Open letter about the “Skills Active” certificate

An open letter commenting on the help that a “Skills Active” certificate would provide us, in the insurance industry, when calculating the premium a yogi should pay for insurance.


Good morning.

I can confirm that there is no insurance issue with understanding the principles of Yoga or the qualification (by experience or certification) of those who teach it.

After an analysis of the "level of risk" presented by yogis and yoginis to insurers there were just two areas that we looked at twice. One was hot yoga where there have been some incidents. The other was mindfulness which can produce very unpleasant reactions in some. After some considerable deliberation, we have elected to levy the same premium for those practices as we do for all others under the name “yoga”.

Generally speaking, we are now more interested in “who provides the teacher’s training”. For those who are approved by the IYN, for example, we will provide insurance without question whilst those who have BWY certification may be looked at more carefully. Perhaps more importantly, we will happily provide insurance to those with no certification but suitable evidence of experience.

It might also be worthwhile noting that the claims presented to us bear little correlation to certification or qualification.

1. One of our most experienced yogis was accused of misapplying pressure causing injury. This appears to be an ambulance chasing event.

2. The most common claim is caused by slips and trips.

It might also be worth pointing out that, very often, yoga is only one of the activities practised, enjoyed, performed and taught by yogis. When we provide insurance we include massage, reiki, herbalism, nutrition, personal training and anything else they tell us about. A Skills Active certificate in yoga would offer no help to us in judging the capability of our client in any area. It would only tell us they have had to spend some money on getting that certificate.

In terms of insurance, it would be of no benefit to them or us.

Yours sincerely

Nick Elwell
Tel: 01367 246130