Sometimes, it can be easy to think that you don’t need insurance if you’re running a dog walking business, particularly if you’re a sole operator and don’t have any employees.
However, all businesses face risks, and dog walking businesses are no different. It is important to make sure that your dog walking business is protected in case something goes wrong.
So, does a dog walking business insurance contain?
Liability insurance is the most important type of insurance for a dog walking business and no dog walking business should consider operating without it.
This type of insurance covers you if a compensation claim is made against you by someone who alleges that something you have done, or failed to do, has resulted in them being injured or their property being damaged. In addition to covering any compensation awarded to the claimant, it also covers any additional costs and expenses, including the claimant’s lost income if they have been unable to work as a result of the incident.
Compensation claims can be expensive to settle. If someone is seriously injured it is not uncommon for the compensation award to exceed £250,000 and, by the time the other costs and expenses have been factored in, the final settlement amount can be considerably higher. Even a relatively minor injury can cost in excess of £1,000 to settle.
As well as covering any compensation, liability insurance also covers any legal fees and your liability insurer will handle any compensation claims made against you on your behalf which means that you do not have to deal with solicitors or get involved in potentially complex legal arguments.
There are two types of liability insurance. All dog walking businesses should have public liability insurance cover to protect if a compensation claim is made against them by members of the public.
Dog walking businesses with employees should also have employer’s liability insurance. This protects them if a compensation claim is made against them by one of their employees, and it’s a legal requirement for any business that employs someone to have this type of insurance. There are heavy penalties if you employ people and do not have this insurance.
Personal accident & sickness insurance
Personal accident and sickness insurance protects your income if you are unable to work because you are ill or have been injured. Having this insurance means you can concentrate on your recovery without having to worry about how you are going to be able to cover your outgoings.
This insurance pays a weekly benefit if your incapacitation is temporary. If you are going to be permanently incapacitated, a lump sum is payable instead. A lump sum is also payable in the event of death or certain other injuries, such as the loss of a limb or eye.
Legal expenses insurance
If you find yourself involved in legal action it can be costly. Legal expenses insurance covers your legal fees if you find yourself in this situation and your legal expenses insurer can help guide you through the legal maze.
A range of different types of legal action are covered, including:
- Contractual disputes
- Disputes with neighbours
- Criminal charges
- Tax and VAT inspections
Although most dog walking businesses don’t tend to have a lot of business property, they will usually have office equipment to manage their bookings and accounts, and it can be a surprise when the value of all of this property is added up. Without this office equipment you would be unable to trade, so you should protect it via property insurance which will cover it against losses due to accidental damage or theft.
Note that if you are a home-based business, you shouldn’t rely on your home contents insurance because often that will include an exclusion of business property.