Whether you are just starting out in your pet business, or you have been operating a successful pet business for decades as I have, pet business insurance is essentially the “roof” that covers your house.
It can be confusing as you are getting started to understand just what types of insurance and protections you need as you strike out on your own.
General Liability Insurance
General Liability Insurance should be a core protection that you obtain before you ever step foot in a client home. It is there to protect you from any bodily injury or property claims that might result from your services or the services of your employees or independent contractors (if you use independent contractors – ICs – make sure your insurance does cover them).
Another special coverage that you need baked into your General Liability Insurance is called Care, Custody, and Control. This provides coverage for the pets and property under your “control” during your services. This is industry-specific and is there to protect your business not only on the client property, but also out on walks or when you are transporting a pet.
As mentioned in the video, this coverage has so many benefits to your business. Accidents can happen. Working with pets is unpredictable. There is no assignment of “blame”. The most professional way to handle any unfortunate incident is to provide your client peace-of-mind by having excellent independent coverage through your business that you can access quickly.
If you have been working through an app service, understand that your clients are provided with a “lite” version of insurance through the app service. The terms of service for your listing on the app includes the understanding that you should have your own independent business insurance as one of their independent contractors. Their insurance will pick up AFTER Rover tries “to help Requesting Parties (client) resolve problems with Responsible Parties (you) directly or otherwise confirm independently that the Responsible Party (you) is unwilling or unable to pay” (from Rover Guarantee Terms). Yes, they will come to you first and this is where your insurance will take care of you. Should you not have your own business insurance, the client will have to struggle with the app company to get reimbursed…only after they pay the first $250.
If you are considering pet care as a career choice it is wise to get this basic coverage at a minimal cost.
General Liability Insurance IS NOT:
- coverage for theft (that is a Bonding policy)
- coverage for injury to yourself, your employees, or ICs (that is Workers Compensation)
- coverage for your vehicles or third party damage in an accident while you are working (that is a Commercial Auto policy or Non-Owned Auto policy to cover your employees or ICs)
Janie founded 4-Legged Kids, Inc in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1997 and provides education through her PetBizHIVE podcast and her PetBizMBA membership and courses. She is a Certified Professional Animal Care Operator, Fear Free certified and a Certified Professional Pet Sitter. Learn more about the Founder, Janie Budnick.