In addition to dog walking business insurance, you need to look into bonding requirements in your area. Many companies that offer dog walking or pet sitting insurance also provide bonding.
In general terms, bonding is a type of insurance that protects your customers against any losses caused by the contractor (the walker) . Specifically, being bonded as a dog walker provides your clients compensation in the event of theft or property damage.
Being bonded helps assure potential clients that you’re trustworthy, and you won’t abuse your access to their home or the well-being of a family member. TIP: If you have employees, you should obtain a fidelity bond to protect you as a business owner.
This type of bond covers you against any losses resulting from dishonest acts by your dog walking staff. All dog walking policies include general dog walking liability insurance, which helps you with the cost of legal claims against you from injuries or damages sustained by a third party during your business operations.
False arrest, detention or imprisonment Malicious prosecution Wrongful eviction or wrongful entry Oral or written publications that slander or libel a person or organization Oral or written materials that violate a person’s right to privacy The use of another’s advertising idea in your marketing This is important if you’re concerned that the dog owners you are working for will hold you liable for any injury to their pet while you are walking it.
If you lose your clients’ keys, you’re covered for the cost to replace or re-adjust the locks at your customer’s home. You can find a basic dog walking policy for under $150 per year, but keep in mind: cheap insurance can often mean less comprehensive coverage and much lower benefit payouts.
Saving money may not be worth it if you don’t cover all of your legal exposures. This brief video by Jump Consulting gives you some excellent tips on how to grow your client base for your dog walking business.
This is why dog walking insurance and bonding are absolutely crucial to becoming successful in this business. If you decided to become a dog walker, my first advice is to look into good dog walking insurance plans.
There are too many options but after some research you'll find the best dog walking insurance that fits your specific need. The main part of dogwalkerinsurance or pet sitter insurance is commonly referred to as Care, Custody and Control Coverage (CCC).
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.
If you drop the client's key at the dog park and can't find them, they're going to need to change their locks. You need an insurance policy that will cover the locksmith charges to get into the home initially and the expense of paying for new locks to be installed.
In some ways, it is simply a show of good faith, and an extra measure taken to assure clients that you have no intention of abusing your rights as a person with entrance to their home and the well-being of a beloved family member. In terms of what bonding actually covers, it promises compensation if a client were to be able to prove you had stolen from them or otherwise vandalized their property.
The financial compensation associated with dogwalkerinsurance bonding should be of little concern to you, since you have no malicious intentions when entering a dog owner's home. If you want to become a dog walker but don't have experience or clientele, and don't mind working as an independent contractor for a pet sitting company (instead of working for yourself) that sets your rates for you and takes a percentage of your earnings, using an existing company to launch yourself is the easiest way to get into the business.
After you get dog walking training, orientation and a clean background check, these companies and services will bond and insure you themselves, so you won't have the headache. The disadvantage is… In the sort term, going with a pet sitting service company will save you a considerable amount of money and stress, but in the long term it may actually cost you and you'll lose some earnings if you consider the percentage that the company takes from your walks for their services.
If you work for such a pet sitting service company, their insurance will not cover jobs that you take outside their system, which is a dangerous game to play. Even if you're just walking dogs for neighbors, friends and family members, it's never a bad idea to pick at least the cheapest plan.
In the US, there are many pets sitting insurance providers to choose from (and more are popping up every month), and an intensive search will be the only guaranteed way to find the one that fits your specific needs. I can give you some pointers on how to choose the best dog walking insurance plan, but remember that you'll need to read their plans fully to understand which one fits you based on where you live, the type of jobs you do, your clientele and other factors.
The PSA coverage costs an annual base rate of $190.00 and does not require an additional membership fee. These memberships give you access to training courses for dog walker certification in addition to pet sitting insurance.
Most pet sitter insurance providers will have their pros and cons, and it will depend on you and your personal situation which you prefer better and what fits your needs. The best dog walking insurance for you will depend on the way you want to run your business and what services you want to offer.
A child approached an IC walking a dog, and got bit in the arm. A runner coming from behind was bitten on his hand and arm when he tried to pass a sitter who was walking a dog.
Although most of these involve a pedestrian walking, or running, from the opposite direction, the walker is the one who is negligent when the dog bites! Keep the dog (s) on a tight leash when in high traffic areas.
Follow your gut, even if there is no prior history of aggression according to your client. For even the most conscientious pet-care providers, mistakes and freak accidents can occur, which is why insurance for dog walkers and pet sitters is so vital.
A dog in the insured pet sitter’s care slipped out of its leash while on a walk and ran into the road. A sitter lost control of some dogs in her care, and they started chasing after a pedestrian.
While on a walk, a client’s dog got away from the pet sitter and was hit by a car. A client’s dog was hit by car while on a walk with the insured pet sitter and its tail was mangled.
A dog pulled out of its collar, ran into the road and was hit by a car. In an effort to get untangled, the dog jumped and broke its leg.
So how do you protect your business, establish your reputation and ensure customer satisfaction? Metal leads are heavy and hard to handle, but are a good alternative if a dog likes to bite the leash.
Steer clear of grass and flower beds during warm months. Insecticides and certain flowers, like tulips, can cause health problems for the pooch if ingested.
Before starting your dog walking business, conduct some market research. Determine if there is a need for a dog walking business to help you avoid frustration later on.
You can also take an additional step of issuing a survey, which can be distributed via email or social media. This will help you keep proper financial records and stay organized when it comes to tax time.
Once you’ve obtained the necessary insurance for your dog walking business, be sure to find out about options for bonding in your area. Consider how much liability coverage you can afford, as this can be the most advantageous to have on hand for most dog walking businesses.