Martial arts instructor insurance is one of the most import ways to protect your school. No matter how many safeguards you take there is always a chance of an accident happening. You are one expensive lawsuit away from potentially losing your studio. Having the correct martial arts instructor insurance could be the difference that saves your school.
Martial arts instructor insurance is a liability insurance policy that is designed to protect your school from lawsuits and claims alleging injury to body or damage to property. A good policy will cover death or serious injury to students, instructors or spectators. The coverage should also protect you from property damage claims to a location or facility occupied or rented.
A report by IBIS World Reports breaks down martial arts instruction schools by the style they teach. Martial arts instructor insurance could provide protection to instructors who teach or own any of the following types of schools:
There are an estimated 8 million martial artists in the United States. There are 100’s of different martial arts styles. Injuries are mostly dictated by the martial arts format and the rules of each school. The styles with contact have significantly more injuries than styles that do not allow contact. Another item that will prevent injuries is the use of safety equipment. Usually the more protective equipment used the less injuries. These are the most common forms of martial arts injuries:
No matter how many precautions you take there is always a chance of an accident happening. Injuries are a part of all sports and especially martial arts. There is always a chance that an injured student files an expensive lawsuit against their instructor. Most martial arts schools would find it difficult to stay in business if they lost a lawsuit and were forced to payout a very large judgement. This is why, if you own or operate a martial arts school, it is extremely important for you to have effective martial arts instructor insurance.
The first thing I would like to say on this topic is that I am not a lawyer nor is anyone connected with this company. I have owned many martial arts schools and only speak from my own personal experience. I advise you to use a waiver and that you talk to a lawyer about the laws of your particular state.
A liability waiver commonly referred to as a Release is an agreement between a participant and a provider, signed prior to the participation. The participant signs the waiver agreeing to absolve or excuse the provider, its employees or its agents from any liability or fault for injuries incurred by the person participating in the specified activity. A well written release can protect you in many ways but not in all states and a poorly written one will give you little protection in all states.
Most schools that I know have their participants sign a Release of Liability or Liability Waiver. Because you are teaching a vigorous and demanding activity a Liability Waiver can be essential in limiting your organization’s liability. Once again I say to you that investigating your state’s laws and rulings on liability waivers is extremely important. Court rulings have varied drastically from state to state. In some states even the manner of collecting a liability waiver is important. Talk to a lawyer.
There are several strategies that you can implement in your school to minimize injuries.
It is a good idea to encourage all prospective students to get a physical exam before they start training at your school. Their doctor will know the student’s medical history and will know whether or not the prospect should start a vigorous training regimen.
You will want to ease the new student into your physical conditioning. Most people starting a program are not in the shape they think they are. They almost always think they are in better shape than they really are. Many injuries happen because the student pushes themselves too much to soon. You want to make sure this doesn’t happen. The student will be in good shape soon enough. No sense in moving too fast and creating an injury.
A good warmup and stretching routine is essential in keeping your students injury free. Too many times a student will get hurt because they are either not warmed up or stretched enough. Countless studies have shown that cold muscles are significantly more likely to injure. If there is no room for the students to warmup and stretch before class it is in your best interest to do this at the beginning of your class.
It is easy to see how using the correct protective equipment will decrease injuries. Good equipment to mandate are headgear, mouth guard, punches and kicks. Shin guards can eliminate injuries also. Injured students are more likely to quit your school. Obviously, if they are seriously hurt they will not be able to participate. It also makes sense that not all people like the kind of pain it takes to fight without any gear. Besides fading expensive lawsuits, promoting the correct protective gear will increase your retention. The increased retention along with the increase equipment sales will also bring much needed income to your school.
Countless injuries happen because students attempt techniques that they are not ready to use. They either hurt themselves or they hurt others because they do not have the control needed to pull off the technique. Many of these injuries could have been prevented with the proper supervision. I know that as a school owner you have many hats to wear. There are more things that need to be done than you have the time to do. You cannot forgo supervision to get more things done. Your students need constant supervision to minimize the injuries to themselves and the injuries they do to others.
Remember that not all your students are as good an athlete as you are. Everyone has their limits and it is up to you to know your students. You want to make sure that you control the techniques that your students are preforming. You want to ask of them only to do the techniques that they are ready to perform. Limiting factors are the conditioning of your students and their ability to learn and perform new techniques. We all learn at different levels. Just because a few students are at the same rank level doesn’t always mean they are ready for a new technique at the same time.
It is up to you to create a safe environment. That is putting all the safety plans together and making sure they are being implemented correctly. It even comes down to the cleanliness of your school. Are items left out to be tripped over? Is your training floor slippery because it is not cleaned correctly? The condition needs to be one of safely first. It is so important to frequently review all your safety measures and make sure they are constantly being applied. The safety system comes down to you. Make sure it happens.
No matter how many safeguards you take you cannot totally eliminate all chances of an injury. Knowing that there is always a chance of a student becoming injured you need to be prepared for it. You need to have a written plan to take care of these injuries. If an injury happens then what? What is your plan? Do you have a good first aid kit? Do you and your staff know CPR? There are many different possibilities of injuries. You need to prepare for them. You need to make a plan.
With the proper plan you can minimize many injuries. You have to create a full safety plan and then you and your staff have to implement it and implement it in every class. The safer your school is the more students you will have and the more successful you will be.