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Pet Sitting Insurance and Bonding

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Without pet sitters, it would be hard for pet owners to pull all-nighters at work, go on long vacations, or otherwise be away from their pets for extended periods of time. As we all know, some pets can’t even stand to be alone for more than a few hours at a time before they start ripping up whatever they can find in the house. 

From extended stays to brief daily check-ins, pet sitters are the people that pet owners can rely on to take care of their pets when they’re not around. While it may be common for people to watch each other’s pets as a favor, pet sitters who watch animals as a business should purchase a pet sitters insurance policy to cover them against any number of claims that could arise. 

If you’re just starting your pet sitting business, one of your first steps should be to buy a small business insurance policy before you even start offering your services to clients. 

Below, we’ll explain the basics of pet sitting insurance and bonding, outline the common types of insurance that you may need for your pet sitting business and provide you with a comparison of pet sitting insurance rates. Finally, we’ll review several of our favorite pet sitting insurance brands. Let’s check it out!

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Pet Sitting Insurance and Bonding: The Basics

Pet sitting business insurance is a small business insurance policy that’s designed to cover specific risks associated with pet sitting businesses. Some of the common risks associated with pet sitting include:

  • Theft of property within the client’s home. 

  • Damage of property within the client’s home. 

  • Injury to the pet inside of the client’s home. 

  • Injury to neighbors or other third-party individuals inside or outside of the home. 

Obviously, you should always do your best to make sure that these instances don’t happen. This means hiring reliable employees, following the client’s instructions on how to care for the pet, and keeping the pet (as well as other pets and people) safe from any dangerous situations that could result in injury.

However, no matter how well you’ve covered your bases, you have to understand that there’s always the possibility of something unexpected happening. Perhaps a client loses an item and blames it on you, or a dog is injured while you’re not at the house, and they blame it on you. 

Without proper insurance coverage, you would have to pay out of pocket to fight the legal claim in court. If you lost the case, you would then have to pay even more out of pocket to cover the claim. A simple accident could easily turn into a $10,000 or more legal fiasco that could bankrupt your business and drain your personal accounts. 

A proper pet sitting insurance policy ensures that you’ll never be held personally responsible for claims that come against your business. Should a claim or lawsuit arise, your insurer will handle all of the legal fees and fight the claim for you. If they lose, then they’ll cover the claim so that you don’t have to pay out of your own pocket. 

How Bonding Works For Your Pet Care Business

In addition to pet minding insurance, many pet sitters also purchase a bond for their pet sitting business. Often, states and county governments legally require companies to be bonded before they’re allowed to offer a service to the public. 

There are a number of different types of bonds in the business world, but the most common type of bond when it comes to pet sitting is a surety bond. Essentially, this is a bond stating that your pet sitting business will abide by all local laws and regulations. Among other things, this means that your business will provide your services as described and offer accurate pricing and billing.

For the most part, bonding is just a certification that increases your trustworthiness in the eyes of your client. In fact, many pet owners won’t even hire an un-bonded pet sitting business in the first place. They often see a lack of bonding as a lack of professionalism and commitment to quality service. 

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pet sitting at home

Hopefully, by now, you have a better understanding of how pet sitting insurance works and why it’s important to a bonded pet sitting business. Now, it’s time to get into the specifics and show you the different types of insurance coverage offered by most insurance providers. 

When you get in touch with business insurance companies, your agent, the company, or the online portal, will typically give you a list of common business insurance coverage types to choose from. It’s important to know the difference between the various coverage types to ensure that your pet sitting business really is protected if you face some kind of unexpected financial expense in the future that is related to the business. 

Liability Insurance for Pet Sitters

The most common type of insurance for pet sitters is liability insurance. As the name implies, liability insurance is designed to keep you from being financially “liable” for a claim. As we discussed earlier, you (as an individual) are responsible for paying claims out of your own pocket without insurance. 

Liability insurance for pet sitters will cover associated legal fees and payout claims as long as the incident is covered within your insurance policy. There are generally two types of liability insurance when it comes to pet sitting. You’ll need to look at general liability and public liability insurance. Let’s take a brief look at the difference between the two. 

General Liability Insurance for Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters

General liability insurance is the most common type of coverage for pet sitters (and also dog walkers, if you do that as well). General liability insurance covers a wide range of “generalized” incidents that could occur while pet sitting. These may include:

  • Property damage to a client’s home. 

  • A pet getting sick or injured under your watch (and associated veterinary fees). 

  • A pet escaping and hurting somebody else or another dog while under your watch. 

Overall, a general liability policy is the most comprehensive policy available for pet sitting businesses. It can cover a wide range of claims stemming from public claims, employee-related claims, and also claims coming from your clients. 

Public Liability Insurance for Pet Sitters

Public liability insurance is typically more economical than general liability coverage. As discussed above, general liability policies cover a wide range of claims, including public claims, employee claims, and client/vendor claims. 

In contrast, a public liability policy only covers you against claims coming from the public. In terms of pet sitting, these types of claims would usually be related to a pet you’re watching escaping and causing damage or injury to a third party. However, it won’t cover any claims stemming from your client, which means that you won’t be covered should you accidentally damage anything while pet sitting at the client’s home or their pet is injured. 

That being said, we tend to recommend general liability insurance policies to most pet sitting businesses. Generally speaking, it only costs a little bit more than PLI and is well worth the extra coverage you’ll receive.

 

Is Cat Sitting Insurance Covered Under Pet Sitting Insurance? 

When most people think of pet sitting, they typically think of dog sitting. However, your pet sitting insurance policy should cover taking care of just about any animal, including cats. Your insurance price shouldn’t be any different for dog sitting versus cat sitting. 


How Much Does Dog Walking Insurance Cost?

Some pet sitters also offer dog walking services to their clients. In this case, you may need to inform your agent that you need insurance for dog walkers and pet sitters. In most cases, this will only make your insurance rates increase incrementally. 

By itself, the average dog walking insurance cost is $33 per month or $396 per year for general liability coverage. To see a full breakdown of the pet walking insurance cost, keep reading!

Read more about dog walking insurance

Pet Sitting Insurance Comparison: Average Cost 

Pet sitter insurance is usually quite affordable. Overall, the risks associated with the business are quite low, which means that the average pet sitting business insurance cost is $26 per month or $310 per year for a general liability insurance policy. 

To give you an average idea of how much to budget, we’ve included a handy table below, outlining the average general liability rates covered by top pet sitting insurance providers. Check it out! 

Insurance ProviderAverage Monthly RateAverage Annual Rate
Geico$28$338
State Farm$26.50$317
Pet Sitters International Insurance$20.50$245
Pet Sitter Associates Insurance$18$210
Pet Care Insurance$16.50$197

Keep in mind that these are just the average rates obtained from comparing consumer policyholder data across the country. Your actual pet insurance quote may be cheaper or slightly more expensive, depending on where you do business, whether or not you have employees or partners working with you, and your annual revenue. 

However, this list should give you a good idea of what to set aside for your monthly budget while creating your business plan.

Comparing quotes from different insurers is the best way to get a great deal on insurance. When you shop around, insurance companies are more likely to give you a better deal on your quote as they’re all competing for your business!  

To get your personalized pet sitting insurance quote, simply click the ‘Get Quotes’ button below, follow the simple process and you’ll receive online pet sitting insurance quotes and coverage options from some of the best pet sitting insurance companies in America. 

Best Pet Sitting Insurance Companies

If you use our custom quote generator to find pet sitting insurance coverage, it’s very likely that several of the companies listed in the table above will contact you with competitive pricing and insurance rates. In addition to the prices offered by insurers, it also helps to have a bit of background on the companies themselves. 

So, in this section, we’ve provided you with a brief review of the best pet sitting insurance companies that our clients sign up with. 

Geico Pet Sitting Insurance

Geico is the nation’s second-largest insurance company and provides everything from car insurance to business insurance. If you’re looking for an easy, straightforward application process for your pet sitting business insurance, then Geico can hook you up. Once you’ve signed up, you can handle your policy billing and claims through Geico’s easy-to-use smartphone app. 

Pros:

  • Easy to sign up for. 

  • You can bundle your pet sitting policy with other Geico policies you may have. 

  • Manage your policy through Geico’s easy-to-use app. 

Cons:

  • May be more expensive than going with a dedicated pet sitting insurance provider. 

Best For: Pet sitting businesses who want an easy-to-manage policy. 

Average Cost: $28 per month.

Insuranks Rating: 4/5

Pet Sitters International Insurance

Pet Sitters International is more than just an insurance company. They’re primarily a club that’s dedicated to providing education and resources to pet sitters. Based out of North Carolina, PSI offers affordable pet sitting insurance designed to protect your business and your client’s pet while their in-home, in transit, or on a walk to the park. 

Pros:

  • Dedicated pet sitting insurance company. 

  • Get access to pet sitting resources through your PSI club membership. 

Cons:

  • No smartphone app, so handling your billing and claims may be a bit more difficult. 

Best For: Small pet sitting businesses that want to be a part of a pet sitting club. 

Average Cost: $20.50 per month. 

Insuranks Rating: 4.5/5

State Farm Pet Sitting Insurance

State Farm is the biggest insurance company in the United States and they offer coverage for just about every type of business or personal asset that you could think of, including pet sitting insurance. While they may be slightly more expensive than a dedicated pet sitting insurance company (like PSI, for example), they have excellent customer service ratings and an easy-to-use smartphone app to help you manage your policy. 

Pros:

  • Excellent customer service ratings and the ability to bundle policies. 

  • Offices across the nation, so it’s easy to get in touch with agents about claims. 

  • Smartphone app to help you manage your insurance policy. 

Cons:

  • May be more expensive than a dedicated pet insurance provider. 

Best For: Existing State Farm customers who want to bundle their pet sitting insurance with their other State Farm policies. 

Average Cost: $26.50 per month.

Insuranks Rating: 4.5/5

Pet Sitter Associates Insurance

Like Pet Sitters International, Pet Sitter Associates provides an annual membership to a pet care business club. As a member, you’ll be added to their business directory, which can help you secure new clients. You’ll also receive special pricing for PSA insurance. They offer customized policies for pet sitters, dog walkers, groomers, and more! 

Pros:

  • PSA membership will connect you with new pet sitting clients. 

  • Incredible rates on pet sitters insurance. 

  • Customized policies for your pet care business. 

Cons:

  • No in-person agents or smartphone app to manage your policy. 

Best For: Single-person pet sitting businesses. 

Average Cost: $18 per month. 

Insuranks Rating: 5/5

Pet Care Business Insurance

Based out of Utah, Pet Care Insurance offers competitive pricing for insurance policies and are dedicated to covering small pet care businesses. Whether you’re a pet sitter, groomer, dog walker, trainer, or even a poop remover, Pet Care Insurance has small business insurance policies starting as low as $140 per month and averaging around $197 for pet sitting businesses. 

Pros:

  • Dedicated pet care business insurer. 

  • Great rates for simple policies. 

Cons:

  • They only offer pet care business insurance, so you won’t be able to bundle policies as you would with a larger insurer. 

Best For: Small pet sitters and other pet care professionals. 

Average Cost: $16.50 per month. 

Insuranks Rating: 4/5

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