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As a personal trainer, you meet with clients every day. You enjoy your job, helping your clients attain a healthy lifestyle and meet their goals. However, you absolutely need to protect yourself from a legal standpoint. Accidents happen. Clients unfortunately sue. The list goes on and on. Personal trainer insurance is incredibly important. However, there is one type of insurance that, after liability insurance, is equally important. I can guarantee you don’t have it. In this article, we discuss the most important personal trainer insurance you don’t have.
Importance of Personal Trainer Insurance
In this section, we are going to talk a little about insurance. I know, just talking about insurance sends people to sleep. (Even writing about it 🙂 ) Stay with me.
As a personal trainer, you need to protect yourself from risk. What is risk? Many things. In your case, it is the chance that () . You worked hard to get where you at. One misstep – your fault or not – could ruin what you worked so hard for.
Also, things just happen that are outside of your control. They just do. That is life. That is why you are in the process of purchasing personal trainer insurance. The typical personal trainer insurance covers liability. For example, you work with a client and she isn’t losing weight as you planned. She blames you. Or, a client injures himself while performing a weight-training exercise. These are liability scenarios. Are you at fault? No, probably not. But, this is why you need personal trainer liability insurance. You don’t want to risk your career, livelihood, and hard work for these kinds of incidents.
Other Types Of Risk For Personal Trainers
On the topic of risk, there are another set of circumstances that could financially devastate you. These situations are completely separate from liability insurance. The insurance we will talk about in this article (the one you don’t have) protects you from these unforeseen events. Do you know what is the most important personal trainer insurance you don’t have?
I know, John, you say. If I am sick. I have health insurance!
Health insurance is very important, and we all need it, but no. You probably have it. (If you don’t, contact us. We can probably help you find health insurance 50% lower than Obamacare/exchange plans)
That can be important. Accidents happen. And, accident insurance policy helps pay for out-of-pocket costs on your health insurance. But, I am not referring to accidents or accident insurance.
I know, you exclaim! Life insurance!
Yes, life insurance is very important. If your unexpected death puts your loved ones and surviving family in a financial bind, you likely need life insurance. We all need life insurance at some point in our life.
But, this is not the most important insurance a personal trainer does not have. The probability of unexpected death, although it does happen, is much less than the likelihood of risk we are talking about.
OK, I give up…
The Most Important Personal Trainer Insurance You Don’t Have
The most important insurance a personal trainer does not have is disability insurance.
Disability insurance? Why? you ask. I am not going to be in a wheelchair!
Probably not. And that is the reason why a personal trainer needs disability insurance. When we hear the word “disability”, we invariably think of someone in a wheelchair, right? Thankfully, those disability situations are few and far between. (although still a chance.)
You are more likely to be out of work for a year or two due to an illness or injury rather than die unexpectedly.
Let’s say this past Friday was the last paycheck you will receive for 1.5 years. What will you do to pay your bills, support your family, make sure you still have a roof over your head?
I don’t know…
Don’t even suggest you will tap into savings. I am a CFP® professional, and I know many, if not most, Americans have not saved for retirement or saved for an emergency. Heck, most people don’t even have enough money saved for a medical emergency, which is the #1 reason people go bankrupt. Even today with Obamacare.
So, what will you do? What will your family and loved ones do?
OK, John. I know what you are trying to do, you say. But I am healthy.
Right now you are. But you don’t know what can happen. A disability can strike anytime. Cancer, diabetes, a car accident, an injury at work, multiple sclerosis. The list goes on and on. These are all disabling events. Disability doesn’t care if you are young or a personal trainer. Every day, healthy millionaires are disabled.
Moreover, most disabilities are illnesses or sicknesses, unrelated to your job as a personal trainer.
True Story Of Not Having Disability Insurance
Here’s a true story. A person contacted us about financial planning. He was a self-employed writer. When I met with him, I found out he enjoyed bicycling. I also found out he did not have any disability insurance. I recommended disability insurance even before investment or retirement because if he could not make an income, he would experience financial devastation. Simple. To make a long story short, he didn’t want it. For similar reasons as you stated above, he said he was healthy and fine and he was never going to be disabled.
Fast forward 9 months and the gentleman called me. He wanted to revisit the disability insurance. When I asked him if his health changed, he said it did. While bicycling, he was hit by a car and thrown off his bike. He suffered many injuries. Many. He missed work. He could not work. Since he could not work he could not make money. And since he could not make money, he was experiencing the financial devastation I describe all the time when one goes without disability insurance. A disability insurance policy could have done wonders for him and his family. The stress on his voice was palpable. At this point, there was nothing we could do.
What is the moral of the story? Well, there are many. Working adults have a 1 in 4 chance of experiencing a disability and loss of income. Those are pretty scary odds. This holds true, even for personal trainers.
This is what it comes down to. If you and your family and loved ones will struggle financially upon your disability and your inability to work, you need disability insurance. It is that simple.
Disability Insurance For A Personal Trainer
OK, John. You make great points. I’m listening, you say. What do I need to do?
Well, first it is important to understand how disability insurance for a personal trainer works.
A plan pays a percentage of your income. Most carriers look at the last couple of years of your income. If you are an employee, the carriers need your W-2 income. If you are self-employed, they need your net income number off of your tax return.
The percentage is between 60% and 70% but can be much higher depending on your situation.
The definition of disability matters. We call this the “heartbeat” of the insurance policy. Why? Because the policy pays your benefit based on this definition. The most favorable definition is the own-occupation definition. This means your disability insurance policy pays a benefit based on your occupation as a personal trainer. Why is this important? Let’s say you injure your hand. You need your hand to do your job as a personal trainer. This is a disability, even if you can work in another job as a Walmart greeter. The carrier pays.
On the other end of the spectrum is the any-occupation definition. Social security uses this definition for their disability claims. Let’s say you have a policy with the any-occupation. Again, you injure your hand. However, even though you can’t do your job as a personal trainer, the carrier says you can work as a Walmart greeter. You won’t be getting disability benefits because you can work any job. See the difference?
You select a benefit period, which is the maximum time period you receive disability benefits. You generally can select a 2 year benefit period, 5 year, 10 year, or “to age 65” which essentially takes you to retirement age. The average disability is around 3 years. I believe this number is skewed a bit. In speaking with many of the carriers we represent, most state their average claim is around 2 years. I generally recommend a 2 or 5 year benefit period. In some cases, “to age 67” coverage works. Keep in mind, the longer the benefit period, the higher the premium. We will talk about premiums in a minute. And, don’t worry. Disability insurance for a personal trainer is usually inexpensive!
Honestly, though, if another agent is recommending to age 67 coverage (which many of them do to increase their commission), hang up the phone, walk out of his or her office, and contact us. I can explain the advantage and various disadvantages of “to age 67” coverage.
Finally, there are various riders that will customize your policy. Riders create flexibility and fulfill your personal needs. Are they all worth it? No.
We describe disability insurance for a personal trainer in more detail in a separate article. Feel free to check it out as it contains more detailed information.
Is Short-Term Disability Insurance For A Personal Trainer Worth The Money?
Many people ask us about short-term disability insurance. If it wasn’t for our altruism and our fiduciary duty to our clients, maybe we could have sold policies to these people. Honestly, short-term disability insurance isn’t worth the money Before we explain our position why, let’s describe what short-term disability insurance is.
Short-term disability insurance for a personal trainer is similar to long-term disability insurance except:
(1) the waiting period is shorter – maybe 7, 14, or 30 days
(2) the benefit period is shorter – 3 months to 6 months but some 2 yr plans available
(3) limited riders
(4) much more expensive
Why is it much more expensive? Because there are more claims on short-term disability insurance.
If an agent is recommending short-term disability insurance without describing how it will benefit you, contact us.
You see, most families can get by if a parent is disabled and not working for a couple of months. It is the long-term disabilities that pose financial devastation.
The best way, really, to mitigate any short-term disabilities is to have an emergency fund. Rare is the insurance agent who will tell you that.
However, there are really only 2 cases where short-term disability insurance makes sense.
(1) you do need to cover a short-term accident or illness, but are planning to save money for an emergency fund. Once established, you cancel your short-term disability insurance
(2) women who want to have children as most short-term policies cover maternity leave (group only)
Most, if not all, individual short-term policies do not cover maternity leave.
However, if you have complications of pregnancy – before or after childbirth – the complication usually is considered a disability and eligible for a disability claim.
Contact us if you have any questions about maternity and disability insurance for a personal trainer.
How Much A Personal Trainer Disability Insurance Costs?
This is the $64,000 question. Well, our answer is that it depends.
Remember that disability insurance underwriting factors the following into the premium:
(1) your age
(2) health, of course
(3) your occupation
(4) income and annual salary
In our opinion, however, a personal trainer may spend anywhere from $1.00 to $3.00 per day for disability insurance depending on the level of the aforementioned variables.
Is that really expensive? Let’s put this in perspective. Likely not. Consider the income you make. And, answer the question we asked earlier. If you and your family will struggle financially upon your disability, you likely need disability insurance. Right? There really is no way around it.
Having said that, we at My Family Life Insurance understand you have other obligations, too. That is why we typically find the right combination of coverage and plan flexibility that meets your needs. The last thing we want to do is enroll you in something you can’t afford. Some coverage is better than none. Of course, we strive to obtain the most coverage we can.
Also, consider that there are likely things you are spending each day that can be eliminated. Starbucks? Lunch? Let’s be honest, disability insurance and family protection are more important than your daily latte. I am not saying you can never buy a caramel macchiato with an extra shot. However, there are many ways to afford disability insurance and bring peace of mind.
We hope you now realize that the most important personal trainer insurance you don’t have is disability insurance. By a long shot. What would you do if the last paycheck you received is the last one you will receive for 6 months? A year? Longer?
We can help you secure your income and family with affordable disability insurance. Contact us or use the form below. As we stated earlier, we only work in your best interests, not our own. This is the only way we know how to work with clients.