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What Types of Insurance Does a Pet Boarding Business Need?

What Types of Insurance Does a Pet Boarding Business Need?

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What Types of Insurance Does a Pet Boarding Business Need?

Pet Boarding Business Insurance Quotes

Costs for business insurance can vary greatly, and getting insurance quotes from multiple companies is recommended in order to get the best pricing.

Coverwallet and Hiscox offer easy business insurance quotes at affordable prices.

Pet owners need help with grooming, daycare, and overnight stays from time to time. A pet boarding business assists pet owners in offering those services.

When caring for someone’s pet, there is a huge responsibility to ensure the well-being and health of their animal—primarily when pets from various homes mix. In addition, incidents can result in costly claims against the business, making insurance essential in protecting the pet boarding business from financial harm following an incident.

Related: Guide to starting a pet boarding business

What Are Some Risks for a Pet Boarding Business?

Costly repairs, settlements, and lawsuits are harmful to the financial security of a small business. Some of the risks that a pet boarding business is exposed to include:

  • Injury or harm to the animals in the business’s care
  • Injury to the employees
  • Damage or loss to equipment and pets in transit
  • Injury to visitors
  • Fire damage

Injury to Animals

The animal’s health and wellness while in the business’s care directly affects the business’s reputation. In an adverse event, not only is the reputation affected, but accusations of mistreatment and harm can result in costly claims. Certainly, training and certifications help reduce injuries; nonetheless, accidents can still happen—for example, clippers, scissors, and nail trimmers can cause injury during a grooming session.

Boarded pets are at risk of injury from attacks, bites, and scratches from other boarded animals. Generally, animals from different households are kenneled separately, but injuries could happen from escapes, group playtimes, or walks. Animals may also sustain injuries on outdoor play equipment or slippery surfaces. Also, allergic reactions caused by shampoos, sprays, and food are hazardous to boarded pets.

Injury to the Employees

Slips and falls may be common and are often caused by poor cleaning and cluttered walk spaces. However, the main concern for employee injury is from animal attacks, bites, and scratches. In particular, injuries can happen during pet grooming and maneuvering. Grooming can also cause cuts or lacerations from using clippers and scissors.

Training in animal behavior and knowing the animal’s temperament helps prevent injury. However, an employee could be injured when they intervene with animals showing aggression towards each other. Illness resulting from bite infections and exposure to bacteria in feces are also hazards to the employees’ health.

Damage or Loss to Equipment or Animals

Pet boarding businesses that provide house visits and mobile grooming risk losing or damaging mobile equipment. During transit, the equipment may be damaged in car accidents and are targets of theft.

In addition to transporting equipment, there are times when transporting an animal is necessary—for example, taking pets to a veterinary clinic or delivering pets to the customer’s home. In these cases, there is a possibility of harming the animal during transit. Injury can result from car accidents or if the animal is traveling unsecured in the vehicle. Commercial auto insurance may be worth considering as well. 

Injury to Visitors

Animals at the pet boarding facility may harm onsite visitors. For instance, an animal could attack, bite, or scratch a visitor. Those same risks are also a hazard to third parties if an animal should escape and attack another person or animal. Other than animal-related hazards, customers can sustain possible injuries from slips and falls.

Fire Damage

A pet boarding business will have a large fire load, meaning that if a fire begins, there is a great deal of flammable material that would allow the fire to spread rapidly. Materials that aid in a fire spreading include wood and plastic kennels, the buildup of pet hair, pet food, animal bedding, office furniture, and papers.

Hiscox.com

What Types of Insurance Should a Pet Boarding Business Consider?

No business is without the risk of loss or liability. However, with insurance coverage, the business is protected from financial difficulties when an incident occurs. So, a pet care business should consider the following types of coverage:

  • Professional liability
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Inland marine
  • General liability – premises and operations
  • Property insurance

Professional Liability Insurance

Frequently, customers rely on the professional services offered by the pet boarding business—such as professional grooming and safe overnight lodging. When the company fails to provide the promised service, it may face a liability lawsuit. Yet, with professional liability insurance, the company is financially protected from professional negligence lawsuits.

A professional liability insurance policy is important for a pet boarding business—especially since mistakes in grooming or veterinary services can cause unfortunate, costly claims. A professional liability policy covers the following expenses:

  • Claims of negligence from accidents and mistakes
  • Claims for unfulfilled promises
  • Medical expenses
  • Legal fees
  • Settlements 

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

A pet boarding business with employees benefits from a workers’ compensation policy covering employee injuries. Following an incident, the pet boarding business could be held liable for the employee’s medical bills and lost wages, which are costs that add up quickly. However, with workers’ compensation, the employee has various expenses covered.

For example, a workers’ compensation policy includes coverage for the following expenses:

  • Medical bills
  • Ongoing rehabilitation care
  • Disability income
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral expenses

Not only do the employees benefit from such a policy, but also the business benefits as it is protected from pricy lawsuits. In addition, safety measures like training, certifications, housekeeping, and vetting pets before boarding help mitigate the risk of employee injuries. Nonetheless, insurance for employee injuries is a significant insurance policy to have.

Inland Marine

An inland marine policy offers insurance to cover a pet boarding business that provides pet transportation and travels between locations to provide services. Mobile equipment needs protection against damage, loss, disaster, and theft. An equipment floater is an inland marine policy that protects equipment (i.e., grooming supplies, baths, veterinary tools, computers, and phones) and follows the equipment wherever it goes.

Additionally, an inland marine policy also insures the transportation of pets in the care of the pet boarding business. While in transit, the animals should be secured to prevent injuries, but if an incident occurs, this policy offers insurance coverage for animals harmed by injury, loss, and theft.

General Liability Insurance – Premises and Operations

General liability is a core policy of a business owner’s insurance package. Liability coverage for premises and operations insures bodily injury and property damage claims that occur onsite or because of the business’s operations. For instance, a customer who slips and injures themselves on a wet floor inside the building may bring a negligence lawsuit against the business. But, a general liability insurance policy protects the business from customer injury claims.

Although slip or fall claims may be more common than costly, the more serious claims from animal attacks and bites can be more expensive for small businesses. Therefore, adding a general liability policy with ample coverage limits is crucial to protect your business from financial hardships.

A general liability policy includes the following coverages:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage repairs
  • Legal defense costs
  • Settlements

Property Insurance

Property insurance is another core coverage included in a business owner’s policy. This line of coverage protects the business’s structures and physical items (i.e., furniture, supplies, equipment, and inventory). Property coverage is essential, considering how much damage a fire can cause. Undoubtedly, fire is one of the more significant threats to the business’s structure and equipment.

Under a property insurance policy, the structure is covered for the repairs and rebuilding costs. Likewise, the business’s items are covered for replacement. Typically, insurance covers the business’s belongings on an actual cash value (ACV) basis or on a replacement cost basis—which is a higher level of coverage.

How Much Does Insurance Cost for a Pet Boarding Business?

Insurance costs are variable depending on the needs of individual businesses. For example, a pet boarding business with a large building, multiple employees, and various services will need a generous amount of coverage to insure the business’s different layers. Conversely, a small, owner-operated pet boarding business with no employees will need far less coverage.

Variability in cost includes the following factors:

  • The size and condition of the structure
  • The number, condition, and type of equipment to be insured
  • The number of employees on the payroll
  • The types of professional services offered and any required training or certification
  • Any past or current claims or lawsuits

In brief, you will need to contact an insurance company to receive a customized quote to determine actual pet boarding insurance costs. Generally, it is beneficial to receive quotes from multiple companies to compare coverages and premiums.

What Types of Insurance Does a Pet Boarding Business Need?

What Types of Insurance Does a Pet Boarding Business Need?

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