Insurance for Pet Sitting and Boarding Businesses
Pet businesses are a peculiar breed. They come in so many shapes and sizes it can be difficult to understand what kind of coverage – and how much coverage – they need. Whether you run a dog sitting business out of your home or have your own pet grooming shop, you're responsible for protecting more than yourself. You also have to think about the pets!
As you know, emotions run high when pets are involved, and pet owners often demand the best for their furry and feathered friends. That's why you strive to provide the best services possible. However, when the unexpected does happen, insurance can help.
Insureon provides coverage for a variety of pet-related professions, and we specialize in all sorts of pet business insurance, such as…
- Pet sitter insurance.
- Pet boarding insurance.
- Pet grooming insurance.
The type of work you do with pets will affect the type of coverage you need, so be sure to talk with your agent about the services you provide. That said, let's look at some common pet business insurance policies.
General Liability Insurance
General Liability Insurance protects your business when someone claims you or one of your employees damaged their property or caused bodily injury. Pet sitters, groomers, and boarders often purchase this policy because it's affordable and it protects you from some of the most common liability issues in your field. This includes situations like…
- Someone is hurt at your business. For example, say a client's dog bites someone at your pet boarding facility. Your policy may help pay for their stitches.
- A pet is hurt at your business. An expensive purebred dog falls off the grooming table and breaks his back. Your policy may cover his surgery.
- A pet is hurt outside your place of business. If, while pet sitting at a client's home, you drop their wiggly pup and she breaks her leg, your policy may cover her trip to the vet.
Life with animals can be unpredictable, even with the most well behaved pets and trained professionals. Any of the above situations could lead to a costly lawsuit, and an uninsured pet business would have to pay the legal costs (and vet bills) out of pocket.
Business Owner's Policy
If you plan to buy General Liability, first talk to your insurance agent to see if your pet business qualifies for a Business Owner's Policy (BOP). This policy is only available to low-risk businesses. It combines General Liability with Commercial Property Insurance – usually at a lower rate than buying the policies separately.
Whether you purchase Commercial Property Insurance as part of a BOP or as a standalone policy, it can help pay for property loss or damage caused by:
Commercial Property Insurance can pay for property repairs or replacements if, for example…
- A fire in your shop damages your furnishings and grooming equipment.
- A severe thunderstorm damages your roof, forcing you to close shop until repairs are completed.
- Someone breaks in to your pet boarding business, lets all the dogs out into the fenced-in yard, and vandalizes the cages.
You might also want to ask your agent about Bailee's Insurance. This provides coverage for your business while you have someone's property in your care, custody, or control. Most laws still consider pets to be property (as unpleasant as that may sound), so this protection applies to them. Bailee's Insurance may cover expenses if an animal gets sick or dies while in your care.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
Even when working in the safest environments, we've all had a close call with a potential injury. A simple slip or trip could easily result in a broken bone or twisted ankle. As pet service professionals, you and your employees have another factor in the mix – animals! No matter how well trained a pet may be, they aren't 100 percent predictable all the time, especially when they're in a new environment.
That's why it's a good idea for all pet service providers to carry some kind of Workers' Compensation Insurance. This coverage can pay for your employees' medical expenses and partial lost wages when they're injured on the job.
Many states require businesses with even one employee to carry Workers' Comp Insurance, so check the laws in your state to stay compliant.
Cyber Liability Insurance
If you accept credit cards from customers, a doggone cyber thief may target and hack your payment systems. To keep yourself out of the doghouse (sorry) with your customers, purchase Cyber Liability Insurance.
This coverage helps repair the damage unleashed (okay, we'll stop now) by thieves who steal your customers' sensitive information. Cyber Liability coverage can pay for:
- The cost to notify customers impacted by the breach.
- Legal costs if you are sued over the breach.
- Credit monitoring services for customers who had their information stolen.
Talk to your agent to see if you need to purchase Cyber Liability Insurance as a standalone policy or if you can add it to another policy, like a BOP.