One of the most important aspects of dog walking is that when you walk those furry friends, the owners are trusting you to take care of an animal that’s part of the family. Yet, dog walking can sometimes be a risky venture. Even if you think you did everything right, a leash could tear and a dog could run away. Or a dog could simply accidentally eat something while on the walk and become ill. In those events, you could be liable for the costs associated with the harm of the animal. That’s where dog walking insurance comes in. Below we’ll look more in-depth at what types of insurance dog walkers should carry, as well as where to find it and the costs.
Top 6 Providers of Dog Walking Insurance
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
- Petcare Insurance: Specializing in products for animal care businesses
- Alternative Balance Professional Group: Products for students, full-time professionals or part-time workers
- Next Insurance: Affordable coverage
- Pet Sitters Associates: Comprehensive plan for pet businesses
- Kennel Pro: Company longevity
You have options from both pet industry sources and general business insurance companies.
CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
CoverWallet is a digital broker, specializing in business insurance. They work with several leading commercial insurance companies such as Hiscox, the Hartford, Liberty Mutual, etc. They are able to provide several quotes from these partner companies digitally so that you can compare and select the best one for you. The online quote process is pretty fast. After just a few minutes, you are having several quotes from these companies to compare and select the cheapest one for you.
After buying a policy through CoverWallet, you will be able to use their digital dashboard to manage all of your business insurance policies in one place. The digital dashboard offers several useful features such as downloading the certificate of insurance, filing a claim, or renewing the policy.
Petcare Insurance: Specializing in products for animal care businesses
The major player for this type of insurance is Petcare Insurance. This company specializes in offering insurance for businesses that handle animal care. In addition to dog walkers, the company covers groomers, pet sitters, dog trainers and pet boarders, as a few examples.
Because the company just focuses on pet businesses, it can offer a tailored stack of customized products, like animal bailee and vet expense reimbursement. If you’re looking for pet walking insurance as a standalone product, this is the place to start.
This company is also very easy to get a quote from. We entered a small dog walking enterprise with annual gross sales under $100,000. By selecting the lower-tier limits, we kept the annual price at $129.
Alternative Balance Professional Group: Products for students, full-time professionals or part-time workers
This is another company that offers specific dog walking insurance. This company actually specializes in offering insurance to those who work in the health, beauty, wellness and fitness industries. So the fact that it branches out into dog walking insurance is a bit of a surprise.
The company does a good job of outlining what you can expect to pay. It offers insurance for students in trade schools ($189 per year), per diem people working less than 10 hours per week ($219 per year) and professionals working more than 10 hours per week ($249 per year). Plans cover general liability, medical expenses and personal and advertising injury, as a few examples. You can see more about costs here.
Next Insurance – Affordable coverage
This is a major company that offers digital business insurance. It also has a page detailing dog walking insurance. However, once you scroll down, the products start to look a bit generic to all types of small businesses. For instance, plans cover bodily injury, medical payments, advertising harm and property damage.
Once you go into the quote process from the dog walking insurance page, you get the same quote process you’d get for any business, though you can designate yourself as a dog walker. Once you do that, the system quotes you at $8.34 per month for general liability coverage and $25 per month for commercial auto coverage. If you’re looking for a general product that covers all small business types that’s more on the affordable side, you may want to check with this company.
Pet Sitters Associates – Comprehensive plan for pet businesses
Another place to find dog walking insurance is through the Pet Sitters Associates, a professional association in the pet care industry. The association offers basic pet business insurance, which dog walkers would fall under, of course. Basic membership starts at $190 per year and covers issues like general liability and defense costs, as a couple examples.
Kennel Pro – Company longevity
Kennel Pro is another general pet industry insurance company that includes dog walkers. The products work through Mourer Foster Bonds and Insurance, which has been around since 1933. The site wants you to apply directly for a quote by filling out a full information form.
Compare Dog Walking Insurance Quotes Through a Comparison Site
In order to get an idea of what it’s like to compare quotes for dog walking insurance through online brokers, we went through CoverWallet. It’s a bit tricky to find specific dog walking insurance through these types of sites.
Many dog walking products are specialized to the industry, as we’ve shown above. But through quote comparison sites, you just have to know what you’re looking for. For instance, the first page of CoverWallet wants you to select your insurance type. Since many dog walking insurance types cover general liability, we selected that option.
The system does allow you to designate a dog walking service. We entered a three-year-old dog walking business with $35,000 in annual revenue. We only got one quote at the end of the process:
What is Dog Walking Insurance?
Dog walking insurance is often a specific policy designed for dog walkers. For instance, Petcare Insurance offers specific products that cover insurance types that work for dog walkers. Products that you might see include:
- General liability: Covers damages or injury you are held responsible for as part of your business operations
- Animal bailee: This covers you when an animal in your care, control or custody becomes injured or dies and you are liable
- Vet bill reimbursement: Covers vet bills no matter who is liable, for instance, you could be reimbursed for a $5,000 aggregate amount
- Lost key liability coverage: If you lose a client’s keys, this could cover the cost of having to install new locks and having new keys made
Together, these products cover a wide range of claims. For instance, if you’re walking a dog and the dog is injured while you’re responsible for them. A dog could bite someone while you are walking them. You could even be covered if the dog you’re walking causes damage to private property.
How Much Does Dog Walking Insurance Cost?
Petcare Insurance states that policies can start at $129. This is an annual rate, so dog walking insurance is quite affordable.
This is especially affordable when you consider the limits many of these plans have. For instance, general aggregate limits can run around $2 million. Each occurrence limits can be around $1 million. Animal bailee can often be $5,000 per occurrence.
You may also want to keep an eye on deductible amounts, as that will affect how much you pay out of pocket for coverage to kick in. These are a common feature of veterinarian expense reimbursement plans. For instance, through Petcare Insurance, the deductible on the vet expense part of the plan is $250.
Higher limits can also affect pricing. For instance, if you double or triple the animal bailee limits through Petcare Insurance, your annual price goes up $19 and $29 respectively.
What is Bonding? Dog Walking Insurance and Bonding?
Bonding is an insurance type, usually for contractors, that protects their customers against any damages and losses caused by the contractors. Being bonded as a dog walker protects customers (dog owners) against any theft or property damages.
Some states requires bonding before you can register for your business. Even if it is not required in your states, you should still get bonded. It is an excellent way to let your customers know that you are trustworthy and you value and respect your customers’ properties.
- Dog walking can carry some risks with it, like if the dog damages property, bites someone or gets injured. Dog walking insurance can cover you against claims that state you are liable for harm involving your business operations.
- Dog walking insurance tends to be a specialized product within the pet care industry. As such, it can cover animal bailee, vet expenses, property damage and general liability, as a few examples.
- This a fairly affordable type of insurance, with many plans being between $100 to $200 per year.
- There are many insurance companies that cover dog walking insurance in the pet care industry, as well as some general online brokers that provide coverage and quotes for dog walkers. It’s important to shop around.