In the US coverage can start from as little as $10.75 per month, with basic cover costing a mere £5.62 per month in the UK. But what do these policies include? And what level of cover do you really need? Fear not, when it comes to policy info, we’ve got you covered!
While starting a dog walking business can appear at first a novel way to earn cash, it is nonetheless a serious endeavour which carries with it an obligation to be insured.
The average going rate of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for a small dog walking business ranges from roughly $11 dollars to $39 dollars per month. This rate can vary depending on where the dogs are being walked/how many dogs are being walked, and other such practical criteria.
Such a policy not only protects the dogs you walk, but also protects the business itself from any liability should the worst come to pass. In addition, by maintaining good business standards, such as billing via a business account, maintaining good records, and most importantly – being insured, your reputation as a dog walker will be enhanced over those who haven’t put the effort in.
Finding the right insurance policy for you can appear a daunting prospect at first, but rest assured, there are little hacks to find the perfect fit – quick. No need to spend hour upon hour trawling through seemingly infinite policy options on the internet! Some courses of action we would recommend in order to ensure you get the cover that suits your needs are as follows:
- First check with commercial insurance agents. For a small fee, these agents will shop around over several companies, reporting back to you with unbiased information which will help you to choose the right policy options.
- Attorneys. It always helps to discuss your plans with an attorney as they can inform you of liability concerns you may not have previously considered. They can also enlighten you as to how much insurance cover you may need, whilst also being a useful source of information regarding the risks involved with operating a small business.
- Financial advisers are also a useful source at your disposal as they can connect you with an insurance agent who can advise you on the correct level of cover to take out.
What basic policy options should I choose, and what should I be on the lookout for?
Virtually every business needs to have some sort of cover, as a single lawsuit against an unprotected company can potentially bankrupt it several times over.
Seeing as it is the case that a successful dog-walker will be obliged to take on several animals at one time, the risk in this regard can grow exponentially. A good insurance policy will cover you if you happen to knock over a vase, lose a home-owners key, or if, in the worst-case scenario – one of your clients’ dogs breaks loose and attacks another dog, or a person.
From the UK perspective, insurance can be considerably cheaper than in the US, with coverage ranging for £100-150 per annum for basic cover. In the UK the main body of dog-walkers insurance is known as Care, Custody, and Control (CCC), which every responsible business will have.
As it is the case that any job that requires you to be responsible for another person’s property/animal will pose serious legal risks, it is always best to examine your policy carefully before choosing. Some examples of what a suitable insurance plan should cover are as follows:
Injury to animal:
Veterinary charges can mount rapidly in the case of an injured animal, and such accidents can occur more easily than one could be led to expect. For example, it is quite common to happen across broken glass in urban/ City centres which can seriously damage a dog’s paw. It is imperative that your chosen plan would cover you in the case of such an event.
Unruly pets, which will most likely form a percentage of your client base, have the potential to damage others’ possessions and property if unwatched for even a second. Thankfully, most insurance providers cover property damage as part of their policy. That being said; it’s worth reading through any documents carefully to make 100% sure that you are covered. Vigilance is key.
Key and lock replacement services:
Though this form of policy is not necessarily covered by all insurance providers, it is worth checking to see if your policy covers you. Admittedly, locksmith charges don’t sound like something you’d regularly need cover for, but you may be surprised at just how often it becomes an issue. In the hustle and bustle of walking several lively dogs at once, its pretty easy to drop a key somewhere without noticing it. You can be sure that the owner isn’t going to want to fork out for a replacement lock, so the best course of action is to protect yourself against these hefty costs by making sure that the service is included in your insurance plan.
Medical expenses/injuries to humans:
Without a doubt, the most important part of any dog-walking insurance plan. If, for example, a child runs up to one of your clients’ dogs, catching it unaware, and it responds by biting, the medical/trauma expenses incurred could be significant enough to instantly sink your business. Such events can happen in the blink of an eye; it is better to be prepared.