What Types of Insurance Does a Dog Training Business Need?
Dogs often become an owner’s best friend. They are loyal and playful animals that thrive with good training and routines. Dog training businesses can facilitate an opportunity for dogs and owners to build trust and security by giving owners the tools to teach important skills.
Indeed, dog training takes effort; although it is fun and rewarding work, it does come with some hazards that risk losses or liabilities. Therefore, insurance is essential for all dog training businesses to protect them from potential financial hardships.
Related: How to start a dog training business
What Are Some Risks for a Dog Training Business?
Some of the risks that a dog training business will encounter include incidents such as
- Employee injuries
- Customer injuries
- Harm to dogs in their care
- Car accidents
One of the most significant hazards is the risk of employee injury. This risk is more prevalent for employees working directly with the dogs, such as dog trainers, instructors, groomers, and caretakers. In general, many employees may encounter risks such as slips, trips, and falls that can cause injury. However, most employee injury hazards occur while interacting with the dogs.
For example, dog bites and scratches are a primary concern for employees as these incidents can result in cuts, lacerations, and bruising. In addition, the risk of employee injuries may increase for group classes because dogs may be tempted to attack another dog in the class, and an employee trying to separate the dogs could suffer injuries.
Some other injury risks include
- Back or muscle strains from lifting dogs
- Exposure to ticks, fleas, and illnesses such as rabies
- Being knocked over, tripped, or pulled down by a dog
- Allergic reactions to pet dander
Customers may encounter several risks on-site at a dog training business. For example, on-site customers can be injured from slips and falls, especially on slippery or cluttered walkways. Additionally, customers may be bitten, attacked, or scratched by another dog on the premises.
Another possible injury hazard results from the dog trainer’s use of equipment. For example, some collars, such as electric shock and choke collars, may cause accidental injury or harm to a customer’s dog.
Harm to Dogs in Their Care
Some dog training businesses allow customers to leave their dogs with the business. For example, pet trainers may work one-on-one with a dog or provide other services such as grooming or boarding. In these scenarios, the dog training business is responsible for any harm or loss to the customer’s dog, such as injury or harm during a fire, flood, or catastrophic loss. Additionally, if a dog escapes, runs off, or is stolen, the business would be liable for losing the dog.
Dog training businesses that travel between customers’ locations will be exposed to car accidents. Accidents can occur between job sites for reasons such as driving in unfamiliar areas, distracted driving, traffic, and poor weather conditions. Unfortunately, car accidents can lead to expensive bills and repairs for a dog training business. For example, a car accident may cause damage to the business’s vehicles and lead to third-party injury or property damage.
What Types of Insurance Should a Dog Training Business Consider?
Although dog training businesses have several risks, most are easily covered with insurance. Some of the important insurance policies that a dog training business should consider include the following:
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- General liability insurance
- Inland marine insurance
- Commercial automobile insurance
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
A workers’ compensation insurance policy protects dog training businesses from claims of employee injuries. When an employee is injured at work, they may accrue medical bills and lose income, putting the business at risk of a lawsuit. However, a workers’ compensation policy offers coverage for many claim-related expenses that an employee may have following an accident.
For example, a workers’ compensation policy provides coverage for
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Ongoing rehabilitation care
- Disability income
- Funeral expenses
Dog training businesses with employees benefit from a workers’ compensation policy as it provides essential injury coverage for employees while also protecting the business. In fact, many states require that businesses with employees carry this line of insurance.
General Liability Insurance
A general liability policy for premises and operations insures claims of bodily injury and property damage that occur on-site or due to the business’s activities. For example, if a customer slips and injures themselves on-your personal property or the property of a building owner due to slippery floors, the customer may bring a lawsuit against the dog training business. However, general liability coverage protects against these claims, protecting the business from the cost of medical bills and legal fees.
A general liability policy covers claim expenses, such as
- Third-party medical bills
- Repairs to damaged property
- Legal defense costs
Specialized coverage exists, should the incident exceed what a general liability policy will cover. Animal bailee coverage will cover losses if a client’s pets are harmed while in your care, custody, or control.
Inland Marine Insurance
An inland marine insurance policy provides coverage for loss or harm to a customer’s dog in the business’s care. A live animal floater is a type of inland marine insurance policy that covers a customer’s animals wherever they go while in the care of the dog training business.
Dog training businesses that provide one-on-one training, grooming, or boarding should consider this helpful coverage to have protection if a customer’s dog escapes, is stolen, or is injured while in their care.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Dog training businesses that operate at off-site locations should consider an automobile insurance policy to cover the risk of car accidents while traveling between job sites. A commercial automobile insurance policy insures the business for liability caused by at-fault accidents and also insures business vehicles for physical damage. At-fault accidents may lead to third-party injuries and damaged property, resulting in extensive bills and potential lawsuits.
However, a commercial automobile insurance policy covers
- Third-party medical bills
- Third-party property damage repairs
- Legal defense costs
Additionally, a commercial automobile insurance policy covers business-owned vehicles for damage caused by collisions and non-collision events, such as falling objects, wind or hail damage, vandalism, and theft.
How Much Is Dog Training Business Insurance?
A dog training business’s level of risk, coverage, and deductibles all determine the cost of insurance. For example, a dog training business that operates off-site will have little to no risk of on-site customer injuries. Therefore, this type of business will have a lower insurance cost than a large dog training business with many on-site customers.
Some factors that influence the cost of insurance for dog training businesses include things such as:
– The number of employees on the payroll
– Employee training and certification
– The expected number of on-site visitors
– Any dogs left in the business’s care or custody, i.e., dog boarding or grooming
– The value and condition of business-owned vehicles
– Any past or current lawsuits or insurance claims
The best way to determine dog trainer insurance costs is to contact an insurance company for a quote. The insurance company will compile all the risks that the dog training business is exposed to and offer an insurance package tailored to your business’s needs. Ideally, you may want to contact multiple insurance companies for quotes in order to compare coverages, discounts, and prices.