Liability Risk and Protecting Your Business

By Murray Mackenzie, C.I.P.

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gallagher logo

As we approach winter and a new year, it provides us with time to reflect on the past, as well as all of the events and challenges we have yet to face in 2020.  One of those challenges in the fitness industry can be finding adequate insurance coverages at an affordable cost.  For those who have already participated in our program offering preferred rates and coverages for canfitpro members, we thank you for your past support and hope we have earned your continued business and confidence in our insurance and service offerings.  However, we recognize there are many people each year that are new to the industry, as well as those who may have opted not to carry insurance in the past.

Whether it is the exposure from providing advice as a professional trainer, to the maintenance and operation of fitness equipment and premises, in our litigious world we live in, one cannot afford to ignore the consequences of a lack of/inadequate liability insurance.  Accidents happen every day, ranging from personal injuries, equipment malfunction, slip and falls, to situations arising out of liability based on professional advice.  None of us are exempt from these potential exposures, and a comprehensive insurance program offers the protection needed for your business:

-Insurance for either the building that is owned and occupied as a fitness operation, or if space in the building is leased, Tenants Legal Liability to cover you for damage to the premises you occupy.

-Coverage for your contents including fitness equipment, furniture, fixtures, tenants improvements and electronic data processing equipment such as laptops and desk computers, servers, copiers and fax machines.

-Liability for your operations.  This can be based on either number of members or revenue of the business, or in the case of our program, a flat charge for fitness instructors.  Make sure this includes professional liability for advice you give to your customers, as well as abuse coverage for claims that may result from your interaction with clients.

-Crime coverage should protect you from employee dishonesty, theft, cheque or computer fraud, hold up, and electronic transfer.

-Auto fleet insurance for any vehicles owned and operated in the company name

-Directors and Officers liability to cover the D&O’s of your business for their personal assets in case of a lawsuit against them with respect to their activities as a D&O.

-A fairly new coverage that is becoming more relevant and unfortunately prevalent in our society is cyber-attack coverage.    In case of a hack in to your system this will help to recover from financial loss and the cost of notifying affected customers as well as recovering from the situation.

Insurance is there to protect you in the event of an unforeseen accident or occurrence.  These coverages noted above are a good starting point for an effective insurance program but is by no means an exhaustive list of coverage considerations.  For a more complete explanation and insurance review, please contact here.

We wish you all the best in the New Year and hope we can be of service to you in the near future.


Murray MacKenzie, C.I.P., B.Comm., is Senior Vice President of Commercial Insurance at Gallagher. Murray has been working in the insurance industry for over 30 years. He is a graduate of McMaster University. Contact him at or visit