Americans love their pets and spend a lot of money on those pets' care and well-being. A veterinarian must provide medical care for beloved pets, livestock and other animals while also running a small business with risks and challenges similar to other professions.
Your complex veterinary business needs business insurance for protection from unforeseen events that can have devastating consequences.
What risks would a typical veterinary practice face?
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 in need of comprehensive and affordable coverage.
Only certain businesses are eligible for a business owners policy. Your independent Trusted Choice® Insurance Agent can help you determine if you qualify.
Business owners policies include:
Talk to your insurance agent about adding inland marine coverage to your BOP. Inland marine insurance protects your business property (e.g., veterinary equipment and supplies) while it is in transit. If you perform house calls or large animal care outside of your clinic, you likely need this type of coverage.
Animal owners entrust the health and well-being of their pets and livestock to you. No matter what kinds of animals you treat, if you make a mistake and an animal 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 does not cover you for failures, mistakes or oversights in the veterinary 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.
Consider the following examples of veterinary professional negligence:
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 are sued (even if the lawsuit is unfounded), as well as 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 if an animal in your care runs away or is stolen, lost or injured?
Animal bailee’s coverage is insurance for businesses in the pet services industry that temporarily take possession of other people’s pets, with the expectation that they will be returned unharmed. This is especially important if you offer pet grooming, day care or boarding services at your veterinary clinic.
Animal bailee’s coverage provides protection where your standard liability insurance policy does not. A liability policy will not 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 a Trusted Choice insurance agent about the differences between vet professional liability insurance and animal bailee’s coverage. Your agent can help you determine if you need both types of coverage.
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:
In order to find fast quotes for veterinary insurance, contact a Trusted Choice agent. A local independent insurance agent can work with multiple highly rated insurance companies in order to find the best combination of coverage and price for your small business. Your independent agent will get to know you and your business and will remain your trusted adviser for the long-term.