All businesses serving the pet industry should carry insurance, including dog-boarding facilities. No matter how safe and secure your facility may be, accidents can happen at any time, and you bear legal responsibility for all pets in your care. A good insurance policy will protect you financially should a client take legal action for a dog-related event on or off your property, according to Compare Pet Insurance Plans. A variety of policies are available that can be purchased via insurance agents or pet-business associations.
A basic insurance policy should cover you for liability if a dog becomes sick, injured or dies while housed in your facility, according to Financial Web. General liability will cover you if a client is injured on your property or if a dog escapes and bites a stranger, according to Compare Pet Insurance Plans. You may also want a quote that includes coverage for fire, natural disaster and other property-related damages. And if your dog-boarding business provides pick-up and drop-off service, you’ll need coverage for vehicles that transport animals.
Count on spending several hundred dollars a year to insure your dog-boarding business. For example, Kennel Pro offers a basic package that costs $500 annually with options to upgrade coverage as needed. According to Kennel Pak, your annual premium should provide liability coverage to $1 million or more, and the policy should protect you against loss of income if you’re involved in legal action that shuts down your business.
Consult your homeowner’s insurance company first to see if it can offer a policy for your boarding business. If not, a variety of independent pet-service insurers can be found on the Internet. When speaking with an agent, be clear about your type of business. Pet-service policies also exist for kennel breeding, but these may have additional requirements you won’t need covered as a boarding-only facility. If you’d like to gather basic information before calling an insurer, most websites provide online quote functions to get you started.
Membership in a pet-service association typically gives you access to insurance plans. For example, the Pet Care Services Association offers a plan to its members. However, this adds cost you may not need, unless membership will benefit you in other ways. Depending on the type of membership, the PCSA charges several hundred dollars for an annual fee.
Filing a claim on a dog-boarding policy works the same as making a claim on your homeowner’s or car-insurance policy. Document the incident, accident or problem with photos. If law enforcement is involved--say, if there’s an accident involving your business vehicle--obtain a copy of the police report and make notes about how the accident happened. Contact your agent immediately, especially if the incident involves dog injury or death.