Mobile pet grooming insurance is one of the first things someone who is thinking of starting a mobile pet grooming business or mobile dog grooming business. The need for mobile pet groomers is needed more and more everyday. Mobile pet groomers provide the perfect solution for busy pet owners, offering both convenience and individual attention to their animals. Whether you’re already a mobile pet groomer or wondering how to start your own mobile pet grooming business; I intend to provide you with all the information you need regarding insurance for your mobile pet grooming business.
The mobile pet grooming businesses and their groomers are a different breed and have unique insurance needs. What’s so different about a mobile pet grooming business? You’re MOBILE, of course! You’re almost running your business completely on the road and require the kind of insurance protection to address that fact.
Being mobile, and traveling to your clients, adds complexity to your insurance situation that’s beyond most insurance providers capabilities. It’s extremely important that you have an insurance agent and company that understands your business needs and exposures. The very advantage of mobility, which is the main definer of your business, is precisely what puts your business at a high chance of temporary closure from an accident, theft, injury to an animal or any other type of insurance claim.
Running a mobile pet grooming business can be a ruff ride especially if you don’t have the right insurance coverage. Let’s say you’re traveling to a clients house to groom your two favorite puggles. You get on the highway and someone changes lanes recklessly and causes the driver in front of you to swerve. They lose control, you don’t have time to stop and there’s an accident with a major amount of damage. Thankfully no one was hurt, but your mobile grooming rig is out of commission until it can be fixed.
Are you covered with the right type of mobile pet grooming insurance?
Will your vehicle be repaired, will the equipment be replaced, will you get a new vehicle wrap? Your business on wheels is in the shop, your mobility and your ability to work is severely limited or even completely postponed. Do you have coverage for your loss of income? The sad truth is, most people like you would not have coverage for this.
Crazy as it seems, insurance policies are very particular in how coverage will apply and it’s important to know the fine print. Most insurance policies for mobile pet grooming businesses limit the way coverage will apply. For example, some business insurance only applies if the loss is at an insured premises (which is most cases is your home) not on the road or at a clients house.
Your clients entrust you with the care and well-being of their beloved pets. When working with animals it can expose your business to significant risks. Have you thought about what could happen if an animal in your care suffers an injury, passes away or disappears? Will your insurance cover the injuries and legal costs that would come up? There is insurance coverage to protect against this. Does your policy include it? Many people think they have the insurance coverage to protect them from most things that could come up. However, after a claim they learn they don’t have the right protection. This is why it’s important to work with an insurance agent and company who understands the mobile pet grooming business.
My goal is to explain the type of insurance coverage that all mobile pet groomers and businesses should have. Insurance policies, agents and companies are not created equal. I’m going to educate you on the coverage endorsements that should be on your insurance policies for the greatest protection.
There are three main insurance policies needed to protect your mobile pet grooming business and a handful of endorsements that need to be added to properly protect your mobile pet grooming business. Let’s get started with the main policies and I will breakdown the recommended endorsements and coverage to add to these policies.
Mobile Pet Grooming Insurance Policies For Owners
All mobile pet groomers and mobile pet grooming businesses should have a business owner’s policy. Why? Because it helps protect your business by providing liability protection, coverage for your property, your mobile equipment and income generated from your business. By combining these insurance coverages, that are important to virtually every mobile pet grooming business, a BOP can save you money on insurance rates while protecting your mobile pet grooming business you’ve worked hard to build.
The business owners policy can cover a lot of different things however it’s up to you, your agent and your insurance company knowing exactly what you need. So with that said its important that you ask and confirm your policy includes the endorsements below.
Important Endorsements to have on your mobile pet grooming insurance policy
1. General liability
This will protect your mobile pet grooming business from certain lawsuits alleging injuries or property damage that occurred from your business operations such as a client injured while touring your mobile pet grooming rig or an employee causing damage to a customer’s property while parking the rig before a groom. General liability does not cover liabilities directly arising out of the professional grooming services you provide.
2. Professional liability
You know how easy it can be to make a mistake around energetic or nervous animals. You can be sued for damage and expenses resulting from errors as a mobile pet grooming professional. Professional liability insurance can provide financial protection and help cover the cost of your defense.
3. Animal Bailee
When an animal is accidentally injured or lost, animal bailee coverage for mobile pet groomers can help pay expenses, including veterinary bills and advertising and reward costs to help you search for and recover a lost or stolen pet.
4. Business Property
This will help protect the tools you use in your mobile pet grooming business to conduct your business, like grooming tables, leashes, collars, crates, shears and clippers. Pretty much all the items that would hit the roof if you took your mobile grooming vehicle and turned it upside down.
5. Mobile Pet Groomers Equipment
Your mobile pet grooming vehicle and the equipment in it is central to running your business. Imagine what could happen if someone were to break into your vehicle or if it were in an accident. Mobile pet groomer’s equipment insurance will pay to repair or replace equipment attached to your vehicle when lost or stolen. Equipment like generators, pumps, dryers, tubs and more. It can also help cover lost income when you are not able to use your mobile pet grooming vehicle.
6. Business Income Extension for Off-Premises Operations
Business income extension for off-premises operations may replace income that is lost if your pet grooming business is unable to provide services because business property or equipment was damaged off-site. For example, your equipment is damaged at a client’s location or on the road, you may be unable to continue operations until that equipment is repaired. This coverage may help replace the income you lose while you are unable to operate.
Mobile Pet Grooming Insurance
Commercial Auto Insurance Policy
Most mobile pet groomers and mobile pet grooming businesses need a commercial auto insurance policy because they operate their businesses out of a mobile pet grooming van or vehicle. Trying to get away with a personal insurance policy will only work until there’s an accident and the insurance company has the right to decline paying the claim due to policy misrepresentation. Vehicles with wraps and advertisements make the need for a commercial insurance policy even more obvious. You’re mobile, you’ve got a business on wheels and meeting your clients at their homes is a must. Commercial auto insurance helps your business cover the costs from auto accidents when you or an employee are found at fault. It helps pay for damaged vehicle including conversion (if noted on policy), property and medical expenses.
Why commercial auto pet grooming insurance will help protect you
For example, if:
• An employee hits a pedestrian while driving a company vehicle and the pedestrian requires medical treatment.
• You accidentally swerve off the road driving to work and take out a residential mailbox and have to pay for the damage.
• An employee driving to work accidentally hits another car and totals it.
This policy can provide coverage for the damaged vehicle and conversions if you have comprehensive and collision coverage plus conversion costs factored into the policy. Many mobile pet grooming businesses purchase vehicles that have been converted into a business on wheels. Equipment attached and ready to go. Coverage for upgrades should be purchased, discuss the vehicle conversion and replacement value with your agent and insurance company. You will need to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage to insure your vehicle and conversion. As a cost saving tool and ability to get loss of income coverage you can insure some of the conversion or permanently attached equipment on the business owners policy.
Mobile Pet Groomers Insurance: Workers Compensation Insurance Policy
Running a mobile pet grooming business is a ton of work and you wear so many different hats. At some point hiring an employee can become a real thing. If you have employees or are thinking about expanding your staff then you should know you will need a workers compensation insurance policy. Required by most states, workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to your employees of your business for work-related injuries or illnesses including medical care, wages from lost work time, and more. And if the worker decides to sue you, coverage can help your mobile pet grooming business with related legal fees.
Workers’ compensation insurance can help protect your business and employees in events such as these:
- A nervous dog bites a dog groomer employee and requires an emergency room visit.
- A back injury occurs while grooming and requires a doctor’s attention, medication and physical therapy.
- An employee injured in a car accident and requires hospitalization.
With workers’ compensation insurance, the medical expenses needed to treat these job-related injuries and illnesses will be covered. It will also help employees keep their income while they take time off to recover from an injury.
Workers Compensation is based on the payroll of the company and should always reflect the exact payroll of the employees. Rating of a workers compensation policy is based on the amount of payroll processed, duties of the employee and the rate assigned to your class codes. For example, the rate of a policy might be $4.70 per every $100 of payroll for a groomer. If a groomer is making $35,000 a year you can ball park a cost of the workers compensation policy to be $1,645.00 (350 (number in hundreds) x $4.70 (rate per $100 of payroll)).
At the end of every policy the insurance company will do a payroll audit to update the policy to match the actual figures. Payroll that is higher than estimated will result in additional premium and visa versa.
A very common question regarding this coverage is this: “Can I exclude myself as the owner from coverage?”. Owners of the business can elect to include or exclude themselves from the coverage. Many business owners elect to exclude themselves from the coverage thus eliminating the cost associated for themselves. If you’re looking to exclude yourself from coverage you must sign a waiver to do so, this will be supplied by your agent. Not everyone is eligible for exclusion and state guidelines will apply. LLC’s a managing member of the business can only be excluded and if incorporated a minimum of 10% ownership is required.
Mobile Pet Grooming Insurance Conclusion
As an insurance professional of 13 years and mobile pet grooming insurance specialist I can tell you that the above information is hardly scratching the surface of the actual insurance policies. Each of the policy contracts are well over 100 pages full of fine print.
Knowing all the information contained in these insurance policies is crazy, let alone how and what the insurance contracts will cover. That’s a full time job and it’s mine as an insurance agent. As a business owner, I recommend finding an insurance agent that knows the mobile pet grooming business and coverage completely. Or better yet, give me a call and I will get you setup and protected properly. My goal is to educate you on the type of insurance coverage and endorsements that all mobile pet groomers and businesses should have.
As life becomes more litigious and lawsuits abound, insurance rates will continue to climb along with coverage restrictions. This affects all businesses, not just the mobile pet grooming business. Fortunately, grooming insurance protection can be purchased at reasonable rates plus many companies offer flexible payment plans.
If you have questions about insurance coverage and getting the proper protection for your business, start by calling me. Being an informed consumer can help you choose the best polices for your business. In the end, having proper insurance coverage is not expensive, it is priceless. No one wants to use their insurance policies but most importantly when they do it’s a life saver.