Every grooming business needs insurance but are there specific types of coverage unique to pet groomers? Yes, and most groomers overlook these coverages. In fact, most insurance companies don’t offer them! You will hear insurance sales tell you there is liability coverage, but is it really for animals and not just people? In states where pet owners can sue for more than the replacement cost of their pets do you have coverage for lawsuits seeking compensation for “pain and suffering” cause by the harm or loss of their pets in addition to replacement of pets? I hope so! Pain and suffering lawsuits can easily reach $50,000 or more in some states.
If you aren’t working with an insurance agent or broker that specializes in pet grooming business insurance, your insurance quote may not include all of the elements recommended for more complete professional coverage for a grooming business. Below is a list of elements we would expect for a commercial salon or shop, some of which would be included in a mobile grooming business but of course, mobile groomers needed additional elements of coverage. Some additional elements of coverage not mentioned below may be required too depending upon your location, contracts and agreements, codes of law and other factors. Please inquire with your insurance professional for all insurance coverage you require.
Your insurance policy is likely to list most of the categories of coverage listed below except those in red are of great importance. Most insurance companies do not provide the Animal Floater or Professional Liability coverages unless they are specialists in grooming business coverage. To the best of our knowledge at this time only two companies provide those coverages and they are made available to insurance brokers specializing in the pet care industry. Never assume you have these coverages, the odds are you don’t unless you are working with insurance specialists within the grooming industry. Both of these coverages are essential in states that allow pet owners to seek damages and compensation beyond animal replacement costs should their pets be harmed or die as a result of your services or during their time within your care.
For example, a grooming business is struck by fire and pets die. Your fire coverage may coverage the building and contents, but what about pets? Fire coverage does not usually cover the pets beyond possibly the replacement cost of the pet victims. What if the fire was a result of your negligence? Fire coverage is not likely your negligence leading to a fire and resulting in pet victims, but professional liability might provide some relief. Many general policies not specifically written for pet groomers do not cover pets that escape your business. If these pets are permanently lost or killed such as running into a street and being hit by a car, you may have substantial lawsuit filed against you. You need animal floater and professional liability coverage. In fact, there have been incidents where escaping pets ran into the street and actually caused and accident between two or more cars. The grooming businesses were actually sued by the insurance companies providing auto insurance to the drivers.
- Coverage Limit Deductible
- Animal Floater
- Professional Liability (“malpractice”)
- General Liability
- Fire Legal Liability
- Medical Payment
- Accounts Receivable – Transit or Home
- Accounts Receivable – Your Premises
- Ordinance / Law Coverage
- Non Owned / Hired Car Liability
- Valuable Papers
- Loss of Business Income
- Business Computer & Media
- Employee Dishonesty
- Money & Securities (Business)
- Mobile Vehicle or Pick-up and Delivery Vehicle (if appropriate)
It may not be enjoyable to sit down and carefully study your insurance policies but how else will you know you have the full coverage you require? We suggest you work with insurance brokers only that specialize in the pet industry. ♦