How Much is Liability Insurance for Personal Trainers?

Personal training is full of inherent risks for both trainers and their clients. The nature of fitness, exercising, and training is full of injury risk. For personal trainers, this means potentially being liable for those injuries or for larger claims such as negligence. But, there are safety nets out there for you to cover yourself and your business.

Learn more about liability coverage, why you need it, how much is cost, and how you can go about protecting yourself from the liabilities that come with training.

crossfit personal trainer

What is Liability Insurance for Personal Trainers?

Liability insurance for personal trainers is a way of protecting themselves from the costs associated with risks that come with training. When you take on a client as a personal trainer, you take some responsibility for the care and safety under your instruction. This means you are liable for any injuries during training that might be your fault, such as:

  • Injury from poor instructions.
  • Injury from a recommended exercise.
  • Injury from over training, sometimes after a session.

If one of these types of incidents occurs and there is harm to the client, you could be sued for negligence and could be stuck with the costs of medical and legal bills which a liability insurance policy will help to alleviate.

What is ‘Negligence’?

Negligence, in legal terms, is: The failure to exercise the care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would do in the same or similar circumstances.

Essentially, failing to provide the same knowledge and skills that you’d expect from a professional in the industry. For personal training, it’s knowing how to train while maintaining the health and safety of your client.

Four Elements of Proving Negligence

Negligence is proven by four elements:

  1. Duty: As a personal trainer, your ‘duty’ is to train your client with care up to the industry standards. This means providing expert instruction by having safe programs.
  2. Breach: Breaching your duty is when you fail to provide what should be expected.
  3. Cause: The cause is the exact reason the breach of duty occurred.
  4. Harm: And finally, the harm that befell the client. This, in most cases, is a physical injury which could also turn into mental stress or ‘pain and suffering’ post-exercise.

Do Personal Trainers Need Liability Insurance?

Though it’s not mandatory to practice with liability insurance, there aren’t many good reasons not to have it to protect yourself and your personal training business. Exercise and intense workout comes with many inherent risks that could leave the trainer at fault, leaving them to pay medical bills and for any pain or suffering lawsuits. With a policy in place, you’re protected by the insurance who could help cover the costs.

What Types of Liability Insurance Work Best for Personal Trainers?

The two types of liability insurance to look at are ‘general liability’ and ‘professional liability’ which both cover different types of risks that you’ll run into as a personal trainer.

General Liability

General liability covers the physical risks of the industry such as bodily injury, property damage, etc. In personal training, this is mostly just injuries that can occur in normal exercise and is not a result of negligence.

Professional Liability

Professional liability covers the risks that are more abstract and are claims against your personal training business. Negligence, as covered above, is the largest and most frequent claim covered by professional liability insurance. For example, if your programming calls for multiple push-ups and that leads to an injury, a client might allege that you caused their injury due to poor advice or programming of the workout.

How is Liability Insurance Calculated?

When calculating the premium cost of your liability insurance, providers take many things into account, such as:

Your Business Premises: First, a provider will want to know where you practice to ensure it’s suited for training with up-to-date equipment and safety protocols.

Your Experience: A big factor in deciding a premium is how long you’ve been training. A newcomer to the field may have higher premiums because less experience presents a higher risk for the provider.

Claims History: A provider will most certainly look into your past history to make sure you aren’t having to frequently file claims. Someone who, in the past, has been forced to file frequently means a higher risk for the provider which leads to a typically higher premium.

Policy Features: Of course the more features of your policy, the higher the cost tends to be for the premium. Most providers, specifically those who work exclusively with personal trainers and liability insurance, have plans that match your needs and cut the unnecessary features that drive up costs.

Coverage Limits: First, the higher the policy limit, the higher the policy will cost. Keeping your deductible low (meaning more out-of-pocket spending) will help keep your premium low but will mean you pay more when filing a claim.

crossfit personal trainer

What is an Average Cost for Liability Insurance?

With all the factors in play, as listed above, the price of liability insurance for personal trainers can vary greatly. A newcomer to the industry will pay higher premiums on average than someone who has been training for 35 years. So, the average cost of liability insurance for personal trainers really depends on where you are in your career and the size of the policy you’re looking for.

For broad strokes purposes, a typical policy for a personal trainer can range anywhere around $200, reaching up closer to $500 for costlier policies.

CrossFit RRG Coverage

For a unique insurance solution that takes the hassle out of the insurance process, check out the policies available from CrossFit Risk Retention Group and see how a community-owned company can simplify liability coverage so you can focus more on your clients and your business.

Whether you’re already a CrossFit affiliate or are just looking for personal training coverage, CrossFit RRG has you covered with competitive premiums that protect you and your business so you can focus on what you do best.

Contact us today to learn more about our policies and the application process.

Average Cost of Malpractice Insurance for Athletic Trainers

Being an athletic trainer is one of the many blessings in a career choice. Not only do you get to pursue a healthy work lifestyle but you can help people in more ways than imaginable. You have the ability to encourage people while helping them get in shape, heal from injuries, and cater to their mental and emotional well-being as they find a groove with your suggestions.

Liability insurance, otherwise known as malpractice insurance is important in any job. However, when you’re working with the public and introducing them to unique injury and treatment challenges, you’re at a higher risk and need to be protected.

crossfit gym trainer


When you’re looking at insurance coverage, take into account things that may make your premium rise. A few factors to consider are as follows:

Location – It may not seem like prime real estate will cause providers to raise or lower your malpractice insurance, but they use your location to gauge your business and follow state laws that require specific limits. Each state has a set of recommended or required limits regarding physician’s coverage so that you’re protected but also paying for that protection.

Specialty AT – Since specialty practices come with a higher risk of insurance claims, being a specialty athletic trainer will typically raise your annual premium. This is most often seen with patients or clients that have more severe injuries that may have required surgery.

Working Hours – Many providers will offer discounts depending on whether you’re practicing full time or part-time. If you’re working part-time then a carrier might see you as a lower risk client and lower your annual premium based on the belief you’ll have fewer claims.

Speaking of claims, your claims history may be able to help you out in the long run. Nearly all carriers offer some type of loss-free or claims-free discounts, giving you up to a 20% lower rate if your claims history is favorable.

Now that you know a little about how to save money with your annual premium, let’s focus on your policy options and the average costs of malpractice insurance.


There are many policies out there, and choosing which one is the best for you might seem a little stressful at first. One of the first details you need to look at might be whether you’re starting your own practice or you’re going to be working under somebody else as an employee. If you’re working under a practice, your annual premium will more than likely be grouped into their pre-existing policy. This means that your carrier has already been chosen and the policy details are already set. However, you should still review your coverage to have an understanding of what happens if a suit is filed or if you leave that group.

Pros vs Cons

Some positives and negatives come with both options when it comes to a group premium or independent coverage, and reviewing some of the pros and cons might help you make a decision based on your needs and desires.

Solo Work – With having an independent plan, you can easily manage your policy and pay for the coverage that you personally want. This is great because it allows you to have control over your plan, choose your premium expenses, and adjust it to meet any specialty coverage you might need.

The downside to working solo is that your malpractice insurance is solely your responsibility. For somebody just starting out, this might seem expensive and add stress to the job. However, don’t let it discourage you and do what’s best for your practice personally.

Working Under Another Practice – When you work under a group policy, expenses are often cheaper and easier to manage. This is fantastic when it comes to looking at the money side of things, but could be risky since you may not have control of the exact coverage you have.

In addition to deciding whether you’d like to work with a group or tackle the expenses alone, deciding what type of coverage you’ll need can help you understand your potential expenses. Things you might want to consider when comparing policies are as follows:

  • Will you need any specialty coverage for higher risk treatment?
  • Do you plan to bring in additional partners that’ll work under you?
  • Are you looking for an occurrence or claims-made policy?

Claims-made policies only cover incidents that occur and are reported while you’re insured with that carrier, while occurrence claims provide lifetime coverage for incidents that occurred while the policy is in effect. Occurrence claims allow you to file a claim later if needed. The main selling point between having an occurrence policy and a claims-made policy is the money. Claims-made policies tend to be inexpensive and much lower than occurrence policies.

trainers doing crossfit


Now that you understand the different things that might raise or lower your policy, it’s time to get an idea of what you’re looking at spending. Depending on which type of policy you go with, whether you’re working under a group policy or paying for an independent policy, the costs are pretty easy to understand.

Different carriers will offer you different prices on malpractice insurance, and some may give you competitive rates, but you can look at spending as low as $195 and as high as $550 on your premium. With group policies, you may spend lower depending on the specific coverage provided. With full coverage or specialty coverage, your premium may go up on the higher end but will offer you better protection for that higher price.

On average, you can expect to spend between $195 and $300 for the very basics of a policy.

When you’re weighing your insurance options, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. We’ll discuss what you’re looking for in a policy and help you determine what coverage is going to provide you with the best malpractice insurance as an athletic trainer.

What to Know When Choosing Professional Indemnity Insurance for Athletic Trainers

When your profession requires you to push people to their physical limits, accidents are inevitable. Although personal trainers are not required to carry insurance, operating without one is a risk not worth taking. Choosing the right insurance helps you focus on your business and passion. Athletic trainers chose their career to motivate and help others improve their lives. Carrying the correct insurance brings peace of mind that everyone is protected so that stress is not an issue. Of course, there are many insurance policies out there, and knowing which to choose can be confusing. Today we will talk about why having the correct professional indemnity insurance is critical and how to choose the perfect fit.

Accidents Happen

Even though the goal of all fitness professionals is to inspire others and guide them to a healthier version of themselves, accidents are inevitable. Unfortunately, when they do, often, lawsuits ensue. Whether the plaintiff seeks compensation for purely medical bills or attempts a negligence suit, not carrying proper insurance will result in hefty fees. That is why it is crucial that insurance policies are up to date and take appropriate precautions in daily business practices. Precautions include obtaining medical clearance from physicians, conducting a medical screener, and having contracts and waivers up to date.  It is also wise to make a business LLC so that your personal assets are protected.

crossfit rrg_crossfit gym trainers

  • Health History Questionnaire: Every new client needs to complete a health history questionnaire. If there are any red flags or concerns, you must ask a client for a physician to clear their new fitness regime.
  • Medical Clearance from Physicians: If a client has any history of injury or health, a physician will fill out a medical clearance form. It will list limitations and risks so that the fitness plan can be adjusted accordingly.
  • Contracts and Waivers: All new clients must sign contracts and waivers exhibiting their knowledge of what they are signing on to do and the risks involved. This paperwork must be kept up to date so that it is legally binding.
  • Notes: Keeping detailed notes on each client is wise. After every session, updating their notes with current information is equally important.
  • Insurance: It is prudent for all athletic trainers to carry insurance even though it is not required.

Choosing an Insurance Plan

Getting insurance is the first step in protecting yourself, but choosing the proper plan for your situation can be confusing. Carrying the incorrect insurance plan can result in headaches and financial despair. Different types of insurance are needed depending on whether you are an independent trainer, contractor, employee, or an affiliate. Each position carries various factors that will affect your decision as to which insurance policy to have.


Employers might ensure their athletic trainers. If they do, it is vital to understand what is covered. General liability insurance is not sufficient to cover malpractice suits. In addition to general liability, it is prudent to invest in professional liability insurance, covering some or all legal fees and settlements.

Independent Trainer or Contractor

As a self-employed trainer, you are responsible for insuring yourself. Investing in both general liability and professional liability insurance is the best way to work with peace of mind. Knowing you have all of your bases covered allows you to focus on pushing your clients to reach their goals.

Affiliate Owners

Investing in your own CrossFit affiliate is exciting. It takes a lot of time, money, and certifications. The last thing you want is to lose everything due to one lawsuit catching you off guard without proper insurance. Investing in general liability insurance is a must, but professional insurance is vital as well. It is essential to ensure your box and ensure that all the athletic trainers are also adequately insured.

Choosing the Right Insurance Company

Knowing that you need adequate insurance is half the battle, but there are a plethora of insurance companies out there. How do you know which one to choose? Just like with medical insurance, professional insurance is not a one size fits all. Finding a company that understands your business and needs can make all the difference. Equally important are prices, deductibles, and response times.

Cheaper is Not Always Better

Having a plan covering your needs with reasonable deductibles can be the difference between a business thriving or going bankrupt. Having a company that doesn’t respond right away or makes filing a claim difficult renders insurance an unusable headache. When choosing an insurance provider, make sure they have a guaranteed response time that is reasonable. If a company takes longer than 72 hours to respond, move on. You want to know that who you invest in will support you in times of need. Of course, what you need depends on your industry.

crossfit rrg_closeup of man doing crossfit

Sport Specific

There are specific sectors of the fitness industry that have different needs from others. Trainers, contractors, and business owners should all find an insurance company that understands this specific situation.

CrossFit Risk Retention Group was founded by individuals who know and love CrossFit. They understand the unique aspects of CrossFit affiliates and trainers, including the need to make insurance simple. The process of signing up for insurance is streamlined and simplistic. The method of communicating with the company if something does happen is quick and efficient. On top of that, CrossFit RRG is a community-owned company. This means that as a trainer or affiliate, you own stock in the company. The benefits of this company design are plentiful, including direct access to the company’s legal team.  Having the peace of mind that you are covered by a company that understands what that takes will ensure you have a successful career in CrossFit for years to come.

Passion and Support

The small team at CrossFit RRG knew that CrossFit trainers needed coverage specific to their industry. They are dedicated to building a community that supports each other. Designing their company as an RRG puts control in the hands of the affiliates and trainers. They are the only company approved by CrossFit. If you are a CrossFit professional, there is no better choice for insurance than CrossFit RRG. For any questions or inquiries, contact us today.

How to Find the Best Liability Insurance for Personal Trainers

Being a personal trainer is rewarding, but there are things that can go wrong. All careers have aspects to them where an injury or other serious issues could occur.

As perhaps a CrossFit trainer, this sometimes means injuries to the client, requiring liability insurance as a backup. With so many options for liability insurance out there, how do you find the right policy?

A Look into the Cost of Liability Insurance

Your first likely concern is what you pay for your liability insurance premiums per month. What you pay all depends on your size, claim history, and policy limits.

If your personal training business has riskier workout programs, you may need to pay a little more for coverage. If you have no claims history, you’ll likely pay less. If there is a prior claim, premiums will be higher.

One thing to keep in mind is if you decide to go with a cheaper liability plan, it may not cover all areas of injury. Sometimes it’s better to pay for a comprehensive policy just so you’re covered for everything (and anything).

Before you start looking at pricing, analyze your personal training business and see what your most significant liabilities are.

crossfit rrg_man preparing for crossfit

General Liability is the Most Common

Every personal trainer needs general liability, especially if in a more robust training business like CrossFit.

All general liability policies help protect you from any lawsuits and accidents that occur within your business. Since the human body is sometimes fragile, a client could easily injure themselves on an apparatus, ultimately blaming you for the accident. The last thing you want is to deal with litigation that could potentially drain your finances and put your CrossFit business in jeopardy.

This type of insurance covers injuries and pays the medical bills for the injured person. Since this could easily happen, you’ll save yourself money in the long run if you choose a more detailed plan.

Besides, some personal injury medical bills (particularly those related to the back or hip) could add up to six figures.

What About Professional Liability Insurance?

Another part of liability insurance is the professional liability side. Oftentimes, this is called Error and Omissions Insurance (or E&O), which covers you if your personal training advice caused an injury for one of your clients.

A client might sue you for negligence if you told the client to do something in their workout routine that led to them getting hurt. Or, it might relate to you being accused of not warning someone while they do a demanding physical maneuver.

Other cases might involve freak accidents that occur on your property, placing you to blame for being negligent in some way. A professional liability insurance policy covers these situations for you when medical bills for a client potentially skyrocket.

Do You Need Workers’ Comp?

Another angle to liability insurance is workers comp, something you should never be without. Your own employees could also become injured on the job if the exercise equipment in-house fails. Or, it could become an injury occurring due to something you overlooked within the building or property.

Your employees could also sue you for negligence in this case, leading to further financial challenges. Most workers comp packages cover:

  • Lost wages
  • Death benefits
  • Retraining

Some states require workers comp, so be sure to check your state laws to see if it’s mandatory. Otherwise, the choice is yours to get it or not. Owners of your personal training business have a right to include or exclude themselves from this type of coverage. Because normal health insurance doesn’t always cover work-on-the-job injuries, you’re better off finding a workers comp insurance policy to remain as secure as possible.

The alternatives to the unknown certainly apply here. With any type of injury possible in personal training like CrossFit, it’s better to be safe with workers comp than sorry.

What About Liability Insurance Bundles?

Many bundles are also available through insurance providers. These are often known as business owners’ policies (or a BOP) where you get liability insurance and property damage coverage all in one package.

Having both together is more convenient since you can keep track of everything in one policy rather than manage two separate ones. A bundle will also protect you from all angles, including from client/employee lawsuits, or expensive damage to your building.

One great thing about a bundle is if you’re renting your property, you can also be covered for damages if they occur out of the blue. Something might happen where your rented building ends up incurring damage from heavy training apparatuses, or maybe a fire.

In this case, the lines blur between liability and property coverage, sometimes working effectively alone through a liability policy.

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Where Do You Turn to Find Liability Insurance Nowadays?

If you’re new to searching for liability insurance, it always pays to Google it up first to see what you really need. Coverage varies depending on the provider, with most policies not covering theft.

While you may need separate policies for various things, being protected from client lawsuits is the most important of all. With recent reports showing business lawsuits staying within the 30% range most of this last decade, it proves far too many things can happen unexpectedly.

What’s most important in finding liability insurance for your personal training business is to find a provider understanding what your type of business faces. Some providers just sell general policies without comprehending what a specific business niche needs.

At CrossFit RRG, we offer insurance directly to those in the CrossFit industry. It means whatever unique circumstances you have in your training business, we have experts who know exactly what you need. Contact us now for an immediate quote.

Does Your Insurance Agent Even Lift?

Few of us want to read or think about insurance.

The word brings up images of suits and fluorescent lights and forms with terms such as “aggregate limit,” “indemnity” and “subrogation.” We’d all much rather talk about cleans, muscle-ups and burpees. (Maybe not burpees.)

Insurance only becomes interesting when you need it, and when that time comes—when a pipe bursts, for example—you don’t want to have to explain to a suit why you need to replace your rusted barbells that won’t spin.

Luckily, at Nexo Insurance Services, you can talk about barbells and burpees all you want—perhaps in the office of the CFO, next to the framed print of Pukie the clown. Located in Manhattan Beach, California, the company is the managing general underwriter of CrossFit RRG, insurance by and for the CrossFit community.

The First Phone Call

Eric Reingen, the vice president and CFO of Nexo Insurance Services, is an affiliate owner who has been doing CrossFit for more than a decade.

He is also the person RRG members talk to when something terrible happens in their affiliates.

“That’s the most vulnerable moment,” Reingen said about the initial phone call in an insurance claim.

“When we intake a claim and someone has a question, they talk to someone who is senior,” Reingen said. “No big insurance company would do that.”

With the CrossFit RRG, your insurance agent won’t beat you down with exorbitant policies that don’t make sense for your business. They may, however, try to beat your Fran time. (Hilary Achauer)

The goal of CrossFit RRG, the insurance company created and owned by CrossFit, is to protect CrossFit and its affiliates. Its focus is not on profits but on serving and defending CrossFit affiliates, including providing access to the CrossFit legal team if necessary.

Reingen started CrossFit in 2003, when his soccer coach at the University of California-Irvine gave the team CrossFit workouts in training. In 2009, he started working for the RRG and began training at CrossFit 310, which he runs with several partners. Now Reingen and most of the RRG staff work out midday at CrossFit Rising Wave in nearby El Segundo, California.

Reingen’s CrossFit history is important because a stressed owner doesn’t have to spend the first part of the phone call explaining CrossFit.

In this initial call, Reingen’s goal is to make the affiliate owner comfortable.

“I make sure they don’t freak out, I tell them everything is going to be OK, and I give them reassurance that we know CrossFit,” Reingen said.

He can also offer the owner guidance about what might be covered.

“If there’s water damage to the gym from a pipe breaking, and water got on the barbells and they stop spinning, that’s a covered claim,” Reingen said.

After chatting with the affiliate owner and getting the details of the claim, Reingen then passes the property claim along to an adjuster, but he’s always available to affiliate owners at any point during the claim process.

Defending Affiliates

A water-damaged gym is bad enough, but a personal-injury lawsuit is every affiliate owner’s worst nightmare.

The RRG’s approach to lawsuits is different from that of most insurance companies.

“Big insurance companies worry about how they can close the file,” Reingen said, “and the RRG has the exact opposite approach. They’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend affiliates.”

Owned by CrossFit, the RRG has a goal of protecting the CrossFit name from abuse in frivolous or badly defended cases. Every personal-injury case settled against a CrossFit affiliate sets a precedent, and too many settled cases hurt the CrossFit brand and community, so the RRG prioritizes defending the affiliate over saving money.

“The RRG is insurance for its own. They will drink, eat and breathe protection. You can’t put a value on that.”

-Grace Patenaude

If you ever find yourself in a holy-shit-someone-just-sued-me situation, the RRG will step in to find an attorney in your area who understands CrossFit: CrossFit’s head counsel personally researches and vets attorneys in your city to find the best person to represent your case.

“Another insurance carrier might dump my case to a low-hourly-wage lawyer, but this organization (the RRG) will bend over backwards for you,” said Grace Patenaude, a coach at Atomic CrossFit and an RRG board member.

“The RRG is insurance for its own. They will drink, eat and breathe protection. You can’t put a value on that,” she said.

Affiliate owners who shop around will notice the RRG is not the lowest-priced option. There’s a reason for this. When someone tells you your monthly rate is higher than that of the globo gym down the street, you tell them CrossFit gyms are typically more expensive than traditional gyms because of the experienced coaches, the one-on-one attention and the sense of community.

It’s the same with the RRG. It’s not the lowest-priced insurance option for affiliate owners, but it’s tailored specifically for CrossFit gyms and offers personalized customer service.

That matters when you need something to save your business from disaster.

ALT TEXTEric Reingen (right) and CrossFit RRG coworker Matt Lessard are “CrossFit people,” and they’re more interested in serving affiliates than profits. (Barry Jost)

All Affiliates Benefit

In the early days, when someone asked CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman “what is CrossFit?” he’d reply, “Come to my class at 6 a.m. and I’ll show you.”

He knew CrossFit had to be experienced to be understood.

For Kurtis Bowler—an affiliate owner since June 2004 and an RRG member and board member—it’s important that the people defending his gym are CrossFit athletes.

“They are CrossFit people,” Bowler said of the RRG. “They do the workouts.”

Reingen says he’s always available to affiliates who need help, and he’s happy to step in if they feel their claim is being handled poorly.

“Usually me making a call can open some doors,” Reingen said.

Affiliate owners who don’t use the RRG for their insurance still benefit from the work being done to defend against frivolous lawsuits.

“Because of how it affects everybody else, the more affiliates we have (in the RRG), the better. (They have) the best interests of the affiliates at heart,” Bowler said.

You might not want to think about insurance, but in the RRG’s case, insurance is thinking about you.

About the Author: Hilary Achauer is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health and wellness content. In addition to writing articles, online content, blogs and newsletters, Hilary writes for the CrossFit Journal. To contact her, visit

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