Pet Care Business Insurance
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General liability insurance for pet care businesses

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General liability insurance

General liability insurance covers common business risks like customer injury, customer property damage, and advertising injury. It protects your small business from the high costs of lawsuits and helps you qualify for leases and contracts.

General liability covers common risks

Dog walkers, pet sitters, and other pet care professionals deal with twice the liability of other businesses: accidents involving both customers and their pets. Because of this increased risk, pet care businesses often purchase general liability insurance as their first policy. It protects against some of the most common liability issues in your field.

This policy provides coverage related to:

  • Customer and pet injuries
  • Customer property damage
  • Advertising injuries

Bundle policies to save money and increase security

If you run a small pet care business, such as a dog walking business, you may be able to bundle general liability insurance with commercial property insurance in a business owner’s policy. A BOP is usually cheaper than purchasing each policy separately. Pet care businesses that are eligible for BOPs typically:

  • Have fewer than 100 employees
  • Have a small office or workplace
  • Make less than $1 million in annual revenue
  • Operate in a low-risk industry
  • Need less than 12 months of business interruption insurance

Talk to a licensed Insureon agent to find out if a BOP fits your pet care business.

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What coverage can general liability provide for pet care companies?

Customer and pet injuries

If a pet owner, pet, or delivery person is hurt at your place of business, there’s a chance you could be blamed for the injury. If someone sues over a dog bite, you could end up paying for medical expenses – plus the cost of hiring a lawyer. The same is true for pets that are injured outside of your business. For instance, if you’re pet sitting at a client’s home, and you drop their pup and it breaks a leg, you may have to pay for a trip to the vet.

General liability insurance covers:

  • Medical bills
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Court-ordered judgments
  • Funeral expenses in fatal incidents

This policy does not cover employee injuries. For that, you’ll need workers’ compensation insurance.

Customer property damage

In the pet care industry, accidents happen all the time. General liability insurance shields your small business when customer property is damaged. If a pet sitter accidentally breaks a valuable bowl in a customer's home, general liability insurance could pay for the cost of replacing it. If an employee causes more expensive damage and the customer sues, general liability could pay for attorney’s fees or a court-ordered judgment.

Advertising injuries

While advertising your company and its services, it’s possible to inadvertently copy a competitor’s slogan or logo. Or, one of your employees might say something negative about a competitor in a public forum. Accidental advertising injuries are covered by general liability insurance, including:

  • Defamation, both libel (written) and slander (spoken)
  • Copyright infringement

If you use advertising or promotional materials to attract clients to your business, you’ll want to make sure your insurance includes this protection.

Other policies for pet professionals to consider

General liability insurance covers the most common accidents, but it does not protect against every risk. Employee injuries or a fire could happen at any small business. Other pet care insurance policies to consider include:

Business owner’s policy (BOP): This policy combines general liability coverage with commercial property insurance, usually at a lower rate than if the policies were purchased separately.

Errors and omissions insurance (E&O): This policy covers legal costs related to your work performance, including mistakes and missed appointments. It's sometimes referred to as professional liability insurance.

Workers’ compensation insurance: Workers' comp covers the cost of work-related injuries. It's required in almost every state for pet care businesses that have employees.

Cyber liability insurance: Small businesses that store credit card numbers or other personal information should carry cyber insurance. This policy helps pay for costs related to data breaches.

Commercial auto insurance: Most states require this coverage for vehicles owned by a business. Personal auto policies don't cover work driving, which is why you may need additional protection.

Get free quotes and buy online with Insureon

Are you ready to safeguard your pet care business with general liability insurance or another policy? Complete Insureon’s easy online application today. Once you find the right policy, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.

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Updated: August 2, 2022
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How much does business insurance cost for pet care businesses?Bundle policies and save money with a business owner’s policyProtect your pet care staff with workers’ comp insuranceGuard against pet care mistakes with E&O insuranceHow do I find cheap general liability insurance?