Pet Sitting Insurance

Pet Sitting Insurance

Whether you’re a dog sitting or run a pet boarding business,  protect yourself with a customized pet sitter insurance.

Zensurance - Pet Sitter Insurance

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Dog Sitter

Insurance for pet sitters

As a pet sitter, chances are you’re an animal lover. Furry, feathered or finned, you’re happiest around your customers’ favourite companions. However, as fun as they are, animals are very unpredictable creatures. With your back turned for only a few seconds, anything can happen. You can be left liable for these unexpected incidents – from a scratched-up couch to a serious injury to another person or animal.

Pet sitter insurance is important whether you run a fully-fledged pet boarding business or dog sitting is simply a way to make a bit of extra cash each month. While liability coverage is often the most obvious reason to find insurance, it can also help you grow your business. Insurance coverage gives prospective customers peace of mind and provides extra confidence that your business is legitimate, responsible and reputable.

Pet sitter insurance is a combination of policies that protects pet sitters who provide services such as dog sitting, looking after pets at a customer’s home, hosting pets at their home and animal training.

With a pet sitter policy, you can be covered for general and specific risks such as unintentionally damaging a customer’s property while visiting their home or being responsible for a third party’s injury during a dog walk. The specific coverage you’ll need varies based on the services offered. However, the following coverages are most commonly provided in a pet sitting  or pet boarding insurance policy:

  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance: All pet businesses should have a general liability policy to protect against claims arising from accidental injury to third parties (or pets) and accidental property damage to somebody else’s property.
    • For example, suppose you’ve been visiting a customer’s home to feed their house rabbit while they’re on vacation. You accidentally knock over a bottle of red wine they left on a table. It breaks and spills onto their cream carpet, leaving a nasty stain. Your CGL insurance may cover the cost of replacing their carpet.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: If you provide advice to your customers about their pets, you may also need professional liability insurance. Also known as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability protects against claims of professional negligence or misconduct.
    • For example, suppose you feed and walk a diabetic, overweight dog daily while its owner is at work. You suggest a type of dry food that should improve the dog’s health. After feeding the dog your recommended food for two weeks, the dog’s health declines – the vet chalks it up to the change in diet. Professional liability insurance could cover you financially If you’re held responsible for the dog’s medical bills.

The cost of a pet sitting insurance policy depends on unique factors about your business. For example, an individual who offers basic pet sitting services can anticipate spending $100 a year on insurance with $1 million in commercial general liability insurance and $1 million in professional liability coverage.

Here are some of the determining factors that impact your premium: 

  • Services offered
  • Years of experience
  • The breeds of the dogs you service
  • Number of employees
  • Annual and projected revenue

During the application process, you’ll be asked simple questions about your business that help to calculate the coverage you need. Zensurance has partnered with over 50 Canadian insurance providers to offer you a great variety of coverage that will fit your business needs.

If you look after other people’s pets, you should protect your business with pet sitting insurance. Pet sitting businesses come in all shapes and sizes – some small-time pet sitters might not even consider their venture a business. However, if you offer a paid service, it’s important to cover yourself against liable risks. 

Getting insured is quick and easy!

Complete our 5-minute online application for a free pet sitting business insurance quote.

Common claims scenarios

dog jumping on child

Problem: You are walking a customer’s dog around a park, and it unexpectedly charges at a child, and you lose grip of the leash. The child is thrown to the ground and suffers a neck injury. The parents sue you for their child’s medical bills.

Outcome: Your commercial general liability insurance policy may pay your legal defence fees and the child’s medical costs.

fish in tank

Problem: You’re visiting a customer’s home to look after their prized tropical fish for a few weeks while they’re on vacation. You’ve included a professional tank cleaning as part of your service. However, after the tank cleaning, some fish die and others become sickly over the following week. When the owner returns, they notice the heater wasn’t reconnected after the cleaning – they sue you for negligence. 

Outcome: Your professional liability insurance could cover your legal fees and the monetary judgment against you.

cat sitting on table

Problem: You’re looking after a customer’s cat for a week, feeding it in their studio apartment. You fail to notice the cat peed all over their bed; by the time they return, their bed is beyond saving. They accuse you of negligence due to the overpowering smell, which should’ve flagged the incident.

Outcome: Your commercial general liability insurance policy may cover the costs of a new bed.

Frequently asked questions

Does my pet sitter insurance policy cover me for any injuries sustained by the pet?

Yes, with many commercial liability insurance policies, you can be covered for damage to a third party, including the animal you’re looking after. As always, though, it’s best to check with a broker if you’re unsure of any specific coverages in your policies.

Do I still need pet sitting insurance if it’s only my side hustle?

Yes, accidents can happen to any sized business. Animals are highly unpredictable, and you can be liable for a situation regardless of whether you have a fully-fledged pet sitting business or if it’s just a way to make a bit of extra cash.

Can my home insurance cover the pets that are in my care?

No. Your home insurance won’t cover any business-related activities, including animals left in your care as part of a paid service.

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