If you are pet sitting on your own, with no employees, you are probably not insured for the type of work that you are doing. However, there are insurance companies that provide coverage for sitters at a reasonable rate. Check the internet for price quotes. Also check with your home insurance provider for rates. When checking be sure that you are quoted in the right category, not lumped with “Vets” or “Home Services”. The rates vary.
Of course you want the best coverage for lowest premium. Unfortunately insurance companies view pets as property so they are only going to pay for the cost of the animal itself, not for sentimental value. Keep this in mind when you talk to your agent. What are the costs? What are the benefits? What is the overall coverage?
The Pet Sitters Association will be glad to assist you with your questions. Remember that your needs will change as your business grows. You will need to be protected at all times, especially if this should become your primary business.
House sitting and pet sitting are two different things and must be treated as such. If you are being paid for pet sitting, 75% of your income must come from pet sitting. The remaining 25% is something that you have to negotiate with your customer and insurance agent. Each case differs as to the number of pets, what kind of pets, hours, and duties, etc. (Care, Custody, Control, C.C.C.) Each insurance company handles these situations differently.
Rabies is lethal and personally I feel that all dogs should be vaccinated for rabies at all times. Who is responsible if a rabid dog bites a sitter or a passerby or its owner for that matter? Who pays? The risk is not worth it to you since rabies is so dangerous. Our website provides info about Queen City Petsitting
What if the dog, for example, does his business on the carpet? You, the sitter, cleaned it up but left a stain anyhow. Who is responsible for the damage? Is there a special coverage or extra premium involved to cover this type of damage? Insurance Companies would require you to pay a nominal fee for a rider that would cover such damages. There are other factors that come into the picture and you should discuss this with your insurance underwriter. This is very, very important; everything should be put in writing and signed off on.
If you are considering going into the pet sitting business it is important that you have pet sitting insurance and bonding as it will protect you from lawsuits and excessive costs should you encounter accidents in the course of your duties. The insurance and bonding will also insure the pet owner of quality and responsible care.
Pet owners are inclined to use the services more readily if they have the assurance that you are insured and bonded. The terms “insurance” and “bonding” refer to different concepts but are otherwise used interchangeably.
Bonding would cover the expenses incurred due to negligence and oversight of the sitter, such as improperly administered medication or if the dog attacks someone due to careless handling by the sitter.
As I mentioned before, these situations vary and they are to be treated accordingly. For any questions you might have, contact the pet’s owner, the pet’s veterinarian (given the owner’s permission), or the internet.