Muay Thai – Kickboxing – Children’s Classes – GRIT

The fictious minefield of Insurance Cover for Combat Sports.

Will your insurance cover you? Are you ‘qualified’ to coach Muay Thai or Kickboxing?

This is an article for club owners, managers, and head instructors.

I am contacting you to just check something regarding your club insurance. I am not selling you anything and am not a, insurance broker. This is just out of concern and experience for how damaging a claim can be if made against you.

The claim doesn’t have to be substantial or even real or even fair and could very well be completely malicious and easily defended. However, how many of you can afford the legal advice, the legal action, defending it yourself or even a small payout for $25K on your insurance?

You are insured so you’re not worried.  YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG. The insurance company will do anything they can to not honor your insurance and will weasel out if it if they can. If they do defend you, they are likely to make a payout, which could even be against you, when it isn’t even real, and your premiums will skyrocket next time. Can you afford a $15K raise in your premiums? Will your insurance company pay out a malicious claim that can still make you look bad?

It is just a courtesy email to advise you to check something extremely important before it is too late. Before you have an insurance claim made against you from a member/student or staff member.

To keep it brief.

  • Do you have insurance for public liability or professional indemnity? The answer is probably yes, but if it is no. Please contact me for advice and options.
  • What are you insured for, exactly? Any claim made against you for anything not listed or a person not listed will not be honored by the insurance company.
  • Are you qualified to coach or train people at what you do? I mean qualified by way of Degree, diploma, certificate 4 with something that says Muay Thai, fitness , boxing or whatever you coach or advertise.  

A cert 4 doesn’t cover Muay Thai! Do you do fitness training as part of Muay Thai but don’t have fitness certifications?

  • If you are not qualified on paper by something recognized by your insurer, that is an easy out for them right there.
  • Wake Up – owning a club, having had 56 fights and training for 35 years isn’t a qualification. It is experience but it isn’t any recognized qualification. Being registered with your CSA or the MTA or any Muay Thai organisations isn’t a qualification. Being a black belt or doing a master toddy or IFMA course, isn’t a qualification. Experience can mitigate but isn’t cover.
  • Do you have staff. Are they qualified? If you get sued for something that happens in a PT or class with a staff member, your business gets sued. You can also get sued by your staff member as they can be sued by the client directly.
  • Are you a company or a business or a trading partnership? If you don’t know and have never thought about it. Please see a lawyer and get set up correctly or you can have one malicious claim that is completely unfounded and still lose everything.
  • You can be sued for anything, anytime up to 8 years after it allegedly happens. You have to tell your insurance company to defend you and they can DECLINE, they can also accept the claim and then it is out of your hands. They often ‘pay out’ to make it cheaper for them and for it to go away. Which is kind of like admitting liability – then your premiums can skyrocket. You want to be correctly insured and have your insurance company back you and defend the claim if it is bullshit.
  • Thai trainers are not qualified because they are Thai, have a visa or 4 million fights. Have you insured your staff correctly and insured you against them because if they get sued, you get sued. There visa status can effect what they can be insured for.  
  • Do you have a waivers? Do you rely on them? Have you tested them? Sent them to your insurer? Hada lawyer check them?
  • Do you have professional indemnity for your trainers by name, listed and are they qualified?

Check your insurance. It is likely to have wording like this: If it does and you’re not qualified by their definition,  then the insurer can deny your insurance.

Qualified Instructors Condition

It is hereby agreed and understood that any fitness, training, coaching or exercise activities in connection with the

Insured s Business are undertaken by a Qualified Instructor.

In addition to the General Definitions the following definition also applies to this Condition:

Qualified Instructor means:

an individual who has obtained and holds current recognised qualifications in a particular sport, fitness or other

speciality area which allows them to supervise, train, coach or instruct in that sport, fitness or specialty area.

In the event of breach of the above Condition(s), the Insurer shall have no liability under this Policy, unless the

Insured can evidence that non-compliance with this condition could not have increased the risk of the loss which

actually occurred in the circumstances in which it occurred.

Coaches/Instructors First Aid Qualification Condition

It is hereby agreed and understood that all instructors, trainers and coaches hold and maintain a current nationally

recognised qualification in first aid (HLTAID11 Provide First Aid, or any subsequent amendments to that Unit of


Talk to me and I can check your insurance and point you in the right direction. I am not selling you anything, this is not a scam, this is genuine care.

Over the last few years, claims against martial art clubs have grown exponentially. We are all at greater risk to malicious claims and insurers prepared to not honour the insurance if there is an easy out for them. People have made claims that have been successful for online training, for doing trials at clubs, for being hurt once at a training session 6 years after the event when you have no record of anything ever happening. Claims against BJJ have risen massively so do you have BJJ?  Legal firms specialised in making claims and getting payouts and there are scum out there who will try this on if you give them a chance.

I am writing from personal experience and have many grave stories that would have been the end of my club and even my finances if I hadn’t been diligent enough to be set up completely and legally 20 years ago.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Yours sincerely

Anthony Manning



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