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Published 15 January 2022

What Is Business Pet Insurance?

Pets are family, so being trusted with their care is a huge responsibility. That is why if you work with animals, you owe it to their owners and yourself to take out a comprehensive business pet insurance policy. But what does that entail? Find out more below.

Whether you work as a walker, groomer, sitter or trainer, you need business pet insurance. This is not only to make sure your clients’ beloved animals are properly looked after, but that you and your business are too.

It is also an important signal to your clients that you take the health and wellbeing of their pets seriously, proving you are a trustworthy caretaker for their furry friends.

But what is business pet insurance? What does it cover? And how much will it cost? We can help you work out what you need with our pet business insurance guide below.

What does business pet insurance cover?

Business pet insurance isn’t one form of coverage but rather a package of policies, usually with public liability insurance, care, custody and control insurance and non-negligence insurance at its core.

Public liability insurance will cover the legal fees and compensation costs related to any injury or property damage, which is caused to a client, customer or member of the public at your business premises, or due to your business activities.

Care, custody and control insurance – also known as accident and injury insurance – on the other hand, covers the fees and costs that would arise if one of your clients’ pets got hurt, went missing, or unfortunately died while in your care.

And non-negligence insurance is for those situations where a pet in your custody is injured or suffers an accident that is not your fault.

A good business pet insurance package doesn’t stop there, however. If you have even just one extra person working for your business who isn’t a family member, then you are legally required to have employers’ liability insurance.

As a pet sitter, or walker, you may have the responsibility of your client’s house keys. Loss of keys insurance can cover not only the cost of replacing the keys, but changing the locks at your client’s home, if you were to misplace them.

Meanwhile, if you use specialist equipment, say if you’re a dog groomer, you may want to make sure your business pet insurance package includes an equipment insurance policy.

Similarly, if you work from a dedicated business premises, then both business contents and buildings insurance could be worth considering.

» MORE: Public liability insurance explained

Pet business insurance examples

People can cause enough trouble at your business. Add animals into the mix, and it quickly becomes apparent why you might want to consider taking out a comprehensive business pet insurance policy.

For example, you are a dog walker, and one of the canines in your care bites the dog of another person in the park. That dog then needs several stitches. Or you take the dog to a café, where it proceeds to severely damage the fixtures and fittings.

In both cases, public liability insurance would cover costs, be it paying for the veterinary treatment, or the price of replacing the café’s damaged furniture.

Meanwhile, if you were cat-sitting, and you accidentally closed the kitchen door on your feline friend’s tail, care, custody and control insurance would pay for any treatment needed.

Care, custody and control insurance would also apply if you fail to close your client’s rabbit hutch properly, leading the rabbit to injure itself.

However, often pets will injure themselves without it being anyone else’s fault. For example, while training a dog at your school, it bolts and runs straight into a glass door. Treatment for any injuries it suffers would be covered by your business pet insurance non-negligence policy.

But it’s not just pets that could lead to a claim. Say a customer slips on the wet floor of your dog-grooming salon and breaks their arm. Public liability insurance would pay the compensation they are owed.

If the same happened to an employee, employers’ liability insurance would cover the costs.

» MORE: Sole trader and self-employed insurance explained

How much does pet business insurance cost?

One type of pet business is, of course, not the same as the next. A pet groomer will have different needs to a dog walker, for example, just as a trainer does to a sitter. And these differences will help inform the cost of your business pet insurance.

Although it can vary from lender to lender, your premium will likely in part be determined by the following:

  • the specific risks associated with your pet business
  • the number of policies you require
  • the level of coverage you want for each policy
  • where your business is located
  • the size of your business

» MORE: Do I need business insurance?

Image source: Getty Images

About the Authors

Connor Campbell

Connor is a lead writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and…

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Henry Williams

Henry is passionate about writing great content that helps individuals and businesses stay informed and find the perfect products and services for their needs. Over the last eight years, he's…

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