Physical Training June 2002

Accident & Liability Insurance Coverage

By Michael T. Dean,  Francis L. Dean & Associates, Inc.

Participation in today’s Martial Arts can provide physical fitness, discipline, self defense and entertainment….but can also result accident and injury.  In the past, accident and liability coverage for Martial Arts Schools or Studios was either too costly, too limited, or not available at all.  Individuals were either forced to pay extremely high insurance premiums or to run programs without proper insurance protection, therefore running the risk of personal exposure to lawsuits or a participant’s injury claim.

Today’s owners should always carry both an accident medical policy as well as a participant general liability policy.  The accident medical policy should provide coverage for all students and staff members up to a $100,000.00 in incurred medical expenses due to an accidental injury.  The participant general liability coverage should provide up to $1,000,000.00 of  coverage for claims of bodily injury or property damage.

When seeking coverage from various insurance organizations an owner may want to check specific details to ensure the proper coverage from a reputable firm:

Are the insurance companies located in the United States?

Is the insurance agency licensed in your State by the State Department of Insurance?  Ask the insurance agency to mail or fax you a copy of their license.

Are the insurance companies “A” rated by A.M. Best Company, an independent company which provides ratings of insurers?

What is the per student cost of the insurance?  Are there associations that have to be joined or additional fees that must be paid?  A school should only pay the applicable premium.  Paying additional fees or being forced to join an association may not be legal in your particular State.

In the end, always ask for a few references.  A quality insurance agency should be able to provide other Martial Arts Schools or Studios with various references of other satisfied customers.  If there are ever any doubts regarding an insurer or if you are having problems when a claim is to be paid, always feel free to contact your State Department of Insurance and ask for   assistance.

Physical Training June 2002