Health Coach Insurance – Cost and Policy

Health coach insurance is essential for anyone undertaking to help other people to improve their fitness, health and wellbeing.

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Unlike many other service providers dealing with goods and material, a health coach is directly responsible for the outcomes as it affects people.

This opens up a much wider spread of possible adverse outcomes, and an infinitely more considerable risk of massive claims for damages and restitution in the event of accidents or errors.

First, let’s talk about the differences in the operations of a health coach and a personal trainer and the similarities.

Health coach insurance

Both personal trainers and health coaches are engaged in helping their clients to make sustainable changes in their lives. However, rather than focusing on the bodily physique, as fitness trainers do with physical activity, health coaching focuses more on behavior, motivation, and attitude towards building healthier habits.

For both, there is flexibility with what steps are taken. One distinct difference in health coaching is the now popular trend towards virtual coaching. Especially since the onset of the pandemic, people are much more positive towards meeting with coaches from all across the country in audio and video sessions.

What does a health coach do?

A health coach is usually defined as a specialist that performs services like assessing a client’s current health condition, ascertaining their health concerns and establishing a proper treatment plan. The coach goes on to provide counseling services and develop health goals with a roadmap for monitoring.

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Along the way, they will be documenting progress along with regular health screenings.

Becoming a self-employed health and wellness coach can involve you in many different models of business.

Some of the most popular are outlined below:

  • Develop your own health coaching business
    • Wellness and health coaching involves helping clients make changes to their lives, steering them toward their personal targets with healthier behavior and habits. 
  • Be a certified personal trainer
    • Many members of the public want to make improvements to their physique and general health, but lack the experience or knowledge of where to begin. A personal trainer comes in at the gym, working with clients on their health and wellness goals. 
  • Running a fitness franchise
    • If you’re already active on the fitness scene, you are probably aware of and interacting with the health and wellness industry. Perhaps you’re already working out in an existing gym that runs as a franchise. Talk to them about opportunities closer to your home. Franchise owners get the immediate benefit of a supportive team and brand awareness, so you start immediately with a business the public believes in.
  • Establish an internet presence
    • If you have expertise in health and wellness, become a blog author with a site dedicated to all things about health and wellness. Working through your blog and social media platforms, you can generate your revenue stream via sponsorships and ad deals with suppliers and service providers.
  • Market health and wellness products
    • There is an enormous demand for dietary supplements that address specific conditions and lifestyles. With expertise in health and wellness coaching, you can sell products directly to consumers helping them achieve wellbeing. Setting up an online store is much simpler these days, with access to e-commerce platforms like Amazon.
  • Become a personal chef
    • Healthy eating has moved high on the list for people looking to improve their health and wellbeing.  A trained chef works one-on-one with clients, with healthy cooking of customized meals and diets for your clients based on their own specific needs.
  • Operate a retreat center for company employees
    • In these times of high pressure brought about by the pandemic and the shift to working from home, many business managers are looking for ways to let workers unwind. They need to form closer connections with their colleagues, who are not meeting around the water cooler as in days gone by. Corporate retreat centers offering the social environment with your health and wellness emphasis can help companies create their relaxation time and include team activities, healthy meals and inspiring training sessions.

Do health coaches need insurance?

Businessmen like general contractors, handymen, roof repairers, solar panel installers, dog walkers, drama teachers and all the other service providers are already aware that they need specific insurance cover to protect themselves.

In their cases they are facing far more limited and measurable risks than health coaches. Damages to a roof can be limited to a few thousand dollars. Damages to a person can spiral totally out of control, which makes the need for proper insurance for a health coach much more immediate.

Health coaches are generally equipped with the knowledge and training necessary to provide services to their customers, and may also go in for formal certification.

Some of the better-known associations and bodies that test and certify health and wellness coaches in the USA are:

  • IIN – The Institute for Integrative Nutrition
  • Duke Integrative Health Coach Professional Training
  • Dr. Sears Wellness Institute 
  • Arizona State University – BSc in Health Sciences (online course)
  • Precision Nutrition
  • Emory University health coaching programs offering National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach
  • Health Coach Certification from American Council on Exercise accredited by the NCCA
  • Health Coach Institute graduate course
  • National Society of Health CoachesBenefits of health and wellness coach insurance

Benefits of health and wellness coach insurance – why insurance is vital for you.

As a health coach service provider, your mission is to deliver specialized care to your clients while guaranteeing that they will benefit and not be harmed in any way. There are multiple benefits of getting health coach insurance.

What insurances do wellness and health coaches need?

Standard business owners insurance should provide at the very minimum the following kinds of protection:

  • to protect you from public liability in case some accident happens that results in you being sued for damages by a third party. This is referred to as public liability, third-party liability or general business liability
  • to protect your property – premises that you own, lease or rent in case of damage from fire, storms etc
  • to safeguard your business income in case some unforeseen event interrupts normal business activity
  • To protect you with professional liability insurance, in case something goes wrong in the course of your professional activity and a customer or client is injured
  • To protect any vehicle that you are using in conducting your business. Especially important if you use a private car, because the standard insurance will not cover you in any event
  • to protect anything that the business has as an asset, like your tools, equipment, inventory, and furniture & fixtures, from loss, theft or accidental damage. This can include your paper records, accounts, advertising material, or goods and material that customers have left in your care.

Public liability insurance for health and wellness coaches

Especially in this line of business, where you are dealing directly with the activities and movements of your customers and clients, you are vulnerable to claims of injury or damage.

Public Liability in health coach liability insurance basically covers you for anything customers and clients in your care may do that causes some injury to someone else.

So, say you are running through a set of exercises with a customer, throwing a heavy ball around. If he or she then accidentally throws and hits another person in the exercise arena, or even in their own homes, they miss your hands when throwing, and the ball hits another family member.

They may then claim that you were at fault. With public liability insurance, you will be covered for the costs of all injuries, treatments and legal fees.

Public liability insurance helps protect you and your business from claims in case there’s some accidental bodily injury or property damage to some third party.

‘Third party’ means some person who is not directly associated with you (such as a family member) or your business (such as an employee). In the case of property, it means something that does not belong to you but is temporarily under your control. 

Basically, the need for public liability is relatively straightforward. If there is any chance a customer, visitor or passer-by could be injured or have their property damaged and could then claim that this happened due to your work, you need public liability insurance.

Public liability insurance helps protect you and your business from claims if there’s some accidental bodily injury or property damage to someone, and they sue you for compensation.

There are two types of legal damages people may sue you for that are typically covered by a public liability policy:

  • Compensatory damages: financial losses they claim to have suffered as a result of your business activity. They may also be able to claim for future losses that they might suffer resulting from an injury.
  • General damages: indirect losses suffered by the injured party, such as “pain and suffering” or “mental anguish.” 

This part of the necessary insurance for health coaches is also referred to as third-party liability insurance, and it can be relied on to payout if these types of incidents occur.

As well, all the associated costs arising from a claim like this, like medical and hospitalization bills, long-term recovery treatments, and of course the hefty legal bills on both sides if the matter has to come to court for judgment.

Without public liability insurance, you may have to dig into your own pocket for thousands, or heaven forbid hundreds of thousands of dollars, for even a minor accident that wasn’t your fault.

Public liability protects your business when a claim is made against your business for harming another person or damage to property.

For example, suppose you were coaching a star young ballplayer and he hit a shot that accidentally damages someone’s Ferrari sports car or smashes a window.

In that case, you could be held responsible and then face a costly compensation claim.

Having your personal public liability insurance is a mandatory requirement in most gyms and sporting centers. They may require proof before allowing you to use their arenas.

Professional indemnity insurance

Health coaches must be fully aware of their legal responsibilities. By advising their clients and customers, and the way they supervise and manage  participation in movement and exercise, coaches have a legal obligation to their customers to provide proper and appropriate advice and guidance.

Most important is not to offer advice outside their level of experience, qualification and knowledge.

What does Professional Indemnity insurance cover?

Because it is part of your service to give your clients, customers, and participants advice, you need to have Professional Indemnity insurance.

It is meant to protect you if, for example, someone suffers an injury when following instructions you have given to them, and they then make a claim against you for their injuries.

Because you are dealing with your client’s movements and actions, you need to protect yourself if something goes wrong during your sessions that results in some injury or damage. 

Business auto insurance for health coaches

Without a vehicle, you basically cannot run your health and wellness coach business. Commercial auto insurance protects you against bodily injury or property damage to a third party caused by you during your health coach activities.

For example, when picking up a client at their home, if you back out and run into the garage or mailbox with your vehicle, commercial auto health and wellness coach insurance will cover the damage costs.

Even if you are using your own car or van to go around from customer to customer, and more so if you are transporting your customers from home to public facilities or your gym or sports field, you must add business vehicle insurance on top of whatever private insurance you already have.

The laws are very clear on this, and courts will always favor the insurance company if there is any claim that they say results from your business activity. 

Theft from your vehicle – any equipment, material and accessories you will need as part of your coaching activity must be insured separately from your private auto insurance. You need to cover yourself in case of theft of the vehicle, break-ins, fire and vandalism.

Since you are running a business out of your car, you will not be covered for theft of these tools under your regular car insurance.

Personal Accident insurance

No matter how experienced a coach you are, you can also suffer some injury. These injuries could end up causing a significant financial burden in terms of lost income if you don’t have Personal Accident insurance.

Personal Accident insurance covers many kinds of injuries. There could be minor injuries which simply require rest and physiotherapy, or more severe ones such as broken bones or long-term disablement. 

Physiotherapy or dental treatment may be required for your injuries. Even more severe injuries resulting in loss of limbs or sight, permanent disablement, even accidental death could occur in one of your sessions. 

Because of the risks involved, you should protect yourself from any possibilities. It is best to tailor the level of cover to your kind of activities, starting from around $20,000 for the least active types, going up as high as $100,000 for vigorous coaching.

Most coaches taking out personal accident insurance combine this with some insurance against loss of earnings, to protect if the injury takes you out of action for an extended period. For up to one year, the policy will support you if the injuries mean you’re unable to work.

Property damage – say you are doing workouts with the customers in their own home. Something accidentally happens that damages furniture, decorations, carpets or anything else of value in the home. Something as simple as dropping a hot cup of coffee on a precious rug can end up costing you the total charge for restoration or replacement.

Employer liability insurance for health coaches

If you already have or are planning on expanding your health and wellness coach business with employees, you will need employer liability insurance.

Employer liability insurance protects your health coach business in the event one of your employees injures themselves while on the job, and holds you responsible.

One way to avoid personal or employee injury is with the right level of first aid training for yourself and your personnel.

Knowing what to do in the event of a medical emergency can help save you a considerable amount of cash on healthcare bills, and prevent you from having to make a claim on your health and wellness coach employer liability insurance policy.

Employee injury coverage can protect your business from the costs resulting from an injured employee’s medical expenses.

Income Protection insurance for health coaches

Being a health coach offers several benefits, most notably being your own boss! But there’s a possible downside too — you’re self-employed, so you don’t have access to sick leave and, most importantly, workers’ compensation.

This means that if you take time off due to one or more reasons such as personal injury or if your business is seasonal such as football or long-distance running, then you’re left with zero income.

This is where health coach income protection becomes vital, and depending on the coverage you buy, it can replace up to 80 percent of your health and wellness coach income for some time, as stated in your policy.

Getting income protection insurance is a great way to build a good base when starting your health coach business, keeping in mind the inevitable.

Different types of health and wellness coach insurance coverages

Health coach insurance companies provide different levels of coverage levels to choose from. You can even increase your coverage limits if needed to safeguard your health coach insurance businesses from high costs of liability.

Typically, public liability insurance for someone in the health and wellness coach business will provide coverage of around a quarter of a million dollars for any single incident, plus an aggregate of up to half a million dollars in any single year that the policy is active.

But it’s important to note that most health and wellness coach insurance policies will not cover you if you are negligent in your duties, due to which you experienced an injury to yourself.

What is the cost of health coach insurance coverage?

The price you pay for health coach insurance is based on various factors, including the type of health and wellness coach services you provide, the size of your business, and the number of people that work for you.

But to give you a ballpark figure, health coach public liability insurance starts at approximately $30 per month. General health coach insurance covers you for claims related to injury to people other than yourself or your employees, damage done to property caused by your services, and personal injury as well.

Health coach insurance policies are generally available in various plans, each offering one or more types of coverage.

For example, a basic plan would cover health coaches for general liability insurance and professional liability insurance. There are also advanced plans that would cover you for the same but offer a higher aggregate limit.

It is essential to pay attention to the aggregate limit health and wellness coach insurance provides, as this number indicates the payout limit for any and all claims for the entire term of the policy.

On that note, you should also make note of the deductible for the health coach insurance policy, which is the amount you will have to pay out of pocket before the insurance company picks up the rest of the tab.

Final Thoughts

Starting or running a health coach business is a great idea, but you take the necessary steps to keep risks at a minimum. With an adequate policy, if you are a health coach covered by insurance, you can sleep well knowing that your health and wellness coach business is protected against any claims stemming from damage or injury caused by your business or employees.

You can buy health and wellness coach insurance online or offline, but you should always compare quotes regardless of what route you take.

And remember that cheaper is not always better, because even though you may get a lower price quote, the coverage limit will also be lower with a higher deductible.

The bottom line is that you are taking responsibility for a customer’s or client’s physical and emotional wellbeing, so you can’t take the risks of being a health coach not covered by insurance. So make sure you are covered against any risks of damage or injury caused to you and third parties.
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