Do I Need Insurance To Be a Yoga Instructor?
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While yoga teacher insurance is not always required by law, you should at least get some kind of liability insurance in case any clients are injured while following your instructions. Commercial property insurance is also a good idea if you own your own yoga studio or you supply the yoga accessories for your classes.
Coverage can be purchased in specialty yoga insurance packages or through commercial insurance plans. Learn how much yoga insurance costs and how to get protected.
Do I Need Insurance To Teach Yoga?
Yoga teachers are generally not required by law to have insurance before they can charge for teaching yoga. However, having business insurance is always a good idea, whether you own your own yoga studio or you’re an independent contractor teaching in person or remotely.
Many yoga teachers are independent contractors who teach classes in another yoga studio or some other fitness center, like a gym. A common condition of using another entity’s space is that you may be required to show proof of liability insurance before you can start teaching.
If you’re financing or renting space for your own yoga studio, your lender or lessor will likely require you to maintain commercial property insurance to insure the studio itself against break-ins, fires and other accidents.
Teaching Yoga Online
Yoga teachers have liability exposure even if they are not in the same room as their students. In fact, risks of injuries may even increase since you’re not present to correct their posture and offer other hands-on guidance.
What Is Yoga Teacher Insurance?
Yoga teacher insurance or yoga instructor insurance, is a term for commercial insurance that protects yoga practitioners from liability claims while they teach.
Depending on the policy, yoga insurance can also include property coverage for the teacher’s yoga accessories and for the studio if they own or lease it.
What Does Yoga Teacher Insurance Cover?
Most yoga teacher liability insurance policies will include coverage for general liability and professional liability. These two types of coverage will protect you against the following types of claims:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Personal injury (defamation)
- Sexual misconduct
If you purchase property coverage or a business owners policy (more on these later), then you’ll also be covered for the following types of losses:
- Inventory (e.g., yoga mats and blocks)
- Relocation costs and lost revenue if you own a yoga studio and it temporarily shuts down due to a covered loss
What Isn’t Covered?
There are some common exclusions or limitations that are typically found in yoga insurance policies. Here are some general examples of what yoga insurance might not cover:
- Intentional acts: If an instructor intentionally causes harm or injury to a participant, it will not be covered by insurance.
- Illegal activities: Any activities that are against the law would be excluded from coverage, such as sexual misconduct.
- Non-yoga-related activities: If an instructor offers additional services or activities that are not directly related to yoga (e.g., massage therapy, personal training), those services may not be covered under the yoga insurance policy.
What Types of Insurance Policies Do I Need to Be a Yoga Teacher?
There are a few insurance types you should have on your yoga policy to make sure you're protected from liability claims.
Business Owners Policy
A business owners policy (BOP) is a comprehensive insurance package encompassing various types of insurance, including general liability, commercial property and business interruption coverage (further details to follow). For yoga instructors, a BOP presents a practical solution to obtain fundamental coverage against liability and equipment-related risks commonly associated with their work.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance (GLI) provides coverage for yoga teachers in case of third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage or personal injury. For example, suppose a student trips over a yoga mat that is improperly stored and breaks their wrist. A GLI policy would cover the student’s medical bills, as well as any legal defense costs if the student sues you for your negligence in maintaining a safe environment.
You would also be covered for claims related to defamation. For example, if you falsely accuse an international yoga celebrity for stealing ideas from a less-known, small-town practitioner and you’re sued for it, your GLI policy would pay for your lawsuit expenses.
Commercial Property Insurance
If you rent or own a yoga studio, commercial property insurance would pay for the replacement or repair of equipment or inventory that have been stolen or damaged due to fire, theft or some other covered peril. So, if a thief breaks into your yoga studio and steals several yoga mats and your sound equipment, your commercial property policy will help cover the cost of any equipment that needs to be replaced.
Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance provides compensation for the income lost in the event of a covered incident. For example, say your yoga studio completely burns down and you’re unable to hold any classes while it’s being rebuilt. Business interruption would pay you a portion of your lost revenue, as well as payroll costs and possibly your rent or mortgage payments. If you decide to temporarily teach classes in another space, this policy may also cover some of your relocation costs.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance offers coverage for claims involving poor advice, misrepresentation and negligence. For a yoga instructor, this coverage is useful if one of your students is injured while following your instructions.
For example, say an online yoga teacher sells pre-recorded video lessons online and somebody who buys it gets injured during a yoga pose. Professional liability will help cover any settlements or medical bills charged to the yoga instructor from the student.
In addition, professional liability insurance would cover claims related to misrepresentation. If you are sued because you taught yoga claiming you were an accredited practitioner but were not, professional liability insurance would cover your legal defense fees.
Product Liability Insurance
If you sell any type of physical product such as yoga mats and blocks, instructional pamphlets, clothes or consumables, you will want product liability insurance to ensure you’re covered against liability claims from the use of those products.
For example, let’s say several customers sue you because your last shipment of branded yoga mats had a defect in the dye that caused them to leave stains in your customers’ carpets and clothes. Product liability insurance would cover your attorney fees plus any settlements or judgments if the judge rules that you are liable for the losses.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance
Commercial umbrella insurance extends the limits of your liability coverage past its initial limits. An example would be a student suing their yoga teacher for a physical injury sustained while doing a baksana. The settlement is for $750,000, but the yoga teacher’s liability insurance only has a limit of $500,000. The umbrella coverage would cover the remaining $250,000 in losses.
If you’re an independent contractor teaching classes in another facility, the venue may ask you to be listed as an additional insured in your liability policy. This means that the venue will also be covered under your policy if an accident occurs during a yoga class held within their facility.
How Much Does Insurance Cost for Yoga Instructors?
The starting cost of insurance for a part-time yoga instructor can range from $55 to $189 per year. With monthly premiums as low as $5, yoga insurance is relatively affordable and it is recommended that every yoga instructor account for it in their budget.
Starting Annual Cost for a Part-Time Yoga Instructor
*Pricing for students in yoga teacher training
In addition to the company you choose, pricing will also depend on whether you are part-time or full-time teacher. For example, IDEA insurance charges an additional $40 to $61 for part-time instructors depending on how much coverage they buy:
$1MM / Occurrence
$1MM / Occurrence
$2MM / Occurrence
*Occurrence refers to the max limit insurance companies will cover for every claim. Aggregate refers to the total amount an insurance company will cover for every policy term.
Keep in mind that other insurance carriers may use other factors during the underwriting process. Your location, credentials, claims history and more may be used when calculating your final rate.
How To Get Yoga Teacher Insurance
To obtain yoga teaching insurance, you can follow these general steps:
- Research insurance providers: Look for insurance companies that offer coverage specifically designed for yoga professionals or fitness instructors. If finding yoga insurance providers proves difficult, you can also look for individual commercial insurance from any major carrier.
- Compare coverage options: Consider factors such as general liability coverage, professional liability coverage, product liability coverage and any additional benefits they offer.
- Assess your needs: Consider your teaching style, the locations where you conduct classes, if you sell any products and any additional services you provide, such as workshops or retreats. This will help you choose a policy that aligns with your needs.
- Obtain quotes: This can be done easily by using SmartFinancial and you can talk to a licensed agent if you have any questions.
- Review policy terms and conditions: Pay close attention to coverage limits, exclusions, deductibles and any other relevant details. Ensure that the policy adequately covers your potential risks and liabilities.
- Pay for coverage: The insurance company usually lets their customers pay monthly, every six months or yearly.
- Maintain your insurance: Keep track of your insurance policy's expiration date and renew it before it lapses to ensure continuous coverage. Stay informed about any changes in your practice that might require updates to your insurance policy, such as adding new coverage.