Yoga teachers are right in the thick of helping their students achieve health and wellness through the age-old practice of being present during a yoga session. Being present unfortunately carries a multitude of risks that we’ll explore in today’s deep dive. With or without insurance, even the most careful yoga teachers have found themselves facing a liability claim at some point in their careers.
With the risks there regardless of whether you have insurance, some yoga teachers face serious out-of-pocket expenses should some form of loss event occur. We’ll look at liability and other forms of loss facing yoga teachers today to really underscore just how invaluable yoga teacher insurance is for long term career protection.
Claim Type #1 - General Liability
General liability insurance is also often called “slip and fall” insurance because this type of incident is unfortunately common for anyone who has opened their doors for business. General liability incidents happen all the time. They can be as mundane as a little bit of water on the floor, a loose rug at the front door, a little too much wax on the floor—there are many different ways that a slip and fall injury can occur.
However, general liability is so-named because it applies to many types of injuries or property damage that occurs on, or around, your place of business where the injured party asserts that your negligence caused their injury. Negligence is a legal term that means a reasonable person could have foreseen the event but did not do anything to prevent it. The unfortunate thing in our litigious society is that there may have been no way for a yoga teacher to foresee the event and yet they still face a lawsuit.
Even frivolous suits are expensive to defend which is where $2 Million per occurrence and $3 Million annual aggregate for both the costs of the claim and any legal defense fees that’s included with our yoga teacher insurance policy can really save a career that could otherwise be in jeopardy in an instant.
Claim Type #2 - Professional Liability
Professional liability is related to the actual yoga instruction you provide. Yoga professional liability insurance covers injuries and/or property damage that happen during a class. Yoga is a very focused and involved health practice. Yoga teachers are leading, correcting, and guiding students through what can be tough routines in order to bring about a greater state of wellness. There are many, many different accidents and unforeseen events that make what’s also called “malpractice” or “errors and omissions” insurance not only practical, but vital.
As an example, in 2013 a highly-publicized event called attention to the wife of famous actor Alec Baldwin, Hilaria Thomas, who is a yoga instructor. Hilaria faced a professional liability lawsuit from one of her students who fell during her yoga class and broke a window, causing deep lacerations to the student’s leg. The suit alleged that Hilaria hadn’t demonstrated the proper “duty of care” required by yoga teachers for their students.
Other possible examples include:
- You may turn your head for an instant from one student who injures themselves in a pose and then claims you didn’t give proper attention.
- A student may say you instructed them to do a progression that aggravated a past injury they’d disclosed in the pre-session questionnaire.
- A student may say that your practice pushed them too hard and they suffered an injury as a result.
However they come about, professional liability is a real risk facing any yoga teacher who has students that are trusting them to provide a safe session. Again, sometimes claims are entirely frivolous. The courts may decide the case doesn’t have merit but legal defense will still have been necessary. As with general liability, beYogi includes $2 Million per occurrence and $3 Million annual aggregate for claims related to professional liability.
Claim Type #3 - Product Liability
We’ve hit the two types of liability most everyone has heard of but product liability is something many are not as familiar with. As the health climate has required even more vigilance on behalf of yoga teachers and other wellness professionals, cleaning and sanitizing has become the norm. But what happens when a student has a bad reaction to the type of cleaner you use? Unfortunately, that student can come back and hold you responsible for their medical bills, lost wages, and other costs under the premise of product liability.
After many years in the yoga industry, our plan saw just how vital product liability coverage is as part of a comprehensive yoga teacher insurance program which is why we include all the way up to $2 Million in coverage for this type of risk.
Loss Event - Rental Damages
A liability is something the law says you are legally responsible for paying. One liability that’s easily overlooked is the risk of having damages done to the yoga studio you’re renting. Your landlord probably included specific language in your rental agreement which states that you’re responsible for covering the costs of repairs should damages occur while you’re occupying it.
Even if that’s not the case, they may still have legal grounds for having you cover any necessary repairs to their space. A candle left too close to a wall that causes damage, a water cooler that tips over and ruins a hardwood floor—accidents come in all shapes and sizes which is why we include up to $100,000 to help cover the costs of repairs to a rented yoga space.
Loss Event - Stolen Equipment
Another loss event that could require a substantial out-of-pocket expense without yoga insurance is having your equipment stolen. A robbery-by-force is enough to leave anyone shaken. Add to that the loss of all the equipment required to conduct a yoga class and an event like this can easily cause a substantial disruption to a yoga teacher’s ability to earn a living teaching yoga.
Seeing the need, our yoga teacher insurance includes up to $1,000 with a low $250 deductible to help replace what was lost and give yoga teachers the support they need during this trying time.
Loss Event - Compromised Identity
Likewise, another area that doesn’t always get a lot of attention with yoga teacher insurance is coverage for identity protection. In this day and age, almost everyone is on the web every single day. As a yoga teacher, you may be using social media to reach new students, utilizing online banking, researching new yoga workshops, doing your taxes online, and a thousand and one other things on the web.
Unfortunately, a greater reliance on online connectivity simply increases one's chances of having their identity compromised. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft occurs when someone uses information about you without your permission. A cyberthief could use your information to get a new credit card, buy things on your cards, start new utility accounts, use your information to get health insurance, and many other possibilities.
Protecting yourself against identity theft takes ongoing protection which is why our plans come with up to $25,000 in identity theft protection. Without this included in your yoga insurance, you can be left paying out-of-pocket to have your identity restored.
Sobering Stats on Yoga Injuries
The health and wellness benefits of yoga are undeniable. This practice has been used for centuries to help mind and body come together in the pursuit of holistic health. While most yoga teachers are extremely conscientious about their student’s safety during sessions. Accidents and injuries are unfortunately common due to the physical nature of the practice.
A few startling statistics regarding yoga injuries include:
- The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) helps to track the causes of injuries in the U.S. each year. In a four year period of study, NEISS found that trips to the emergency room for yoga-related injuries doubled!
- The National Institute of Health put out a study that showed a whopping one in five yoga students said they’d had some form of “adverse effect” from a yoga class, with one in ten saying this was a chronic condition.
These statistics aren’t meant to frighten so much as to bring awareness to the real types of risks facing yoga teachers today. Yoga is absolutely booming in popularity, requiring yoga teachers to be more vigilant than ever and having the protection of yoga insurance in place from the get-go.
Complete Peace of Mind In Minutes
With beYogi, our all-encompassing yoga teacher insurance program was made specifically for the real types of risks facing yoga and health professionals today. With a full suite of protections and an awesome benefits package, at just 49 cents per day beYogi yoga insurance stands as one of the very best values available today.
Signing up only takes a few minutes and you’ll enjoy complete peace of mind knowing a yoga program made by yogis for yogis has your back through every pose and every transition your yoga practice brings. Learn more about everything that’s included in our comprehensive yoga instructor insurance program.