Setting up a business is never an easy task. Aside from all the paperwork and the preparations required, it involves a sum of money that will take some time to recover. This is whether big or small. And just like having to purchase home insurance when you buy a house, you’ll need to purchase the right pet care business insurance to protect your business from potentially huge expenses that might come with unexpected events such as accidents in the workplace.
When deciding what type of insurance or coverage you need, you must identify your goals, risks, and budget. Naturally, these will significantly depend on the type of business or the services you offer.
Things to consider
Before you decide what to look for when purchasing business insurance for your pet care business, it is crucial to identify your services. You must also know the risks involved relating to those services.
What could people sue your business for?
Here is a list of what might trigger a lawsuit (possibly pet malpractice) or a complaint against your business. This might lead to expenses that can be both expensive and time-consuming:
- Injury to pets. Whether you are a professional dog walker, a veterinarian, or someone with a business that offers grooming services, there is always the risk of your client’s pet obtaining injuries.
- Lost pets. This would be more applicable to dog walkers or pet sitters who bring pets to places other than the client’s place.
- Loss of income for inadequate grooming services. It is not beyond common knowledge that pets can be a source of income for their owners in several ways. This can be commercials, contests, and even social media. People even monetize their YouTube channels by simply sharing everything that goes on in their pets’ lives. And when their income is affected by lousy grooming services, you know what’s coming your way.
- Medical bills. Freak accidents happen, and pets can react in ways that we never expected. You might be responsible for the injury when people or other pets obtain injuries (i.e., from dog bites) while your client’s pet is under your care.
- Death of a pet. When pets die, whether it’s your client or another pet killed by the one in your care, expect that grieving pet owner to go after you and your business.
Types of coverage your business might need
General Liability Insurance
This type of insurance is not just crucial for pet care businesses. It is necessary for any business because it provides coverage if you ever have a customer who claims that damage or harm to their pets, property, or themselves was because of you or anyone in your business. Note, however, that general liability insurance is for low-risk businesses. Hence, it is best to consult and get your agent’s advice and not insist on what you ‘think’ you need.
Business Owner’s Policy
This type of policy covers both commercial property insurance and liability. Therefore has more coverage than general liability insurance. Suppose you own a business that runs on a commercial property where you also have the equipment. For example, pet grooming centers or veterinary clinics. Depending on the terms of the business owner’s policy, you will have coverage for everything covered under the general liability insurance, protection for damages to your workplace and office/training equipment, and income protection for being unable to operate your business due to damage to your equipment or property.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
While general liability insurance covers damages/harm caused by you or your employees, workers’ compensation insurance covers unexpected expenses when an employee sustains an injury. Or if they also suffer from any disability while at work or doing their job, even if the injury happened outside the workplace.
Commercial Auto Insurance
If you or your employees drive a personal vehicle to complete work-related tasks, it would be ideal to have this insurance as your auto insurance will most likely not cover liabilities. This is worth checking if you’re found to be using the vehicle for work purposes. For a better picture, imagine you’re on your way to deliver or pick up goods for the business and run into an accident. Whether it’s damage to the vehicle you’re driving or someone else’s, should your personal coverage decline claims because you were using the vehicle for work, commercial auto insurance will help cover repair costs, property damage, and even medical bills for injuries.
Cyber Liability Insurance
This insurance may be helpful when you receive payments online through your website. This could apply if you keep sensitive information electronically. If your system gets hacked, it is mandatory in some states that you inform those whose personal information is compromised. This, of course, will have equivalent costs. Additionally, retrieving all the information in your system can be pretty expensive.
Cyber liability insurance may also protect you from financial losses due to claims or lawsuits filed against your company for negligence or data privacy breaches. A data breach can be costly as it entails expenses to retrieve lost data or inform relevant parties. But it also risks losing business due to distrust and negative publicity. But depending on your policy’s terms, even marketing costs to recover from bad publicity following a data breach may be covered.
Aside from the risk of incurring unexpected expenses due to negligence at work, accidents, and the like, complaints against lost items and theft can be an issue if your business is not a one-man-show and you have employees who either face your customers, handle their pets, or are involved in the daily operations of the business. Being bonded helps protect your business when a customer’s belongings get lost or stolen while their pet is under your care.
We hope you learned a lot regarding pet care business insurance. Having ample coverage is essential. Managing your finances is also vital. After identifying the type of coverage you will need for your business, looking at and being realistic about your budget is essential. Should your budget be insufficient for the amount of coverage you need, then rank the coverage according to the amount of risk at stake and the probability of you needing a specific type of coverage in the near future. For example, If you are a professional dog walker and ride a bike to your clients’ houses, even if you have a car, getting commercial auto insurance would not be a priority.
All businesses need some form of insurance. But for businesses where lives are at stake, even if they are not human lives, it is all the more important to have the right coverage. So take the time to study your business needs and be realistic about your budget. You’d want the best possible coverage and enough money to ensure your policy is always in place and paid on time.
For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at Team AIS in Denver, CO. We’re happy to help you find the best coverage for your budget.