One of the most common things people do at the beginning of the year is to make resolutions to get fit and healthy. “Resolution Season” is a busy time for fitness businesses everywhere. Classes are busier than usual, membership increases dramatically, and you and your staff are working extra hours to keep up with it all.
But as traffic and activity increase at your franchise, so too does the risk of member injury and lawsuits – which drives up insurance costs. As you plan for the busy period, make sure to take some time now to ensure your equipment, staff, and members are safe and happy. Not doing so could potentially mean a loss of membership, income, and reputational harm.
Keeping your franchise thriving and your members engaged and motivated during “Resolution Season” requires more than just a clean facility, great music, and helpful staff. It requires increased attention on several fronts:
1. Equipment Safety
Loose bolts, frayed belts, holes in floor mats, and loose bike pedal straps are leading causes of member injuries – and potential lawsuits. Make sure your equipment has been serviced recently and is fully operational. Install plenty of non-slip mats in the showers and locker rooms to prevent “slip and fall” accidents.
Stock up on cleaning supplies and keep the closet locked and its contents safely away from members. With increased traffic in your gym or studio, your staff will likely need to clean more often. Because cold and flu season coincides with Resolution Season, increase your supply and availability of sanitizing wipes and gels.
3. Safe Training
Make sure your independent trainers’ certificates of insurance are up to date or confirm they are covered under your liability policy. Not doing so might open your gym or fitness studio up to liability issues if a member is injured in a class or training session. Though a general liability insurance policy will cover member injury, consider expanding coverage to include Professional Liability to protect against claims of negligence and abuse/molestation liability, and against claims of sexual misconduct.
4. Emergency Preparedness
Accidents happen, but that doesn’t mean your franchise shouldn’t be prepared to handle them. Have your staff go through emergency preparedness training, which could include the proper use of defibrillators, basic first aid, and keeping an injured party safe and comfortable until medical professionals can arrive.
5. Front Door Safety
In many parts of the country, the weather can be snowy, rainy, and icy during “Resolution Season”. To help prevent slip-and-fall injuries when members enter your business, have an ample supply of ice melt on hand for icy doorways and plenty of no-slip mats and signage for wet floors. Review your lease and work with your landlord to guarantee the walkways and parking are clear.
6. Reliable Security
Test your security system and smoke detectors regularly to ensure they are in working order. Install a carbon monoxide detector. Have the contact of a trained repair technician readily available for your staff should a problem arise.
7. Content Staff
In any business model, having a happy and dedicated staff is key to success. The cost of staff replacement is high due to the loss of institutional knowledge as associates leave, and the lost time due to onboarding new staff members. Review your wage structure and other benefits to make sure your gym or fitness studio is competitive, able to retain your best staff members, and is an appealing employment option for future employees.
8. Comprehensive Coverage
Doing the minimum isn’t going to cut it, especially if you’re a busy and growing fitness business. Review your insurance coverage to make sure you have adequately addressed ALL exposures. Ask yourself (and your insurance provider) the following questions:
- Is your Business Income limit adequate?
- Have your equipment values increased recently?
- Are Professional and Abuse/Molestation coverages in place??
- Do you have an all-encompassing policy designed for your specific franchise brand?
Protecting Fitness Franchises
Intrepid Direct Insurance is a leading direct property and casualty insurer for fitness franchises. New to Intrepid? Get your free quote for comprehensive business insurance today. We know your brand.