Insurance is a crucial and necessary element for any successful business. It does not make any business sense to go without proper coverage. An automobile owner is required to have insurance, and all mortgage lenders require homeowner’s insurance as a prerequisite for the loan. A yoga instructor is no different. You need insurance before you ever start your career. The most important reason is clear: yoga insurance protects you from claims.
Anyone can file a claim for damages or injuries against anyone else. Yoga instructors are not exempt. The insurance company handles the claim for you. They investigate it and handle all contact and negotiation with the party making the claim. If the insurance company believes it is an invalid claim, they will not pay. If they think it is in the best interests to settle, they will do so and negotiate the amount.
All of the above is important. The most important part of insurance coverage involves a claim that goes to court. The insurance company will hire and pay for an attorney to defend the claim. Without insurance, the cost of attorney fees could put a yoga instructor out of business.
A yoga instructor who uses a studio for their lessons cannot depend upon the studio’s insurance. In fact, the studio may well require the instructor to have their own insurance. Anyone making a claim is going to go after both the instructor and studio. The insurance company for the studio is only going to look out for the studio’s interest. They may well claim you violated some studio rule and thus are not covered by the studio policy. You need a company that will put your interests as an instructor first.
The most likely claim is one of personal injury: when your student is hurt doing the lesson. Even though the injury is real, the question is whether or not it is your fault under the law. Yoga injuries are an unfortunate part of the industry. There is no way to completely avoid them but it is possible to be protected by yoga insurance. A minor claim would be a nuisance to an instructor. It is part of a typical workday at an insurance company. They know how to handle claims.
One type of claim that may arise out of yoga instruction is misconduct arising from close contact or touching. A student can take your actions in the wrong way and file a claim. You need strong protection in this area. The claim may come down to your word against the student’s perception of what happened.
Part of any insurance contract is the right of the company to handle the claim and settle it on their terms. In other words, you may believe there is no basis for a claim. The insurance may agree but still decide it is in their best interests to settle for a set amount. The release signed by the claimant will state that there is no admission of liability on your part. Sometimes that is just the best action to take.
You need both general liability and professional liability insurance. The first protects you from claims such as a falling object, and the second covers specific acts that cause injury or allegations of misconduct. When you look into insurance coverage, make sure you obtain both types of coverage. They are an absolute necessity and are a valid business expense for a yoga instructor.
Consider speaking to other instructors about the insurance company they use. You want a company with an excellent reputation that is totally familiar with your line of work. The types of claims encountered can be different. You need a company that has experience with the yoga industry.