As a health coach, your goal is to help your clients lead healthier and more expansive lives. You are thrilled when your clients have big successes and live for those moments of celebration. Business insurance is probably the last thing on your mind, but it’s an important thing to consider as you set up, choose your niche, and expand the business and work you love.
Health coaching involves giving advice and guiding people through major changes in their lives. This has a profound impact on their well-being, as recognized by health organizations throughout the world. But health coaching is still a relatively unregulated field, leaving health coaches wide open to legal claims without much state or federal protection.
Business owners are responsible for things like liability, property damage, and bodily injury. While you didn’t get into business to focus on legal issues, it’s essential to protect yourself, your reputation, your peace of mind, and your business.
Let’s explore what you’ll need and what kinds of insurance policies will help protect you as a health coach or holistic wellness coach.
Do Health Coaches Need Insurance?
Yes, health coaches need insurance to protect themselves from complaints & liability for damages. There is no state licensing board for health coaching so you may take on full responsibility if you’re not insured. The price of an insurance premium is far cheaper than being taken to court.
It’s relatively rare, but health coaches and wellness coaches do sometimes open themselves up to the possibility of having past clients and others might make a complaint against them for things they may not have intentionally done. It’s important for the reputation of your coaching practice, and for taking your career seriously, to invest in insurance.
While there isn’t a “Health Coach Insurance” plan ready to purchase, there are several types of insurance policy options to consider for your coaching practice. It all depends on how you practice and how you interact with clients. The more “in-person” you are with your clients, the more types of insurance you’ll need to consider.
Additionally, clients will see your health coaching business as more legitimate and safe if you can prove that you follow your insurance company’s requirements.
They’ll know that you have their best interests at heart and take your profession seriously. They will feel more at ease working with you, knowing that you’re taking the ethics of your profession to a higher level.
Types of Insurance Health Coaches May Need
Professional Liability Insurance
For most health coaches or wellness coaches, professional liability insurance will be all you will need for your business. This type of insurance is also known as errors and omissions (E&O), malpractice and professional indemnity insurance.
A professional liability policy keeps you safe if you ever make any mistakes while working or you didn’t uphold your contracts with clients. Protecting yourself from these sort of claims is important as they can be expensive to deal with alone.
Having professional liability coverage may also help you legitimize your business in the eyes of your customer. In addition to asking about your training and certification, clients may ask about your insurance coverage.
Having an insured health coaching business may demonstrate to them that you take your business seriously and that you’re offering them some peace of mind because of that protection.
Other Possibilities to Consider
If you have an office that clients come to, you may have more insurance needs. If you hire employees, you’ll need to consider an even higher level of insurance options and plans.
Here are a few of other options to consider when shopping for insurance plans:
- Commercial Insurance: This type of insurance covers any kind of injury that may happen when a client is on your property.
- Commercial Property Insurance: Covers damage to your office if you are the owner of the building as well as equipment, furniture, or inventory.
- General Liability Coverage: Also known as commercial general liability or CGL, this is a high-level protective insurance that more generally covers bodily injury and property damage, including making medical payments to the person injured. Compare it with the more specific options above to make sure it fits your needs.
- Personal Injury Insurance: If anyone ever tries to defame your name or business, this insurance can help protect and defend you.
- Cyber Liability Coverage: If your credit card processing or online payments portals ever have a security breach, this insurance will help you protect your clients and help rectify the situation in as professional a manner as possible.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: This is important if you use your car to travel to clients’ houses or workplaces. It will protect you in a work-related accident.
Professional Liability Insurance Carriers
Just as with your personal health insurance, there are numerous options and carriers to consider for your health coaching practice’s insurance needs.
Many insurance carriers have insurance plans designed for healthcare professionals, health services, and other professional services, but it’s important to check with your prospective carrier to see if they cover your specific services.
Some carriers include:
- CPH & Associates
- Alternative Balance Insurance
- Lockton Insurance
Both CPH & Associates and Alternative Balance Insurance have insurance plans specifically designed to meet the needs of health coaches and other wellness professionals.
Note: These are just examples. The IAWP does not specifically endorse any one insurance provider. As a coach, it is your responsibility to review your available options and find the best provider for your needs.
Average Cost of Liability Insurance
The cost of a liability policy will be dependent on many factors. These include things like where you live and work, how many people you employ, what kinds of buildings you work in, and the levels of risk you take on with health coaching. It also depends on how high of a deductible you decide on with your insurance company.
Typically, for a solo practitioner with a relatively low level of risk in your business practice model, you’ll look at paying something like $100 to $500 a year for liability insurance. This range can be wildly different based on the factors above, but generally speaking insurance can be quite affordable for most business owners.
Thoughts from an IAWP Graduate
“It can be overwhelming to know what you need as a health coach. Making sure you have insurance coverage should be at the top of your list. Insurance coverage protects your client and you from any issues that might come up when working together.Molly Sommerhalder, Certified Holistic Wellness Coach and Certified Yoga Teacher at Swan in the Lotus Yoga and Wellness, LLC
It protects your business and you from any miscommunications or missteps that are taken. It also allows you to be a better coach and gives you the freedom to help your clients on a deeper level since you have a backup in case something happens.
By having insurance, you are planning for the unexpected.”
Other Things to Consider Before Getting into Health Coaching
There are many things to consider as you explore the field of health coaching. Insurance is a good idea for all business owners, of course, but there is a lot more to health coaching!
Before starting your business, it’s smart to learn as much as you can about the training and career path of health and wellness coaches. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to becoming a health coach and you can explore that further here.
Take the time to truly think about what kind of health and wellness coach you’d like to become. There are many coaching programs and trainings available that work for people with all kinds of goals and lifestyles.
If you’d like to work with clients from a holistic perspective, impacting their whole lives and overall well-being, a Wellness Coaching program might be the right fit for you.