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Common Claims Covered by Insurance for Yoga Teachers

Common Claims Covered by Insurance for Yoga Teachers

Yoga insurance is designed to protect you from liability lawsuits and mitigate various risks that come with your occupation. Even the most careful yoga instructors can make mistakes, and accidents can happen to anyone. Due to the physical nature of yoga, incidents can result in physical harm, injuries, or property damage. If a pupil is harmed during a yoga session, they could hold you responsible. 

As a leading provider of yoga instructor insurance, beYogi has seen it all when it comes to yoga instructor insurance claims. If you're curious about what we do, here are some typical claims covered by insurance for yoga teachers. 

Professional Liability Claims

Professional liability claims are often called malpractice or errors and omissions claims. The indication is that the yoga instructor made an error that resulted in the harm or injury of a client. 

For example, if a client claims they were injured because their yoga instructor failed to provide an adequate standard of care, gave them improper instructions, or failed to provide sufficient supervision during a yoga class, they could claim professional negligence. 

Naturally, several incidents, injuries, and accidents could occur under the umbrella of professional liability claims. Because this list could continue endlessly, we've narrowed it down to a few broad categories of common injuries and incidents. Here are some examples of professional liability claims against yoga instructors. 

Muscle Strains and Ligament Sprains

Stretching and limbering up muscles is a core aspect of yoga instruction. When done properly, yoga poses  should promote flexibility, strength, and balance, reports John Hopkins Medicine. However, when poses are performed incorrectly due to error or misinformation, the body's muscles can move and stretch in unintended ways. This can lead to overstretching or overexertion, causing strain on muscles such as the hamstrings, quads, lower back, calves, and more. 

Similar to pulling a muscle, ligament sprains can occur when sudden or excessive stretching causes a ligament to sprain or overstretch. These injuries can be a painful experience in the lower legs, wrists, or knees. 

Both muscle strains and ligament sprains are relatively common injuries in yoga studios. 

Joint Injuries

The physical motion yoga requires can involve rigorous joint movement and exertion. When performed correctly and with proper instruction, transitioning from pose to pose should be smooth and without strain. However, unhealthy joints or improper movement can result in joint pain and potentially injury. Joint entries can occur in the shoulders, knees, elbows, wrists, and hips and cause difficulty moving or painful motion. 

Damaged joints can be a difficult recovery, whether it's a hip flexor tear, patellar tendonitis, or a rotator cuff injury. 

Back Injuries

The muscle group in the back is among the largest group in the body. Working in tandem with the spinal cord, the back muscles provide support and stability to the rest of the body. However, poor alignment or overexertion can lead to severe pain or injury. 

For example, as a client reaches deep into a downward-facing dog or pulls into a bow pose, the strain on their back could prove too intense, and they feel a sharp pain in their lower back. Due to improper backbends or overexertion, the client has a herniated disc. This injury will undoubtedly cause a great deal of pain and come with a lengthy recovery. 

Back injuries similar to this are not uncommon for yoga students. So, professional liability claims due to back injuries are frequently filed under yoga instructor insurance.

Neck Strain

Strained neck muscles and neck compressions are other examples of common claims for yoga instructor insurance. Although no yoga instructor would intentionally misdirect their students, accidents, and mistakes can happen at any time. Poor alignment or overstretching in poses like plow poses or shoulder stands could lead to strained neck muscles or neck compression, which could require medical treatment. 

Stress Fractures and Broken Bones

During a typical yoga session, a student’s weight is often suspended on the wrists, arms, and ankles. While this weight should be evenly dispersed to avoid too much pressure on a single point, improper form or imbalance could put too much strain on one area of the body and potentially cause a stress fracture or broken bone. 

Although they are less common, stress fractures and broken bones are among the liability claims we frequently handle. 

General Liability Claims

General liability differs from professional liability claims because they are not directly related to your profession. This category encompasses universal risks that can occur in any industry. General liability can also be called slip-and-fall insurance because these are among the most common types of claims. General liability insurance for yoga instructors protects yogis from a range of common risks, such as bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury. 

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Perhaps the most common type of general liability claims are injuries caused by slips and trips. Fall injuries could be caused by stray equipment, slippery floors, poorly maintained steps, etc. Basically, any tripping hazard could be turned into a general liability lawsuit if left unattended or adequately marked. 

Let's say, for example, a student is walking in for a private session when they trip over a yoga mat that was not correctly stored. In their attempt to brace their fall, the student breaks their arm from the impact. The injury requires medical attention and an extended period of time in a cast for recovery. 

In the above example, the injured student could demand you cover their medical expenses and any related costs to the injury. 

Hazardous Facilities

Facility hazards can be a contributing factor in general liability lawsuits. Potential dangers or unsafe conditions inside a yoga studio that could cause harm to students or visitors could create a dangerous environment. Some common hazardous conditions include uneven or defective flooring, poor lighting, loose handrails, inadequate signage, negligent maintenance, or accessibility issues. Any of these could potentially lead to an accident or injury. 

Within your studio or classroom, proper maintenance and observation are essential for creating a safe space for your students and clients. Be sure your facility is well-maintained and hazard-free for your safety and the safety of your students. 

Product Liability Claims

Product liability is a critical aspect of a complete yoga instructor insurance plan. Although many yoga teachers may use little equipment in training sessions, the products you recommend, such as yoga mats, props, clothing, or environmental agents, have some potential risks involved. For example, if a student enters themselves due to a faulty prop or tool you use during a yoga session, they could hold you financially responsible for their medical injuries and related costs. 

Faulty Equipment

As a yoga instructor, you utilize various equipment to enhance your student's experience and improve their well-being. During a session, you may use yoga mats, blocks, straps, blankets, bolsters, exercise balls, heating elements, or oil diffusers. If this equipment is faulty or breaks during a session, it could potentially harm one of your students through physical injury or distress. 

For example, if you're using a heater in your hot yoga session and it malfunctions, it could lead to a fire, burns, or property damage. You could be liable for any related costs of the malfunction. 

Allergic Reactions

Many yoga instructors utilize environmental elements like incense burners or essential oils during yoga sessions. While these components can create a welcoming atmosphere, promote relaxation, or enhance the yoga experience, if a client has an allergic reaction to one of these agents, it could cause pain or physical distress. 

An allergic reaction is among the most common product liability cases we see from our members. The pupil may not even be aware they have an allergy until a reaction surfaces. That's why product liability is crucial to a complete coverage package. 

Protect Yourself From These and More with beYogi

At beYogi, we strive to create a yoga instructor insurance plan that thoroughly protects our members from liability claims like these and more. Our yoga instructor liability insurance package offers a complete shield to defend our members from every angle. We take it a step further and provide exclusive member benefits, all-encompassing coverage, and ample career support to do the most for our policyholders. 

When you're ready to have total confidence in your liability insurance coverage, we are here for you. Get yoga instructor insurance today and leave the rest to us.
Lizzy Prindle
Lizzy has been practicing yoga for over four years. She found her practice as her collegiate swimming career was ending; looking for a new hobby she began taking yoga classes and never looked back. She has carried her yogi mindset into her role as beYogi’s brand manager. Working alongside many teachers, studio owners, and yoga brands she has helped expand beYogi’s all-inclusive yoga insurance policy into an education-based membership offering much more than coverage.
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