Independent insurance agents looking to expand their local footprint can do no better than by visiting their nearest gym, health club, or yoga studio.
The fitness industry is booming – health club memberships in the US grew to 54.1 million in 2014 and 55% of the country consider themselves “moderately active,” according to data from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. And as interest in physical fitness grows, so do the number of physical facilities dedicated to helping people meet that goal.
All of that adds up to great opportunities for agents to add dynamic new accounts to their books of business.
“Overall, the health club industry is showing tremendous growth. I’d say it’s one of our key markets right now,” said Angie Rhoades, an underwriter for health clubs with K&K Insurance. “We’ve shown 6% growth over last year in our [health clubs] program and we’re getting accounts of all sizes and varieties.”
CrossFit programs, smaller yoga studios and cryotherapy have been especially popular submissions with K&K, which specializes in underwriting insurance programs for the sports and recreation industry. However, both large and small fitness organizations are in need of proper insurance and it can be a rewarding area for brokers in any part of the country.
“I think even smaller communities have exercise studios and health clubs,” said Lorena Hatfield, marketing manager for K&K. “There is such a trend on fitness in the country right now that agents in any type of city can find any local fitness centers to provide services to.”
Programs are generally the best way to approach insuring these facilities, including property, professional liability, general liability and specialized coverages like sexual molestation for facilities with childcare facilities.
Such programs cater not only for the agent’s convenience but to eliminate potential gaps in coverage and safeguard the agent’s errors and omissions exposure.
“It stops the problem of ‘Is this claim covered under this coverage or under another coverage?’ That avoids in-fighting between insurers to offload responsibility,” Rhoades said. “It’s a much cleaner approach for the insured and the agent.”
And apart from the sheer number of health clubs in the country, working with these accounts is just plain fun, says Mark Beck, senior vice president of mass merchandising for K&K.
“Just watching the various trends as they emerge is what I find exciting about this dynamic industry,” Beck said. “Whether it’s hula hooping or Zumba, spinning or surfboard classes, they’re always searching for new and unique ways to make people fit and we get to look at those things first.”