What does it mean for a pet sitter or dog walker to be “insured” and/or “bonded”?
Finding an insured pet sitter is the best thing you can do for your pets and property. Pet sitter insurance has a safe and secure ring to it, but do you know what having this kind of insurance coverage means for you and your pets?
“I think I’ll ask my neighbor/friend/kid down the street to watch my pets while I’m gone, What’s the WORST that can happen?”
Don’t make this common and dangerous mistake! Having a neighbor or friend watch your house and pets might seem like a convenience, but putting inexperienced and uninsured/bonded people in charge of your home and animals can be worse than you might think. Typically, your friends do not carry any kind of liability insurance and most people aren’t skilled in dealing with pet or home-related emergencies or certain pet’s special or medical needs.
Understanding Pet Insurance
One of the primary areas of pet sitter or dog walker insurance is called “Care, Custody & Control” Coverage.
Care, Custody, and Control (CCC) Coverage is the key ingredient to insuring a pet sitter. This provides coverage for the clients’ pets and personal property in the sitter’s care, custody or control, which includes pets while in transport in a vehicle, pet taxi and other means. It also covers damages to the home or property. Veterinary medical expenses are also a part of the CCC Coverage and the pet sitter’s insurance policy pays for claims, regardless of the negligence/fault for accidents or injuries to pets.
“Bonding” insurance protects you from damage or acts of theft in your home on the part of your service provider’s employees or contractors. Bonding helps ensure that the job the sitter has been hired to do is performed and that the customer is protected against losses from theft or damage done by a company’s employees or contractors.
If a pet sitting business does not have employees or independent contractors, bonding isn’t a requirement.
Pet Sitter Insurance & Bonding Can Save You from Financial Loss and Legal Troubles
Smart, conscientious, and reputable pet sitters and dog walkers take their pet care and home sitting services very seriously, and will ensure that their insurance coverage is more than sufficient to cover damages, accidents, or injuries to your pets and property. You should also look for a sitter who is Pet First Aid and CPR Certified, providing you an additional layer of security and protection for your critters.
How Much Can Hiring a Non-Professional Cost You?
The following data is provided by PSI (Pet Sitters International) and provides an eye-opening look at how expensive (and unexpected) accidents or injuries to pets and people can be.
Imagine if any of the following happened while a neighbor, friend, or teenager were caring for your pets and property:
Pet sitter insurance claims:
Pet sitter clogged toilet in clients’ apartment causing damage to two apartments below.
While getting out of pet sitter’s vehicle, the dog fell and broke its leg
Pet sitter’s car was broken into and ring of keys were stolen, client’s locks were changed
Cat was shut in bedroom for several days by mistake by pet sitter. Cat was severely dehydrated.
Jogger attempted to pass dog walker and was bitten on the leg by client’s dog
Dog in pet sitter’s care bit a pedestrian on the leg, back and arm while on walk
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Pet Sitter ‘Bond’ Claims
Employee of pet sitting company stole jewelry from client’s home
Employee of pet sitting business stole client’s prescription medication
Do the Right Thing for Your Pets & Home: Hire an Insured & Bonded Animal Care Professional!
I hope this has clarified how pet sitter insurance and bonding works and how important it is to take that extra step to protect your home, property, and pets. And go one step further: ask to see proof of insurance, bonding and first aid/CPR certification. A superior sitter will be able to present you with relevant cards and paperwork on the first home visit, and all should be current and verifiable.
Good luck finding the perfect sitter!