Scout is not a licensed insurance agent and does not offer insurance. This page is intended to serve as a guide to help Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers understand Pet Sitting Insurance and lead them to other resources. Scout does not recommend any Pet Insurance provider or product.
Starting a pet-sitting or dog-walking business is a dangerous business. In truth, beginning any form of business entails some risk. This is more than simply the start-up costs for a pet-sitting or dog-walking business. You are putting your time, efforts, and other chances at stake. Even if you are not investing a million bucks, nevertheless are making an investment. The purpose of any business is to produce a return on investment, but sometimes the return isn't what you expected, which is why you're taking the risk! You might not get the full amount of money back that you put in, but you're hoping that the return will be worth the risk. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't, but that's the nature of taking a risk.
Pet Sitting Insurance fits into this jigsaw by passing the risk to an Insurance Carrier, who then charges you a premium for decreasing your risk for specific acts and/or events. Your insurance company combines the risks of numerous consumers in order to make payments more budget-friendly for its customers.
Dog Walker Insurance and Pet Groomer Insurance
Here are some instances of costly accidents that may be covered by insurance:
You're taking your dog for a stroll. He rushes towards a passing person and bites their leg. You fail to lock your client's front door, and their home is broken into. You're in a dog park with a client's dog who gets into a fight with another dog and injures both of them. A cat or dog under your care escapes and is struck by a vehicle. A pet in your care consumes a hazardous substance at home or on a stroll. Your pet could be seriously injured or even killed in either of these situations. If you're ever in this position, it's important to know what to do.
Whatever precautions you take, there is always the possibility that something may go wrong. What if you hurt an animal while grooming it? What if a customer slips and falls at your establishment?
What if a training dog assaults another animal in your care? These are just a handful of the numerous things that might go wrong while working with animals. You will have to pay these charges out of your own money if you do not have pet business insurance. This means that if something happens to your pet while it is in your care, you will be responsible for any medical bills or other charges that may result. Pet business insurance can help protect you from these costs, and it is something you should consider if you own a pet-related business. This type of insurance can cover veterinary bills, property damage, liability costs, and more. It can give you peace of mind by knowing that you are protected in case of an accident or incident.
Pet Sitting Insurance & Bonding: What It Covers & Why You Need It
If you adore animals, working as a professional pet sitter might be excellent for you. However, taking care of other people's pets comes with its own set of obstacles and hazards. The most expensive hazards concern injuries or damage that may occur while a pet is in your care. In many situations, you may be held accountable for the costs involved with these accidents, and you may even face legal action.
That is why pet-sitting insurance and bonding are so crucial. They assist in protecting you from a potential financial shock.
For example, if your pet-sitter is injured while on the job, pet-sitting insurance can help cover their medical expenses. Similarly, if your pet damages your home while your pet-sitter is watching them, bonding can help to ensure that you are not held financially responsible. In the event that your pet-sitter is unable or unwilling to pay for damages, your bond can provide you with some financial relief.
As a pet sitter, you are financially liable for any accidents, damage, or theft that occur while you are in charge of other people's pets. These financial obligations might include costly medical injury claims, legal fees if you are sued, vet expenses if a dog in your care is hurt, or expenditures related to your client's property in the case of damage or theft.
Pet-sitting insurance can also cover your staff and your business from a major financial calamity if you operate a pet-sitting service. It's also critical for your professional image. If you want to be seen as a reliable and trustworthy pet-sitter, you need to have established Insurance not only to keep you from financial blows when accidents occur insurance but will also give you an edge against your competitors!
How To Get Bonded & Insured For Pet Sitting
Doing your homework is the greatest method to locate dependable insurance coverage. Inquire other pet sitters about who they use. Consult with insurance agents in your area. Alternatively, you might join a professional pet-sitting group such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). A NAPPS membership offers you access to a wealth of services, including insurance and bonding needs and peace of mind knowing that your business is bonded.
In addition to pet-sitting business insurance, you should research bonding requirements in your location. Many firms that provide pet sitting or dog walking insurance also provide bonding services. This can be a great way to get the coverage you need in case your dog is injured while in your care. If you are a professional dog walker, this type of insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you are covered in case of an accident.
Why Is Bonding Important?
First, what exactly is bonding? Bonding, in general, protects your consumers from any damage incurred by the contractor (the sitter). Being bonded as a pet sitter, in particular, protects your customers with reimbursement in the event of theft or property damage. Bonding may also compensate the customer if the pet sitter (business owner) takes something, although ordinary liability insurance does not cover willful wrongdoing.
The bonding requirements vary by state. Some states demand bonding before you can even register your business or get insurance. Even if it's optional in your state, you should still become bonded. Why?
Purchasing a pet-sitting bond is a good business practice. Being bonded reassures potential customers that you are trustworthy and will not misuse your access to their house or the well-being of a family member. Being bonded will always act in their best interest, since you're going the extra mile to ensure that you're well covered.
Pet Sitting Insurance Policy might vary from Carrier to Carrier; so the two major elements should be looked for are:
General Liability protects your company against bodily harm, personal injury, and property damage caused by your company's operations. While General Liability might be comprehensive, it does not cover all potential liabilities. General Liability, on the other hand, lies at the heart of Pet Sitting Insurance. For example, if you were walking a dog and the dog in your care bit someone who happened to be strolling past you, general liability may protect you. In this case, you would likely be protected under the "dog bites" section of your general liability policy, which would pay for the victim's medical bills up to your policy limit. If the victim sues you and is awarded a settlement, that is money that you may have to pay out of your own pocket. If you are found to be at fault for the accident, you may also be required to pay the victim's legal fees.
Another example is if you neglected to put the dog in the spare bedroom and the dog ate the new leather couch in the living room after you left. General Liability insurance protects pet sitters and dog walkers from third-party claims (a third party is someone other than you) caused by your or your staff member's carelessness. These claims can be very costly, and they can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. It is important to be very careful when providing care to others and to make sure that all staff members are properly trained and aware of the potential risks.
You may have heard professionals refer to themselves as "Insured and Bonded." The Insured portion refers to the fact that they are covered by an Insurance Policy. The bonding process is really different. While not insurance, being "Bonded" protects your company from theft or inexplicable disappearance of your client's personal belongings. Bonding can help safeguard your business from having a client's watch go missing while their dogs are in your care. While you can do this by keeping a close eye on the dogs while they are in your care and making sure that they do not have access to any areas where they could potentially hide or destroy a watch. If you have any concerns about a particular dog, accidents still do happen a lot and this will be your safety net if such accidents occur.
Pet Care Insurance Providers
Several providers offer Pet Sitting Insurance in the United States. When looking for the right pet insurance provider, it is important to consider what is covered in the policy. Some policies will cover accidents. Pet Sitters Associates tends to be the most popular pet business but here are some of the well-known insurance providers among pet sitters across the country:
Pet Sitters Associates — Providing coverage since 1998. Pet Sitters Associates offers lots of options, including a Business Listing service.
Kennel Pro — Offering three different packages.
Pet Care Insurance — Offers products to many different pet care professionals.
What Does Pet Sitting Insurance Cover?
All pet-sitting plans include general pet-sitting liability insurance, which covers the expense of legal claims made against you for injuries or damages suffered by a third party while your company is in operation. These claims can come from customers, employees, or other people who interact with your business. They can allege that you were negligent in some way, or that your product or service caused them harm. If you are found liable, you may have to pay damages to the plaintiff. The number of damages you have to pay will depend on the severity of the harm your product or service caused. If the harm is severe, you may have to pay a lot of money in damages.
Many plans, however, provide supplementary coverage or add-ons. Coverage and deductibles might vary greatly, so study the fine print of any insurance before enrolling. The following coverage choices may be included in pet-sitting insurance plans.
Third-Party Bodily Injury & Property Damage
This policy, which is a regular aspect of general liability insurance, assists you with the expense of claims for which you are legally accountable due to injuries or losses experienced by a third party during your pet-sitting activities.
For example, your pet-sitting dog bites a stranger while out for a stroll. The injured individual needs medical treatment. The majority of the related expenditures would be covered by bodily injury insurance (after being deductible up to your policy limit).
Property damage coverage operates in the same way. If the dog you're minding rushes in front of a car, forcing it to veer into a neighbor's yard, you won't have to pay the whole repair cost.
Animal bailee insurance protects you in the event that animals under your care, custody, and control are lost or destroyed. This is vital if you're worried that the dog owners you're working for may hold you accountable if their pet is injured while in your care.
Veterinarian expenditure reimbursement coverage protects you against vet expenses for your client's pet while in your custody, regardless of who is at fault, up to the policy amount. You may not need this option if your customer has pet health insurance. However, if your customer does not have pet health insurance, then this option may be beneficial. This option provides coverage for veterinary bills that are the result of an accident, up to the policy amount. So, if your customer's pet is injured in an accident, they will be reimbursed for up to the policy amount. This is a great way to ensure that your customer's pet is taken care of in the event of an accident.
Personal & Advertising Injury
Personal and advertising injury provisions, which are typical in many company insurance plans, are included in certain pet-sitting insurance policies. This coverage extends to claims originating from one or more of the following circumstances:
False arrest, confinement, or incarceration. Malicious prosecution, unlawful eviction, or wrongful entrance Oral or written publications that defame or libel a person or organization Oral or written materials that breach a person's right to privacy
This might be useful if the dog sitter posts a negative and incorrect internet review of a certain leash and the product's manufacturer sues the dog sitting company. Personal and advertising injury coverage permits you to obtain payment from the insurance carrier for your legal defense costs and losses.
Other insurance you might want to consider
Worker's Compensation - Can offer coverage for your employees who are injured on the job. This type of coverage can help protect your business from lawsuits and can provide financial assistance to your employees who are unable to work due to their injuries.
Commercial Auto Insurance – This can cover you and your staff in the event of a car accident. This type of insurance can help cover the cost of any damages that occur as a result of the accident, as well as any medical bills that may arise from the accident. This may include any property damage that occurred as a result of the accident, as well as any personal injuries that you may have sustained. If you have any medical bills that have arisen from an accident, you may be able to include them in your personal injury claim.
How Much Does Pet Sitting Insurance Cost?
So you now wonder how much each of these insurance will cost you? It will depend on your location. Ultimately, since all insurance may vary from state to state, it would be better to inquire from different insurance providers to find more information on which of them will fit the bill for your insurance needs.
For rough estimations, the most comprehensive insurance policies for pet sitters or those combined with bonding can run anywhere between $300 and $600 per year. Basic pet-sitting policies can still be had for as little as $150 per year. Pet-sitters wanting greater peace of mind, expended coverage, or larger payouts may want to consider paying more and adding bonding.
We know applying for these insurance will net you a hefty sum of your investment money, but for a good reason, This will enable you to forge ahead and grow into a bigger company and will push you to even greater heights! These will come a long way in furthering your business ahead against its competition also! but most importantly, these will act as your safety net in case some accidents happen, thus giving you peace of mind while conducting your business!