Pet Sitting Insurance

Why Pet Sitting Insurance?

 

Okay, it's not the sexiest topic... I considered a puppy bikini contest to draw attention - but that's just wrong!

Professional pet sitters need insurance-Period.

The reason I differentiate "professional" is because the pet sitting industry is "hot" and there are a lot of new businesses popping up every day. Not everyone is motivated to care for the animals out of love or passion or even a commitment to business integrity or excellence.

I don't want to immediately start off on the wrong paw paw... so I will clarify...

I do not think there is anything wrong with entering the pet sitting industry out of desire for profit. There is no point getting into any business if we can not profit.

My only reference is to those who enter the business because they think it is an easy quick buck and do not intend to develop their business to a professional level.

Having pet sitting insurance certainly differentiates the true professionals from the "poopy" business owners.

Pet Sitting Insurance can be confusing - even if you are in the pet care business in some other form. Insurance requirements for pet

sitting is different and requires a bit more attention to detail than most other types of business insurance.

We say that because there is no unbiased single source resource for you to research pet sitting liability insurance. Sure, there are pet sitting associations, which I wholeheartedly support and encourage you to join...but each aligns itself with a provider.

Your decision must come from research you've done based on your specific business requirements. That is why I wrote this article.

I have put together a list of providers and some basic information about what to look for in a pet sitter insurance policy.

I hope the research we've done is useful and this single source of information helps saves you time and energy when choosing your insurance provider.

In addition to the list of Pet Sitting insurance providers I have outlined some sample policy coverage details and prices.

My disclaimer: Please obtain a copy of the policy and coverage to compare and choose a policy that best fits your business needs. This information is for educational purposes only. The information is not to be considered complete and I am not responsible for changes made by the insurer since our research data was collected.

Furthermore, We are not affiliated with any insurer, association or organization and do not endorse any particular insurer, association or organization. So I have no vested interest one way or another in which policy you choose...just a sincere desire to help you make an informed decision.

♥ As you read through the policy information below...remember, this article is an easy, single source, unbiased information aggregator (not aggravator) to make your decision a little faster and easier.

♥ I have attempted to offer you a thorough overview of what a typical policy covers, what additional riders are available and a list of insurance providers. This is not a complete list of all providers, I have chosen the top providers based on percentage of market share. You may want to print this page out to better evaluate your options.

The real benefits outweigh the coverage you receive even if you never have an occasion to use your pet sitting insurance.

The fact that you have it and can demonstrate that to your

prospects and clients identifies you as a professional and will

help you grow your business.

→ → As a pet sitter you are asking individuals to trust you

with their beloved animals; and in most cases you are also

asking them to trust you enough to give you access to their

homes.

Consider Pet Sitter Insurance an investment in your business and a

requirement if you are serious about your business.

Having the correct pet sitter insurance that covers the way you

run your business is critical. We hope the information we have

provided helps you find the policy that is right for your business.

Once you obtain your pet sitter insurance I recommend you provide proof of your insurance on every new client interview you go on; use it in all marketing you do; add it to your business card; hold seminars on the importance of pet sitting insurance for the safety of the client and their pet.

Remember, please do not substitute this information for actually contacting the insurance providers. Always request hard copy quotes. Remember your insurance needs change as you add services, employees, change locations, depending on the original policy, even as you add new clients.

Review your insurance needs quarterly and any time you have a change in your business.

Grab a cup of coffee, a bowl of water, whatever...here comes the exciting section...the policy coverage overview...

If you keep reading I'll give you a "treat"! I learned that in puppy obedience school.

I Only Trust My Baby To Insured Pet Sitters!

Not Every Provider Covers In Home Pet Sitting!

What Coverage Do I Need?

This Article will answer the questions:

  • What is Pet Sitting Insurance?
  • What does it cover?
  • What doesn't it cover?
  • How much do I need?
  • What does it cost?
  • Who offers Pet Sitting Insurance?
  • How do I know which policy and provider is right for me?

One of the ways I like to define Pet Sitting Insurance (because policies vary so much in what they cover) is to first define what it is not.

Pet Sitting Insurance is not:

  • medical insurance for you or your employees
  • workers compensation
  • property damage insurance (your property or the property in your rent or lease)
  • a luxury

Pet Sitting Insurance is (always confirm what is covered with your chosen provider):

Bodily Injury

Ie., if a dog in your care bites someone

Property Damage

Ie., a dog in your care damages someone else's property. For example, Fido eats the wheels off the neighbors bicycle while under your care and supervision.

Personal and Advertising Injury Liability

Coverage for negligence that causes damage or harm to others.

As you consider each companies services, coverage, rates and benefits please keep in mind that no information provided over the phone with a customer care rep is to be considered binding. Always get your quotes in writing.

Write down the agents name and be sure to get the date and time you spoke and ask for his paw print on the quote. (just checking to see if you fell asleep in your coffee yet!)

Do not assume all providers cover all services. For example, some providers only cover pet sitting while performed in a business property and not in a home setting.

Things to consider when requesting a Pet Sitting Policy Quote:

  • Does the policy cover employees?
  • Does the policy cover pet sitting in YOUR home?
  • Does the policy cover pet sitting in the clients' home?
  • Does the policy cover transportation liability?
  • Does the policy cover independent contractors?
  • Is Personal Property Damage Included in the coverage? (usually requires additional coverage)
  • Does the policy cover employee theft?

If you offer other services or plan to offer additional services such as dog walking, grooming, training, doggy day care - it is crucial to discuss additional coverage options. Some policies allow you to add on coverage but will limit the number of pets in your care and the number of pets you can board.

Be sure the policy meets your needs today and if you plan to expand your services soon after initiating this policy -be sure it will meet your needs in the near future as well.

Now that you are really revved up by this stimulating topic ♥ ...here come the sample policy quotes.

I think this might be a good place to tell you about the "treat" I promised you. If you post a comment at the end of this article...not only will you get free publicity for you business but if you leave your e-mail address I will send you your choice of one of these two articles: The 7 Easiest Ways To Generate an Additional $1000 A Week in Your Pet Sitting Business or, How to Become A Groomer - A Quick Start Guide.

I am about to go grab my puppy Lucy (she is the star in the articles photo's)...she is grabbing hold of her big sister's tail and I fear about to get nipped.

Who's "Sitting" Who?

Providers and Typical Coverage

Expect premiums around $350 - $500 per year depending on the coverage you choose.

See Below For Sample Policy (rates below were quoted for an Alabama business and were valid as of 11/2007):

Mourer-Foster sample policy:

Commercial General Liability USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Limited Worldwide Policy

  • $0 deductible
  • $2,000,000 Per Occurrence
  • $4,000,000 General Aggregate
  • $2,000,000 Personal & Advertising Injury
  • $ 10,000 Medical Expenses - Any One Person
  • $ 300,000 Damages to Premises Rented to You

Care, Custody and Control Limits $10,000 (higher limits available)

This provides coverage for both medical and replacement for animals in your care, custody and control.

  • Limits: $10,000 (higher limits available)
  • Coverage Territory: USA and Canada
  • Deductible: $250.00
  • Minimum Premium: $350.00 annually
  • Payment Options: Annual, Semi annual* or Quarterly*

*$7.00 service fee for billing applied.

Optional Employee Dishonesty Bond

Limits Available (Based on 5 employees or less including owner)

  • $ 5,000 - $100.00
  • $10,000 - $114.82
  • $25,000 - $170.10

USA

For Pet Sitters Association Members only

Individual Policy Features (individual proprietorships only)

Basic Liability Limits:

  • $2 Million General Aggregate
  • $1 Million Products/Complete Operations
  • $1 Million Personal & Advertising Injury
  • $1 Million Each Occurrence
  • $100,000 Fire Legal Liability
  • $5,000 Medical
  • $100 Deductible

Basic Liability Coverage:

  • Premises/operations liability
  • Products/Complete Operations
  • Host Liquir Liability
  • Incidental Malpractice Liability
  • Incidental Contractual Liability

Unique Policy Features

  • Covers animals in your care, custody and control 10,000/25,000 limits
  • Lost Key /Re-key coverage up to $2,500

Optional coverage

pet grooming, limited in Your home pet care, and housesitting, Care Custody and Control of all other property

Pet Sitter Dishonesty Bond

Coverage for employee theft. Theft must be proven prior to bond payment

Standard Policy

Standard Policy includes the above plus the below features are included and not optional:

  • Coverage for damage to property in your care, custody and control - including the pet
  • Coverage for employees
  • Lost Key Coverage
  • Blanket Independent Contractors Coverage

Optional Coverage:

Coverage for Pet Grooming, Limited To In Your Home Pet Care and Housesitting

For NAPPS Members (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters)*

  • http://www.petsitters.org/index.cfm
  • Company Memberships $140
  • Sole Proprietorships, partnerships or corporations
  • Individual Memberships $ 75
  • Associate Memberships - 4 types available from $100 - $2,000

*See website for details on membership definitions

Canadian and UK providers listed below:

Canada

  • Binks
  • Horizon
  • Mourer-Foster, Inc.
  • Scholfield-Aker Aviva
  • Verge

UK

  • NARP
  • Pet Business Insurance

Does Your Policy Cover Dogs Off Leash?

Marketing Value

 

Once you get your policy - remember, to use it as a selling tool with your prospects and clients. Provide a copy of your coverage on all new prospect calls and display it prominently if you have a place of business.

Don't be afraid of "using it as a selling tool". I would never leave my babies with a sitter who isn't insured. You would be doing me (by that you should interpret it as Your Clients, Your Prospects) an enourmous favor by relieving my stress and anxiety when looking for a trustworthy sitter.

If I am a new pet owner, I might not even think of asking about it. If you advertise your insurance status - then I pick your name out of the yellow pages instead of Bubba's Pet Sitting.

If I am new to the neighborhood...(by the way, huge marketing tip here...target new residents with your marketing)...I need a fast, easy way to select a pet sitter. I might ask around but since I am new, everyone I ask is also new to me. I don't know who to trust.

And then suddenly, I see a flyer, a mailer or a yellow pages ad that clearly states that your pet sitting business is insured and bonded...bow wow, I think I'll give you a call!

You may never know how much business you win because you advertise that you are insured and bonded. I suggest surveying your clients and ask them how important insurance coverage is to them. List a few of the features your policy covers and ask them to rate the importance on a 1 to 5 scale.

This is an effective marketing strategy on many levels. First, it keeps the dialog between you and your customers active. It also reminds your clients of one of the reasons they are doing business with you. It will help keep competitors away from your clients. Using a survey as a soft marketing strategy...what a dog gone good idea!

Watch Your Business Prosper.

Waggles,

Fran

P.S. Don't forget to post a comment and let me know which

article you want me to send as your free "treat".

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Comments 32 comments

stormyweather profile image

stormyweather 8 years ago from Devon, UK

I've never heard of pet-sitting insurance, but I guess it must exist here too (in the UK?). Informative and thorough - but only 3 photos of Lucy!


Fran Horvath profile image

Fran Horvath 8 years ago from Universal Author

Ha - so you think I might be a little overboard in love with that puppy?

Thanks for the comment Stormy Weather


Mschanl profile image

Mschanl 8 years ago from USA

Hey Fran, you've given a lot of information about this. It's interesting and very informative. I feel like going to a pet insurance business...lol. Two thumbs up!


Cindy Lietz profile image

Cindy Lietz 8 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

A puppy bikini contest would be hilarious! But maybe it should only be open to pet owners that know how to use Photoshop. There's just something about that "please-save-me" look a dog gets in their eyes whenever their owner dresses them up in the latest runway fashions from Paris and Milan. LOL!


Fran Horvath profile image

Fran Horvath 8 years ago from Universal Author

So funny Cindy. I always try the cutest little fuzzy jackets on my dog Winnie in the winter. She loves to hang out outside even when she is shivering. When I put the little jacket on her she just stands there - doesn't move....like its a straight jacket. I think it is so funny. Wrong but funny!

Thanks for the comment.


pawsdawgs 8 years ago

Great article, thanks! I'm looking for pet insurance today and this article had a lot of good information. And I'd love a copy of The 7 Easiest Ways To Generate an Additional $1000 A Week in Your Pet Sitting Business! (pawsitivelydawgs@socal.rr.com)


Fran Horvath profile image

Fran Horvath 8 years ago from Universal Author

Thanks for the feedback PawsDawgs...look for your "treat" in your email tonight.


Stacy 8 years ago

Thanks for all the information, Fran! You have helped me fine tune my pet sitting blog (http://www.startpetsittingbusiness.info). Stacy


Caren 7 years ago

Great article. I'm in the market for new insurance for our existing and established pet sitting business. We used to have BIC, but want to explore options. Very thorough!


Lydia Roll 7 years ago

WOW! Thank you so much for the valuable information.I have been petsitting in my gated community for several years-solo. I cater to a 2-3 households at a time to give more care. My potential for new clients could be enhanced with insurance.You have obviously put a lot of work into this site and it is majorly useful in the selection of a company which suits my needs. I would like as my treat The 7 Easy Ways.....Thanks again. Lydia


Carolyn 6 years ago

Hi, I have been a professional pet sitter in sunny California for over four years now and have been insured from the beginning. I do not have employees; therefore, have always been told I don't need to be bonded. I was wondering if you could give me your input on this. Thank you so much. Carolyn


Kylee 6 years ago

Hi!thanks so much for all the info!! Im wanting to start pet sitting/walking, and this info was very helpful! I'd like the 7 easy ways.. for my treat. thank u! Kylee :)


Kylee 6 years ago

lol gotta love tryin to type on phone.. ha! i always hit send b4 im done.. ok thanks again.. here's email(knayers@yahoo.com) requesting 7 easy ways.. ty ;)


Lisa Schermerhorn 6 years ago

I have been pet sitting for many years for friends and friends of friends. I decided to turn it into a business when I got a call to pet sit 3000 miles from home. They paid my airfare and my regular fee to pet sit for a month.

I recently purchased pet insurance for precisely the reasons you state; it give me more credibility and separates me from the fast, easy money people.

Your article is terrific. Thanks.

Lisa


debb 6 years ago

Great info..thank you....

I'd like the 7 Easiest Ways To Generate an Additional $1000 A Week in Your Pet Sitting Business


3dboxcar 6 years ago

Hello Fran, I found this article to be very helpful in navigating thru the misterious world of pet insurance. Please send me the 7 Easiest Ways To Generate an Additional $1000 A Week in Your Pet Sitting Business. I am also interested in any other information you may have put together on pet sitting and more specifically, cat sittting. Thank you!!


Roseanna 6 years ago

OMG, I so needed direction! ty so much!


Lori 5 years ago

Your article was helpful . I would like to see your article on 7 easy ways...1000$ Is bonding necessary for employees under 18 ( your own kids)? It seems like they probably wouldn't pay how do they prove theft?


Sherri B 5 years ago

I found the article helpful, wish I had found it before I bought insurance. Not having good luck using Mourer-Foster inc through CNA. They have billing issues, I only get late notices not the actual bill. Would like to try another of the insurers and this information will help. Also I would be interested in the 7 easiest ways to generate an additional $1000 a week article.

Thanks!


Dawn D 5 years ago

Thanks so much for the great article. It was well researched and will help me purchase insurance for my pet sitting business www.crittercaretakers.com . I would like to receive the 7 easiest ways to generate and additional $1000 a week article. Plz email to crittercaretakers@gmail.com. Thanks again.


lindakraus@cogeco.ca 4 years ago

You are sooo funny and Lucy is lovely! Thanks for all the great info. You did so much research. Thank you for saving me some leg work. I'm starting Second Home Dog Daycare in Carlisle, Ontario, Canada. I'm presently working on my business plan. I completely understand your doggy love. Me too. Please send me the 7 easiest ways to generate.....Thanks alot. Linda Kraus


petsofoz 4 years ago

Great article, we have been thinking about adding a pet insurance section to our website (http://www.petsofoz.com). But before we added it we wanted to write some good articles, link to some articles and find out a little bit more about it. We will defiantly link this article, I think this will help people a good amount. Thanks.


Afi 4 years ago

Great contribution of knowledge and appreciation of your sharing. I, as sole proprietor, am a cat owner for over half a century, primarily multi-cat[rescuer]who has hired a neighbor over the past 7yrs as my own cat sitter on my mini and lengthy getaways. Now as a retiree, I'm doing it myself but doubt I'll need bonding with no employees. Limiting my services primarily to felines I was wondering which insurance policy protects best against cat scratch syndrome, rabies or in a multi-cat household wherein a cat under medical treatment accidently makes contact with a healthy cat ....often times cats can scoot away from strangers, i.e [cat sitter]and huddle with other felines. The business income booster methods may be helpful. Thanks


Libby M 4 years ago

Who could fail to say, "I love Lucy"

Having started out fairly grass roots in the pet sitting industry, (cats primarily, but chickens too), I ran into the predicatable learning curves and reached the inevitable conclusion that insurance made sense all around. This comprehensive article has proved invaluable. First it helped me to focus after a number of sessions trawling the net for pet insurance carriers (not well defined and often misleading. I can't thank you enough for all the pointers in the right direct and caveats of potholes in the industry. Such a help! For a treat Seven Easiest Ways

cat.z.cradle@hotmail.com


Andrea Fullerton 3 years ago

Awesome website. Very informative.


Kelly's Pet Sitters 3 years ago

Great information website! Everything I was looking for was on this page. Even though it is 5 years old, it is still useful. Love the pictures too! Please send my free treat of "The 7 Easiest ways to generate..........." to onekellygal@yahoo.com

Thanks.

Elizabeth


AnythingsPawsible 3 years ago

Great information. I am just starting out in the pet sitting business. Insurance is confusing enough.... This article provided the information I needed to make my decision.

I would like the free treat "The 7 Easiest ...."

email: anythingspawisblepetsitters@gmail.com

Thanks for your help


The Litter Sitter 2 years ago

Very helpful: I didn't know where to start on this topic.

7 Easiest, please!


Silver Hound Dog 2 years ago

It's been a long time, since you have written this article, but it helped even to this day - very informative!

7 Easiest Please for me as well :D


Sharon Yaffe 2 years ago

This is a most informative article. Thank you so much for the tips. There are things in here that I've not even considered.

Please, pretty please send me the 7 Easiest Ways to Make $.....

Thank you !


Kristen Eckwright 2 years ago

Great article! My email is keluv2sk8@gmail.com.

7 Easiest Ways.... Please


Dawn 3 months ago

Wow so much info.I am excited about this.I wonder how I could keep income secret.I am on disability and would hate to lose it. If buisness is under a buisness name.would this help? Or use hubby name as owner.IDK any suggestions anyone? Would like to know how to make a 1000 a week on pet sitting ty so much tdawngibbs@gmail.com

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