Small busi­ness: An­thony O’Brien

NAME: Car­ren O’Brien BUSI­NESS: Pulse Fit­ness & Lifestyle, Avoca Beach, NSW QUES­TION: What in­sur­ance do I need for my busi­ness?

Money Magazine Australia - - CONTENTS - An­thony O’Brien

Vic­to­ria has the high­est pro­por­tion of fit­ness in­struc­tors in Aus­tralia, ac­cord­ing to a 2016 in­dus­try re­port. The per­sonal train­ing sec­tor in Aus­tralia turns over a com­bined $480 mil­lion an­nu­ally and is grow­ing at a yearly rate of 5.6%, says IBIS World.

Af­ter tak­ing time out to be a stay-at-home mum for the past five years, I’m re­launch­ing my per­sonal train­ing busi­ness, Pulse Fit­ness & Lifestyle on the NSW Cen­tral Coast. I con­duct group train­ing in lo­cal parks, one-onone coach­ing, as well as ses­sions in a small stu­dio in my garage. I want some ad­vice about what in­sur­ance cover I need to pro­tect my­self, my clients and my busi­ness.

1 In­spired by TV’s Ninja War­rior

Let me start by let­ting you all know that Car­ren is my wife and I think it’s great she is back in busi­ness. I thought her ques­tion and the ex­pert re­sponses might be use­ful for other read­ers.

Pop­u­lar TV pro­grams such as Ninja War­rior are en­cour­ag­ing more Aussies to get fit­ter but this has its down­side when it comes to in­sur­ance. Erin Ralph, of Marsh Ad­van­tage, which of­fers spe­cial­ist in­sur­ance to per­sonal train­ers, says: “There are 50 dif­fer­ent train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties we cover and only a hand­ful we don’t cover.

“These ‘Ninja’-type pro­grams are great but there have been claims from peo­ple slip­ping off ropes four me­tres in the air and break­ing ver­te­brae. There’s a duty of care re­quired by train­ers.”

2 Take out pub­lic li­a­bil­ity cover

Gen­er­ally per­sonal train­ers aren’t legally re­quired to have pub­lic li­a­bil­ity or pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity cover, says Ralph. How­ever, there are some sit­u­a­tions where it will be nec­es­sary (see item 3).

Pub­lic li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance pro­vides pro­tec­tion if a client is in­jured and you are found to be li­able. Pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity in­sur­ance pro­tects you and your busi­ness against a breach of pro­fes­sional duty.

Ralph says pub­lic li­a­bil­ity pre­mi­ums start from $139 a year. If you are op­er­at­ing as a com­pany, pre­mi­ums will be higher as both you and the com­pany could po­ten­tially be sued for neg­li­gence. Func­tion­ing as a com­pany could dou­ble pre­mi­ums, al­though this ex­pense could be off­set some­what by claim­ing it as a tax de­duc­tion.

3 Lo­ca­tion has a big bear­ing

If you op­er­ate your per­sonal train­ing busi­ness as a sub­con­trac­tor at a gym, the owner might re­quire a min­i­mum of $10 mil­lion to $20 mil­lion worth of pub­lic li­a­bil­ity cover with pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity in­cluded, says Ralph.

If you run ses­sions on the beach or in a lo­cal park or com­mu­nity hall, be­fore is­su­ing a com­mer­cial per­mit your lo­cal coun­cil might re­quire you to pro­vide ev­i­dence that you have pub­lic li­a­bil­ity and pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity.

In­ter­est­ingly, you’ll pay a higher pre­mium if you train clients in your home. “If you have di­rect re­spon­si­bil­ity for the premises where you op­er­ate and the equip­ment, the cover gets more ex­pen­sive,” says Ralph. To keep your pre­mi­ums down, I’d be in­clined to take to the road. If you go mo­bile, you may need gen­eral prop­erty cover.

4 Pro­tect your in­come too

Pub­lic li­a­bil­ity and pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity in­sur­ance cover in­jury or loss to your clients only. To pro­tect your own fi­nances, Ralph rec­om­mends you take out in­come pro­tec­tion in­sur­ance.

This cov­ers you against loss of in­come due to un­em­ploy­ment, ill­ness or ac­ci­dent. It could pro­vide you with a tax-free salary and should con­tinue to pay out un­til you re­turn to work.

As you’re self-em­ployed, you need to make sure your in­come con­tin­ues no mat­ter what and that it ex­tends to your busi­ness ex­penses, says Ralph. “If you’re in­jured, you still might need to pay the fee to hire the lo­cal park.”

For more de­tailed ad­vice in re­la­tion to your cir­cum­stances, be sure to talk to an in­sur­ance com­pany or a bro­ker.

An­thony O’Brien is a small busi­ness and per­sonal fi­nance writer with 20-plus years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­dus­try.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.