Insurance for Pet Care Services

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What Pet Care Services Are All About:

There are various pet care professionals that provide services for pet owners whether it’s grooming, sitting, caring for or training pets. If you are a pet care professional working in one of these roles, it is important to consider what risks are involved and how to mitigate them.

Dog Grooming

Dog groomers provide aesthetic, health and cleaning services for dogs. There are several reasons as to why someone would have their dog groomed. These reasons can include cleaning and trimming a dog’s fur for hygiene, health or for show in a competition. Regardless of the reasons, clients will entrust dog groomers to care for their dogs without incident.

Dog Trainers

Dog trainers work to condition dogs to adopt behavioural skills. These behavioural skills can include learning to urinate and defecate outside rather than inside a home, to become leash-trained, to not bark loudly and to not be overly aggressive with other animals. Dogs learn these skills through environmental conditioning, motivational training, award-based training and other methods.

Pet Care

People in this field take care of pets while their owners are away. This care can include having a safe place for a pet to occupy and also having a pet’s basic needs taken care of in the absence of their owner. Pet care can vary and include different services. While one pet care service may only cover the necessities, others may include more extensive care, such as training and providing a variety of opportunities for the pets to play. Furthermore, the extent to which an owner is absent can also impact the type of care needed.

Pet Sitters

Pet sitters often work out of their own home or the home of a client to care for a pet in the absence of an owner. A pet sitter may provide a range of services to clients which can include covering the basic necessities of the animal alongside grooming, walking, cleaning and other services. The services provided will vary depending on the needs of a particular client.

What are the risks of working with pets?

Whenever you are working closely with someone’s pet, there are risks involved that can result in negative consequences. Whether you are grooming, training, caring for or sitting a pet, there is the risk that the animal may be injured or even die while in your care. If either of these situations occur, it is important for you to protect yourself in the event a pet owner wants to sue you. If a pet owner sues, there may be damages to both your reputation and financial future.

Not only can a pet be injured or die while in your care, you may also be subjected to injury. Some dogs may be naturally aggressive and if startled, bite you. If you are injured while at work, you may need to take time off of work to recover which can, in turn, stop you from taking care of other pets. You may also want to file a claim to recover lost wages and to cover medical treatment.

Additionally, a pet may cause damages to your property or other animals. If this is the case, you may need to replace property or pay for medical treatment for another animal. While these risks can indeed be severe, there are several ways to mitigate them.

How to Protect Your Business

Investing in different types of insurance can protect you against any of the aforementioned risks.

Workers Compensation

If you are self-employed, an investment in Workers Compensation can protect you financially in the event that you are injured by a pet in your care and need to take time off work or access medical treatment.

Professional Liability

If you are a dog trainer and provide your client with advice regarding their dog which they later feel has negatively impacted their pet, they may file a claim against you. In this scenario, having Professional Liability Insurance will protect your reputation against anyone who is dissatisfied with your services.

Business Owners Policy

Investing in a Business Owners Policy can assist petcare service employees in protecting their businesses from several different risks. This particular insurance policy incorporates several distinct protections such as property insurance, liability insurance, crime protection and more into a single comprehensive policy. A Business Owners Policy can protect your personal property when you are providing petcare services as well as your business in the event a claim is made against you.

Whenever you are caring for, grooming, walking, training or in close contact with a dog or pet, it is important to be aware of the risks involved and how to mitigate them. By investing in insurance, you are safeguarding your reputational and financial future.

What type of insurance does this industry need?

Policy What is it? Why get it Popularity in your industry Want free quotes?
General Liability
This policy protects your business in case of third party claims, such as bodily injury or property damage. For example, the common "slip-and-fall" claim would be covered by your General Liability policy. General Liability insurance is often considered to be the core coverage, particularly for businesses that regularly physically interact with customers or sell physical goods. In addition, many businesses have a contract, like a loan or a lease, requiring that they have this coverage.

What is it: This policy protects your business in case of third party claims, such as bodily injury or property damage. For example, the common "slip-and-fall" claim would be covered by your General Liability policy.

Why get it: General Liability insurance is often considered to be the core coverage, particularly for businesses that regularly physically interact with customers or sell physical goods. In addition, many businesses have a contract, like a loan or a lease, requiring that they have this coverage.

Business Owners Policy (BOP)
Also known as a BOP, this is a type of policy that packages together elements from General Liability, Commercial Property, and Business Interruption policies. Depending on the eligbility requirements (which vary by carrier), this is a great way for a business to get many of the protections it needs in a single policy. For businesses that have a storefront or regularly have third-parties visit their offices, this policy offers protections for the property you utilize while covering you in the case of non-employee bodily injury or property damage. Common claims such as slip-and-fall incidents or fire damages would both be covered by a BOP.

What is it: Also known as a BOP, this is a type of policy that packages together elements from General Liability, Commercial Property, and Business Interruption policies. Depending on the eligbility requirements (which vary by carrier), this is a great way for a business to get many of the protections it needs in a single policy.

Why get it: For businesses that have a storefront or regularly have third-parties visit their offices, this policy offers protections for the property you utilize while covering you in the case of non-employee bodily injury or property damage. Common claims such as slip-and-fall incidents or fire damages would both be covered by a BOP.

Commercial Property
This policy protects the business's physical assets and is appropriate whether you own or lease your space. Keep in mind that this policy will only offer protection in the case of covered events. If you need protection for certain scenarios, such as floods or earthquakes, you may need additional coverage. If you have a mortgage or a lease, you may be required to have property insurance. Even if you are not, this is the best way to protect the building you are in and the business property you have in case of a natural disaster or some other accident.

What is it: This policy protects the business's physical assets and is appropriate whether you own or lease your space. Keep in mind that this policy will only offer protection in the case of covered events. If you need protection for certain scenarios, such as floods or earthquakes, you may need additional coverage.

Why get it: If you have a mortgage or a lease, you may be required to have property insurance. Even if you are not, this is the best way to protect the building you are in and the business property you have in case of a natural disaster or some other accident.

Errors & Omissions (E&O)
This policy, common in the professional services industry, helps to protect your business if a client believes they've suffered a loss due to an error or omission on your part. Your business may have contracts with clients or partners that require E&O coverage, provide a "warranty or guarantee," or have clauses that require you to "indemnify or hold harmless" your clients. If so, E&O coverage is often recommended. This coverage is also commonly recommended for any businesses providing advice related to legal or financial matters.

What is it: This policy, common in the professional services industry, helps to protect your business if a client believes they've suffered a loss due to an error or omission on your part.

Why get it: Your business may have contracts with clients or partners that require E&O coverage, provide a "warranty or guarantee," or have clauses that require you to "indemnify or hold harmless" your clients. If so, E&O coverage is often recommended. This coverage is also commonly recommended for any businesses providing advice related to legal or financial matters.

Workers Compensation
Workers Compensation covers an employee's lost wages and the cost of resulting medical treatment if they suffer a work-related injury or disease. It also covers services needed to help the employee recover and return to work. Workers Compensation coverage is mandatory in most states. The number of employees after which it's required differs by state, but you will generally need coverage once you have employees.

What is it: Workers Compensation covers an employee's lost wages and the cost of resulting medical treatment if they suffer a work-related injury or disease. It also covers services needed to help the employee recover and return to work.

Why get it: Workers Compensation coverage is mandatory in most states. The number of employees after which it's required differs by state, but you will generally need coverage once you have employees.

Umbrella Insurance
Umbrella insurance offers excess liability protection in the case that your General Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, and/or Employer's Liability coverage is insufficient. It essentially acts as a "back-up" plan, providing additional financial protection in the case that your business faces a particularly large claim that exceeds a single policy's limits. This policy can be particularly valuable for a business that faces a variety of risks and has multiple liability policies.

What is it: Umbrella insurance offers excess liability protection in the case that your General Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, and/or Employer's Liability coverage is insufficient. It essentially acts as a "back-up" plan, providing additional financial protection in the case that your business faces a particularly large claim that exceeds a single policy's limits.

Why get it: This policy can be particularly valuable for a business that faces a variety of risks and has multiple liability policies.

Hired & Non-Owned Auto
This insurance protects the business in the case of any incidents involving a vehicle that has been hired by the company to be used for business-related purposes. It also provides coverage in the case your business uses other vehicles which are not property of the business, such as having delivery drivers use their own vehicles. If your company hires vehicles or allows employees to use their own vehicles for business purposes, you will want to consider this insurance.

What is it: This insurance protects the business in the case of any incidents involving a vehicle that has been hired by the company to be used for business-related purposes. It also provides coverage in the case your business uses other vehicles which are not property of the business, such as having delivery drivers use their own vehicles.

Why get it: If your company hires vehicles or allows employees to use their own vehicles for business purposes, you will want to consider this insurance.

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