Because we work in a high-risk industry where anything could happen. Protection is essential because you don’t want to be on the hook for a claim that could be very expensive. As a result, you need insurance! With this in mind, there are four types of insurance a pet sitting business may need.
Pet Care Insurance
If you own a pet sitting or dog walking business, you will need pet care insurance. It can help cover you in case something bad happens. To demonstrate, one instance where a child was bit by a dog cost the insurance $19,000! There are many other things pet care insurance can help with. For example pet sitting specific problems like vet bills, damages to the client’s home, and anything related to the health of the pet. Some plans will cover having to rekey a client’s home in case you lose a key. If you work out of a physical location, you’ll want a business owner’s policy to cover the property. Similarly, if you take payments online, you may need cyber liability coverage.
Several insurance companies offer this type of policy. A few of the most popular companies are:
Obviously, you should always make sure you have coverage for all your employees. Employees come and go, so don’t just assume you have enough coverage. Likewise, periodically evaluate your coverage to make sure the proper number of employees are on your policy.
Employee Dishonesty Coverage
Bonding is sometimes a confusing topic. Many companies advertise that they are bonded and insured. However, they are often talking about Employee Dishonesty Coverage. This coverage is essential for pet sitting businesses because we send our staff into people’s homes. In short, employee dishonesty coverage protects your company in the case of a crime such as theft. Obviously, we all do our best to hire trustworthy people, but you never know. You never known when this kind of insurance could become essential. Because one of your employees could be accused of such an action, no matter how trustworthy. Even if you don’t think you need it, get it! Employee dishonesty coverage will compensate your business for this type of loss.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Worker’s compensation insurance is used to protect an employee if they were hurt on the job. You will not need workman’s compensation insurance until you start hiring employees.
For the most part, independent contractors are not eligible for worker’s compensation coverage. However, many employers misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid having to pay payroll taxes. Although this may sound clever, it can backfire badly on you. If an independent contractor were to get hurt on the job, this misclassification can come under scrutiny. That can lead to legal trouble real fast.
In order to purchase your workman’s compensation coverage, you’ll want to start with looking up your local laws. If you live in Ohio, Wyoming, Washington, or North Dakota, you will have to go through your state fund. Everyone else can get coverage from whomever they’d like. Often, there will be a middleman selling the policy, but Traveler’s Insurance usually underwrites the policy. With this in mind, you may save money by cutting out the middleman and going straight to them!
One of the biggest questions you should ask when purchasing a policy is, “Are they basing the premium on actual payroll or estimated payroll?” Why does this make a difference? Because when the premium is based on estimated payroll, the company will do an audit at the end of the term. If their estimate were too low, they would send you a large bill for the difference.
But, if you use a middleman like Ap Intego, you can have the premium paid directly through payroll. Because the premium is based on actual payroll instead of estimated, it’s more accurate. You may be paying a little more each month, but it could be worth it to have that large surprise bill!
Commercial Auto Insurance
Deciding whether or not you need commercial auto insurance for your vehicle can be a little tricky. The primary benefit to you is that you’d receive higher liability coverage in case of an accident than your personal vehicle. Due to the higher coverage limits, the price tag is higher too.
If you are only using your vehicle to drive to dog walking and pet sitting jobs, you probably won’t need commercial auto insurance. In that case, your personal car insurance should be sufficient. If the business owns the car, or you house additional equipment in the vehicle for business activities, you should definitely seek commercial coverage. An example of this would be a mobile grooming van. If you plan to have your employees use the business vehicle or deliver goods in it, check with your insurance provider for guidance. Always ask your insurance provider for a more informed opinion, and don’t forget to get in writing!
Insurance is essential, so you can’t afford to skip this step, not even a little bit. Be sure to do your research thoroughly, and ask professional insurance agents your questions. They will be able to help you get the insurance your pet business needs.
Are you looking for more support? Join PetBrainy, a community of pet sitting business owners helping each other succeed. We go deep into the insurance world, comparing available pet insurance companies side by side to get you on the right track!