Six Things to Know about Affiliate Insurance

Insurance.Insurance is something no one wants to think about, until they need it. Box owners are insanely busy coaching, marketing, programming, counseling and managing. The annual insurance policy is usually thought of once a year at renewal time, but should a Box owner get drawn into a lawsuit, insurance will be very top of mind. Here are some important things to consider for the aspiring Box owner or the proven veteran:

  1. Waivers aren’t anything, they are everything.

Before a client is greeted, counseled, assessed, warmed up or worked out, they must sign a waiver. Every trainer across the globe should practice this as law. In the event an athlete gets injured without a waiver, the Affiliate owner will be financially liable. Online waivers are extremely effective in reducing clutter. Whether it’s old school paper or electronic signature, it’s important for an attorney to review the waiver verbiage to ensure it’s airtight.

  1. Tracking software can protect Affiliate owners.

Even with a signed waiver, injured athletes will still try and sue. Tracking software can be a useful litigation tool for Affiliates. Trial lawyers are extremely adept at painting Affiliate owners as beasts trying to maim clients in the name of fitness. If software tracking shows a 6-minute Grace that’s turned into 2:15, it could be a strong counter argument and a testament to the athlete’s level of fitness.

When someone gets injured, they usually don’t stop working out. If they later leave and decide to sue, records of attendance and performance could possibly negate a legal claim. A little cold hard proof can keep an Affiliate owner safe.

  1. Insurance can protect against lease loopholes.

Is an overflowing toilet a tenant responsibility? Does a landlord cover damages as a result of a pipe bursting? If the roof is leaking, who pays for the repair? What if the HVAC system decides to systematically implode? Repair responsibility is determined by the verbiage in each Affiliate’s lease agreement. For example, a chiller for a industrial sized air conditioning unit could cost upwards of $20,000 to replace. A good insurance provider will review each lease and provide options for repair coverage if appropriate.

  1. Different states have different rules.

There is a certain level of insurance mandated by HQ in order to open an Affiliate. Additionally, some states require additional specifics in insurance policies. Having an insurance agent who is well versed in CrossFit in addition to the geographical requirements of each state is paramount.

  1. Trainers need protection too.

Affiliate owners need to protect themselves should a trainer get hurt while coaching a class. The laws on providing workman’s compensation insurance differ by state and by employee classification. There are different insurance policies for W2 employees and individuals who receive 1099s. Knowledge and sound coverage from someone who knows the geographical law could save thousands in legal fees, medical bills and fines from the state should an Affiliate be without coverage.

  1. There are options

Just like when choosing an Affiliate, there are several options to choose from when selecting insurance. It’s important to shop around, consider what is included in each policy and compare quotes. Potential agents should interview owners, review each lease with geographical requirements in mind and customize a package tailored to specific needs.

Each agent’s client list should be considered. CrossFitters specialize in not specializing, but when shopping for insurance it’s important for insurance agents to know the sport. Think twice about calling the guy who writes homeowner insurance policies to protect a Box.


Vaughn Vernon is the owner of Affiliate Guard. Contact Vernon at 801.688.4883 or