If you’re making a living as a pet sitter, there are some things you need to do to prove you’re the real deal and a professional who takes your job seriously. Launching a website, securing good publicity and earning positive customer reviews may come to mind, but even more important than all of that is securing insurance for the animal care.
Getting pet sitting insurance is the first port of call for many small business owners looking to legitimize their business from day one, helping them protect themselves and their customers and providing instant indication that they are serious in what they do. If you want to be aware of all your options, a deep dive online will provide you with plenty of links.
Insurance isn’t just important to you, it’s also important to your customers. Potential pet sitter clients often ask to see proof of insurance coverage when they first meet potential pet sitters — and having it can help you stand out. Peace of mind doesn’t matter: the financial coverage offered by insurance puts both the client and the sitters at ease.
Here are some ideas of what pet sitting insurance may include and other key things to consider when selecting an insurance plan.
What to take out: civil liability insurance
Liability coverage protects against third party claims for bodily injury or property damage resulting from the negligence of you, your employees (if you own a pet sitting business) or contractors freelancers who work for you. Adequate care, custody or control coverage covering pets and client’s personal property is also recommended. For example, if an animal chews on the furniture, it is considered personal property in your care, custody and control when you received the key to someone’s house.
Make sure you have enough coverage for large veterinary bills if a pet is injured in your care. In the event of a serious accident, you could be responsible for the cost of major surgery and treatment.
Additional coverage: employee dishonesty coverage
Theft coverage is the kind of thing clients may ask a pet sitter for during a job interview. Employee theft and pet sitter theft may require separate and additional insurance coverage because it is an intentional act, and it is also a criminal act. Employee dishonesty insurance is useful in addition to your liability insurance and can protect you, the pet sitter, or the pet sitting business in the event of theft.
Additional Cover: Lost Key Cover
Hopefully this never happens to you, but if a key is missing, it’s a good idea to have a cover. Even if you are not distracted, the unexpected can happen: you have the keys to your car and it gets stolen, for example, and your client may wish to have his locks changed as a precaution. Ensuring your cover limit is sufficient to change customer locks is a priority – many policies will cover this up to a value of £10,000.
Supplementary cover: pension at home
In-home pet boarding is becoming more common as customers seek boarding options that are more comfortable than a kennel atmosphere. Just be sure to let your insurer know you will be providing this service.
If you are boarding at home this may require different cover and this should be taken into account in your policy. Bringing pets into your own home comes with different risks as you may have your own pets, children or visitors. This can be added to most pet sitting policies for a reasonable amount.
Additional coverage: employers’ liability insurance
If you are expanding your pet sitting business to include other pet sitters, employer liability insurance is a must if you become an employer. Make sure you cover up to a value of £5 million for any accident or incident involving people in your employ. This type of coverage is a legal requirement in many circumstances, and for good reason: things can get messy between a pet sitter and their client when someone is injured on the job, and insurance coverage can bring clarity to all parties, as well as all – important aspect: peace of mind.