Many people venture into the dog walking business because the only qualifications required are a love for animals, and the ability to provide a fun, safe, caring, and stimulating environment for pets. However, this is a job that has its fair share of responsibilities. Dog owners expect you to provide the best possible care to their beloved companions when they’re not around, and as a professional dog walker, you’re responsible for a dog’s actions while it’s in your care. With that in mind, it makes sense to ensure that your dog walking business is insured.
Due to the amount of responsibilities that comes with dog walking, having a pet business insurance cover is not only an optional requirement, but rather a legal one in the UK. If you’re looking for the best possible cover for your dog walking enterprise, make sure to know your options. Insurance companies that provide coverage to dog walkers are not all the same.
Types of Dog Walking Insurance Covers
The level of services that UK insurance companies offer to dog owners varies. Some reputable firms that you might want to consider include the Pet Business Insurance (PBI), Cliverton, and NARP. Let’s take a look at some of the most common insurance packages that PBI and Cliverton offer to pet sitters and dog walkers.
- Public liability Cover
This package provides coverage in case a pet causes damage to someone’s property accidentally while in your care. It also covers injuries caused by a dog to other people or pets.
- Non Negligent Cover (NNC)
The NNC cover is usually an extension or part of the public liability cover. It guarantees compensation for accidental injury to a dog in your custody during a walking session.
- Care Custody Cover
This dog walking insurance option provides cover in case you inadvertently lose a pet.
- Loss of Keys Cover
If some of your clients grant you or your staff access to their homes, it may be wise to get this cover. The loss of key cover will settle matters in case your client’s key is misplaced.
- Employee Liability
This cover is recommended if your dog walking business requires helpers and you need to protect yourself from getting sued (i.e. because one of the employees was bitten).
Keep in mind that the terms used to describe dog walking insurance covers will vary across different companies. This also applies to the policies that come with these covers.
What to Consider Before Taking Out a Dog Walking Insurance Cover
Since insurance companies are not created equal, you’ll need to make a few comparisons even when considering leading firms in the industry. Here are some major factors to consider when comparing dog walking covers from different insurance firms:
- Premium Rates
The premium rates for dog walking insurance vary greatly from one company to the next. By comparing these rates, you can start eliminating covers that are way out of your budget.
- Company Reputation
Don’t simply settle for companies that offer cheap insurance rates. Before signing a contract, you need to do your due diligence in investigating the reputation of the company on customer review websites and forums. Try to find out what customers have to say about your chosen firm. How fast is the claims process? Do they honor claims? Are there any hidden charges?
Some insurance reps don’t really know the ins and outs of their policies and hence frequently give incorrect answers to potential customers. (Yes, this happens more than you know!) For this reason alone, it’s prudent that you seek clarifications in writing so that you can read the fine print before signing on the dotted line.