Choosing Liability Insurance for Yoga Teachers

Adi McCasland
Our Yoga Collective
3 min readAug 4, 2020

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Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

When I graduated from my first yoga teacher training (YTT) in January 2015, I accepted my certificate comfortable with designing sequences, applying philosophy, and making playlists, but I had little knowledge about the business side of teaching — most specific to this conversation, the importance of choosing the correct insurance. To be fully forthcoming, I didn’t know that yoga teacher insurance was a thing until a studio owner offered me a spot on her sub list later that week.

I was still new to this side of the world — too new to know these things, too new to know that it’s okay to ask; so I spent the next week researching insurance. I scoured websites, read testimonials, took notes. Because it’s who I am, I even made a spreadsheet that I wish I still had, but that was five years and an entire laptop ago. The knowledge still exists, however, even if it’s outside of the little green squares Microsoft Excel afforded me, and, after realizing how often I’m answering insurance questions, I decided to whip up a quick post. It really is important information to share with the yoga teaching community. It really is important to share with the yoga teaching community, including the back story, because as entrepreneurs, it is entirely up to us to ensure that we are as knowledgeable on the business side of teaching as we are on the teaching side of teaching.

In the wellness world, there are two basic types of liability insurance:

1) Claims Made: With a Claims Made policy, in the event of an incident, you are covered only if both the incident AND the claim is filed while your policy is in effect. For example, let’s assume your policy is in effect from June 1, 2020 until May 31, 2021. If a student is hurt on May 30, 2021, but does not file a claim until July 2, 2021, you would not be covered.

2) Occurrence Form: With an Occurrence Form policy, in the event of an incident, you are covered if the incident occurs while your policy is in effect, even if the claim is filed after your policy has expired. For example, let’s assume your policy is in effect from June 1, 2020 until May 31, 2021. If a student is hurt on May 30, 2021, but does not file a claim until July 2, 2021 (or even much later), you are still covered.

Claims Made policies are usually less expensive than Occurrence Form policies, but the benefit to the insurance policy holder is also less. For this reason, Occurrence Form policies are the preferred industry-standard for wellness professionals.

I often get questions regarding insurance — specifically questions about how necessary it is, especially when studios carry business insurance. I always advise yoga teachers to maintain their own liability insurance. I say this partly because CYA (cover your ass, for those of you who have never been in the corporate world) is some of the greatest advice I’ve ever been given in my working life, and partly because studio business insurance only goes so far. It does not cover you for teaching privates, at events, at festivals (we require all of our presenters to carry their own insurance), teaching online, and the list goes on.

Note to the reader:
Because a large part of Our Yoga Collective’s mission is to advocate for our community’s teachers, we have negotiated a partnership with BeYogi Insurance — the company I have personally used since I created that detailed insurance spreadsheet so long ago. BeYogi covers over 350 wellness modalities, including the many styles of yoga available, massage, reiki, healing touch, pilates, sound therapy, and so many more. For a full list and to take advantage of the partnership discount, click here, and to see the BeYogi member perks, click here.

As always, we welcome any questions, and we look forward to seeing you on the mat!

With love and elbow bumps,

Adi

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Adi McCasland
Our Yoga Collective

teacher | storyteller | bourbon drinker | lover of dogs & words