While all businesses face inherent risks, additional risks are present anytime animals are involved. This is why we offer Animal Hospital and Pet Grooming Insurance programs, which include General Liability, Business Auto, Errors & Omissions, Property, Crime, Workers’ Compensation and more.
A pet grooming business can be a one-person mobile operation or a larger operation of grooming technicians who bathe, shear, clip and provide other personal services for pets.
When working with animals, anything can happen: they can escape into traffic possibly causing an accident, or suffer an allergic reaction to a product, or cause damage to property of others if not restrained on a leash or in a cage. Then there are the day-to-day risks such as a pet falling from an exam table, spread of kennel diseases, animals getting cuts from medical or grooming equipment. An injury or even death to a pet or a customer could cost you many thousands of dollars in damages. Medical or veterinary bills, rehabilitation bills, lost wages and legal fees are only some of the costs you could incur if a claim is filed against you and/or your business.
Professional liability, also known as Errors & Omissions, protects the veterinarian and technicians if a claim alleges a mistake or negligence in the services provided caused injury, loss or damage. For example, if a complication during surgery worsens the animal’s health or results in death, professional liability covers any medical or legal costs. Or, an animal might be treated incorrectly or misdiagnosed resulting in worsened condition or death.
Employees of any businesses can become injured or sick due to work-related duties. The potential for injury when working with animals increases dramatically. In addition to the day-to-day possible injuries due to falls or heavy lifting, workers face coming into contact with hazardous substances and being bitten by animals. Animals are hosts to parasites such as fleas and worms that carry diseases that could potentially affect employees and require costly remedies or medical treatments.
Many pet grooming services are mobile and many animal clinics offer mobile services, which means business auto insurance is required. Employees may use company or personal vehicles to pick up supplies from a vendor, pick up or deliver pets, visit farms to take care of livestock, or just run office errands. If involved in an accident, basic coverage of a business auto insurance policy covers bodily injury and damage to the company-owned vehicles involved. It’s not uncommon for large farm animals to ram or kick vehicles, causing serious damage. Traffic accidents can happen to anyone, and even a fender bender in parking lot can result in costly repairs.
Your office building and the equipment, furniture, animals and files in it are always at risk from severe weather conditions, fire, chemical combustion, plumbing/electrical mishaps, theft and other factors outside of your control. Property insurance also covers outdoor signs and outbuildings included in the policy.
For example, a tornado or hurricane could blow the roof off a building, which in turn would likely lead to water damage from rain. The cost of repairing/replacing the roof and any other structural damage would be covered by Property Insurance. The cost of replacing/repairing any equipment and other property damaged or lost in the storm would also be covered. In addition, if your clinic or pet grooming property is damaged to the point where you can’t conduct business, you’ll suffer a loss of income. Property insurance covers these scenarios.
Theft is also a concern if prescription drugs and money are stored on site. Property insurance covers losses and damages resulting from such crimes, but animal hospitals should secure drugs in locked cabinets to deter theft by outsiders.
Embezzlement and insider theft of money and drugs are the major crime risks posed to veterinary clinics and pet grooming services. As a result, close inventory counts should be maintained for all prescription drugs. Many of the drugs used for animals are also compatible for human use, so it’s not unusual for dishonest employees to seek out painkillers and other narcotics for their own use or to sell for profit.