A Health Club Training Routine for Effective Risk Management

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The one thing I emphasize when establishing a risk management system for health clubs is simplicity.  Club policies and procedures must be consistent and they have to be simple and easy to implement.  This is the foundation for creating effective risk management for any health club business.   Education and documentation are the two building blocks for your risk management foundation. I covered documentation in my recent blog post (see Make Your Health Club Mantra “Education! Documentation!”) My focus here is education.  The more you and your staff learn about safety, the less likely you will experience a liability insurance […]

If You Think You Don’t Need Cyber Liability, Think Again

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In this digital day and age of infinite storage in the cloud and most of the world conducting business via computer and the Internet, any business that thinks they don’t need cyber liability coverage needs to be aware of the cold hard facts. Consider the following: In 2014, according to the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), there were 342 data breaches exposing 9,015,970 personal records.  Target, eBay, Home Depot and American Express are just a few of the major corporations who were hacked. In 2015, one of the biggest data breaches occurred at the IRS. How do you think […]

Member Malfunction: How to Reduce This #1 Insurance Claim

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Every year, our company conducts an in-house analysis of the types of liability insurance claims we have experienced from the prior year. We categorize various incidents by cause of injury and calculate the estimated or actual monetary value of the claim. As you can imagine there are several “types” of liability claims that can occur at a health club; child care injuries, slip and fall incidents, equipment failure, tanning burns, and improper instruction to name a few. However, the most common cause of injury that occurs in a health club can be attributed to what we call “member malfunction”. Some […]

7 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make That RAISES Their Liability Risk

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Lack of Appropriate Certifications Many personal trainers train “casually” as a side income. Whether training friends, family or others, a training certification from a reputable agency is a must. Getting your certification means you have undergone the study necessary to safely administer exercise to your clients. Should a lawsuit be filed against you, you have the backing of your certifying agency to show you acted within your professional guidelines. Insufficient Liability Insurance No matter how safe you are or whether you have excellent rapport with your clients, you MUST have liability insurance to protect yourself. Accidents do happen but we […]

Does your club have an AED yet?

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You see them in airports, shopping malls, municipal buildings, and movie theatres. The Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is an amazing life saving device that has become a standard in many public gathering places. AED’s have already proven that anyone can save another person’s life…with little or no training. When someone experiences cardiac arrest, the chance of survival diminishes 10% for every minute that passes without resuscitation. Needless to say, time is of the essence. Even a quick 5 minute response time from your local fire department, the life and death outcome for your member is reduced to 50/50. The AED’s […]

What are your Safety Resolutions for 2016?

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I can’t believe the end of the year is upon us. This typically is a good time to start outlining your business plan for the coming year. You will probably be setting your sales goals, equipment purchases, or even considering an expansion or acquisition of another club. This is also a very good time to review your existing risk management procedures and safety protocol. I have highlighted a few areas that you should consider as part of your New Year’s resolutions. Review your employee manual: Most of us have not updated our employee manuals in some time. There are also […]

24 Hour Key Access Clubs and Anytime Fitness

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There is a misconception in the health club industry surrounding the overall safety of 24 hour “key access” clubs. As a 25 year insurance specialist in the health and fitness business, I would like to set the record straight as to the claims experience and risk management history of these key access facilities and particularly the safety record of Anytime Fitness. Although many people may want to jump to the conclusion that a facility that is un-staffed during certain hours of the day or night poses an increased exposure to injury or safety of the patrons, our data suggests quite […]

Are My Trainers Employees or Independent Contractors?

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One of most frequent subjects for debate in the health club industry involves the discussion of employee vs. independent contractor. Many club owners attempt to reduce their exposure of employment related costs and potential liability, by utilizing independent contractors rather than have employees. This is very common with personal trainers and group exercise instructors. There are advantages and disadvantages no matter what method of payment the club owner decides to use to compensate their people. One of the most common misconceptions that club owners have, is that if they “1099” their trainers and/or instructors rather than have them on the […]

Child Care – Do You Really Know the Risks?

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According to health club industry statistics, over half of all health clubs (excluding circuit training facilities) provide day care service for their members. Although we readily use the term “day care” we really are referring to “child sitting” when describing this service. Day Care Centers are typically subject to strict operational and educational protocols associated with feeding and care of children over several hours whereas health clubs are designed to take care of kids on a very limited and short term basis. The biggest difference between the two models is that with child sitting, the member parent is present at […]

How do you determine the correct amount of property insurance?

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Determining the proper amount of property insurance coverage can be tricky. Most club owners know how much they paid for their equipment when they opened the doors. They also know that they (or their landlord) spent a certain amount on the construction of the club or their tenant improvements (build out costs). Even though most club owners are pretty comfortable with the property insurance limits they have requested from their agent, it is always a good exercise to review the two most important components of the property insurance policy to help establish the correct amount of protection to buy. REPLACEMENT […]