When you run a store in the retail industry like a clothing store or jewelry shop , there are likely a lot of things going through your mind. Meeting the bills, keeping employees happy, and managing your time properly are just a few of the things that business owners have to consider each day.
The same is true when running a pet shop. Animals can get sick or cause an accident. Also, there are rules and regulations that you might unintentionally violate too. This is where pet shop insurance comes into play, protecting your business and the animals under your care.
This guide will cover everything that business owners should know about pet store insurance. We’re going to start off with the most common types of insurance that you can get your hands on for pet shops. When that’s done, we’ll discuss the cost of pet shop insurance before diving into three of the best pet shop insurance companies.
Pet stores expose customers to a lot of dangers. For this reason, laws and regulations are in place to mitigate the risks customers might face. Measures pet shops take to keep customers safe are as follows:
Selling only pets/animals free from abnormalities and disease
Acquiring a special license before selling an exotic animal
Regular cleaning and properly disposing of animal excretions in the pet store
Placement of trash bins in low traffic and non-public sections of the pet store to avoid tripping and slipping
Implementing a health protocol that mandates the proper handling of pets to avoid the transmission of animal diseases, which might be harmful to human beings
Putting animals in cages to avoid customers getting bitten
Regardless, despite taking a lot of measures to mitigate the possibility of injuries to customers, pet shops can’t fully prevent accidents from happening. And this is why there must be general liability insurance ready and waiting to take care of personal injury claims that require a lot of money to settle at court. Here are some examples:
PetSmart faced a lawsuit demanding $1 million compensation when the plaintiff slipped and fell upon stomping on a dog poop store employees failed to clean
A woman, who slipped in a pool of liquid while shopping in the PetCo Animal Supplies store, filed a lawsuit seeking monetary compensation for physical pain and monetary loss
In 2006, PetCo faced a lawsuit after another customer’s puppy bit the plaintiff’s daughter and caused minor injuries
PetCo faced a lawsuit in 2013 accusing them of having liability over the death of a 10-year-old customer, who was bitten by the rat the pet store in question sold
Pet shops should be on high alert for slip and fall accidents as these are costly and can easily happen. Most of the time customers hold pet shops liable by saying that there’s no wet floor sign placed or the management failed to properly maintain and clean the premises.
" A second hazard is that pet stores can have aisles and merchandise that is more dangerous than other stores. For example, pet store aisles often have spilled materials, such as liquids, feed, straw, and rocks. These can constitute a tripping hazard, especially for children who may make up a significant portion of the customer base. In addition, even if the store is prompt to clean up messes, that results in more freshly mopped floors than other stores, such as clothing and department stores "
Dogs and cats are the most common pets sold in pet stores. And so, to gain insights into the likelihood of slips and falls happening in pet stores, we looked at the research published at the Journal of Safety research exploring dogs and cats as slip and fall hazards. Key findings from the research are:
There are about 86,629 slip and fall accidents dogs and cats caused
The most common injuries are fractures, contusions, and abrasions
Females are more likely to experience slip and fall accidents than males
Here’s a table showing the average cost of slip and fall settlement based on the type of injury the plaintiff sustained:
|Type of Injury||Cost|
The possibility of a customer contracting a disease from the animals in a pet shop is something that many online sources rarely talk about. And so, we find it rightful to discuss here. Dogs, cats, and exotic pets all carry some diseases that are more or less harmful to human beings. In the event that the human body reacts severely to a disease coming from an animal, sickness isn’t the only aftermath but might be even death. Highly dangerous diseases humans may contract from pet shops are:
State laws say that pet shops have a certain degree of liability for any kind of harm customers experience so long as it’s proven that there’s the failure to act and take the necessary precautions to ensure safety. It’s very easy for customers to file a claim and ask for a settlement no matter how trivial their injuries might be. And so, general liability insurance can be a very trusty armor against the financial breakdown personal injury claims might bring.
Employee injuries are also common in pet shops. That’s why owners or managers should opt to get workers' comp insurance. Common injuries employees in pet shops might experience are:
Getting cut or struck by an object
Disease brought by the use of harmful chemicals
Eye and skin irritation
Contracting animal diseases
Slips and falls
The research conducted in Washington over a 5-year period tells how common worker’s compensation claims are. During the study period, which started in 2007 and ended in 2011, the researchers tallied a total of an estimated 700,000 workers' compensation claims. Only 6,000 were granted by carriers. Nonetheless, most accepted claims awarded monetary compensation or medical aid to the claimants. This research only touches the tip of the iceberg. Nonetheless, it clearly shows that workers' compensation claims are common in pet shops, veterinary clinics, pet grooming services, and other related businesses. And so, to avoid paying for expenses using one’s own finances, pet shops and others mentioned shouldn’t think twice about getting workers comp insurance.
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Another great pet shop business insurance is a BOP or business owner's policy. This kind of policy isn’t just a single form of coverage like a general or public liability policy. Rather, it’s a combination of different types of coverage.
If you know a thing or two about the insurance industry then you know that carriers like to bundle their services and offer a discount. This ensures that they get more of your business and that you can get better prices for what would have cost you more when had you purchased it separately.
A BOP combines different types of insurance depending on which carrier you purchase it from, but most offer two components. The first of these is a liability policy. This can be either public liability or general liability depending on the cost of the business owner policy. This is then coupled with a commercial property insurance policy that exists to cover any damage to the building or some of the items within it.
Determining how much pet store insurance is going to cost you tends to be a lot harder than figuring that out for any number of other businesses. Don’t get us wrong, it’s hard to have an idea of how much your insurance will cost without a quote as pet stores are unique.
This is due to the wide range of animals that you could be selling within your pet store. If you’re selling expensive cats, then you can expect to pay quite a bit for your insurance. This is also the case if you’re selling exotic animals that may end up injuring one of your customers.
However, the animals themselves aren’t the only factor that goes into determining the cost of your pet shop insurance. Another factor that you’ll have to consider is the size of your pet shop, which will have just as large (if not more) of an impact on your eventual insurance premiums.
When you think about it, it makes sense that larger stores have higher premiums because they have more stock and they see more customers throughout a year, making them more likely to need to make a claim at some point or another.
To ensure that the following numbers are good reference values, we’ve gone ahead and used a medium-sized pet store with a good claims history to gather them.
|Company||Cost per month||Cost per year|
The average cost of pet shop insurance based on the numbers we’ve gathered from these three carriers is about $42.79 per month or $513.58 per year for $1 million liability coverage.
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The best pet shop insurance company can be hard to find if you don’t know where to look or if you don’t have the patience to deal with getting a dozen different quotes. While we can’t guarantee that the following companies will be the best for your needs, they will at least give you a good place to start looking for the best policy for your pet shop.
To make it easier for you to decide which of these companies will give you the best possible service, we’ve gone ahead and put down some info about their policies, their company histories, and how much they charge for pet shop insurance provided that you only want to get a $1 million general liability coverage. We’ll also break down their pros and cons as well as what we think they're best for.
Based in England, smei is a company that has focused on providing several forms of insurance to its clients over the course of its relatively short existence. Though the company was only founded in 2002, they have brought much peace of mind to clients in all sorts of industries, including pet shops.
smei offers a huge variety of coverage options to pet shop owners, and their standard coverages include contents, accidental damage, business interruption, public and products liability, and more. They also have add-ons like legal expenses, subsidence, terrorism, buildings cover, and goods in transit.
Average cost : $14.93
Best for : Pet stores looking for more than one type of coverage
Our rating : 4/5
AmTrust is a financial services company that is based in New York and was founded in the 1990s. The company typically works with smaller businesses, and while they specialize in workers’ comp specifically, the company still offers a myriad of other insurance products.
Due to their focus on workers’ comp, AmTrust offers a bit more of a limited selection of policies than the competition. With them, you’ll be able to get your hands on the aforementioned workers’ comp, a BOP, or a lone general liability insurance policy. Their BOPs are a little more in-depth, however, featuring a business interruption component in addition to liability and commercial property coverage.
Average cost: $39
Best for: Small pet stores
Our rating: 5/5
Petplan is an insurance provider that started off by only offering insurance for pets themselves, but they have since expanded into offering commercial insurance for pet stores as well. While the company started in the UK, it is now a multinational insurer.
Petplan offers coverage for pet stores under its Petplan Professional policy. The company’s business insurance features several components, many of which are optional, including property coverage, business interruption insurance, glass coverage, and broadform liability insurance.
Average cost : $47.5
Best for : Insurance that's highly tailored for pet stores
Our rating : 4/5
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.
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