Before becoming a yoga instructor, many people are only aware of one side of the job. They expect to show up, teach a class and go home for the day have helped themselves and their clients improve their physical and mental health. It’s common for new teachers to view yoga as more of a hobby than a job.
Of course, the joy of teaching yoga is part of what makes it such a great job. On the other hand, there’s a lot more to be a yoga instructor than simply going to classes. The best teachers are business-savvy and understand how to maximize their earnings. Part of that process is mitigating risk through Yoga Instructor Liability insurance. (See also: [Infographic] The 2018 Yoga Study Examines Over 1,000 Modern Yoga Practitioners)
What Is Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance?
Although some teachers aren’t familiar with the need for or even the existence of insurance, the truth is that it’s a vital part of the job. Just like any other profession that involves risk, teaching yoga can lead to litigation over any injuries or malpractice claims. Insurance protects you from having to pay out expensive settlements or verdicts as well as costly legal expenses.
Insurance can broadly be divided into two main groups: General Liability and Professional Liability. To maintain complete coverage in as many situations as possible, you need both of these any time you’re teaching classes. The last thing you want as an instructor is for a claim to cancel out the hard work you’ve done to build your business.
Do all teachers need insurance?
Many instructors aren’t aware of how important it is to have insurance or think that they don’t need it. These are some of the common reasons why teachers do not have insurance:
- Teaching part-time: you need insurance regardless of your teaching hours.
- Studio insurance: even if you work at a studio with insurance, their coverage won’t apply to you unless you’re a W-2 employee.
- It won’t happen to me: incidents can happen to even the best instructors, and insurance is a low-cost way to avoid significant payouts. Lawsuits can even happen when the teacher wasn’t at fault.
What Are the Benefits of Liability Coverage?
As yoga is a rapidly growing field, the number of injuries happening every day is also steadily increasing with the number of recorded injuries nearly doubling from 2001-2014., You should be even more concerned if you work with older clients, as injuries among senior citizens became eight times higher during the same period.
If you’re planning on teaching at a studio, you’ll need to have insurance to even be considered with many yoga studios requiring their instructors to have liability insurance as a way of decreasing their risk. Even if you want to work independently, your landlord will probably also require proof of insurance.
General and Professional Liability Insurance
The two types of yoga instructor insurances shouldn’t be considered an “either/or”. Rather, a professional teacher needs both of these in order to be fully covered, as they each cover different risks that every instructor faces.
General insurance covers things like falls and accidents on premises, while professional insurance is intended for problems related to your instruction (like verbal cues or manual manipulation). Here are some of the specific issues you can expect a reputable General insurance plan to cover:
- Bodily injury: this is when someone gets hurt at the studio without being under your instruction, such as a fall on the way into the room.
- Property damage: similar to bodily injury, property damage insurance covers you in case someone claims against you for something at the studio (like a leak) damaging their property.
- Personal and advertising injury: this is intended for lawsuits related to intellectual rather than physical property. For example, if you use a copyrighted image, your personal and advertising coverage will step in to cover the costs of litigation.
- Medical payments: medical coverage simply pays for the medical expenses of any students who require medical attention, avoiding the need to pay for them out-of-pocket.
Professional liability insurance fills the gaps left by General liability insurance and provides you coverage in a variety for a situation. It’s intended for incidents and costs directly related to your professional advice and instruction as a yoga instructor. These common problems are covered by most Professional Liability insurance plans:
- Defense costs: this coverage will pay any expenses related to your defense against court claims including any settlements.
- Libel or slander: in case you write or say something that damages another person’s reputation, this part of your insurance will protect you against having to pay verdicts or settlements.
It’s never too early to start thinking about the business side of being a yoga teacher, and one of the keys to long-term financial security is acquiring a high-quality yoga instructor insurance plan. BizInsure provides comprehensive coverage at an affordable price and makes it easy to sign up immediately online.
About The Author:
Pavel Yurkov is the VP Technology & Product Management at BizInsure