It takes a special kind of person to take care of animals in need like veterinarians do. But it also takes a special kind of insurance to keep your practice protected and in business.
Because you not only provide service, but you’re also a small business with risks and its own share of unique challenges. Without the proper protection, your vet business can face some pretty devastating consequences.
Fortunately, our independent insurance agents are here to eliminate the hassle of searching on your own by walking you through a hand-picked selection of top insurance policies to cover both your business and your employees. But first, let’s talk more about the protection you need and why you need it.
What Risks Do Veterinary Practice Face?
As with any business, especially those in the medical world, your veterinary practice faces a number of risks from many different sides, from negligence to property damage and beyond. Among the most common are:
- Slips and falls on the premises by visitors, vendors, or delivery persons
- Professional negligence (malpractice) claims
- Property loss due to a fire, smoke, vandalism, theft, or weather events
- Employees injured on the job
- Employee discrimination lawsuits or claims
- Injury, theft, or loss of animals in your care
With the right portfolio of protection in place, however, you can help minimize your exposures and their consequences. And because no two businesses, even no two veterinary businesses, are alike, you need coverage that’s tailored specifically to you.
And that typically means handpicking the proper policies and compiling them into one comprehensive suite of insurance protection.
Is A Business Owners Policy Right for You?
Many veterinarians cover most of their basic property and liability risks with a business owners policy, or BOP. A BOP is an insurance package that covers small to medium-sized businesses who need comprehensive, and affordable, coverage.
Only certain businesses are eligible for a business owners policy, and our independent insurance agents can easily help you determine if you qualify.
Business owners policies include:
- Property coverage for buildings and their contents, like computers, furniture, office equipment, medical carts, exam tables, surgical tools, and any other business property, owned or leased.
- Business interruption coverage, which compensates for lost income and pays for operating expenses if you’re forced to temporarily close or relocate following a covered loss (e.g., a building fire).
- Liability coverage, which pays for bodily injury and property damage claims to third parties due to your negligence (e.g., customer trips and falls at your office, or employee damage to a pet owner’s cat crate).
Also, you may want to talk to your independent insurance agent about adding inland marine coverage to your BOP. Inland marine insurance protects your business property (e.g., veterinary equipment and supplies) while in transit. If you perform house calls or large animal care outside of your clinic, you likely need this type of coverage.
Malpractice Insurance for Veterinarians
Animal owners trust you with their pets. No matter what kinds of animals you treat, if you make a mistake and one is harmed, you can be sued for professional negligence, or malpractice.
While general liability insurance provides broad coverage for bodily injury and property damage caused by your business, it doesn’t cover you for failures, mistakes, or oversights in the vet services you provide.
Vets are often sued for errors or professional negligence, no matter how careful they are. And one lawsuit can be financially devastating, even ruin your practice.
Consider the following examples of veterinary professional negligence:
- A dog dies during surgery due to an error you make
- A mistaken diagnosis costs a pet owner thousands of dollars in unnecessary treatment
- You fail to provide treatment as promised
- A pet gets loose and disappears while in your care
Veterinarians need malpractice insurance just like physicians, dentists, and other medical professionals. Veterinarian professional liability insurance helps vets when they are sued for oversights, errors, or mistakes in their professional services.
It covers costs associated with your legal defense if you’re sued (even if the lawsuit is unfounded), plus any judgments or settlements that you must pay. Most errors and omissions policies can be customized for your particular area of expertise and the risks you face.
What Is Animal Bailee’s Coverage?
What if an animal in your care runs away or is stolen, lost, or injured?
Animal bailee’s coverage is insurance for pet service businesses that temporarily take possession of other people’s pets, with the expectation that they’ll be returned unharmed.
Animal bailee’s coverage provides protection where your standard liability insurance policy may fall short. A liability policy won’t pay for costs related to an injury to, death of, or loss of a customer’s pet (someone else’s property) that is in your care, custody or control.
Bailee’s coverage may pay for resulting veterinary costs if an animal is injured or becomes ill while in your care and may even pay for costs related to lawsuits after this type of incident.
Talk to an independent insurance agent about the differences between vet professional liability insurance and animal bailee’s coverage for help determining if you need both types of coverage.
Coverage for Your Entire Veterinary Clinic
Your veterinary clinic is like any other small business with employees and additional business risks. Working with an independent insurance agent, you can determine your need for the following additional types of business insurance:
- Equipment breakdown coverage
- Employment practices liability coverage
- Cyber liability coverage
- Workers compensation insurance
Finding and Comparing Veterinary Business Insurance Quotes
Our agents will review your needs and help you evaluate which vet business insurance coverages makes the most sense. They'll also compare policies and quotes from multiple insurance companies to make sure you have the best protection out there. They'll hook you up — in a comprehensive and affordable way.
What's So Great About Independent Insurance Agents?
Independent insurance agents excel at matching the most appropriate policy to the business in need. Shopping around for insurance policies can be tricky, confusing, and time-consuming, and an independent insurance agent's role is to simplify the process.
They’re also there to help make sure you get the absolute best deal, and the one that meets your unique needs. They shop and compare insurance quotes for you, and they'll break down all the jargon so that you understand exactly what you're getting.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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