When running a business, protecting your personal assets is the most important thing you can do. This is commonly achieved through securing an insurance policy so that if you are involved in a lawsuit, your personal assets are separated from your business assets. But since health coaching is a relatively new profession, the type and quantity of insurance you need to run your business will vary.
Types of Insurances Health Coaches May Need
At its core, health coaching is a business. Coaches take quite a bit of liability into their hands every time they take on a new client as their advice and consultation can directly impact the health and well-being of clients. Making sure coaches take every precaution to ensure the safety of their business and clients is imperative.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance protects commercial property from things like fires, theft, and natural disasters. Think of it as renters’ insurance for small businesses on commercial property. Just like renters’ insurance, the building you operate out of is covered by the property management company or property owner, but the things inside your business are your responsibility to insure.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance protects against injuries or accidents that occur while you’re using your vehicle for business purposes. Since you’re using a personal vehicle for business, you need this extra level of protection when driving to clients or other business-related activities.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance, sometimes called business liability insurance, protects businesses against claims that happen during standard business practices. According to GEICO, “business liability insurance typically provides coverage to small businesses for bodily injuries, medical payments, advertising injuries, and more.” GEICO recommends general liability insurance for small business owners, consulting firms, and marketing businesses, among others.
General liability insurance is one of the least expensive insurance options available with a price of $30–$50 per month, though some plans can go up to $100 per month. The cost of a general liability insurance policy will depend on the size of the business, its income, and the location of the business.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance is similar to general liability insurance. Sometimes called errors and omissions (E and O) insurance, it protects businesses from claims of negligence related to the professional services offered. Both general liability and E and O insurance are designed to protect a business against liabilities. According to Progressive Insurance, both “general liability and professional liability help alleviate the financial burden these incidents cause, so your business feels minimal impact following a claim.”
The main difference between the two is the types of risk they cover. Professional liability insurance covers negligence related to professional services or advice. It’s generally related to financial loss as opposed to a physical injury. For example, a Health Coach could face a lawsuit for providing bad advice that resulted in a financial loss to their client. If someone or something had been physically damaged, a general liability claim would be made.
Professional liability insurance may also include coverage for HIPAA-related violations. As a coach, you’re likely working with clients on health-related matters. According to the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching, “Health and wellness coaches should manage client/patient personal health information and records according to the policies and procedures as established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).” If you’re working with insurance companies to bill clients, you need HIPAA-related coverage.
Cyber Liability Insurance
With more business conducted online than ever before, ensuring data is secure has never been more important. As we all do, small businesses use computers to send, receive, and store data. This often includes personal data on clients, tax documents, financial information, and other important private information.
Data breaches allow information to be accessed by people who should not have access and can put your and your clients’ privacy and safety at risk. Businesses can protect themselves against the costs associated with data breaches by purchasing a cyber liability policy. Cyber liability insurance protects against financial losses from data breaches, but not from the data breaches themselves. You should still take steps necessary to secure your workspace and abide by best practices, like using a password-protected network, never sharing information with others, and not clicking on links or emails you don’t recognize.
Who Offers Health Coach Insurance?
Most large insurance companies in the United States offer applicable insurance policies that will cover a health coaching practice, including Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, and Farmers Insurance Group. Some boutique insurance companies – like CM&F Insurance – offer Health Coach liability insurance policies, which encompass many of the features mentioned above but are tailored to the specific services coaches offer their clients.
Small insurance companies may offer different types of liability insurance policies, but they may not have policies specific to Health Coaches. Make sure you consult with your specific insurer to see what policies they offer and if you qualify.
The Bottom Line
Insurance is a crucial business investment, especially in this time of financial uncertainty for clients and coaches alike. Just as you insure your house, car, and life, you need to insure your business. Before buying insurance, make sure you consult with an insurance expert to determine your state requirements and what coverage best fits your personal and business needs.