As a dog walker, there are many business concerns that you deal with every day. However, the topic of dog walker insurance can be a little tricky and is not always at the top of one’s priority list.
The truth is, dog walker insurance is essential to protect yourself and your business in the case of an accident. Just like car or home insurance, we all hope we never have to use it. Accepting the relatively low monthly cost can certainly be worth it financially. And, of course, being insured as a dog walker can give both you and your customers added peace of mind.
What is dog walker insurance?
Because dog walking involves the care of a dog, you are responsible for the well being of that pet during the walk. And because dogs can be unpredictable, it is crucial to be covered for things out of your control.
Like most conventional insurance, you pay a monthly or yearly premium for dog walker insurance. In return, you are covered in case of an accident or injury. This insurance can and often does offer coverage for many incidents that may occur during a dog walk. For example, a dog bite injury to another pedestrian from the dog you were walking would be covered. If the dog you were walking was injured during a walk, it would also be covered by most insurance policies.
How do I get it?
Similar to other insurance types, the best way to look for dog walker insurance is to do your research. Online searches and word-of-mouth recommendations are both great sources of information.
When deciding on insurance, it is important to decide if you are going to start your own business or use the services of a national provider like Barkly. This is a personal decision that has pros and cons on both sides. Many walkers choose to walk with a dog walking service that provides things like software, customer support, and insurance.
What are my options?
First, let’s discuss bonding and what it actually means and covers. Bonding is a form of insurance that protects your clients against any issues caused by you, the walker. An example might be that you accidentally leave the door of a client’s house unlocked and when you return from the walk, someone has taken things from the home.
Keep in mind that bonding requirements vary by state, so make sure to do your research before taking in your first client.
Beyond bonding, most dog walker insurance covers general liability, which assists with the cost of legal claims, injuries, or damages. Within this, there are several common categories such as medical expenses, property damage, and personal injury.
What does it cost?
In general, policies range from $300 to $600 per year. Of course, there are cheaper options, but like most things, you get what you pay for. If cut-rate insurance does not cover an accident and you are forced to pay out of pocket, the savings of $100 over a year pales in comparison.
On the other hand, if you join a dog walking service, insurance is provided, often at little or no cost to you. Again, this is a personal decision, but the convenience of having another company handle the administrative headaches of this industry is something that many dog walkers value.
To learn more about becoming a dog walker with Barkly, click here today!