Here at Effective Coverage, we are often asked questions about the depth and scope of a renters or homeowners policy, and we love to answer these questions! One question we get all the time has to do with people who run businesses from their home, such as fitness professionals. If you are in the fitness profession, there are some things you need to keep in mind regarding your insurance policy. Will you be protected by your renters insurance if you were to be sued?
If you’re a fitness professional, will your Renters Insurance policy cover your occupation? There are many different types of fitness professions that people run from their homes; yoga teacher, personal trainer, or dance teacher are some common examples. Do different fitness professions change renters insurance coverage? There are two different types of coverage to be considered for this question; property and liability. Does either coverage apply?
Is My Fitness Profession Protected by my Property Coverage on my Renters Insurance Policy?
Renters insurance policies have coverage for your possessions, and this is covered under the “personal property” section of your policy. For the average renter or homeowner, this covers items such as clothing, jewelry, electronics and any physical, tangible property. So what if you are a personal trainer, and you use your personal property as part of your training business? Perhaps you’re wondering if your property coverage extends to equipment such as an exercise ball, resistance bands, or free weights. One would assume that this automatically would be covered by their policy, but in reality, coverage changes when you use your personal property as part of your income-generating business.
Items that are owned and used by your business are considered business personal property. So if you are a fitness professional working out of your home, that means your exercise ball, free weights or resistance bands would be covered, but capped at a specific dollar amount. Business personal property is a type of coverage that is actually written into a typical renters insurance policy as a sublimit. A sublimit, in simple terms, means a monetary cap on a specific type of property. As long as it is on your residence premises, your policy will cover up to $5,000 of property used primarily for business purposes.
This amount of coverage can change if the property (or equipment) is taken off of “the residence premises.” When you take your equipment off premises, and a loss occurs, your policy pays only $1,500 (kind of like the sublimit of a sublimit). Let’s say you made a house call to a client, and you brought your scale and resistance bands to their house. If those items were stolen while you were at your client’s house, there would be coverage, but only $1,500 worth. Chances are good that if you need your fitness equipment to be easily portable, $1,500 should be enough money to cover what you can actually carry with you.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Liability For my Fitness Profession?
Liability coverage on a standard renters insurance policy is used to protect renters in a variety of situations. This includes coverage for legal expenses if a renter were to be sued, or against bodily injury claims if someone was injured inside the renter’s apartment. So if you run a fitness business from inside your home, either one of these scenarios is a potential risk to your business. For example, if you were a personal trainer and dropped a free weight on your client, then they could potentially sue you for bodily injury damages. Would your renters insurance policy cover this?
The answer is no.
Your renters insurance policy is designed to cover the risk of an individual, not the risk of a business. As a credentialed fitness professional, it is imperative to make sure you are covered, given the nature of your work. This means you should purchase a separate commercial policy for your business. This will protect you in the event that you are sued, and enable to run your business successfully.
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