The right insurance can bring yoga instructors peace of mind
By Jill Overmyer
If you're a yoga instructor employed by a studio or gym, you may already have a certain amount of liability and workers' compensation coverage from your employer. But if you teach at multiple locations, at your home or in your own studio, you'll need insurance coverage that follows you everywhere.
Types of yoga insurance coverage
No matter which style of yoga you teach or where you teach, you'll likely need two main types of coverage:
- Professional liability coverage. This type of insurance provides coverage in situations related directly to you and your professional advice or instruction, according to Benefits Plus, which provides coverage for yoga teachers. For example, a student might claim your instruction resulted in an injury and sue you for injury and lost wages. Or you might help a student into a pose that exceeds his or her fitness level, prompting the need for expensive physical therapy.
- General liability coverage. General liability covers accidents that result in bodily injury or property damage that occur while you're teaching. For example, if you're teaching a yoga class in your home and a student trips and falls on your stairs and sues you, or if your dog chews up a student's $500 designer purse, general liability will cover the damages.
Be sure to ask your insurance company about the specifics of your coverage. For example, will your insurance cover a substitute teacher if you are sick or injured? Will it cover your own injuries if you are injured during a class? Are there any restrictions on teaching children?
Where you teach yoga
Your insurance needs will depend on whether you run a studio or work as a roving independent contractor. For example, Philadelphia Insurance Cos., an insurer whose "Fitness and Wellness" insurance covers yoga instructors, differentiates between individual and business coverage. If you work in a variety of locations, are hired for events or teach in your home, individual coverage will be enough. However, if you open a studio or if your home studio has more than five pieces of equipment), you'll need a business insurance policy.
Your coverage amounts will vary depending on the plan you choose, the type of insurance you want to purchase and the amount of risk you are willing to take. For example, Yoga Plus an insurance program offered by Massage magazine provides coverage limits of up to $2 million per occurrence and $3 million per year. This may sound like a lot of money. Yet keep in mind that this amount covers not only judgments against you, but court costs and legal fees, which can quickly add up.
As a yoga teacher, you provide valuable services that provide both physical and mental benefits. However, as with any profession, you're subject to risks. The right yoga instructor insurance will help protect your assets, business and reputation.
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