it look easy. Not only do you manage those exquisite yoga poses while keeping your eye on a roomful of yogis, you also manage a business.

Being a yoga instructor is a profession just like any other profession with risks involved, fortunately, Yoga instructor liability insurance is there to protect you from these risks.

Yoga instructor liability insurance is broken down into two main coverages – general liability and professional liability. As a yoga teacher, you need both and a good yoga instructor liability insurance policy will contain both.

The combination provides you will a liability armour that can protect you no matter what arises during your teaching career.

You’ve worked hard to get where you are – protect your investment with the correct insurance.

Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance and Common Misconceptions

Before we go any further, let’s just knock out the most common misconceptions about yoga instructor insurance coverage.

“I don’t need it because I’m only a part-time teacher.”

The number of classes you teach has nothing to do with whether you need insurance. Teaching only one class a month still opens you up to risk.

“The studio I work at has insurance.”

The studio may have insurance. Unless you are a W-2 employee of the studio, their insurance will not extend to you if you are named in a lawsuit.

“That won’t happen to me.”

If you think it can’t happen to you, consider these real-life scenarios

A yoga teacher[1] was sued after a student fell out of his headstand and his foot went through the studio window.

A studio owner[2] was sued when a mirror fell off the wall and onto one of the students at the end of class during Shavasana.

Renowned yoga teacher[3] and body acceptance advocate Dana Falsetti is fighting a lawsuit for breach of information and defamation.

Lawsuits happen, even in the yoga community. And you don’t have to do anything wrong to become involved in one.

Yoga is Growing: More Reasons to get Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance

Injuries are on the rise

As the number of yogis grows, so does the risk for injury. It takes only the perception that your instruction is responsible for a student’s injury, and you can end up with a problem.

And yoga injuries are on the rise, especially among older adults.

A study[4] in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 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 isn’t enough, injury rates among senior citizens have skyrocketed, increasing more than eightfold during the study’s 13-year period.

Studio requirements

Yoga studios will often require you to have insurance before they will let you teach. Don’t let insurance get in the way of landing the gig you want. Make sure you are already covered so you can take advantage of teaching opportunities as they arise.

Landlord requirements

If you’re leaning towards opening your own studio, or leading classes at a public space like a park, you’ll be required to have yoga instructor liability insurance.

Yoga instructor liability insurance is affordable. The benefits far outweigh the cost of yoga instructor liability insurance.

Why You Need Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance: The Details

Commercial general liability insurance and professional liability insurance make up the two types of insurance a yoga instructor must have. These are grouped together under one policy known as yoga instructor liability insurance. You must have both to be protected.

Commercial general liability insurance will cover you for “general” types of liability such as slip and falls and accidents on a studio’s premises.

Professional liability coverage is needed to cover you for claims arising out of your professional operations such as injuries due to verbal cues or manual manipulations.

Let’s have a closer look at the coverage that makes up the general liability part of your yoga instructor insurance and why it is a must-have.

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability protection protects you if someone gets injured on the premises where you are teaching.

You should be aware that this is not coverage for injuries arising out of your teaching – that’s part of professional liability insurance, something we’ll talk about in a minute.

Why you need it: Let’s say you’re at a new teaching gig at a local studio. It’s raining outside. A class participant walks through the door and slips on the tile breaking an ankle. It’s a classic slip and fall accident that has nothing to do with your profession, it was just an accident. But it happened on your watch and you’re getting named in the lawsuit. Bodily injury liability steps in to protect you.

Property Damage Liability

Similarly, property damage liability insurance protects you if you are being held responsible for damaging someone’s property.

Why you need it: Let’ say a client comes to your class and hangs her expensive, designer coat in your locker room. The problem is, you’ve been dealing with an ongoing plumbing issue. During the class, the plumbing springs a major leak and ruins your student’s coat. She wants you to pay for a new one. Property damage liability coverage could step in.

Personal and Advertising Injury

Personal and advertising injury covers you for cases involving libel, slander or an infringement on the rights of another.

Why you need it: Let’s say you just finished building your new website but didn’t realize those beautiful sun and moon images you used were copyright protected. Your policy will defend you against copyright infringement.

This important coverage also protects you from lawsuits that may arise from using another person’s likeness or name within your advertising. For example, if you use some photos from one of your yoga classes to advertise on your website or your social media page, there could be a problem.

Medical Payments

Medical payments coverage is part of your general liability policy and you don’t have to be named in a lawsuit for it to kick in. The coverage pays for medical costs if someone is injured on your premises.

Why you need it: Medical payments coverage can come in handy. Let’s say one of your students is walking around before class and stubs her toe on the lockers. She ends up needing a few stitches. Your medical payment coverage can apply so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for those expenses.

Professional Liability Insurance: Don’t Teach a Class Without It

Professional liability insurance is like the yin to the general liability insurance yang. It’s the opposite side of the coin and you need it because it covers you for things that your general liability will exclude.

Remember, general liability insurance covers you for liabilities that are general in nature – slips and falls, premises related injuries and property damage.

Professional liability insurance, on the other hand, is specific to your profession and it covers you against lawsuits that may arise directly out of your teaching.

Here is a breakdown of what professional liability insurance includes and why you need it.

Defense Costs

If a claim is made against you, defense costs kick in to defend you against the claim.

Why you need it: Let’s say a student files a lawsuit claiming a rotator cuff injury after you helped him in triangle pose. Even if there is no merit to the claim, the defense costs part of the yoga instructor liability insurance policy will step in.

Libel or Slander

This type of claim falls under your professional liability coverage, providing protection if you are found to have said or written something damaging to another’s reputation.

Why you need it: In a fit of passion, you took to Twitter about the shortcomings of the chain studio down the street. Now you’re being sued for defamation. Personal and advertising injury coverage protects you.

Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance: A Package to Protect You

There are many reasons why you need liability insurance for your yoga teaching profession. They range from a studio requirement to protection from lawsuits claiming you are responsible for student injuries.

A yoga instructor liability insurance policy doesn’t cost much, and the benefits far outweigh the cost.

BizInsure helps protect you by making professional liability insurance for yoga instructors easy and affordable. The process can be completed online, and you’ll receive coverage confirmation immediately.

The cost is minimal, but the benefits are great.

Getting a policy is simple: Answer a few questions and you’re covered.

BizInsure combines cutting-edge technology and licensed agent support to provide expert advice, affordability and ease.


[1] Hamilton, B. (2013). Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria sued over bloody mishap in her yoga class. New York Post,  [online]. Available at: https://nypost.com/2013/02/17/alec-baldwins-wife-hilaria-sued-over-bloody-mishap-in-her-yoga-class/ [Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].
[2] Yoga Dork. (2014). Mirror Falls and Shatters, Injures Woman in Yoga Class. [Blog] Yoga Dork. Available at: http://yogadork.com/2014/05/27/mirror-falls-and-shatters-injures-woman-in-yoga-class/ [Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].
[3] Chandra, N. (2018). My heart is with Dana – but here are the Facts of the Case. [Blog] Elephant Journal. Available at: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2018/03/my-heart-is-with-dana-but-here-are-the-facts-of-the-case-namita-chandra/ [Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].
[4] 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].

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