Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical costs and lost wages for work-related injuries and illnesses. This policy is required in almost every state for businesses that have employees.
Whether you run a dog sitting business or have your own pet grooming shop, you face double the risks working with animals. When animals are in a new environment, their behavior can be unpredictable. Workers’ compensation insurance can cover expenses if an employee is bit, scratched, or injured in any other way at work.
Employer’s liability insurance provides protection when a mobile pet groomer, dog walker, or other pet care employee decides to sue a business owner over an injury. It’s typically included in a workers’ comp policy.
Employer’s liability insurance can help pay for:
Even if a lawsuit is frivolous, without proper coverage you may find yourself paying for a costly legal defense. Employer’s liability insurance, however, does have limits to how much it will pay for a lawsuit.
The amount you pay for workers’ compensation is a specific rate based on every $100 of your business’s payroll. Your premium is determined by the type of work done by your employees (classification rate), your experience modification rate (claims history), and your payroll (per $100).
The formula is:
Classification rate x Experience modification rate x (Payroll / 100) = Premium
Each state has its own laws for workers’ compensation requirements. For example, animal hospitals in New York must carry workers’ compensation insurance for its employees – even part-time workers. However, Alabama animal hospitals are only required to carry workers’ compensation when they have five or more employees.
While independent contractors, sole proprietors, and partners don’t have to carry workers’ compensation insurance, you can still buy a policy to protect yourself. It's a good idea to carry this coverage for protection against work injury costs that health insurance can deny.
In certain states, pet care businesses must purchase workers’ compensation insurance through a monopolistic state fund. Those states are:
If you purchase workers’ comp through a monopolistic state fund, it might not include employer’s liability insurance. However, you can purchase it as stop gap coverage from a private insurance company.
Pet care professionals face everyday risks like slip-and-fall accidents, along with the added risk of bites and scratches. You can create a safer work environment with:
By managing your risks, you can decrease workplace injuries. That means fewer claims – and a lower insurance premium.
Workers’ compensation insurance protects your employees and to some extent your business, but it doesn’t cover common risks like property damage and pet injuries. Other recommended pet care insurance policies include:
General liability insurance: This policy covers legal expenses from accidents that damage someone's property or injure a customer or their pet.
Business owner’s policy: A BOP bundles 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 helps pay for lawsuits related to your work performance, including mistakes and missed appointments. It's sometimes referred to as professional liability insurance.
Cyber liability insurance: This policy helps your business recover from a data breach. It's recommended for any business that stores personal information.
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.
Are you ready to safeguard your pet care business with workers’ compensation or another type of insurance? Complete Insureon’s easy online application today. Once you find the right policy, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.