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Workers’ compensation insurance for pet care businesses

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Workers' compensation insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance is required in almost every state for businesses that have employees. It can cover medical costs and lost wages for work-related injuries.

Workers’ comp protects employees at your pet care business

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.

Workers’ compensation can help pay for an injured employee’s:

  • Immediate medical costs, such as emergency room expenses
  • Ongoing medical costs, such as medications
  • Part of the wages lost while the employee is recovering

Workers’ comp protects pet care business owners

Employer’s liability insurance provides protection when a 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:

  • Attorney’s fees
  • Court costs
  • Settlements

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.

How much does workers' comp cost for pet care businesses?

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

State laws set workers’ comp requirements for pet care businesses

Each state creates 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 self-employed or independent contractors, sole proprietors, and partners don’t have to carry workers’ compensation insurance, you can purchase a policy to protect yourself, too.

Learn more about workers’ compensation laws in your state.

Monopolistic state funds

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 from a private insurer to close this gap in coverage.

Lower workers’ comp costs with risk management

Pet care professionals face everyday risks like slip-and-fall accidents, along with the added risk of bites and scratches. Whether you own a pet boarding business or a veterinary clinic, you can create a safer work environment with:

  • Employee safety training
  • Proper equipment, such as gloves
  • Prompt cleanup of messes and spills

By managing your risks, you can decrease workplace injuries. That means fewer claims – and a lower insurance premium.

Other policies for pet care professionals to consider

Workers’ compensation insurance protects your employees and to some extent your business, but it doesn’t cover common risks like property damage and customer injuries. Other recommended pet care insurance policies include:

General liability insurance: This policy can pay legal expenses related to pet injuries, customer injuries, and customer property damage.

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

Errors and omissions insurance: Also called professional liability insurance, this policy can cover legal fees of lawsuits related to work performance.

Get free quotes and compare policies with Insureon

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.

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