Starting a dog training business is certainly exciting. A career focused on helping dogs become the best versions of themselves?
Uh, sign us up, please!
But with the joy, there are responsibilities, like the not-so-fun task of thinking about dog training business insurance.
Below, we’ll discuss business insurance for dog trainers and try to help you decide whether it’s something you need for your dog training operation.
Dog Training Business Insurance: Key Takeaways
- You may be legally required to obtain insurance for your dog training business. The legal requirements regarding dog training business insurance vary by location, so you must check with a licensed insurance agent or attorney in your area.
- Legalities aside, it’s almost always a good idea for dog trainers to carry business insurance. Basic liability insurance is the bare minimum of coverage most business owners should have, but there are other types of insurance you may want to consider too.
- Always collect and compare quotes before making a decision. It’s natural to want to pick the lowest price, but you have to compare and contrast several quotes, including what’s listed (and not listed) in the fine print to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for your money.
Do Dog Trainers Need Business Insurance?
Simple answer? Like most other dog-related professions (such as insurance for pet sitters), it depends.
Dog trainers in some locations must obtain business insurance, while others may not be legally required to do so.
As with everything, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to this question. Every situation is different, with states and municipalities having their own rules for dog training insurance and other business liability coverage.
For this reason, you should speak with an attorney or a licensed insurance agent in your area to understand your potential legal exposure or requirements.
But whether or not you’re legally required to obtain business insurance, it’s generally wise for most business owners to do so — including dog trainers.
Working with dogs is an unpredictable endeavor, and dog bites and property damage can happen, potentially leaving you liable. Without business insurance, your personal assets may be at risk.
Why Do Dog Trainers Need Business Insurance?
As we all know, insurance premiums aren’t fun to pay, but they can save you a lot of money if something happens. Dog trainers benefit from carrying business insurance in many ways.
Some prime examples where business insurance for dog trainers would come in handy are:
- A dog is injured during training.
- You or one of your employees are bitten.
- A dog you’re training bites someone.
- You accidentally destroy something a client owns.
- A dog you’re training goes missing.
- A client suffers a fall at your training facility.
- Two dogs get in a scuffle at training class.
- An automobile accident occurs in your company vehicle.
- A fire occurs at your training facility.
It’s difficult to think about some of these scenarios, but in an effort to protect your business and assets, you have to cover your bases.
The 3 Best Dog Training Business Insurance Options
Now that you understand the importance of business insurance for dog trainers, we wanted to provide readers with a few good leads. The following three companies are among the leaders in the dog training business insurance space, and it’d be wise to start your search here.
1. Business Insurers of the Carolinas
Business Insurers of the Carolinas is an insurance that specializes in helping clients find good commercial insurance providers (though they also offer a number of personal policies too).
A one-stop insurance resource, this firm works with dozens of insurance providers and offer both “typical” policies (such as worker’s compensation packages), as well as specialized coverage packages for pet trainers and sitters.
But aside from the pet-specific packages they offer, we really like the company’s website – it provides you with the opportunity to do everything from obtain a quote to file a claim to read blog articles about the kinds of coverage you may need.
- They’re already set up to provide insurance options for pet-care professionals.
- K9 of Mine behavior consultant and contributor Kayla Fratt recommends this insurance provider.
- The company’s website is helpful and allows you to obtain quotes or file claims.
- They don’t appear to offer policies for all geographic area.
- Some trainers may simply prefer larger names in the insurance industry.
Business Insurers of the Carolinas is likely the best option for those who value a helpful website and an agency that’s already prepared to provide the kind of coverage trainers need.
2. The Hartford
A well-known name in the insurance industry, The Hartford has been involved in the insurance agency for more than 200 years!
Though they’re best known for being a leader in the property and casualty insurance spaces, they also offer options specifically crafted for pet-oriented professionals. These options include everything from liability insurance to animal bailee coverage.
But despite being such a long-established business, The Hartford is doing their part to embrace forward-thinking practices and programs. For example, they have implemented diversity and sustainability initiatives, and they have taken steps to engage with the communities in which they operate.
- There are few bigger, better-established names in the insurance industry.
- They are likely one of the most stable and dependable insurance providers around.
- Because of the company’s size and reach, most trainers should be able to find policy options available.
- It is sometimes hard to get good customer service some from such gigantic companies.
- Although specific quotes vary, some reviewers reported higher rates than other options.
The Hartford will likely appeal most to dog trainers seeking an established, successful insurance provider, who’s regarded as a true leader in the industry.
3. Pet Care Insurance
Looking for an insurance provider that exclusively focuses on those in the professional pet-care space?
Pet Care Insurance may be the perfect option! And best of all, they offer packages that are not only specifically targeted toward trainers, groomers, dog walkers, and others, they offer very affordable rates, which are great for fledgling business owners.
Pet Care Insurance is technically a subsidiary of Veracity Insurance Solutions. They partner with insurance-industry giant Lloyds of London in order to provide you with exactly the kind of insurance policy you need. In fact, you can see things like rates and coverage limits right on Pet Care Insurance’s webpage.
- They provide policies specifically designed for pet-care professionals.
- They offer very attractive rates (though your individual quote may vary).
- Pet Care Insurance works with some of the leaders in the industry.
- The company is somewhat new by insurance provider standards.
- In our opinion, the website is a bit “high-pressure.”
Pet Care Insurance is probably best-suited for trainers seeking a quick-and-easy, super-affordable insurance solution so they can just focus on training dogs, rather than shopping around for quotes all day.
Picking a Dog Training Business Insurance Plan: Things to Think About
Selecting a dog training business insurance plan may seem overwhelming, but by breaking it down into bite-sized chunks, it’s a lot easier to digest, and you can narrow things down to what works best for you and your business.
The top things to look at while browsing dog training business insurances plans are:
- Premiums: Premiums (your monthly or annual bill) will vary depending on your needs, but you’ll still need to select a plan that features premiums that won’t eat up all of your revenue. You want to find a plan that’s affordable but still offers sufficient protection.
- Coverage limits: Having a bare-bones plan might be cheap, but it can cost you big-time if damages exceed your plan’s coverage or don’t fall under your policy’s guidelines.
- Ability to make changes: Most companies allow for online policy management, giving you full control on the go. Others may have a “locked-in” period, so always read the small print to avoid a headache.
- Bundling options: Some companies offer packaged business insurance plans that save you money. Your existing insurance company (homeowner or auto) may also offer you a discount on plans as an existing customer.
What Kind of Insurance Do Dog Trainers Need?
There are a variety of different types of insurance dog trainers may need to operate legally.
Your jurisdiction has its own unique set of requirements, so talking to an insurance agent or lawyer in your area is the best way to nail down exactly what coverage you need to be legal.
This is especially important since you aren’t likely to find “dog trainer business insurance” policies provided by many insurance companies. Instead, you’ll be looking for forms of general business insurance.
Dog trainers may benefit from carrying the following types of general business insurance:
- Liability: Working with live animals is risky, and bites and injuries can happen to you, the dog, the owner, and potentially other people or pets nearby. Liability insurance can protect you in these instances, covering incurred costs like medical or veterinary bills that are the result of work-related injuries. Liability coverage may also cover property damage caused by you or the dogs you’re training.
- Animal bailee: This is an animal-specific coverage of the dogs in your care, covering costs in the event of injury, illness, or death.
- Business equipment: This form of insurance covers your dog training equipment in the event of loss, damage, theft, or vandalism. This often includes losses caused by so-called “acts of God” caused by weather too.
- Commercial property: This covers the facility you own or lease for your training business against damage or loss. This might include coverage for fire, flood, or storms and may include the training equipment stored inside.
- Workers’ compensation: This reimburses trainers who become injured on the job for lost wages and medical expenses.
- Commercial auto: If your business utilizes vehicles like cars or SUVs for dog transport, you may be required to have this form of coverage in your state.
- Business interruption: This form of insurance covers the loss of income you may see after a disaster that disrupts your business.
- Data breach: Hacking is an ongoing threat for all businesses, and this coverage protects you against liability in the event that hackers access your clients’ personal information via your dog training business software.
- Errors and omissions: Claims of negligence or inadequate work are covered by this form of insurance.
Just remember that insurance requirements, coverage levels, and terminology varies state to state (one again highlighting the importance of speaking with a licensed professional).
For example, training businesses in states with higher costs of living may benefit from higher coverage thresholds.
Some insurance companies have taken the guesswork out of policy shopping by bundling insurance packages for small businesses. These may be worth investigating, so be sure to ask prospective companies if any such bundles are available. Not only can these save you time, but they might save you a little bit of money too.
Another thing to consider is the general manner in which you provide training services.
Every dog trainer runs his or her business differently, with some transporting dogs to and from training sessions while others operate a dedicated training facility. Others may even make house calls to clients.
Each approach comes with its own potential legal exposure, so make sure you detail your business activities to a licensed agent to get the best coverage for you.
How Much Does Dog Training Business Insurance Cost?
The cost of dog training business insurance will vary significantly depending on the size of your business, your location, the policy selected, and more. Cost savings opportunities such as bundling or loyalty programs can also save you money on premiums.
You’ll have to shop around and get quotes, but generally, rock-bottom, no-frills policies start around $20 per month for a single-person business and rise from there. Those with large operations including multiple company cars and facilities can expect to pay several hundred dollars monthly.
How Do I Obtain a Dog Training Business Insurance Policy?
Getting a dog training business insurance policy starts with getting quotes from providers in your area. These are typically valid for 30 days and contain verbiage of what is and isn’t covered, so pay close attention to the fine print.
Don’t rush to close on the lowest bid, either. Call around and ask other trainers for their insurance contacts to make sure you cover all your bases and find the best business insurance plan for you.
Do you have a business insurance plan for your training business already? Do you have any advice for other trainers? Let us know in the comments!