As the COVID-19 virus grips all sectors of the American and the world economies, business in all sectors of industry are affected and the ripple effects continue to grow. People can’t travel and the airline and hotel industries suffer. Restaurants and bars can’t open and the small business sector struggles. And the beat goes on.
In times of stress and uncertainty, we all look for ways to find comfort. Comfort of routine is one of these themes we all reach for in these tense times. We work, we take the kids to their practices and games, we run the errands, we watch our favorite shows and we unwind with our friends and family on the weekends…and, for many of us…we have a regular workout routine.
For those who have been in and around the health club industry for a while as I have (10 years as a recreation and YMCA Director and now 9 years serving the fitness industry specifically in insurance and risk management), we know what a purpose and a mission it is; not just for our members but for us. We are always looking for ways and means to better serve their members and guests and to improve their lives, and these new circumstances are yielding nothing but an even more steely resolve to assist. In recent weeks I’ve seen:
- Major franchise groups post online workouts and accessibility
- Personal trainers look to post workouts on website and apps and even conduct virtual classes
- Numerous articles written and posted as to proper personal protection and health tips
- And simple, basic compassion and encouragement to stay strong, to have a positive attitude and stay healthy
Additionally I am seeing numerous trade organizations and groups standing up to advocate for and make sure the voice of the industry is heard at the highest of levels as legislation is reviewed and discussed.
Venture Programs and our FITLIFE program and our team are here to continue to assist in any way we can during these times. We are proud to serve the fitness industry in the arena of risk management counsel, recommended best practices and insurance products.
That’s why I strongly encourage gyms and clubs to maintain their insurance protection during this difficult time. Lapses in coverage may affect liability claims that occurred before a closure or a potential property issue (fire/wind, etc.) that occurs now. This would cause additional stress to getting your property up and running to full capacity again. You also want to make sure you’re not in violation of contractual obligations with creditors.
The seasons will turn, the virus will be defeated, people will come back out of their homes and the fitness industry will continue to be ready to serve. As members return looking to reignite those routines of familiarity they’ll be greeted by a smiling, concerned face that truly missed them and looks forward to once again helping them meet their fitness goals. We’ll all be more informed and more prepared and better off for it for the future.
Just as you look to continue to be strong for your communities and be a beacon of hope, we’ll be here to support you and discuss pertinent risk management and insurance coverage to assist all in assisting others.
So, Fitness Industry – keep that resolve, keep that fight and let’s win this battle and move forward.
Brian Rawlings is Practice Leader for Venture Programs and has spent his career working in fitness and insurance. At Venture, Rawlings is leading the new FITLIFE® program, which insures fitness, wellness and spa facilities. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.