Rover, Wag, and other dog walking sites don't grant automatic coverage for their dog walkers. That said, if you’re working for any of these and a client’s pet gets lost, bites a person, or attacks a pet, you’re on your own.
It’s smart to get your own dog walking insurance as a countermeasure when something happens. Like, say for example, when a pet gets injured or lost while you're taking it to the dog groomer.
Getting a bond might be useful too. It’s good to get insured for who knows how much dog walkers make; income is sometimes great and other times not so much. That said, let’s begin this discussion with a quick talk about dog walking insurance and bonding.
Clients will ask for proof of dog walking insurance and bonding before hiring you. So what kind of insurance and bond do you need to have?
You need a general liability policy to convince clients that you’re prepared for the worst in case their dog bites someone, gets lost or injured, or destroys the property of others.
A surety bond can help if a client requests you to pay a specific amount in case the dog dies or gets sick while under your care.
If ever you’re the owner of a dog walking agency, then consider bonding employees with a fidelity bond. A fidelity bond can help if employees steal or do other dishonest acts to the detriment of the dog’s owner.
You need your own liability insurance as a Rover dog walker. Here’s the direct answer from Rover’s Q&A community:
“The answer is YES you need your own insurance. The Rover guarantee MAY help with vet bills but may not, it also does not provide liability coverage in case anything wrong happens and a client decides to sue you.”
Rover doesn’t state how much liability insurance their dog walkers need. But for starters, we recommend you get $300,000-$1 million liability coverage.
Wag helps its dog walkers reimburse pet owners who experience property damage during a service. Here’s a quote and quote statement from Wag’s customer claims policy page.
“Wag! recognizes that sometimes services don’t go according to plan. In the rare event that something goes wrong, we are committed to our community. The Wag Claims policy outlines the possibility of reimbursement for costs arising from certain damages. The damages must be a direct result of the care provided during a service booked through Wag.”
Notice that Wag doesn’t grant a dog walker liability insurance coverage and won’t help if clients file a lawsuit against you. And so, as a Wag dog walker, you must have a $300,000-$1 million liability insurance coverage.
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General liability and professional liability policies are the most useful types of dog walking liability insurance. The sections below discuss how each works.
|CoverWallet||NEXT (Best)||Thimble||Pet Care Insurance|
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Products and completed operations aggregate limit|
|Advertising injury coverage aggregate limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Tenant’s legal liability coverage limit||$100,000||$100,000||$5,000||$100,000|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||Included||No|
|Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage included?||Yes||No||Excluded||No|
|Equipment breakdown floater included?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can you get a certificate of insurance online?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Name additional insureds?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
In most cases, a general liability policy is the only dog walker insurance you’ll need. Use the table above to compare the general liability insurance of companies we recommend for dog walkers.
You use general liability insurance as a shield against property damage claims and bodily injury claims. So in what specific situations can you use this dog walkers insurance? The table below outlines some example scenarios and why general liability insurance can practically help:
You’re walking a client’s dog and it bites a pedestrian. In this situation, general liability insurance is helpful because the average cost of dog bite liability claim in 2021 is $49,095
The dog you’re currently walking on behalf of a client gnaws the bumper of someone’s car. In this situation, general liability insurance can help because the cost of a property damage claim can be as hefty as $10,000 even when filed in a small claims court
Though they have a general liability policy in their pet boarding insurance package, pet boarding facilities will require you to get your own general liability insurance with a $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate. This must have a products and completed operations coverage and an animal bailee endorsement.
Public liability insurance for dog walkers works the same way as general liability insurance. The only difference is that it doesn’t provide comprehensive coverage. This is because a public liability policy doesn’t have the optional coverages included in general liability insurance.
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000|
|Name additional insureds?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||Yes|
|License defense coverage included?||No||No||No|
You have liability over your actions and decisions as a dog walker. This is why clients can sue for your mistakes, negligence, or oversights.
Professional liability insurance can sort things out if clients file a claim against your dog walking services. These are some situations where professional liability insurance for dog walkers and pet sitters can help:
The client instructed you not to feed the dog a particular dog food brand. However, you didn’t heed to this request. As a result the dog got sick. In this situation, professional liability insurance can cover the cost if the client demands refund for their pet’s medical treatment
You lost a client’s dog during a walk. In this situation, professional liability insurance can help if the client decides to sue for negligence and demand you to reimburse the cost of their pet
Depending on how it's underwritten, this dog walking business insurance is available as a stand-alone policy or as an optional coverage to general liability insurance. Use the table above to compare the professional liability insurance of companies we recommend for dog walkers.
The professional liability policy of dog walking insurance programs, just like the professional liability policy of dog trainer insurance programs, has a $1 million-$2 million per occurrence and aggregate limit.
Fur parents might ask you to shoulder the cost of veterinary fees if something happens to their pets during a walk.
Professional liability and general liability insurance doesn’t cover this exposure.
And so, consider having veterinary expenses reimbursement coverage ready and waiting. Veterinary expenses reimbursement coverage, a policy also included in pet sitting insurance bundles, will cover the fees for treating the client’s dog. Here are some situations where this insurance is useful:
A client’s dog eats a foreign object during a walk and gets poisoned. In this case, veterinary reimbursement coverage can help because the cost of treating a poisoned dog is $400-$10,700 without insurance
The client’s dog contacts a hazardous substance and displays signs of skin disease. In this situation, veterinary reimbursement coverage is helpful because the cost of treating dog skin diseases is $700-$17,000 without insurance
Note that veterinary expenses reimbursement coverage applies whether the dog got hurt during a walk because of your fault or a third party’s fault. This insurance provides $2,500-$5,000.
Animal bailee coverage is another useful insurance policy for dog walkers. So how does this insurance work?
You can use animal bailee coverage to cover vet expenses and other costs if a dog gets lost, gets injured, or gets sick while under your care, custody, and control.
Animal bailee coverage can shoulder the vet expenses or cost of finding the client’s dog. And in case of death, this insurance can also reimburse the value of the client's dog.
You can get $5,000-$10,000 worth of animal bailee coverage as a dog walker. This is usually bundled together with vet expense reimbursement coverage and general liability insurance in dog walking insurance plans.
Some client’s will request you to fetch or deliver their dogs to the apartment, condo, or house. In effect, they also entrust their home’s key to you.
Losing a key can result in unexpected costs and problematic situations. This is why clients can file a claim if you lose their keys.
The dog walking insurance plan automatically comes with a lost key liability coverage. Lost key liability coverage will cover the client’s financial losses after you lost their key. This insurance will also take care of locksmith fees, key replacement, and lock replacement.
Lost key liability coverage for dog walkers has a $2,000-$5,000 coverage limit. Dog walking insurance programs bundle this with general liability, vet expense reimbursement coverage, and animal bailee coverage.
General liability insurance, vet expense reimbursement coverage, lost key liability coverage, and professional liability insurance are what you’ll always need as a dog walker. Nonetheless, there might be risks unique to you. And so, consider investing in these additional insurance policies.
|Building coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$260,000||$25,000/$500,000|
|Contents coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$15,000||$25,000/$500,000|
|Money and securities||Excluded||$2,500||$1,000|
|Lock and keys||Excluded||$2,500||Excluded|
|Business interruption floater||Excluded||Included||Included|
|Equipment breakdown floater||Excluded||Included||Excluded|
|Inland marine insurance floater||Excluded||Excluded||$10,000|
|Employee dishonesty floater||Excluded||$5,000||$2,500|
Commercial property insurance, a common inclusion in pet shop insurance bundles, will protect your dog walking office against fire, theft, vandalism, sinkhole collapse, and other covered perils. Moreover, this insurance can also cover valuable papers and records, furniture, computers, and other objects inside the office.
Use the quotes comparison table above to see which companies offer the best commercial property insurance.
|General liability aggregate limit||$2,000,000||$2,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000|
|Commercial property coverage limit||$50,000||$500,000||$260,000|
|Optional policies can be added?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Name additional insureds for free?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
A business owner’s policy is a combination of general liability and commercial property insurance. This is also a wonderful option if you operate a dog-walking agency. A business owner’s policy grants protection against liability claims and business property damage or loss. Depending on which insurance company you work with, this insurance might offer additional coverages.
Use the table above to compare the business owner’s policy of insurance companies we recommend.
Insurance companies offer commercial auto insurance. You need this dog walking van insurance if your business owns and uses a passenger van, compact van, or panel van to transport the clients’ dogs. These are the coverages you get from commercial auto insurance:
Auto Liability Coverage
Auto liability coverage in commercial auto insurance for dog walkers and pet sitters is useful if you caused a vehicular accident and injured third parties or damaged properties. It will pay for the medical expenses of persons you injured and will reimburse persons whose properties got damaged.
But note one thing though. Auto liability coverage won’t take care of expenses if your vehicle caused the accident due to the following reasons:
Operating with no license
The vehicle is running with no headlights
Other illegal activities
Physical Damage Coverage
Nowadays, having a vehicle repaired or maintained in an auto repair shop is very expensive. This is why physical damage coverage is very helpful for your dog-walking business’s commercial auto.
This has two forms-collision and comprehensive. Collision physical damage coverage will cover costs if your commercial vehicle incurred damage after colliding with a vehicle or object on the road. On the other hand, comprehensive physical damage coverage will cover expenses if fire, theft, vandalism, and other covered perils damaged your business’s vehicle.
MedPay/Personal Injury Protection
MedPay/personal injury protection covers you, the driver, and the passengers when a vehicular accident happens and injuries are sustained. Both cover your treatment, the passenger’s treatment, and the driver’s treatment.
Moreover, coverage applies whether or not the accident is your commercial vehicle’s fault. But note that compared to personal injury protection, MedPay isn't as comprehensive.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides protection in case you or any other insured driver gets involved in an accident caused by a third party. This insurance will cover medical treatment and other costs if the driver, who caused the accident, can’t provide indemnification.
Insurance companies always have a related coverage that you can use as an alternative insurance option. That said, if you can’t qualify for dog walking insurance, try purchasing a dog boarding insurance package.
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Deductible|
|General liability insurance||$33||$396||$0-$500|
|Professional liability insurance||$37||$444||$500-$1,000|
|Commercial property insurance||$35||$420||$1,000-$2,500|
|Business owner’s policy||$60||$720||$500-$1,000|
|Commercial auto insurance||$65||$780||$1,000-$1,500|
The average dog walking insurance cost is $33 per month or $396 per year for a $1 million general liability insurance. Insurance companies determine premiums according to your location, claims history, and annual revenue. The table below shows how much the best companies charge for their $1 million general liability coverage for dog walkers:
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Best for|
|NEXT||$11||$132||Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for dog walkers|
|Pet Care Insurance||$13.33||$159.96||Pet protection coverage and veterinarian reimbursement coverage|
|CoverWallet||$22||$264||Dog walking insurance online quotes comparison|
|Thimble||$26||$312||Tailored dog walker insurance with discounts|
|Mercury Insurance||$29.50||$354||Small to mid-sized dog-walking businesses based in major American cities|
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We figured that we would conclude by showing you our review of the best dog-walking insurance companies. All have an easy sign-up process, provide cheap business insurance, and have positive customer service and claims ratings. Read to know about their pros, cons, and pricing for a $1 million general liability coverage.
Get an online proof of insurance and send as a text message, email, or social media post
Fastest general liability insurance for dog walkers
Great customer service and reputation
Outstanding value for money
Bundle two or more dog walking insurance policies and get a 10% discount
Couldn’t find any
NEXT’s tailored insurance for dog walkers has inclusions such as general liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, and commercial property insurance. Choose this carrier because it gives a 10% discount if you decide to bundle two or more business insurance products. Also, you’ll get an instant live certificate of insurance.
Best for: Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for dog walkers
Average cost: $11 per month
Our rating: 10/10
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Cancel your coverage anytime
General liability insurance comes with rented/hired auto liability coverage
Not an insurance company but an insurance broker
CoverWallet sells the dog walking insurance policies of its partners. Also, this insurance broker has an online quotes comparison platform you can use to find insurance companies offering tailored coverage for dog walkers. Upon getting insured, you’ll get access to the MyCoverWallet app where you can pay premiums and get certificates of insurance online
Best for: Dog walking insurance online quotes comparison
Average cost: $22 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Get covered online
Dog walking insurance is available as a short-term policy
Quick to issue an estimate of your rates
Customer service is only reachable via the Thimble app or website
Thimble sells tailored dog walking insurance offering general liability insurance and professional liability insurance. This is available as a short-term insurance policy that provides coverage for hours, days, weeks, or months.
Best for: Short-term dog walking insurance
Average cost: $26 per month
Our rating: 9/10
You can get insured online
Covers all kinds of dog walkers
Dog walking insurance doesn’t offer a professional liability policy
Pet care insurance covers dog walkers working for Wag, Rover, and others. Even those who manage their own dog-walking agency can get covered.
This company’s dog walking insurance offers general liability coverage with a $1 million per occurrence limit and $2 million aggregate limit. Other policies are available such as a $5,000 animal bailee coverage, $5,000 lost key liability coverage, and $2,000 veterinary expenses reimbursement coverage.
While most Pet Care insurance reviews are positive, one con that we discovered about this company is that it doesn’t include a professional liability policy in its dog walking insurance bundle.
Best for: Pet protection coverage and veterinarian reimbursement coverage
Average cost: $13.33 per month
Our rating: 9/10
Long-standing reputation for providing comprehensive insurance policies
Build your own small business policy to cover your dog walking business
They currently only provide insurance for 11 states
Mercury lives up to its reputation and provides incredibly quick customer service and provides instant proof of insurance once you’re approved for a small business insurance policy. Overall, Mercury Insurance Commercial Dog Walker package offers general liability, professional liability, and other insurance products.
Best for: Small to mid-sized dog walking businesses based in major American cities
Average cost: $29.50 per month
Our rating: 7/10
Lonnie Bell Insuranker
Policy Type: Business Insurance
Company name: Employers Insurance
Use anyone except Employers. Period. They are non-transparent and shameful. After I complained long enough to warrant a call from a supervisor, the supervisor called back from a PRIVATE NUMBER (no caller ID), left a message that they are not reversing their decision (without any communication with me), and failed to leave a phone number for me to call back. She was hiding! They also fact find via email and phone calls, which is terrific for speed and communication. However, after setting a precedence of email or phone calls, they send time sensitive information via email, without any heads up... they are hoping you miss it and forfeit via expiration. Evil policies. Go elsewhere.
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
Their general liability insurance purchase process is simply the best online experience I've ever had in my life!
As long as they cover your line of business, you're literally covered! best rates, best coverage, best online experience, best professionals, can't be happier that I chose them!