We’ve all been taught never to assume, but too many of us are guilty of doing just that when it comes to complicated documents like insurance policies. No one wants to read the fine print. Unfortunately, reading your own policy, along with finding a knowledgeable insurer whom you can trust to understand all the limiting language and exclusions in your policy, is the only way to ensure you have the coverage you need for your fitness facility.
Partner with an agent or broker who works with an insurer that specializes in fitness facilities. A typical business owner’s policy will likely not cover all of the niche risks involved in operating a fitness facility. Agents can connect you with a specialized insurer who will know the risks to look for, provide a policy with comprehensive coverage and suggest techniques to mitigate your risks.
Fitness facilities offer a number of different classes and services, and they can change frequently. A good insurer will ask about your service offerings down to your classes. They’ll ask if you have off-premises programming or offer spa services. They’ll also ask questions about your amenities and request updates if you make any changes, like adding a trampoline, playground or swimming pool.
This customized underwriting process will help you understand what you are covered for, as well as any exclusions in your policy. For example, if your gym offers an outdoor running program or offers classes in the park, your agent or broker should make sure you don’t have off-premises limitations on your policy — or if you do, assist in finding supplemental coverage. This would leave any incident that happened outside the gym uncovered by the policy and the facility owners left with a hefty bill.
Is your coverage voided if a member has not completed a required waiver? Does your policy have a communicable disease exclusion or an exclusion for medical payments if a child in your facility’s care is injured while in childcare? Is a feature of a new class excluded under a specific activity exclusion?
Insurance may seem like a financial solution, but it is built on good communication. A knowledgeable agent or broker will check in periodically to review changes that could impact your coverage. If you want to keep your gym in top shape for your members, take a look at your insurance policy. Work with an expert to make sure you have the coverage you need to protect your members, employees and your business.
Brian Rawlings has spent his career working in fitness and insurance and was recently named practice leader for FITLIFE Insurance at Venture Programs, which insures fitness, wellness and spa facilities. For more information visit fitlifeins.com.
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