A responsible dog walker business includes having current dog walker insurance. If you’re not insured and a pet in your care, custody, or control is hit by a car, becomes sick, or gets hurt, you’ll be glad you have insurance to cover medical bills, legal costs, and any other financial expenses. Dog walker insurance helps protect your dog walking business from damages and defense costs arising from claims resulting from your business operations. Dog walker insurance should include coverage for general liability, animal bailee, and reimbursement for vet bills.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is a critical way to protect your dog walker business from lawsuits, which could happen due to injuries or property damage occurring during your business operations. Most dog walker insurance policy providers also typically cover property damage caused by pets while they are in your care. An example of this would be if you arrive to take the dog for a walk, and while you are getting his leash, he soils an expensive rug. Also, if you return from a walk and offer the dog a treat, he could get excited and knock over a glass vase on a nearby table. Instances like these would all be covered with general liability insurance.
Animal Bailee Insurance
Animal bailee insurance can cover veterinary expenses for dogs that are injured while under your care. For example, if a dog steps on broken glass while you are walking him or her and needs to have it removed from their paw, it would be covered. These policies also typically cover medical expenses if a dog injures someone else while under your care. If a child runs up from behind to pet a dog you’re walking and the dog bites the child, any medical treatment needed will likely be covered. Make sure to find a policy that includes this, as dogs are unpredictable.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Check with your state laws, but workers’ compensation insurance (workers’ comp) may be required for you. If you have employees, this insurance is a must in the dog walker business. Workers’ comp covers expenses and a portion of salary for someone injured while on the job.
Locksmith Services Insurance
Key and lock replacement doesn’t sound like something that would be included in a dog walking insurance policy, but it’s something worth considering. You’d be surprised how often dog walkers have to deal with this issue. If you drop a client’s keys at the dog park and can’t find them, you’re going to need to change their locks. An insurance policy could cover the locksmith charges to get into the home and the expense of paying for new locks to be installed.
Umbrella insurance policies protect you from any gaps in your overall coverage. Umbrella insurance is typically used by businesses needing to protect many assets, but can also be used by start-up businesses that have exposure to risk.
Although you might not have thought about all of these issues when considering entering the dog walker business, it is important to protect yourself with proper dog walker insurance. Not only will it give you peace of mind and so you can focus on doing a great job, it will give your clients additional security and comfort, as well.