Whether you’ve been working as a pet sitter for several years or are just starting out as a part-timer, there is always the potential for things to go wrong. This can include a dog running away or a beloved cat falling ill. If it happens when the client’s pet is under your care, you could even be liable. Make sure your business is protected with the purchase of pet sitting insurance.
Most pet sitting policies are quite affordable and easy to sign up for online. Plus, you’ll get coverage on more than just pet injuries.
- The 3 Best Providers of Pet Sitting Insurance
- What is Pet Sitting Insurance?
- What Does Pet Sitting Insurance Cover?
- What Doesn’t Pet Sitting Insurance Cover?
- How Much Does Pet Sitting Insurance Cost?
- What Benefits Should You Consider Before You Purchase Pet Sitting Insurance?
The 3 Best Providers of Pet Sitting Insurance
There are a few companies on the market that offer pet sitting and pet business insurance. Each has slightly different benefits that make them the ideal choice depending on your needs and situation.
- Business Insurers of the Carolinas – Best for Comprehensive Coverage
- Pet Sitters Associates – Best for General Pet Business Services
- Pet Care Insurance – Best for Affordability
Business Insurers of the Carolinas – Best for Comprehensive Coverage
Business Insurers of the Carolinas was one of the first companies to offer insurance tailored specifically to pet care providers back in 1992. They are known for providing a broad range of coverage in their standard policies including personal and advertising injury, and fire liability.
A typical pet sitting policy will include up to $1 million coverage per occurrence and a $2 million aggregate limit. It also includes up to $2,500 for lost keys, and $10,000 in medical payments with a $100 deductible. This isn’t all that’s covered, so be sure to check your policy closely.
Pet Sitters Associates – Best for General Pet Business Services
PSA offers an easy to apply for pet business insurance that covers pet care providers from dog walkers to groomers. This insurance comes with all of the standard features like bodily injury, property damage, vet expenses, and lost or killed pets. It also offers add-ons that allow you to tailor coverage, such as:
- Pet grooming insurance
- House sitting insurance
- Dog obedience training insurance
- Boarding insurance
With PSA’s standard policy starting at $190 yearly, you get up to $1 million per occurrence and up to $2 million in annual limits. Other notable coverage in the PSA policy is $1,000 reimbursement per occurrence for vet care with an up to $5,000 annual limit. They also offer a $2,000 annual limit for lost keys,
Pet Care Insurance – Best for Affordability
PCI is one of the most affordable pet sitting insurance providers. They offer a basic pet sitting plan for $139/year. That can go up with add-ons or increased limits though. The basic plan includes $1 million limit per occurrence and a $2 million aggregate limit. It also comes with $1,000 in vet expense reimbursement and a modest $250 deductible.
What is Pet Sitting Insurance?
Pet sitting insurance is actually a type of general liability insurance that is tailored specifically to those in this career field. It covers bodily injury and property damage that may result while the pet sitter is watching a client’s pet or even is in their house. Pet sitting insurance can come with a range of optional coverages depending on which company you choose.
What Does Pet Sitting Insurance Cover?
Basic pet sitting insurance will cover the costs of legal fees, defense, and settlements regarding injuries, illness, and property damage while the pet is in your care. Here are a few examples:
- The dog gets off the leash and is lost.
- The dog you are watching gets loose and starts a fight with another dog, causing the other dog to need medical care.
- Two of the dogs you are walking get into a fight with each other, and both need stitches.
- You accidentally knock over a valuable vase while in a client’s home breaking it.
- The pet you are watching eats something toxic in your home or apartment, requiring medical care.
- You lose the client’s house key and they need to change the locks or get replacement keys.
- The dog you are watching bites another person, causing that person to need stitches.
Insurance companies can also offer add-ons that extend your pet sitting insurance to cover a variety of things or additional people. For instance, you could add:
- Additional coverage for employees of your pet sitting business
- Pet daycare and boarding insurance if you keep the pet at your home or business location
- Grooming insurance if you also provide some grooming services, like nail clipping and hair cuts
- Obedience training or show training insurance if you also offer pet training services
What Doesn’t Pet Sitting Insurance Cover?
The broad coverage offered by typical pet sitting policies means that there isn’t a lot they won’t cover. However, the liability only covers you or other insureds. Also, if you purposely damage a property or hurt a pet, insurance likely won’t cover the event. The insurance company may also choose not to pay if the damage is the result of reckless or unprofessional actions.
Some potential situations that the insurance might not cover include:
- Keying the pet owner’s car after they refuse to pay a bill
- Taking an unleashed dog to the park where it gets into a fight with another dog
- Purposely feeding a dog chocolate that ultimately leads to it getting sick
- Having a friend who is not on your insurance help out and the dog is injured under their care
- Hitting the dog and accidentally injuring it
- Providing services that aren’t covered under your policy and injuring the pet, like cutting the quick when clipping its nails
How Much Does Pet Sitting Insurance Cost?
Pet sitting insurance is highly affordable, even for the part-timer, and should be a part of your business operations. Most insurance companies start with a flat fee for basic pet insurance that increases based on your add-ons or coverage limits. No matter which you choose, pet sitting insurance usually costs under $300 per year.
What Benefits Should You Consider Before You Purchase Pet Sitting Insurance?
Pet sitting insurance comes with a few options, including the previously mentioned add-ons for extra coverage. You’ll definitely want to think about the annual limit and per occurrence limit on your policy. Many pet sitting insurance policies offer up to $1 million per occurrence and $2 million annually. You may also see separate smaller limits for specific events, such as:
- Property damage caused by you
- Property damage caused by the pet
- Lost, injured, or stolen pets
- Lost keys or re-keying
- Medical care
- Pet sitting insurance can be found through companies dedicated to pet business insurance solutions.
- Most plans are a type of modified general liability insurance that covers bodily injury and property damage.
- Pet sitting insurance is a very affordable option that can cover the independent contractor, a family business, or a business with multiple employees.