Spending within the pet industry exceeded a record-breaking $60.28 billion in 2015, according to a report from the American Pet Products Association. Pets become like family, and people seek out the right supplies, grooming, and boarding options for their animal companions. If you run a pet-centric business, you already know that working with animals can lead to unpredictable situations. Pet business insurance can protect your company against damages from financial liability so you can continue to provide your services with confidence.
Injury or Property Damage
What if a client slips on a patch of wayward soap suds when they arrive to pick up their freshly groomed dog on your property? What if plugging in your equipment leads to electrical-system damage in a client’s home? Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance can help in several ways.
General liability coverage “provides protection against losses from the legal liability of insureds for bodily injury or property damage to others arising out of non-professional negligent acts or for liability arising out of their premises or business operations,” according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). General liability insurance also includes medical payments coverage which covers reasonable medical expenses resulting from an accident on your property, even without a lawsuit.
If your business manufactures or sells products, you will want to ensure that your CGL policy includes adequate product liability coverage in case of a related lawsuit.
Damage to Your Premises
Without your premises and your equipment, it would be hard to keep your pet business up and running. That’s where property insurance comes in. As Poms & Associates writes, “Whether due to pets in your care, vandalism, or a natural disaster, damage to your company’s property can lead to a serious decrease in business, and in some cases, a halt altogether.” You’ll need property insurance in place to cover financial losses resulting from the destruction of your business space, equipment, and inventory. Business interruption coverage can also help your pet business pay its bills until it can re-open after extensive damages.
Choosing a solid Business Owners Policy (BOP) bundles property and general liability coverage into one product. Just make sure that the level of coverage is sufficient for your needs.
Unlike general liability insurance, professional liability insurance handles claims regarding “negligence, misrepresentation, violation of good faith and fair dealing, and inaccurate advice,” per the III. Since pet-related businesses often involve providing advice to customers as well as being trusted to handle peoples’ animals, purchasing a substantial professional liability policy is extremely important. This type of coverage can protect you if a client alleges that you breached the contract or did not provide quality services.
Groomer to Groomer sums it up: “This type of insurance protects you against accidents that happen while you are working on the pet in a professional capacity. For example, if you cut a dog while grooming it, or it leaps off your table and breaks its leg, professional liability insurance will be your friend.”
Does your pet business include a transportation component? Don’t assume that your personal auto insurance policy will cover driving associated with running your business! Commercial auto insurance can cover damages that arise from vehicle accidents on company time.
Workers’ compensation coverage is not only helpful; it’s mandatory. This insurance steps in to cover employee’s lost wages and medical expenses if they’re injured on the job. It also protects your company from employees suing over workplace conditions. It’s a win-win.
If you’re a groomer, retailer, boarder, or other who works with domesticated animals, protect your company with pet business insurance. If your company keeps online records of client information and transactions, consider adding cyber insurance to minimize the effects of a costly data breach.