You probably spend most of your time in a yoga studio perfecting your students’ sun salutations and downward dog poses. You may be frequently thinking of ways to better your pupils’ form and to provide productive Birkrama sessions. Insurance may not be part of your daily flow. However, it’s important to enlighten yourself when it comes to liability insurance for Yoga Instructors. This type of professional investment can be completed quickly, easily, and with little financial investment. The best part, you and your yoga clients will be secure.
Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance
According to a studyby Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, yoga practitioners spend $16.8 billion annually on classes, accessories and gear. Thirty-four percent of Americans, or 80 million people, say they will probably try yoga for the first time in the next year (Yoga Journal, 2016).
This interest and enthusiasm for yoga shows no signs of declining. So it’s understandable why you would want to make a living teaching yoga. There is a lot of money to be made and a lot of career growth to enjoy as well.
In order to remain a vital part of the yoga teaching community, it is critical you safeguard yourself against any possible liability lawsuits. The costs for small businesses – including Yoga Instructors – are high and can be impossible to recover from. The cost to defend a typical lawsuitcan range from $3,000 – $150,000.
The biggest exposure for a Yoga Instructor might be student injury. This shouldn’t be surprising considering the physical nature of yoga. In fact, claims for bodily injury are typically the main reason most yoga instructors file a liability claim. A studyin the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, found there were 29,590 yoga-related injuries seen in hospital emergency departments between 2001 and 2014.
Even the best Yoga Instructor may run into a situation where the student doesn’t follow your advice correctly or pushes themselves beyond their limits, resulting in a medical claim. Remember, liability insurance is intended to assist you as soon as you are accused of negligence.
Also, many fitness centers and yoga studios will require you have active liability insurance to teach in their facility. By purchasing liability insurance now, you will avoid missing an exciting teaching opportunity in the future.
Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance: Protection from General Liabilities
General commercial liability insurance (aka GCL) is the foundation of all business liability insurance. This type of insurance protects you from another business or individual’s claims of property damage, bodily injury, and medical losses. It will further protect you if you’re named as a third-party in a liability lawsuit.
In summary, general liability will shield you from:
- Property damage
- Personal injury/Advertising Injury, including slander
- Non-Employee Bodily injury
This type of liability policy will also help you pay for the legal costs created by a lawsuit. Remember, even if the lawsuit seems frivolous and the judge agrees, you’ll still have to come up with money for court and attorney fees. This could really cut into your bottom line.
General Liability is usually required if you wish to provide yoga instruction at a local fitness center, yoga studio, yoga retreat or other setting. It will cover you no matter where you are teaching, even if it is out-of-state.
Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance: Protection from Professional Liabilities
Professional Liability insurance covers you for claims made related to your profession. This is the coverage that is specific to your teaching. Your policy will follow you anywhere you go. If you decide to sub for a friend at a studio across town, your yoga instructor liability policy goes with you. Want to teach at an out of town yoga retreat– you’re covered.
Professional Liability insurance is also known as Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance. You need E&O insurance if you provide a professional service for a fee the same as electricians, real estate agents, accountants, insurance agents, and consultants.
Examples of when your professional liability (E&O) insurance will help your business:
- Coverage for any professional mistakes
- Liability for medical costs as a result of your professional mistake
Professional Liability coverage costs, and even the policy terms, may vary slightly among different vocations. However, E&O coverage for Yoga Instructors provides the same support as every other profession. Once you file a claim, your liability coverage will include an attorney to represent you in court as you defend the alleged error in your instruction.
Click here for more details about yoga instructor liability insurance.
What are the liability limits?
In the case of Yoga Instructor liability insurance, there are two different liability limits included in each policy: per occurrenceand aggregate.
Per Occurrence Liability Limits
Each time you file a claim against your liability insurance this limit is the maximum amount your liability policy will pay for that particular claim. Any costs that exceed the liability limit will be your responsibility.
- Professional Liability (E&O) Insurance per occurrence liability limits normally range from $500,000 to $2,000,000
- General Liability Insurance per occurrence liability limits normally range from $300,000 to $1,000,000
Aggregate Liability Limits
The total cost of all claims filed under your liability insurance is the aggregate. The aggregate liability limit for your policy is the maximum amount of money that will be paid for all claims.
Same as E&O insurance, you will be responsible for any costs that surpass the liability limit.
- Professional Liability (E&O) Insurance per occurrence liability limits normally range from $500,000 to $.2,000,000
- General Liability Insurance per occurrence liability limits normally range from $600,000 to $2,000,000.
How long am I covered?
The length of time your liability policy will cover you all depends on the type of plan you purchase. There are two different options: Claims-Madeor Occurrence.
A Claims-Made policy covers you only for claims filed while the liability coverage remains in force. Any liability lawsuits filed outside of the policy term will not be covered.
Under an occurrence policy, you are able to file a claim even if the policy is no longer active. As long as the liability coverage was in good standing during the time of the alleged wrongdoing, the liability insurance company will handle your claim as if the policy was still active today.
What Is the Cost for Yoga Instructor Liability Insurance?
The insurance underwriter will ask many different questions about your vocation as a Yoga Instructor to get a better idea of how risky your work can truly be. This is because insurance costs are unique to the insured being covered by the policy.
For liability insurance, premium costs will vary depending on factors such as the amount of annual revenue and payroll, credit and legal history, years of yoga teaching experience, and the geographic location.
A typical policy might cost between $200 and $500 for 12 months for Yoga Instructor liability insurance.
If you break-down the premium cost, Yoga Instructors like yourself may pay between $.54 and $1.36 per day for liability coverage. The total cost per day for millions of dollars in liability protection is less than a cup of coffee.
Yoga Journal, (2016). 2016 Yoga In America Study.[online] Available at: http://media.yogajournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016YIAS-Release-Final.pdf[Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].
Klemm Analysis Group. (2005). Impact of Litigation on Small Business. No. 265. [pdf] Washington, DC: SBA Office of Advocacy, page 3. Available at:https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/rs265tot.pdf
 Sawin, T. and McGwin, G. (2016). Yoga-Related Injuries in the United States from 2001 to 2014. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine.[online] Volume 4(11). Available at:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5117171/[Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].