If you run a pet business, you’re going to want to seriously consider what type of pet business insurance you will need to properly safeguard your business. Working with animals can be an extremely rewarding experience but, unfortunately, it can also be an extremely unpredictable one too. Animals are prone to getting themselves in all sorts of tricky, unforeseeable situations, so you need to make sure that you are covered no matter what may occur.
Pets tend to be treated as members of the family (just furrier!), so their owners are of course going to expect the very best of care when it comes to selecting who looks after their beloved pets. For older people, having someone who can walk their dog for them a couple of times a week when they are physically unable to can mean the difference between them having to give up or keep their loved companion. Your customers place a lot of trust in you, and you are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of any pets that you care for.
Many pet businesses provide more than just one pet service to their clients or customers. Services may commonly include:
- Dog walking
- Pet sitting
- Pet transportation
- Dog grooming
- Cat grooming
- Dog training
- and even dog hydrotherapy!
You need to make sure that you are covered for all unexpected complications that may arise, within every aspect of your pet business.
Employers’ Liability Insurance for Pet Businesses
The first type of pet business insurance you need to ask yourself whether you need or not is Employers’ Liability Insurance. If you are self-employed (for example, a self-employed dog walker), you won’t have to worry about this one. But if you do employ anyone, whether it’s a single unpaid volunteer or a whole team of dog walkers and dog groomers within your pet business, you need to take the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of your employees. While they are at work, they are your responsibility. In fact, Employers Liability Insurance is a legal requirement, so I’m afraid you can’t cut any corners with this one. If a dog were to not be too thrilled about having to take a bath, it may lash out and demonstrate its dissatisfaction with the situation by biting one of your employees. If it was a particularly big dog, they may have caused a nasty injury to your employee and your dog groomer might claim compensation from you.
Public Liability Insurance for Pet Businesses
You will also need to consider dog walking insurance and dog grooming insurance for public liability if either of those are services that you provide. Is your business mobile? Do you groom dogs and cats in the comfort of the customer’s home, or do they come to you? Do you take the dogs out for walks in public places? Public liability insurance will protect you against any incidents that you could be held liable for as a dog walker or a dog groomer, so that your pet grooming business or pet walking business does not face financial difficulty if any incident were to occur.
Imagine you are taking a dog for a walk in the park or on the beach, and it were to chase and attack somebody else’s dog or even a cat. Or what if the dog you were walking ran around a member of the public, causing them to trip and fall over the lead, seriously injuring themselves? Even in your client’s home or at your place of business, accidents can happen. Maybe the dog ran into your client’s table, knocking an expensive vase off the table and breaking on the dog’s head while you are pet sitting. Or at your dog grooming business, an employee accidentally snips a dog’s ear while they are trimming its fur. In any case, it is you who would be responsible.
As an extension of public liability insurance for pet businesses, you can also get Tools Cover which will provide you with compensation in the event of any expensive pet equipment or tools being stolen or damaged. Such equipment may include things like clippers, shedding blades and dryers.
Protect your pet business!
Other common pet business insurance policies include Care, Custody and Control of Animals, which protects your business in the case of losing or injuring a pet while it is in your care. It’s essentially Public Liability Insurance for animals. This will cover you for any veterinary fees following an accident, loss or theft of animals, animals in transit and even death. It may not even be directly your fault, and the accident could have been completely unavoidable, but your customer may want to claim compensation from you.
Loss of Key cover is also quite common with dog walkers and pet sitters if you provide a mobile pet service where you are required to enter the customer’s home using their key. Even if your main job role is purely dog sitting, but may occasionally leave the customer’s home to take the dog for a walk or to the shops. If you lose the customer’s key, they’re going to need to replace the lock.
You also need to consider property damage, and how to cover against any accidental damage to property that may be caused by animals. Whether it’s a boarding kennel or cattery, or just your own home, you should consider the amount of damage a pet may cause to the property.
And last but not least, remember that if you are planning to run a pet business from your home, you need to notify your insurer as this may invalidate your existing home insurance policy!
Call us on 0800 1696137 to discuss your pet business insurance!