Dog owners place a high level of trust in trainers that they hire to help them transform their pets into happy, well-behaved family members. But being a dog trainer is fraught with dangers. Dogs can injure you or your employees. Dogs can injure each other, and dogs can injure your other customers or members of the general public on your premises.
What’s more, your training space, training equipment, and office furniture can be damaged by a fire, severe weather, theft, or vandalism.
Why Do You Need Dog Trainer Insurance?
Every small business needs insurance of some kind. It’s the unique risks you face as a dog trainer that dictate the kind of coverage you need to protect your livelihood.
Whether you offer group or individual classes, or both, dogs are unpredictable, and bites, fights among dogs, and other mishaps are bound to happen. Many dogs come to you because they have behavior problems that need to be corrected, making the likelihood of something going wrong even greater.
You’re at risk for damage to your own property as well. Meanwhile, your employees are exposed to potential injuries, and any number of other things can go wrong.
That’s why you need dog trainer insurance. It will help you cover your risks so you can focus on training the world’s most obedient dogs!
What Does Dog Trainer Liability Insurance Cover?
The most important type of insurance for dog trainers is general liability insurance.
General liability insurance addresses the risks associated with the general public and unpredictable pets coming into contact and sharing space on your premises. Commercial general liability insurance provides broad liability protection for third-party bodily injury and property damage. It pays for your legal defense, third-party medical bills, settlements, and judgments. CGL insurance also Includes coverage for claims of advertising liability, libel, and slander.
Some examples of incidents where dog trainer liability insurance can help you include:
- Slips and falls on your premises
- A customer is bitten by another customer’s dog
- A dog gets loose from your building, runs into the street, and causes a car crash
What Other Insurance Policies Do Dog Trainers Need?
Dog trainers need property insurance to repair or replace lost, stolen, or damaged property in instances of fire, certain weather events, smoke, theft, or vandalism. Even if you rent your space, you still need property coverage for your business personal property — or the contents of your space — including office furniture, waiting room furniture or fixtures, training equipment and tools, leashes, kennels and crates, and other contents on your premises.
You also need business interruption insurance, which helps you with business expenses and lost income if you must temporarily close due to a covered property loss (fire, weather event, etc.).
You might be eligible for a business owners policy (BOP). The BOP is a convenient package policy that includes commercial liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and business interruption insurance (pays for business expenses lost income related to a temporary shutdown of your business due to a covered event). If you qualify for a BOP, you can still add endorsements or purchase any additional coverage that you might need.
Talk to an independent insurance agent about your need for the following additional types of dog trainer insurance:
- Commercial auto insurance: This protects you while you’re driving for business purposes. If your business owns or leases vehicles, commercial auto insurance covers accidents and other collisions, theft, vandalism, and weather events (e.g., hail, windstorm). It pays for repairs to your vehicle as well as medical bills, legal fees, and settlements or judgments that you are required to pay if you cause an accident. If you or your employees drive personal cars for business purposes, you may need non-owned auto liability insurance.
- Inland marine insurance: This covers any training equipment that you take with you while you make house calls. Standard commercial property insurance does not cover your business property while it is mobile; rather, you need inland marine insurance to protect the equipment you use in your work everyday while it is in transit.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: This protects employees who are injured on the job. Your employees face all kinds of risks, from dealing with multiple unpredictable pets, 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.
- Commercial umbrella insurance: This is also known as excess liability insurance. It provides an extra layer of liability protection above and beyond the limits of your CGL 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.
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 trainers 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 business property policy will not pay for costs related to an injury, death, or loss of a customer’s pet — 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.
Do You Need Professional Liability Insurance?
Dog trainers might also need professional liability insurance. This is tailored liability coverage that protects you if a client claims you have been negligent in providing professional services. If, for example, you face allegations that your training was ineffective, improper, or produced a result that caused financial loss to another person, this coverage will protect you if you are sued.
Regardless of whether or not you are at fault, you will still need to pay for your legal defense. Dog trainer professional liability insurance will help with those costs, as well as any settlements or judgments that you are required to pay.
A Note About Bonds for Dog Trainers
Dog trainers and other pet services businesses often advertise themselves as “licensed, bonded, and insured.” What does this mean?
Dog trainers may want to advertise to ensure potential clients that they have the required permits or licenses to operate in your state or municipality. Next, having insurance ensures you’ll be able to pay for damage if something goes wrong. And last, in some cases certain types of bonds are required or desired in order to guarantee a certain aspect of your services.
A fidelity bond (or dishonesty bond) is an insurance product that is common among pet services businesses, especially if you have employees and you or they are invited into your clients’ homes. A fidelity bond protects you in the event that one of your employees is accused of theft or other dishonest acts. Typically, only dog trainers that have employees need this type of protection. But sole proprietors often obtain bonds simply for their clients’ peace of mind when they invite you into their homes.
A surety bond can protect both you and your clients from the costs of a theft claim. Other types of bonds can be purchased to protect you if you are unable to complete the requirements of a contract.
An independent insurance agent can help you understand and purchase any bonds that you might need.
How Much Does Dog Trainer Insurance Cost?
In general, dog trainer 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 variety 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 trainer 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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