Starting a new Pilates business is a great way to combine your passion with your work. However, Ireland in 2019 can be a challenging place to do business. The bills come thick and fast for new business owners. The “to-get” list seems endless.
One item on the “to-get” list should be a high priority. Without this item, you and your business could be risking big losses and potential closure. That item is insurance. So is insurance needed for teaching Pilates? What type of insurance is needed to teach pilates? I spoke with Ferdia Burns of Brady Insurance to find out more.
Who are Brady Insurance?
Brady Insurance is Irish insurance with offices in Leitrim and Dublin. They have been in business since 1959. They have a long history and track record of great customer service. Brady insurance specialises in insuring pilates instructors as well as other sports and leisure activities.
Is insurance mandatory for Pilates instructors?
Do you even need insurance as a Pilates instructor? Ferdia says that it is not mandatory by law. However, as is the case with many types of insurance, it is not mandatory, but it provides you with a safety net and peace of mind. Ferida explains,
We would recommend that all instructors have insurance to protect them against potential property and third-party injury claims whilst going about their work.
What type of insurance should pilates instructors consider?
Although not mandatory, Ferdia says that Brady Insurance always recommends public liability insurance. So what is public liability insurance?
Public liability insurance covers your business for the event that you’re sued by a third party. The third party would claim that they have suffered a loss as a result of your negligence. This loss could be a loss of physical ability, like an injury. It could also be a loss of earnings, say if the injury put them out of work. It covers your legal liability to a third party.
If one of your students trips or suffers some kind of injury on your premises or pilates studio, you will also be covered. Ferdia explained that many pilates classes in Ireland take place in county council-owned venues. These venues require their tenants to have a public liability policy that covers them up to a certain value.
There are two levels of public liability normally €2.6m and €6.5m – a lot of instructors work in county council-owned venues who require a minimum of €6.5m – we recommend they take this level of cover out.
Ferdia did stress however, that public liability insurance does not cover you against a student injuring themselves during one of your classes. For example, if they overstrecthed.
For this type of incident, it would be the up to the owner to get their own personal accident cover like a similar policy to their travel insurance.
Insurance for Pilates studios
What about those studios that are not owned by a county council? I asked Ferdia about insurance for a rented Pilates studio. Does the studio need insurance if the teacher has it and vice versa?
Yes, normally the property owner or gym will have their own insurance in place for the maintenance of the area rented out. A teacher will need public liability to protect against property damage and third party injury.
Am I protected if I get my clients to sign a waiver?
Many businesses are in the habit of having their customers sign an insurance waiver. It seems like the low-cost solution. I asked Ferdia if waivers are an effective substitute for insurance when it comes to teaching pilates?
No. A waiver cannot be used to get you out of your duty of care. A waiver will not protect you if your student claims they have been injured in your class. A disclaimer is simply a consent form that they are eligible to participate and are aware they are in good health and that they are responsible for their own actions.
Finally, I asked Ferdia about who is on the line when a claim is made. In the event of a pilates student becoming injured, can the pilates teacher be held personally liable or would the pilates business be liable?
If they are injured due to the negligence of the teacher eg leaving equipment in a doorway and someone trips up and gets injured yes – if they are just simply injured themselves whilst participating in exercise and hurt themselves this is excluded.
There you have it, insurance is not mandatory but it is not worth risking teaching pilates without it. Ferdia parted by saying individual pilates instructors can get public liability for around €345.00 which will protect them. If you have any questions for Ferdia or Brady Insurance, they are more than happy to help out.