Pet business insurance covers all possible risks that you might face in your pet services practice. Pets are unpredictable, and so are the risks of servicing them.
So, is your business adequately protected? Can you provide your services without facing unexpected consequences?
According to Forbes, 85 million households own a pet. It means that the pet service industry is vast and diverse, and multiple risks must be considered.
Read ahead to know more about insurance for pet business.
What are the risks in the pet business?
The most common risks that any pet service business can face:
- Malpractice claims: If you work as a veterinarian or pet groomer, there are chances of error or mistake. In such cases, your client might file a lawsuit against you or your pet business.
- Employee lawsuits: Any employee may sue your business for wrongful termination, harassment, or discrimination. Consequently, your company might face not only financial loss but also the downfall of reputation.
- Data breach: Your business may have confidential information of your clients and employees. So, data theft can be a severe risk.
- Bodily injury: Your clients or employees may get an injury on the job.
- Property damage: Fire, natural disasters, or vandalism can damage valuable property.
As a pet service business, consider taking pet business insurance coverage tailored as per your need.
Who needs pet business insurance?
Pet business involves veterinary practices, pet grooming, dog walking, and other pet care services. Each of these services has its own insurance need.
If you provide veterinary services, you may fail to provide treatment as promised. In such cases, veterinarian professional liability insurance can cover costs associated with legal defenses. The same goes for other malpractice claims if you are involved in pet grooming or pet sitting services.
Any business can suffer from property loss or damage. Business insurance can help you replace that property. Moreover, you can create your customizable pet business insurance plan.
Insurance may also be mandatory as per your state regulations. For example, workers compensation is a must in most states.
What policies fall under pet business insurance?
Business Owners Policy (BOP):
Business owners policy is commercial insurance designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It protects your business in the same way as homeowner insurance works for your home.
BOP is mandatory in most states. This policy can provide affordable and comprehensive coverage for your pet business. It includes:
- General liability insurance
General liability insurance protects your pet service business from third-party bodily injury or property damage claims. For example, if your client slips and gets injured on your business premises, CGL bears the financial burden.
- Commercial property insurance
Commercial property insurance provides coverage for the damage of buildings or equipment used in business. The standard property coverage compensates losses caused by fire or acts of vandalism or theft. For instance, a fire can destroy your pet grooming equipment, or a hailstorm can break the windows of your building. In such cases, commercial property insurance compensates for all the losses.
Business interruption insurance
Business Interruption (BI) compensates for the lost revenue when you are unable to operate your business in any condition. Furthermore, it also pays for relocation expenses, if needed. Insurance Information Institute states that fire and explosions are the leading cause of BI loss, which costs around $1.7m on average.
Catastrophic events like hurricane or earthquake can shut down your institution. While commercial property will help to cover loss for property damage, business interruption insurance will help to cover for lost income.
Commercial auto insurance
Commercial auto insurance provides coverage if you or an employee suffers from an auto accident. Moreover, it may also cover personal vehicle damages if you are using it for business purposes.
The policy covers three parts:
- Physical damage insurance- provides coverage to your vehicles in case of an accident. The causes can be theft, flood, collision, or fire.
- Liability insurance- if you are at fault in an accident, it pays for bodily injury to others or property damage to another vehicle.
- Other coverage- includes medical payments or rental reimbursement.
Professional liability insurance
Professional liability insurance, a.k.a. malpractice insurance protects you if clients file lawsuits against you for errors or mistakes in professional services. In fact, his policy is a must-have, especially for veterinarians, pet walkers, pet trainers, pet sitters, and pet groomers. For instance, if a pet jumps from a grooming table and gets injured, professional liability insurance can cover your loss.
Workers compensation insurance
Workers compensation insurance provides coverage if any of your employees suffers an injury or illness on the job. Injury Facts suggests that the average costs for workers compensation were $40,051 in 2017. Along with medical bills, this policy also covers legal fees if your employees or their family sues you.
Worker’s compensation is mandatory, especially for dog walkers and pet sitter, since you cannot predict animal behavior. While for other pet businesses, this policy is obligatory if you have more than three employees.
Employment practices liability insurance
Any employee can sue your company for wrongful termination, retaliation, discrimination, or harassment. Moreover, the lawsuit can be just or unjust. In FY 2018, EOCC secured $505 million for victims in private and public workplaces. So, employment practices liability insurance can indemnify legal costs to defend your business.
Cyber liability insurance
As a business you store confidential information of your clients but, can you ensure the safety of those data? If the answer is no, cyber liability insurance can support you.
Data thieves target the personal information of your clients and employees. Cyber liability insurance can cover costs to notify impacted clients, identify protection service, and to hire a public relations firm to regain trust of clients. Furthermore, it also includes third-party liability coverage. You may also add a cyber insurance in your BOP as an endorsement.
Along with the coverages mentioned above, you may consider adding other insurance coverages like:
- Animal bailee
This coverage protects your business from death, loss, or injury of animals under your care. Remember, the pets placed under your care are the personal property of others. Moreover, bailee’s coverage may also pay for advertising or reward costs to search any escaped animal.
- It is different from professional liability, as animal bailee does not cover the loss caused by professional errors or mistakes. Therefore, you might want to consider animal bailee if you provide pet grooming, pet taxi, or dog walking services.
- Sewer and drain coverage
Animal fur can clog the drains. However, sewer and drain coverage can provide backup to cover costs related to clogged drains or water damages.
Pet sitting insurance and dog walking insurance may require bonding as an extra layer of protection to your coverage. Clients typically ask if their pet sitter is “bonded.” Thus, adding bonds to your coverage provides evidence that you are a person of integrity. If the personal property of your client is missing under your watch, the bond can help to replace those missing items.
- Home-based business solutions
If you store your business inventory or run a business in your home, BOP provides coverage against any loss or damage that is not available with homeowner’s insurance.
- If you are training dogs for fighting or attack purposes, basic dog trainer insurance will not provide any coverage.
- In case the pet under your possession escapes or dies, malpractice insurance will not provide any coverage.
- If you own a pet store, care, custody, and control will not provide any coverage in case of death or injury of the pets in your store.
What determines the rate of pet business insurance?
The primary factor that determines the premium is the size of the business. Similarly, other aspects that determine the rates of pet business insurance are as follows: