Funny how that works, isn’t it?
The deeper truth here is that most people walk around most of their lives in a passive, reactive state. If you’ve been following my work for a while, you know I’m constantly telling myself and everyone around me to do the opposite: be proactive, take control, and create the exact life you want to live.
A huge part of that is taking steps RIGHT NOW to defend your future freedom and happiness.
That means putting your money into savings (or even better: investing it with professional help). It obviously also means keeping your body healthy and active for the long haul.
But it also means securing insurance for yourself and your business so that you don’t lose everything you worked so hard for when the Suck Factor gets turned up to 11.
Of course, “insurance” can mean a lot of different things and come in many different forms, so today I’m gonna help you sort through your options.
How to Find Insurance
To start, you can shop around yourself for insurance options. Most insurance companies will have options for small business owners like you, so if you already know an insurance company that you like you can start there.
If you want to narrow down your choices a little further, you can also check with your certification company. Most of them will have a partnership with a preferred insurance company, and they might even have a discount available for you.
Of course, if you’re part of a franchise, you should definitely check with your franchise headquarters first to see who their preferred partner is. At Fit Body Boot Camp, for example, we have a customized, exclusive insurance plan set up with a preferred partner.
Speaking of insurance types…
General Liability Insurance
This is one of the most basic insurance options, and it can be a good place to start if you’re just starting out.
General liability insurance will cover you for accidental client injuries, such as when a client trips and falls or gets smacked by a rogue piece of equipment.
Beyond that, though, there’s a lot of grey area.
See, the blessing and curse of our industry is that it doesn’t have a ton of government regulation. Usually this means we get to run our businesses however we like, which is great.
However, insurers can have a tough time with this because there’s no set-in-stone standards for what fitness business owners and trainers should and shouldn’t do.
This means you need to very carefully inspect the insurance policy on offer before you sign anything. If you don’t want to do this yourself (I know I wouldn’t) then you can get a trusted attorney to look over it for you.
If you’re not careful, you could end up putting yourself at financial and legal risk for doing something you consider just a normal part of training, like a cutting edge workout technique or nutrition plan. If your insurance company isn’t familiar or comfortable with such practices, they might refuse to cover the risk for them.
Malpractice/Professional Liability Insurance
Most personal trainers end up with this type of insurance in the long run, simply because it covers more trouble scenarios than general plans do.
The exact policies will differ a lot between insurance companies, but the basic idea of malpractice or professional liability insurance is to protect you against claims of “negligence” AKA someone complaining that they got hurt because you didn’t do your job right.
Not that you’re planning to do anything wrong…it’s just that people will claim all kinds of things when they’re mad, so it’s best to cover all your bases.
For this type of insurance, there are a lot of companies that specialize in our industry, so take a look at their offerings and make sure their policies will fit your business.
This one is especially important if you’re still personally doing most of the training in your business.
Disability insurance is technically a form of personal insurance, but it can be a smart investment if the business can’t operate without you being able-bodied.
Again, these plans come with plenty of different policies and costs, so you’ll have to shop around to find the one that’s best for you.
Also, pay attention to how/when each plan’s coverage kicks in. For example, some policies won’t kick in until you’ve already been out of work for six months. In cases like that, the policy isn’t really worth the money.
The ULTIMATE Form of Insurance
I’ve spent most of this post talking about pretty nuts and bolts stuff, which is important, but I also want you to realize that “insurance” can mean a lot more than just a policy on a piece of paper.
On this blog (also on my YouTube, my Facebook, pretty much everywhere) I talk a lot about how you, as a business owner, need to absolutely love your clients and always over-deliver on their expectations.
And I know that some of you more cynical types may be tempted to look at that and say “Oh, Bedros is just a big softie” or “Whatever, that’s just a bunch of hype.”
Believe what you want, cynics, but first let me share some a cold, hard lump of truth with you:
Everything in life can wrong. All of your strategies can go haywire, all of your business partners can abandon you, and even your backup plans and fancy pieces of paper can evaporate.
This happens to businesses sometimes. Sometimes huge, powerful businesses. Plenty of those businesses no longer exist.
But you want to know which of those businesses do still exist?
You want to know what the ULTIMATE form of insurance is – the thing that will allow you to rebuild after any disaster?
Businesses survive when they earn the love of their clients.
People are creatures of habit. Even the lazy ones will go to incredible lengths to maintain a way of life that they find happy, comfortable, and familiar.
And you can be big softie and call that the “power of love” or you can be more cynical and call it “force of habit.” Either way, it’s a real thing, and smart business owners work to keep that power on their side.
After all, this is the same part of our psychology that allows us to rebuild entire cities after hurricanes and earthquakes. The need to maintain our home environment, AKA homeostasis.
Earning the love of your clients (and your employees!) is the smartest long-term business decision you can make. It is the ultimate form of insurance.
So work hard at it.
Committed to your success,