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By Neil Adebowale, Director – Sports & Leisure, Partners&

Your insurance costs go straight to your bottom line – so it’s worth getting right.  Insurance outcomes can look very different if you work with a specialist adviser who really understands who you are: the ‘people risk’ in your business.

People are a huge part of your leisure clients’ health and fitness journey – motivating and encouraging, training and keeping them safe. As well as being a valuable business asset, people also present a range of risks.  We’re all human.


Gyms and leisure facilities are vibrant places, with people coming and going all the time. If you have external contractors and therapists working on the premises, it’s important to be clear who’s on the books and who’s not, as regards your employers’ liability insurance (and that those who are not have their own insurance).  Ask your insurance adviser to review your contracts to check the liabilities you’re on the hook for.

Recruitment and retention

People may be your largest investment – it’s business-critical to get it right. In the war for talent, you want to be sure you have the right employee benefits to attract the brightest and the best. And with the cost of recruitment services, it makes sense to retain people by looking after them well. It’s important to put together a package of flexible employee benefits to care for the wellbeing of your team.

Cyber risk

Did you know that most data breaches are down to people rather than systems? Your people are exposed to phishing attacks and other social engineering scams, where they can be persuaded to make transactions and share information by apparently bonafide third parties. It can happen to anyone – make sure your cyber liability insurance is up to scratch.

Employee fraud

Nobody wants to think their own staff would defraud them. But when times are difficult and oversight is limited, people can find themselves under pressure. That’s why it’s important to include cover for ‘fidelity’ (theft by employee) in your insurance.

Key individuals

Who’s the lifeblood of your business? If you can name them, you probably need key person insurance. If your business relies on the ideas, nous and revenue from particular individuals, it’s important to plan for worst case scenarios – if something happened to them.  Key person insurance is designed to protect your business from the financial impact of your ‘rainmakers’ not being able to work – due to illness or accident.

Decision makers

Your board members and leaders are exposed to personal liability for their decisions. That means their home is on the line.  What if you need to make redundancies and end up in an employee dispute? What if the business numbers suffer in the tough market we all face – will your stakeholders stand by you? Directors’ and officers’ liability insurance can provide personal protection for your decision-makers.

COVID-19 and your people

In the current environment, COVID-19 is a risk that has to be taken seriously.  It’s important that you take all appropriate measures to keep your team safe. You should consider which employees need to work from your site and are there any that can potentially work remotely – such as accounts or other administrative roles?

You also need to be aware that some employees may be keen to work from your premises but others may be more apprehensive or have specific medical concerns. More guidance can be found via our risk management partners, Stallard Kane.

It’s important to work with an insurance broker who really understands the dynamics in your business and can provide the right advice on which cover you need, at which level and why.

Partners& is a specialist insurance broker for the sports and leisure sector. A strategic partner with ukactive, we’ll help you to map out pitfalls and tread confidently as your business grows and changes. If you have any questions, contact me directly at

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ukactive