If you own a dog kennel, your clients trust you to take care of their animals when they can’t. If a dog is injured in your care, the owner could sue you. Meanwhile, you’ve got to protect your building and all of your commercial property from damage caused by fire, severe weather, and other unexpected problems.
Many of the risks you face as a dog kennel owner can hinder your success or even force you out of business.
Why Do You Need Dog Kennel Insurance?
Dog kennels for long-term boarding, and even doggy daycare services are increasingly important for pet owners. If you own a dog kennel, your business has a lot of inherent risks.
You have to deal with the potential for injuries to both customers and their pets while they’re on your premises or in your care. What’s more, you have to protect you own property and your employees from damage and injuries.
You’ll need to work closely with an independent insurance agent to find the appropriate mix of insurance coverage for your unique dog kennel business.
What Does Dog Kennel Insurance Cover?
Dog kennels need a variety of business insurance policies to protect them. These range from standard liability and property policies (that can be tailored with limits and coverage endorsements that fit your needs), to the ever-important animal bailee’s coverage that provides protection for veterinary costs and associated lawsuits if a dog in your care is injured, lost, or stolen.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance: This covers customer injuries and property damage that occurs on your premises. If a pet owner or a delivery person is hurt at your place of business (e.g., a dog bites them), there’s a chance you could be blamed for the injury and sued. If you’re sued, you’ll have to pay for the medical bills as well as your own legal defense and potentially a financial settlement for the injured party. Your CGL policy covers medical bills, property repairs, legal fees, and any financial settlements or judgments you might have to pay.
- Commercial property insurance: This is an essential part of your dog kennel insurance program. Depending on the type of kennel you operate — from bare bones kennels to luxury suites — your property insurance needs will also vary. You need to protect your building if you own it, equipment, furniture, inventory, and any other property from fire, theft, vandalism, and weather events. What’s more, you'll need business interruption insurance if a covered event forces you to temporarily stop taking in boarders in order to make repairs or replace damaged property.
Dog kennel businesses may qualify for a business owners policy, which will allow you to get the basic coverage you need (liability, property, business interruption) packaged together at an affordable price.
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: This is insurance designed for dog kennels and others in the pet services industry that temporarily take possession of other people’s pets, with the expectation that they will be returned unharmed.
Animal bailee’s coverage provides protection where your standard property policy does not. Your commercial property policy will not pay for costs related to an injury, death, or loss of a customer’s dog — or other people’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 such an incident.
Professional Liability Insurance for Dog Kennels
Dog kennels might also need professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions insurance. This is tailored liability coverage that protects you if a client claims you have been negligent in providing professional services. For example:
- Professional mistakes, such as administering the wrong medication to a dog that is being boarded at your facility
- Failure to deliver services as promised
- Accusations of negligence
Regardless of whether or not you are at fault, you will still need to pay for your legal defense if an accusation like this is made. Dog kennel professional liability insurance will help with those costs, as well as any settlements or judgments that you are required to pay.
What Other Insurance Policies to Dog Kennels Need?
Dog kennels may face a wide range of additional risks that can be covered with business insurance. For example, if you have employees, you will likely need workers’ compensation insurance to protect employees who are injured on the job. Your employees face all kinds of risks, from dealing with multiple, unpredictable animals, to slips, falls, and repetitive motion injuries. This valuable insurance protection is required for most businesses that have employees, and will keep you from being sued if an employee is injured while working for you.
You may also want to look into commercial umbrella insurance, or excess liability insurance. It provides an extra layer of liability protection above and beyond the limits of your general liability policy and certain other liability policies. It kicks in and provides coverage when those other applicable policies have been exhausted. If you are involved in a significant claim or lawsuit, this coverage can be the difference between staying in business and closing up shop for good.
If your business owns autos of any kind — even just one — you need commercial auto insurance. What’s more, if you or any employees drive personal vehicles for business purposes, you need non-owned auto liability coverage. Talk to your independent insurance agent about how vehicles and driving are involved in your day-to-day operations in order to obtain the best coverage for your needs.
How Much Does Dog Kennel Insurance Cost?
In general, dog kennel insurance costs will vary depending on the size of your business, the number of employees you have, the amount and value of your commercial property, the location of your business, and a number of other variables.
An independent insurance agent can guide you though your options so you get coverage that meets your needs and budget.
Benefits of an Independent Agent
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right dog kennel insurance. They’ll walk you through the handpicked policy options and explain the details.
Most importantly, they’ll be there for you when claim time comes. They know the ins and outs of the process and will make sure your claim is handled appropriately.
The Lowdown on Online Quotes
Online quotes can be tempting. They are fast and easy to get — but are they accurate? And are you getting quotes for the right coverage? For business owners, choosing speed over accuracy can cost you.
Online quotes can’t and don’t see the whole picture. They can omit important coverage that will leave you devastated if something unexpected happens. And they can leave out cost-saving opportunities that an agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent now, and get one-on-one consultation and affordable options for the best coverage for your unique needs.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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