welllbeing insurance case studies

Online work – understanding the insurance options

online classes insurance

Wellbeing Insurance have been able to arrange insurance cover for those who provide training courses online for many years. It is not a new concept.

However, the dramatic impact that the Covid 19 pandemic had on trainers, instructors, and practitioners during lockdown was the catalyst for a huge increase in demand for insurance protection when working online and for wider coverage than had been available hitherto.  Wellbeing Insurance was at the forefront in this time of change, negotiating with underwriters to set up two quite distinct insurance options for people to choose from.  These can be summarised thus:

  • RESTRICTED (free of charge and automatically included) – covers online work where it is performed via a secure platform/medium (e.g. Zoom, Teams or similar) where all clients are pre-assessed, have registered their contact details with you and gain access to the content using ID and a password.
  • OPEN (chargeable additional premium) – covers all the above, as well as non-interactive content for anyone.

So, in summary, if you register and assess new students in readiness for your sessions, then the Restricted extension would suffice.  However, if clients/students are completely unknown to you for non-interactive sessions, this would necessitate the Open online extension that costs more, if you want to be protected by insurance.

This is quite a straightforward issue for those conducting classes in real time with cameras switched on, so that that the trainer/instructor can observe the practice.  The trainer/instructor is responsible for the teaching presented online and the insurance cover indemnifies that teaching.  It operates in exactly the same way as it would for teaching face to face in person.  When a trainer/instructor is teaching students whose abilities and limitations are known to them, the teaching can be tailored for those students’ precise requirements.  There is no significant added risk, which is why the Restricted Online cover costs no more to include.

For any trainer/instructor wanting to take responsibility for their own online work and for their insurance cover to indemnify them for that work, careful research is recommended. 

Where it does become more complicated, is when general teachings or trainings are broadcast to a much wider audience.  When the trainer/instructor has no knowledge of who the end user might be and therefore no idea whether the participant is capable and/or suitable for the teachings being offered, there is more risk for the insurer that is covering those teachings.  Access to channels and platforms across the world is very easy and without any pre-screening to assess suitability and fitness to practice, the insurers take the view that this is a very significant added risk. 

Of course, there is a wealth of material available online and vast amounts published on paper as well, sometimes with a disclaimer but not necessarily with content insured.  Many people might consider the risk worth carrying personally as the onus of proof (of negligence against the author) rests with the injured party.  But for those who want the peace of mind that insurance protection can bring, there are options available.

For any trainer/instructor wanting to take responsibility for their own online work and for their insurance cover to indemnify them for that work, careful research is recommended.  If the teaching or training that is offered is going to be retained online, available for anyone to access, then cover equivalent to the Wellbeing Insurance Open Online extension is what is needed.

Contact us for advice if you need and/or a quotation.