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Dog Walking Insurance: Cost, Liability & Quotes

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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!

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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 auto detailing insurance. 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. 

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. 

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.

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dog walking in the field

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 you from dog or property damage claims against your dog walking business from third parties. 

For example, 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. In that case, your general liability policy should cover your back. 

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. 

Dog Walking Van Insurance (Commercial Auto)

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 pups 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. 

Read more about commercial auto insurance


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 general liability coverage is $33 per month, or $396 per year. 

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

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. 

Insurance ProviderAverage Monthly RateAverage Annual Rate
Thimble$16$190
CoverWallet$22$264
Mercury Insurance$29.50$352
Chubb $37$441
State Farm$31.50$375
Geico$42$510
Next $33$394

Best Dog Walking Insurance Companies

Now, to give you a bit more context, we figured that we would conclude by showing you our review of two of the best dog walker insurance companies on the market- Mercury and Chubb. Both have an easy sign-up process, provides relatively cheap business insurance, and have positive customer service and claims ratings. Let’s check them out! 

Mercury Insurance Commercial Dog Walker

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. 

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, including: AZ, CA, FL, GA, IL, NV, NJ, NY, OK, TX, VA

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

Average Cost: $29.50 per month. 

Insuranks Rating: 4/5

Chubb Dog Walker’s Insurance

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. 

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. 

Best For: Single-owner dog walking entrepreneurs. 

Average Cost: $37 per month. 

Insuranks Rating: 4.5/5

Compare Dog Walking Insurance Quotes

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