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Insurance: Why One Size Does Not Fit All


Insurance is a vital aspect of running a successful fitness business.

However, in your pursuit of finding the right insurance partner, it can be difficult to understand what exactly an agent or insurer is looking for during the underwriting process. What goes into pricing an account? How should you prepare for an inspection?

Brian Rawlings recently answered these questions and more in a webinar presented by FITLIFE Insurance Program. He explained underwriters look at a variety of factors during the initial process, including:

  • The applications — forms you’re required to fill out
  • Your gym’s website — what programs and amenities are you marketing, and do these reflect what’s in the gym?
  • Actuaries and models — what do the numbers say?
  • Loss history
  • Exposures — amenities and services offered
  • Finances

From there, an underwriter begins pricing the account, taking into consideration competition and the market, rating basis, loss history, exposures and coverages, actuary analysis, and CAT modeling, for example. “There is an art and a science to pricing,” said Rawlings.

Next comes the inspection, where a loss control specialist typically visits the club to do a physical walk-through of the facility. “They’re trying to get that after-the-fact picture of the risk,” said Rawlings.

According to Rawlings, this step should be viewed as a true partnership, where the loss specialist comes to make recommendations on how to make the club safer and mitigate overall risk.

As a health club operator, having a full understanding of the underwriting process is important for a variety of reasons. For one, it will help you pick the right insurance partner — and will ensure you don’t experience any hiccups along the way when looking for coverage.

As Rawlings explained, the goal is to raise awareness of “what goes in from the insurance side in terms of reviewing your risk, pricing your risk, giving you a sense of what to look for throughout that entire process, and looking for a good solid partner that can help you mitigate risk and keep your members and guests safe as they move throughout your facility,” he said.

To view the full webinar, click here.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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