Dog daycare centers are temporary housing for dogs whose owners are away on business or vacation. These businesses offer services that include feeding, exercise runs, grooming, breeding, or even training classes. Some also offer boarding facilities for cats or other domestic animals. However, there are crucial things you have to do if you expect to maintain a dog daycare business that will stand the test of time, and adequate insurance is one of them.
Dog daycare insurance is an insurance policy that safeguards your business from just about any liability or incident that may happen in the process of starting and running your business. It is sometimes referred to as animal boarding insurance or kennel insurance. This sort of insurance is designed to safeguard you as a business owner, your employees, your clients, and the animals.
In this line of business, there are a number of risks likely to occur and they may negatively affect your business. As a responsible business owner, you are more or less tasked with ensuring that your dog daycare runs successfully without issues.
Aside from certain risks that are common with almost any commercial venture in the United States, there are specific hazards faced by dog daycare facilities. Aside from the fact that assets and employees are at risk, pets brought in by clients are also at risk. Theft, vandalism, and accidents are a few examples of things that could cause damage to your business. There is also a possibility that a dog or pet could get injured or even die in your care.
In addition, customers can file lawsuits alleging negligence even if your standard of care is excellent. Things like this can indeed cause serious expenses to your business, and in some cases, the costs would be so enormous that you may be forced to close your business. Therefore, purchasing the right dog daycare insurance is the best way to prevent that scenario.
Basic Insurance Types for Dog Daycare Businesses
Agreeably, all businesses in this field will have similar insurance needs, however, individual circumstances will influence the exact kinds of coverage you need to best safeguard your interests, as well as the ultimate cost of any given policy.
These individual circumstances may include business location, the size of your business, the type’s dogs and animals you board, and the number of employees you have hired. Below are the different types of dog daycare insurance you will need and what they cover.
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This sort of insurance is known to safeguard your dog daycare from any third-party claims coming from property damage or personal injuries. Simply put, this insurance covers lawsuits against your business filed by clients and against third-party claims such as a dog biting a customer or disinfectant chemicals accidentally spilling and ruining a designer bag of a client.
Have it in mind that every state in the United States mandates businesses with employees to have this type of insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance is known to cover things like medical bills and lost income your employees may incur in the event of a workplace injury.
Commercial property insurance safeguards any and all physical assets of your dog daycare. Note that this may include kennels, grooming tables, and outdoor equipment, etc. This also includes your building and infrastructure. Have it in mind that this insurance is primarily meant to cover the cost of damage accrued by things like fires, explosions, and theft. Therefore, it will help you pay for the replacement or repair of your commercial property.
Commercial vehicle insurance safeguards your business against third-party claims if you hit another vehicle or party while driving from location to location. Note that this insurance pays for damages and repairs to the vehicle and every other attached modification that happen in an at-fault accident or resulting from theft or vandalism.
This insurance is very necessary especially if you run a mobile dog grooming business. Even if your business does not own or lease a vehicle, non-owned auto coverage may be a good idea.
If there is a fire or an electrical explosion, for example, your business may have to close for a few days or weeks. This type of insurance is meant to aid the repairs and also make up some of the income you might have lost in the time that your business has been closed.
Notably, business income is always critical and remains the bedrock of your business, especially in the early years. Note that you may not be generating a huge profit right away, therefore any lost income can force your dog daycare further into crisis.
Animal bailee is a specific insurance that helps your dog daycare take care of the cost of treating or locating an injured or lost dog. If a client’s dog gets injured or lost while under your care, you will be tasked with paying some of the resultant expenses. Note that these fees may include veterinary bills as well as advertising or reward payments for lost dogs.
This insurance may not be mandatory, but can be very vital whether you own or lease your dog daycare building. If you are leasing the space, then it is imperative you go over your lease to understand the kind of tenant improvements insurance you require.
Tenant improvement insurance is known to help businesses pay for any changes or renovations made in order to improve the building. These improvements may include, for example, replacing old pipes or installing a new HVAC system. It could also include renovations like adding a new bathroom or knocking down walls.
If you are leasing, have it in mind that the person tasked with paying for these kinds of improvements will depend on your lease. Also, note that it will depend on who technically “owns” the improvements as well as other factors you will have to reason out with your landlord.
Employment Practice Liability Insurance
Note that this is the only coverage designed to safeguard you against claims of bad business practices, as opposed to injury or damaged property. Employment practice liability insurance is to be used in the event that an employee or client files a claim against your business for issues like discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination.
Steps to Get Dog Daycare Insurance in 2023
Since understanding the intricacies of the modern insurance market can be confusing, it is always advisable to consult a commercial insurance broker to advise and advocate for you. Nonetheless, here are steps to take to get adequate insurance for dog daycare.
Organize Your Paperwork Before Getting A Quote
First and foremost, it is imperative to arrange all the documents on your business incorporation, lease agreements, and revenues. If you have employees, take your time to organize your payroll records so you can obtain your quotes quickly with accurate information to avoid the frustration of making adjustments later. Have it in mind that a good number of liability policies are based on revenues and business property values while workers’ compensation is based on payroll data.
Shop Rates Among Top Carriers
Note that even top insurance carriers all have different pricing for the same type of policy. Most times, it is due to the insurance carrier’s experience with that type of business. Have it in mind that leveraging an insurance broker helps you get apples-to-apples quote comparisons.
Create Safety Protocols
Generally, insurance premiums are based on business risk, and a dog daycare comes with an extensive risk of injuries to people or animals. A good number of insurance companies offer better rating systems for small businesses that have written safety programs that are executed through documented training with employees. Don’t forget that fewer claims ensure that insurance costs are kept low and safety programs help limit excess claims.
Dog daycare insurance is a crucial business component covering accidents and losses that can occur when working with dogs. Dog bites, accidental slips leading to injuries, and vandalism or theft are risks every dog groomer faces. However, leverage the expertise of an experienced agent to help you decide which policies are ideal for your business and how much coverage you should receive.