Yoga Insurance: What, Why, How and Who

Insurance is sexy.  Naw, not really.  Not losing the mat from under your feet because you got sued is sexy. So yeah. Let’s talk about a dull, possibly annoying maybe even scary subject, insurance!

Yoga teachers expose themselves to all sorts of liabilities every time we step on our mats and guide people in the art of yoga. Liability insurance protects teachers from the risks of lawsuits and various other claims.

What & Why

Professional Liability Insurance:  Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance (E&O), is coverage for businesses that offer professional and personal services. Not so gentle reminder here- if you teach yoga you are a business professional!!! E&O insurance protects you in the event that a student is harmed from teaching or advice that you provide for which you are held legally liable. (“My yoga teacher told me….”). As a yoga teacher, there are any number of reasons you could be sued and the damages could include medical expenses, lost wages and punitive damages.

General Liability Insurance: (GL) protects you from a variety of legal claims including bodily injury, property damage, personal injury and others that can arise from your business operations. GL should be held in addition to your professional liability insurance.

Products Liability Insurance: Products Liability insurance (PL) provides protection against any loss arising out of the legal liability incurred by you because of injury or damage resulting from the use of a product.  Now, you might be thinking “I teach yoga, I don’t manufacture widgets”  and generally you’re right. But what about the products you sell or endorse.  Here’s a wackjob law school hypothetical for you…


 

You’re a kick ass yoga teacher. To supplement your income you also sell ‘Amazing Scent Essential Oils‘. One of your new students decides to purchase a bottle of Lavendar Amazing Scent Essential Oil from you after your slow vinyasa class. That night, instead of dropping the oil into the diffuser, she decides it would be a good idea to put one drop each in her eyes – you know, to relax them. She suffers severe cornea damage and will most likely be 100% blind within 2 weeks due to the Amazing Scent Essential Oil.  Of course she sues Amazing Scent Living Oil, but she also decides to add ‘Blissed Out Yoga Teacher’ as a defendant. After all it was you that sold her the damn oils!


Yikes. getting sued for someone’s not so brilliant idea? It happens more often than you’d think.  While your E&O will cover this, it’s possible that it could max out your limits. If you are a product affiliate, if you endorse or sell products to your students you need to have products liability added to your insurance.

Sexual Abuse Liability Insurance.  This covers exactly what you think it covers.  And I hate that I have to add this to the list but given the intimate situations that we are often in as yoga teachers

Ancillary Coverage:  Ancillary insurance coverage isn’t so much about liability as it is about protecting your assets and any damage done to you individually. This can include insurance to cover property damage from space you may rent (Rental Damage Coverage), Identity Protection,  Stolen Equipment.

Riders: An insurance rider is an amendment, addition or endorsement modifies the conditions of the policy by expanding or restricting its benefits or excluding certain conditions from coverage.  With the use of the rider the entire document does not have to be rewritten or redrafted again. For example, if you teach in a corporate setting, it’s a good idea to get the company to add you as an additional insured to their policy and in return, get a rider adding their site to yours. Good insurance companies will do this for free or for a very, very small fee.

 

 

 

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