Business

Dog Walker and Pet Sitter Insurance and Bonding Basics

A pair of eyeglasses sitting on top of a legal document.

Business Insurance

Insurance protects your company’s assets and pays for any settlements or awards in the event of an accident or negligence by a member of the company. Additionally, the insurance company will pay for your legal defense if necessary. General Liability insurance also covers claims for false advertising and copyright infringement.

There are two main choices you have when choosing business insurance. There is a Commercial General Business Liability policy for higher risk businesses or a Business Owner’s Policy for lower risk companies. The dog walking industry has specialized insurance products available. I have listed a few below for your reference. I also recommend consulting with an independent insurance agent.

Bonding

Employee Theft Bond
Due to the nature of dog walking your employees will primarily work in customers’ homes. A fidelity bond will provide coverage for fraudulent or dishonest acts committed by your staff. You can then use the proceeds to reimburse your customer. There are three types of fidelity bonds.

Name Schedule Bond
A Name Schedule Fidelity bond covers specifically named employees. When you hire or fire someone, you need to inform the insurance company of the new name. With this type of insurance, you need “absolute proof” that the person accused actually committed the theft.

Blanket Position Bond
Blanket Position Bond’s covers a specific position within your company. This type of bond does not require you to update the insurance company and does not require “absolute proof” to collect on a claim.

Primary Commercial Blanket Bond
A Primary Commercial Blanket Bond covers every single employee in your company regardless of position. Like the Blanket Position Bond, you do not need “absolute proof”.

Resources:

Mourer Foster: Kennel Pro

http://www.mourerfoster.com/kennel-pro/

Business insurers of the Carolinas

http://www.business-insurers.com/pet-sitter-dog-walker-pet-taxi-and-pooper-scooper-insurance

The Hartford

http://www.thehartford.com/coverage-identifier/pet-sitting-insurance

Insureon

http://petservices.insureon.com/professions/pet-sitters/164

Resources:

1 http://www.sba.gov/blogs/general-business-liability-insurance-how-it-works-and-what-coverage-right-you