It is a sad fact that in life accidents happen. In a martial arts class where training is putting strain on the body and where potentially dangerous activities such as weapons training, breaking or even locks and throws are happening then the chance for injury increases. There is also the chance that property or parts of the venue could be damaged. The insurance is there in case the injured party or owner of the damaged property wants to pursue you for compensation and although you may not be specifically at fault you could still be liable to pay costly legal fees and damages. Unless you have deep pockets it pays to have an insurance policy in place to cover any of these unforeseen circumstances. It may, in fact, be a requirement of your venue or association that you have a valid policy in place before you are ever allowed to teach your first class.
Types of insurance for Martial Arts instructors
As a martial arts practitioner you may already have personal accident insurance cover but as an instructor there are many different types of insurance that you can take out such as; Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, Loss of Earnings, Personal Accident, Sports Equipment insurance.
Some examples of what each insurance type covers are below;
- Public Liability – If a pupil injured themselves while training in one of your sessions they may bring a claim for compensation against you and this would be covered under Public Liability insurance. This insurance would also be used to cover you for a claim from the owners of your venue if one of your students damaged the venue or equipment within the venue. Policies offer various levels of indemnity, usually in the millions, your level of cover depends on where you need it for, some venues will insist on an ‘at least’ value.
- Professional Indemnity – If a student suffered an injury that resulted from your advice or instruction then that specific instruction may be brought into question. Professional Indemnity insurance can guard against this.
- Loss of Earnings – If you were to suffer an injury during one of your training sessions which means that you could not work (i.e. earn) for a period of time then cover for loss of earnings would ease that time.
- Personal Accident – If you were to injure yourself in such a way that you would require physiotherapy, for example, then having personal accident insurance could help meet the cost of that treatment. Insurers offer differing levels of cover with policies available to cover physiotherapy, hospitalisation, broken bones, emergency dental, loss of limbs, loss of sight and even death benefits.
- Sport Equipment – The equipment that you need to aid your teaching could be damaged, lost or stolen. Having sport equipment insurance can mean that you get the money to pay for new replacement equipment or for older equipment you may get back the current market value of the equipment.
There are many insurers out there that specialise in martial arts insurance so shop around to see what policies and cover will suit your club. I use a company called Insure4Sport which I found very easy to set up the policy with. I had an email within minutes of completing the online form with instant cover.
The cost of insurance varies depending on the level of indemnity required, the number of add-ons you select and the amount of excess that you are willing to pay. Excess can be applicable to things like Medical Expenses, Physiotherapy, Loss of Income and Sports Equipment replacement. You should end up paying between £60 to £200 for an annual policy. I have not found any insurers that offer monthly payments so you will need to pay for the insurance in one lump sum once a year. This means that you should keep an eye on renewal dates so that you are not caught out and left without insurance should it expire. Most companies will send reminders close to your renewal date anyway.
Eligibility for martial arts insurance
To be eligible for insurance most insurers will have minimum requirements and expectations of you.
- Persons applying for insurance should be a UK resident.
- Persons applying for insurance must be in good health.
- Persons applying for insurance must be qualified to a minimum standard by a recognised body
- Persons applying for insurance must hold a valid first aid certificate.
- Your insurer will expect you to maintain an accident book to log any injuries no matter how minor.
- Your insurer will expect you to have carried out a risk assessment and have written evidence of this. This should cover use of equipment and especially safe use of weapons.
Remember that you must notify your insurer as soon as possible of any change in circumstance that may affect your insurance.
Hopefully you will never have to make a claim on your insurance but having a good policy in place gives you peace of mind if anything ever did go wrong. Ensure that you have cover in place before your first class and then you can get on with teaching.
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