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Dog Walking Insurance: Cost, Liability & Quotes From $11

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It’s hard to not love dogs. They’re loyal, cute, friendly, and share an emotional connection with humans that few other animals can match. For thousands of years, humans have been keeping dogs as pets and have since domesticated most canine species into household companions. 


Some people love dogs so much that they decide to take their passion to the next level and start a dog walking business. But, unfortunately, not all dog owners have as much time as they’d like to take their dogs out. Long work shifts, vacations, old age, disabilities, or even illness often mean that dogs aren’t able to go out on their beloved walks as much as they deserve. 


Dog walkers are the heroes who make sure that no dog gets left behind! They Schedule appointments with pet owners and take their dog (or dogs) on a walk around the block or to a local park or field where they can run around and get their energy out.


Many aspiring dog walkers don’t know that they must purchase a dog walking business insurance policy for the service they provide to be financially covered from unexpected business risks! This is, by far, the best way to protect yourself and your dog walking business from any and all claims that could come about from your clients’ dogs getting lose or from your clients themselves. 


In this article, we’ll examine why dog walkers should purchase business insurance, the most common types of dog walkers insurance, and the average dog walking insurance cost that you can expect to pay for coverage. Lastly, we’ll review a couple of our top-choice dog walking insurance providers. Let’s go for a walk!


Also read: How Much Do Dog Walkers Make & How to Boost Income

Dog Walking Insurance and Bonding: Why You Need Them

As a kid, you may have offered to take your neighbor’s dog out once and a while in exchange for some spending money. You definitely didn’t have a business license, and you probably had no idea what insurance was or how it worked. However, if you’re an adult running a legitimate business and making money from their dog walking, you absolutely need to have insurance for dog walkers and pet sitters (also known as dog sitter insurance, in that case). 


“ Why though, ” you may ask…


 Well, the biggest reason is that you’re dealing with other people’s dogs. As much as we all love our furry friends and companions, dogs can also be somewhat unpredictable at times. Of course, this varies, depending on how well a dog is trained, their breed, and their overall temperament; but even the most well-trained dogs can go “off the chain” when presented with the right trigger. 


If a dog gets off the leash, then there’s no telling what damage they could do. Perhaps, they’ll just pee on their favorite tree and come back to you. However, you can’t rule out the possibility that they could end up attacking another person or another dog. Without dog sitting insurance or dog walking insurance coverage, this could leave you financially liable to pay for any damage that the dog caused while under your supervision. 


Last but not least, you have to consider that a dog is more than just an animal. For many pet owners, they’re as much of an investment as they are a part of the family. If one of the dogs you’re walking gets loose and runs away, they could get injured, killed, or even be lost for good. Imagine telling a client that their beloved $5,000 puppy just ran off the leash and got hit by a car. It probably won’t go well. 


In this way, it’s a lot like any other business out there.  Anytime that you’re working with another person’s property, possessions, or pets, you need to have insurance for it! 


The point of dog walking insurance is to protect you from claims that could come against you and your dog walking business. Whether the dogs cause property damage or bodily injury, or the dogs are lost or come to harm under your watch, a comprehensive dog insurance policy ensures that you won’t be held financially liable and have to pay for claims or lawsuits out of pocket. 


Also read: Pet Shop Insurance & Pet Store Insurance: Quotes From $5


Dog Walking Company Bonding 

It’s common for many dog walking companies to purchase a simple loss bond for their business in addition to an insurance policy. These loss bonds provide compensation to the client in the event that personal property is damaged, lost, or goes missing. This is especially important if you’re running a dog walking business that provides pick-up from the client’s home or personal residence. 


Even if you (or your dog walking employees) didn’t steal or damage anything, the client may choose to hold your business accountable. A simple loss bond will ensure that you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket. 


Also read: Guard Dog & Security Dog Insurance: Cost & Quotes From $11


What is Fidelity Bonding? 

Although it’s not quite as common as dog walking insurance, fidelity bonding is another thing that you should at least consider including in your business. Bonded dog insurers can not only charge more for their services, but they can also rest easy, knowing that their clients won’t short them when it comes time to pay the invoice. 


Essentially, a fidelity bond is a sort of “agreement” between two parties (in this case, the dog walker and the client). As the name implies, a fidelity bond is designed to keep both parties honest and truthful. If one party fails to uphold their end of the bond, they’re entitled to a financial payout from the insurance company or bank backing the bond. 


For the dog walker, this means providing a dog walking service as advertised. No shortcuts will be taken, no walks will be skipped, and proper care will always be taken while the dog is being walked. For the client, this means that they will pay invoices on time and cannot withhold money from you. 


Although bonding isn’t necessary, it’s a great add-on to talk to your insurance company about.


Also read: Pet Sitting Insurance and Bonding: Quotes From Only $5

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Common Types of Dog Walker’s Insurance

Now that you have a better understanding of why you need dog walker insurance. It’s time to break down the various types of insurance that you may need to consider for your business.


Dog Walking Liability Insurance (General Liability Insurance)

Dog walker liability insurance is probably the most common type of insurance that dog walkers need. Essentially, a general liability insurance policy is designed to cover your dog walking business against:

  • Third-party personal injuries - The dogs you’re walking might injure someone. It’s also possible for your dog walking service to inflict injuries to clients, vendors, and other third parties. If a claim is filed, general liability insurance will pay the medical expenses of aggrieved third-parties

  • Third-party property damage - Suppose one of the dogs you’re walking scratches somebody’s car, knocks over an expensive ornament, or you accidentally break the doorknob while returning the dog home to its owner. If the owner of the property decides to file a claim to get reimbursement, general liability insurance will pay on your behalf


General liability insurance offers additional advertising injury coverage, rented premises liability coverage, and products and completed operations coverage. These provide further protection against claims from third parties.

CoverageFunction

Advertising Injury Coverage
Advertising injury coverage is an optional add-on to general liability insurance that will cover attorney fees, administrative costs, compensatory payments, and other legal expenses if a third-party files a claim for slander, libel, copyright infringement, or other forms of advertising or reputational harm

Products and Completed Operations Coverage
A completed dog walking service might have caused personal injuries or property damage. If a claim is filed because of this, products and completed operations coverage will kick in and provide the insurance money you can spend on attorney fees, administrative costs court-ordered payments, and other legal expenses

Rented Premises Liability Coverage
Rented premises liability coverage reimburses the landlord if a rented or leased space is damaged due to fire. Add this to general liability insurance if you’re renting a commercial space for your dog walking business

Read more about general liability insurance


Public Liability Insurance for Dog Walkers

All dog walkers should also have public liability insurance for dog walkers and pet sitters. This type of coverage is mainly designed to protect your business from claims coming from the general public. In terms of dog walking, this could be a claim that the dog attacked somebody or even caused a car accident by running out into the road.


Also read:Veterinary Business Insurance for Vets: Cost & Quotes From $11


Dog Walking Van Insurance (Commercial Auto Insurance)

Many dog walkers use a large van or SUV to take their dogs to and from their favorite park or play area. If you’re using a van to transport the dogs you’re walking, then you may want to consider getting it covered by a commercial auto insurance policy. If you bundle your commercial auto policy with your public liability or general liability policy, you’ll also be able to save money and will likely pay less than insuring the van on your personal insurance policy. Commercial auto insurance for dog walkers provides the following protection:

CoverageFunction

Auto Liability Coverage
Auto liability coverage in commercial auto insurance 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 the owners of the damaged properties. 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: the driver is DUI, the driver is operating with no license, the vehicle is running with no headlights, and 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 very comprehensive

Read more about commercial auto insurance


Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Dog Walkers

Workers' compensation insurance is useful if you have employees because it’s a coverage for them if ever work-related accidents or illnesses occur. But note that if you’re in a state where workers' compensation insurance is required for those working solo, then workers comp insurance is crucial even if you have no employees. The table below provides a breakdown of workers’ compensation insurance’s coverage:

CoverageFunction

Employee Treatment/Medical Procedure
While providing a dog walking service, you or an employee might get bitten by a dog, get hit by a car, or experience a heat stroke. Emergency medical treatment/procedure is needed when this happens. One of the jobs of workers' compensation insurance is to cover all of the expenses for surgeries, therapies, etc.

Hospitalization
Workers' compensation will shoulder the billsin case you or an employee suffers from an illness or injury associated with dog walking and needs to stay in the hospital for days, weeks, or months

Medication
If the attending physician requests you or an employee to buy specific medicines to heal a work-related injury or illness, workers' compensation insurance provides the money to be spent

Rehabilitation
Some injuries or illnesses might force you or an employee to take rehab. Workers' compensation insurance also helps with this. Specifically, it will pay for therapist fees, rehab equipment, and other associated expenses

Lost Income Compensation
Workers' compensation insurance will reimburse lost income if you or an employee can’t work due to a work-related injury or disease. Compensation for lost income is a weekly allowance equal to two-thirds of the average weekly wage. This will be received until one is fit to work or a cap mandated by workers comp laws is reached

Death Benefits
Your or an employee might die from a work-related injury or illness. It’s also the job of workers compensation insurance to provide death benefits. Death benefits include but are not limited to funeral payments and financial aid to dependents


Dog Walker Commercial Property Insurance

Get commercial property insurance and insure the commercial space your dog walking business is using to store equipment, admit clients, and take care of clients’ pets. Commercial property insurance’s property functions are:

  • Cover building destruction - If your dog walking business’s commercial space becomes destroyed or lost due to fire or extreme weather, commercial property insurance will recoup losses based on the actual cash value or replacement cost of the scheduled commercial property

  • Cover building damage - If your dog walking business’s commercial space becomes damaged because of fire, theft, extreme weather, vandalism, and other covered perils, commercial property insurance will reimburse losses based on the actual cash value or replacement cost of damaged structures



Dog Walking Insurance Cost

So, by now, you’re probably wondering just how much does dog walking insurance and dog sitter insurance cost. The average small dog walking business insurance cost for a $1 million general liability coverage is $33 per month or $396 per year.


As always, keep in mind that your own dog sitting insurance cost or dog walking insurance cost may be a bit different. Each policy is customized for the individual policyholder and their precise business risks, so it may be cheaper or more expensive, depending on where you live, how you run your business, and other factors that impact the rates.


Below, you’ll find a table outlining some of the average rates quoted by best dog walking insurance companies and providers.

Insurance ProviderAverage Monthly RateAverage Annual RateBest for
CoverWallet$22$264Dog walking insurance online quotes comparison
Thimble$25$300Tailored dog walker insurance with discounts
NEXT$26$312Tailored dog walker insurance with discounts
Mercury Insurance$29.50$354Small to mid-sized dog walking businesses based in major American cities
Chubb$37$444Single-owner dog walking entrepreneurs

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Best Dog Walking Insurance Companies

We figured that we would conclude by showing you our review of the best dog walker insurance companies. All have an easy sign-up process, provide relatively 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. 


CoverWallet Dog Walking Insurance 


Pros

  • Dog walking insurance quotes comparison online 

Cons

  • Not an insurance company but an insurance broker 


CoverWallet doesn’t have a tailored dog walker insurance. But still, know that this insurance broker has an online quotes comparison platform you can use to find insurance companies offering tailored coverage for dog walkers. Quotes you’ll receive can be bought via CoverWallet. Also, 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


Thimble Dog Walking Insurance


Pros

  • Get covered online

  • Dog walking insurance is available as a short-term policy 

Cons

  • 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: $25 per month 

Our rating: 9/10


NEXT Dog Walker Insurance 


Pros

  • Live certificate of insurance

  • Get a discount when buying two or more policies 

Cons

  • Expensive if you have a poor claims history 


NEXT’s tailored insurance for dog walkers has inclusions such as general liability insurance, commercial auto 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: Tailored dog walker insurance with discounts

Average cost: $26 per month 

Our rating: 8/10


Mercury Insurance Commercial Dog Walker


Pros

  • Long-standing reputation for providing comprehensive insurance policies

  • Build your own small business policy to cover your dog walking business

  • Great rates and good customer service

Cons

  • They currently only provide insurance for 11 states - AZ, CA, FL, GA, IL, NV, NJ, NY, OK, TX, VA


Compared to most insurance companies, Mercury actually has an interesting backstory. The Los Angeles-based insurance provider was founded in 1962 by George Joseph. He claimed that he named the company after the Roman god of business, who was known for his quick reflexes and fast thinking.

The company 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, they have great rates and an even better reputation.


Best for: Small to mid-sized dog walking businesses based in major American cities

Average cost: $29.50 per month

Our rating: 7/10


Chubb Dog Walker’s Insurance


Pros

  • The online-only business model keeps prices low

  • Good reviews on customer service

Cons

  • As the business is online-only, it may be harder to get in touch with an agent over a claim


Chubb is another great small business insurance company that we’ve often referred to startup businesses or other small services. They’re based completely online, which helps to keep their prices low and makes applying for insurance relatively easy. You can build your own policy, adding on coverage for whatever your dog walking business needs.


Best for: Single-owner dog walking entrepreneurs

Average cost: $37 per month

Our rating: 6/10

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