So, you've started a pet sitting business. It's new, exciting, and you get to do something you love for a living. But, like most things in life, running your own business isn't easy. A strategic plan that includes accounting, marketing, business licensing, and protecting yourself and your business from risk are crucial to your success. One of the best ways to reduce the risk to your business is to include pet sitting insurance in your business plan.
Protecting Your Pet Sitting Business from Lawsuits
Without the proper protection, lawsuits pose a huge risk for pet sitters. No matter how careful you are in choosing clients, planning your business, and taking care of pets, you may still have legal action taken against you. Even if you win your case, attorney fees to defend yourself are expensive.
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), the average attorney charges between $343–$727 per hour. If your business were named in a lawsuit, your attorney fees could cost you $10,000 or more. Is this a cost you could afford to pay out of pocket? Pet sitting insurance can protect your business from the financial blow from attorney fees for covered claims.
But what could possibly go so wrong in my pet sitting business that would require an attorney, you ask? Take a look at some of PCI's most common claims:
- Third party property damage claims
- Third party bodily injuries claims
- Losing a client's keys
- Employee theft and other employee dishonesty
Here's a claim† example where a pet sitter's business plan included pet sitting insurance and saved their business money:
A PCI client stayed with a pet later than usual one evening. When the pet owners contacted her, they told her to lock up their home and they would return shortly. Because this was a regular client, she was told to just keep the keys and return them later. She lost the keys and a locksmith was called to rekey the entire home.
- Cost to rekey home: $1,240
- PCI covered: $1,240
- Cost to pet sitter: $0
Pet Sitter Insurance Protects Pets
You wouldn't have become a pet sitter if you didn't love animals. Providing for the pets you love also means having a plan if something goes wrong. Heaven forbid your furry clients get injured. But if they do, pet sitting insurance can offer you and your clients financial peace of mind.
PCI has been able to help pet sitters pay for veterinary expenses due to a variety of situations. We've seen cats swallow string, dogs eat chocolate, dog bites in the park, and dogs that were stepped on. Many of the claims were filed because of the actions of an experienced pet sitter or dog walker who were well-intentioned, but found themselves in a tough situation.
Take this claim† for example:
A PCI pet sitter was watching two dogs—Jake and Rooster. During the appointment, Jake sustained an injury to his tail. Although the pet sitter didn't see it happen, the injury most likely came from Rooster biting Jake. At first, it didn't seem like there was a serious injury, but after the pet sitting appointment, the pet owner took Jake to the vet. Jake had surgery and several follow up visits.
PCI claim† details:
- Veterinarian bill: $1,735.92
- Pet sitter deductible: $500.00
- PCI covered: $1,235.92
While pet sitting insurance helps protect you from large financial claims, many of our clients have found that it provides additional benefits.
Pet Sitting Insurance Gives You Credibility
In a recent customer survey, nearly 40% of PCI customers responded that they felt having a current pet sitting insurance policy gave them more credibility. Others said that it was the professional and responsible thing to do.
Also among the reasons people purchased a pet sitting insurance policy:
- "My state required me to have it"
- "Protection for the pets in my care"
- "Homeowners (clients) wanted it"
Additionally, nearly 30% of PCI customers said that they first purchased a policy because they thought it would help them market to new clients. This makes pet sitting insurance a crucial part of your businesses marketing plan.
Maybe you're convinced. You know insurance is a smart business move and you understand that the short answer to the question, "do I need pet sitting insurance?" is yes. But does it really matter what company you get your coverage through? Yes, yes it does.
Choose Pet Care Insurance
PCI was founded on the idea that insurance, as it has traditionally been done, is cumbersome. We took the traditional insurance purchasing process, grabbed our dog poop bag, picked up the hassle of purchasing, and threw it in the dumpster. With PCI you get a straightforward policy that you can purchase 100% online starting at $129/year.
A policy with PCI means you won't be paying for extras you don't need. As a pet sitter, you get coverage for pet sitting, dog walking, and basic grooming. You don't have to pay for advanced grooming, house sitting, or training endorsements if you don't provide those services. Of course, this policy is customizable to your needs, so if you do offer advanced services, we have other coverage options available for an additional premium.
For example, many of our clients want a bond. Usually, a bond is meant to protect their business from dishonest employees. However, we protect our clients without a bond through something called "employee dishonesty coverage." Most clients find this meets their needs better than bonds offered by other companies. Here are some key differences between a bond and employees dishonesty coverage:
Employee dishonesty coverage:
- Can be purchased in the same transaction
- Doesn't run credit checks
- Provides $10,000 per occurrence and $25,000 aggregate coverage
Bonds may differ from our dishonesty coverage by:
- Checking your credit during the application process
- Having a “Conviction Clause.” Often bonds won’t pay on claims unless there is a conviction
- Many require you to reimburse the bonding company after a claim is paid
Pet Sitting Insurance Highlights
At PCI we've built a policy that gives you an amazing bang for your buck. Check out these coverage limits:
Coverages & Limits
|LIMITS OF INSURANCE|
|General Liability Coverage||$1,000,000
|Products-Completed Operations Aggregate Limit||$2,000,000|
|Personal and Advertising Injury Limit||$1,000,000|
|Each Occurrence Limit||$1,000,000|
|Damage to Premises Rented to You Limit||$300,000||Any One Premises|
|Medical Expense Limit||$5,000||Any One Person|
|Animal Bailee – Animals in Your Care, Custody, or Control||$5,000
|Veterinarian Expense Reimbursement (Regardless of Fault)||$1,000
|Lost Key Liability Coverage||$2,000
Buy a Policy Today!
That's right. If you're ready to buy a pet sitting insurance policy, you can do it today. In fact, you can do it right now. Our quote-to-certificate process is handled completely online. Most of our clients find that they can complete their purchase in 10 minutes or less.
The second you've completed checkout, you can login to your customer dashboard and access all of your documents. So, what are you waiting for? Buy your pet sitting insurance policy today starting at $129/year.
†All insurance policies have conditions, limitations and exclusions. Please refer to the policy for exact coverages.