SWG PL: As Life Coaches Help Us Take on Our New Year’s Resolutions, Here’s What Brokers Need to Know

December 29, 2020

As we approach a new year, thousands of Canadians stuck at home will have had plenty of time to reflect on their goals for 2021. Whether it’s getting in shape, making a scary career move, or working on our relationships, there’s a life coach out there eager to help people transform their lives for the better. And this industry shows no signs of slowing down. According to a 2020 study by the ICF (International Coaching Federation), there were approximately 71,000 coach practitioners in 2019 globally, an increase of 33% on the 2015 estimate. (1) Total annual revenue in North America alone was $1,296 USD in 2019, meaning that North America has a 45.5% share of the global revenue. (1)

Liability can be tricky for life coaching, because often it’s the client’s “happiness” at stake. And to some degree, professional coaches are working with people who are under a lot of stress or otherwise in a vulnerable place. As careful and professional as they might be, and even if they’re not at fault, coaches could wind up having to defend themselves in court.

Here’s what brokers need to know about the life coaching industry and liabilities if they’re looking to break into this market.

The Rise In Life Coaches Fueled By A Changing Workforce

What’s made life coaching so widely accepted in recent years? An article in the Toronto Sun (3) cites a few reasons:

  1. People are busier. People are working longer hours, often with non-stop schedules that offer very little fulfillment.
  2. The job market is harsher, and people are having a harder time finding work. This can be really intimidating and discouraging, not only for recent grads but for anyone thinking about changing careers.
  3. Some people just don’t know what they want, and coaching is a way to help them break through the barriers to discovering their ideal job, or career, and actually going for it.

Why Coaches Need PL Insurance

Life coaching is an unregulated profession. It doesn’t require a degree, so anyone can take a weekend course, put out their shingle and call themselves a life coach. Being able to show potential clients that you have PL insurance is a way to signal trustworthiness, professionalism and the legitimacy of your service/advice (similar angle to the dog groomers article). Often a requirement of governing bodies and professional associations, having insurance means you value accountability.

Helping people with their life problems is a deeply personal and often emotional undertaking. When a life coach takes on a new client, they are often not just helping them with their careers, but also miriad complex emotional, psychological and relational issues that the client might want to discuss with a professional. A client might feel that the coach was negligent in helping them, or gave misguided advice that led to loss of income or emotional distress. Even if the coach wasn’t at fault, they might still have to defend themselves in court and cover legal fees until the case is resolved.

An Opportunity For Brokers

This is where a savvy broker comes in. Industry data from the Canada Coach Academy suggest that this market will continue to grow and that there is opportunity for insurers to establish solid long-term relationships with clients.

Growth projections for the coaching industry are an estimated 6.7%, taking revenue to $1.34 billion by 2022. (2)

92% of coaches remain active in the field, suggesting solid long-term opportunities. (2)

More and more corporations are opting to hire coaches instead of mental health counselors to work in-house with employees (no stigma). (2)

Specialty coaches command greater than $100,000 annually. (2)

Insurance Tailored To The Needs Of Life Coaches

PL covers a professional coach if a client decides to sue for errors & omissions - for example, if the coach gave allegedly bad advice that resulted in some sort of financial loss, psychological distress, or simply was not the outcome they were expecting.

SWG PL - Miscellaneous Professional Liability insurance offers a packaged E&O and CGL policy that covers a wide range of classes of business. Tailored E&O coverage protects small to large firms from a broad range of miscellaneous risks. SWG provides a Miscellaneous PL policy at competitive rates, bringing extensive knowledge and underwriting experience in professional liability.

In addition to life coaching, we also cover the following industries:

Bookkeepers

Business Consultants

Collection Agencies

Travel Agents

Employment Agencies

Event Planners

Interior Designers

Leasing Agents

Management Consultants

Translators

Utility Locators

And more - contact us if you don’t see the type of professional you’re looking for.

Visit our website for more information.

Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.

Sources:

  1. https://coachfederation.org/app/uploads/2020/09/FINAL_ICF_GCS2020_ExecutiveSummary.pdf
  2. https://canadacoachacademy.com/coaching-industry-hits-1-billion-still-growing
  3. https://torontosun.com/2015/01/17/life-coaches-can-make-a-difference