What Most Dog Walkers Won’t Tell You About Their Insurance

What Most Dog Walkers Won’t Tell You About Their Insurance

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 05:08

There’s a dirty, little secret in the dog walking world, and most dog walkers will never bring it up. The scariest part to me is that many Las Vegas & Summerlin dog walkers don’t know they are one accident away from financial collapse and some very very angry customers.

This dirty secret is the reason I spend a TON of money every year on insurance. Believe me when I say that my worst nightmares are the same as your worst nightmares when hiring a dog walker. Here’s what keeps me up at night:

1. What if my dog gets attacked on a walk?

I’m no insurance agent but to my understanding this is what general liability insurance is for. I carry insurance that covers your dog’s medical care should something bad happen on a walk. If you would like to learn more about the coverage limits there is a very detailed Q&A page describing the policy I carry. You can view it by going here:

FAQ about the insurance I carry to protect your dog

Keep in mind that for our team of dog walkers dog bites are extremely rare. After nearly 5 years in business and thousands of dog walks we have only filed one claim; it was for a mild dog bite that healed up within a few days (As of July 2012).

I think most Las Vegas dog walkers out there carry this form of insurance but not all. If I were you I would ask to see proof of current general liability insurance. It’s as easy as scanning it and emailing a certificate over, so don’t take any chances or accept any excuses on this issue.

2. What if my dog bites someone on a walk?

This is also covered under the policy I mentioned above. Basically, if your dog bites someone or another dog on a walk we carry insurance to cover medical expenses up to a certain limit. The limits are high enough that I’d be surprised if any dog walker ever surpassed them. I believe most Las Vegas dog walkers carry this insurance as well, but not all of them do so be careful.

3. What if a dog walker steals from me?

Being insured against theft by a dog walker is called being bonded. Yes my company is bonded as well. I have never had anyone that works for me steal from a client as of the date of this posting, but I’m not about to take any chances either.

This is where other dog walkers don’t meet my standards. You have to pay extra for this type of insurance, and while I don’t know how many dog walkers out there pay the extra cash to be bonded, I can guarantee you that not all of them do. So ask for proof of this type of insurance before deciding who to hire.

Thanks for the info Ryan but what is the dirty, little secret of the dog walking world?

Great question, read nightmare #4 below…

4. What if a dog walker gets injured on my property or while walking my dog?

This is where I think a very high percentage of  Las Vegas dog walkers and dog walking companies completely drop the ball. I have a sneaking suspicion that most dog walkers have no coverage for this type of disaster. I’m talking zero.

Again, I’m not an insurance agent but from what I understand you the client can be held responsible. It depends on the situation of course, but if a dog walker gets hurt someone is going to have to pay the medical bills. This will either fall on you, the business, or the dog walker, and if there is no workers compensation insurance in place things can get really ugly and really expensive in a heartbeat. I highly recommend you ask for proof of workers compensation insurance before you trust someone to come into your home and walk your dog.

Well, there you have it!

This concludes my rant about business insurance. I never thought I’d know so much about the insurance world, but I like my beauty rest, and I get a lot more of it when I know your butt is covered and so is mine.

I aim to keep you, my dog walkers and all Las Vegas dogs as safe as possible; especially while we’re on the job.

Best,

Ryan Gwilliam

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