Dog Walker Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Dog Walker Insurance?

Professionally walking dogs can be both fun and profitable work, but it’s not without potential risks. After all, being entrusted with the care of someone else’s beloved pet is a significant responsibility. Dog walker insurance policies help dog walkers in Massachusetts from an array of risks they face.

Dog walker insurance policies are specialized commercial policies that have been crafted with dog walkers in mind. Most policies are underwritten as package policies, which means they combine several coverages together to provide robust protection.

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Who in Massachusetts Are Dog Walking Insurance Policies Right For?

Broadly speaking, the majority of individuals and businesses that offer professional dog walking services in Massachusetts ought to carry some form of dog walking insurance. Few people in this line of work have no risk exposure, and a single incident could leave even a well-established business financially devastated. 

Some specific examples of people and businesses that may need a policy include:

  • Business owners who have employees that walk dogs
  • Self-employed dog walkers who work full- or part-time
  • Individuals who occasionally walk dogs for extra income
  • Pet sitters who offer to walk dogs that they watch

Moreover, dog walkers generally shouldn’t wait until their business reaches a certain size before looking at insurance options. Even someone who walks only a few dogs can go through a major incident that destroys their business.

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Dog Walker Insurance Massachusetts

Do Friends and Neighbors Who Walk Dogs Need Dog Walking Insurance?

Friends and neighbors who walk dogs on a periodic basis for people they know usually don’t need commercial dog walking insurance, as long as money isn’t paid for the services. Personal insurance policies that cover such activity are usually available since this isn’t normally considered a business operation.

If compensation is paid for dog walking services, however, a commercial dog walking policy might be needed. Even between friends and neighbors, dog walking that’s offered in exchange for pay could be considered business activity.

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What Coverages Are Available Through Dog Walker Policies?

Dog walker policies are a fairly new insurance product, so there isn’t a single set of coverages that every policy comes with. Nonetheless, there are a few coverages that usually can be acquired through one or more policies. Some of the more common coverages that dog walkers might want to look for are:

  • General Liability Coverage, which may cover some common accidents and liability suits
  • Animal Bailee Coverage, which may cover injury, loss or death of dogs
  • Commercial Auto Coverage, which may be necessary if a car is driven for work
  • Loss Key Coverage, which may pay to rekey a client’s house if their key is misplaced
  • Errors and Omissions Coverage, which may cover work-related mistakes

There may be other insurance coverages that dog walkers want or need. An agent who specializes in this type of policy will know what protections are available and which ones make sense in a given situation.

Dog Walker Insurance Massachusetts

Do Dog Walkers Need Workers Compensation Coverage?

Workers compensation is a coverage that generally protects workers in the event that they’re injured or become ill in the course of their work. Most businesses in Massachusetts that have employees are required to carry the coverage, so dog walking businesses that hire employees usually need to procure the coverage.

Additionally, dog walkers who are self-employed may want protection. Standard health insurance plans sometimes preclude work-related injuries from their coverage, and workers compensation may fill in a work-related gap like this.

In either of these cases, however, whether workers compensation is purchased within or apart from a dog walker policy depends on the particular policy. Workers compensation might be included within a policy, or it may be obtained through a stand-alone policy that’s separate.

How Can Dog Walkers Get Dog Walker Insurance?

For help finding a dog walker insurance policy, contact the independent insurance agents at Scotti Insurance. Our agents are able to show you policy options from several insurance companies in Massachusetts, and they have the expertise necessary to help you select the best available policy for your business.

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