Here’s that ultra-popular topic that we’re always thinking about (not): yoga insurance. Do you have it? Do you need it? Where do you get it, and what are the options?…
Imagine that you’re teaching your regular Tuesday class, and it’s nearing Savasana-time… when suddenly it happens. That new girl who’s obviously never done any yoga before today decides to ignore your suggestion to do the modified version of scorpion-pose. She’s going for the crazy uber-advanced version, and then — oh no!
Well, injuries happen. It’s not necessarily your fault when they do, but a student who’s hurt themselves might see it very differently and decide to sue you. And that can be very bad news for you and/or the studio unless you have good insurance!
The cost of insurance is essentially nothing compared with the cost of a lawsuit involving an injured yoga student. Another thing to keep in mind is that yoga insurance isn’t just there to protect you and your business — it protects your students, too. Yogi Chuck of Yogi Chuck Insurance Services was kind enough to help me to decode the insurance world for the yoga community! Here’s the scoop:
Who Needs Yoga Insurance?
Everyone. As a yoga teacher, you should know that many studios and gyms don’t have a policy that covers individual instructors. While a yoga studio’s insurance will usually provide some form of general liability coverage, it won’t cover you, the individual teacher. Many studios require that you have your own insurance policy, and if you teach at other locations occasionally (like at workshops and events), your own yoga teacher insurance coverage might also be required.
Where Can I Get Insurance and What Does it Cost?
While many organizations offer yoga insurance, frequently they’re not the provider. You might be familiar with the policies offered by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, for example, but the actual policies are underwritten by separate insurance companies.
Yoga insurance is pretty cheap, but you should still do some research since the cost can vary widely (from about $100 to $400 per year), even when the liability coverage is the same. Some insurance providers, including Yoga Journal Insurance and Philadelphia, offer reduced rates if you teach less than six hours a week.
The National Association of Complementary and Alternative Medicines (NACAMS) has created a handy chart with a comparison grid for different yoga insurance policies from different providers. Beware that some of these won’t write international policies.
What Kind of Yoga Insurance Do I Need?
That depends on what you do, exactly. When you look at a policy, evaluate your activities to see if you really are covered. For example, if you teach different styles of yoga such as acro-yoga, SUP, or combine yoga with another activity/sport, you may need a different policy or a second policy for these things (many insurance policies do not cover aerial or acro-yoga).
If you are doing anything related to wellness and food, you may need different coverage as well. It’s best to discuss your activities and special circumstances with the insurance company or agent before you purchase.
The four things to look for in a studio policy: general liability, professional liability, medical payments for participants, and abuse/molestation coverage (an unpleasant thought, but still good to have). Most liability insurance plans include professional liability (malpractice), general liability (trip and fall) and product coverage (e.g., adverse reaction to an oil or lotion).
What About Insurance for Me?
Your yoga insurance policy is not medical health insurance, and studios do not typically provide health insurance to employees or contractors. However, some optional additions to your personal policy can include stuff like disability insurance. If teaching yoga is your only source of income, this might be very important in the event you (not your students) are injured, so be sure to review these kinds of items with your insurance provider to determine if the added cost is worth it for you.