Any smart business owner will opt for business insurance. For a business that works with live animals, additional or specialized coverage is often recommended. There are many types of insurance policies for dog groomers that you should consider.
A typical grooming appointment involves the owner leaving their beloved dog under your care for several hours. The primary responsibility of all pet groomers is to keep their clients’ pets safe. But as much as you try to prevent them, accidents do happen in the workplace. Insurance is integral to any business, but it can be difficult to find insurance that protects both yourself and the dogs that walk into your salon!
Here are the different types of insurance available to you as a dog grooming business owner.
Do I really need insurance?
Some types of insurance are mandatory for businesses, and others are optional but can come in handy when you’d least expect it. The reality is, no business owner is immune to accidents, natural disasters, or robbery. Not only will business insurance protect you and your business, but many clients wouldn’t dream of taking their dog to a dog grooming salon that’s uninsured.
Purchase a good comprehensive insurance policy for your grooming business. Doing so will assure your clients that if anything were to happen to their loved ones during a regular grooming appointment, they would be totally covered.
General liability insurance covers a client and/or their pet if they are accidentally injured while in your facility as a result of negligence. Most accidents fall under this category. It will also cover certain types of property damage, or certain types of slander/libel suits.
If you are leasing a salon or studio, you are usually expected to provide a proof of general liability limit of $1 million (minimum). This also applies if you run your business from your home. If you’re using your house as a professional space, your regular homeowner’s insurance isn’t going to cut it!
This type of insurance covers you if you injure the dog or if they suffer some sort of loss when you’re performing (or failing to perform) your professional services. “Loss” generally constitutes death, escape, and injury. This is different from what’s covered under general liability insurance since the injury/loss is not a result of negligence.
Professional liability insurance is directly linked to the practice of your services and is often referred to as “malpractice” insurance. As such, this insurance protects you from lawsuits against your grooming business. This type of insurance is especially important for professionals like yourself who are working on different types of dogs with varying health conditions, temperaments and grooming requirements. Don’t skimp on your professional liability insurance!
This type of insurance covers replacement costs for your professional tools and dog grooming equipment while in transit, in storage, or even in use! Anything from furnishings, inventory, and renovations to your studio or home, or the benefit of your practice is covered here.
Your property may be destroyed or rendered unusable by any number of reasons: natural disasters, arson, theft, or vandalism. It’s usually inexpensive and can be a godsend should you ever need to use it!
Business Interruption Coverage
On the subject of losses while unable to operate, business interruption coverage deals with any loss of business and profit while you are waiting for other property damage claims to go through. Business Interruption coverage goes hand-in-hand with your commercial property coverage. It ensures you’re able to take care of yourself and your employees while getting your dog grooming business back on its feet after an emergency.
As a professional dog groomer, you’ll want to ensure your insurance policy (or policies) cover specific scenarios depending on the specific types of services you offer. Some examples include:
If you’re a mobile groomer or offer a pickup/drop off service, you’ll want to look into this. Your policy should insure the pets while being transported, and insure you as well when you do the transporting.
While your general liability insurance should help cover this, you’ll want to make sure that it does and maybe look into additional coverage specifically designed to address this situation!
In a busy grooming studio (especially one with multiple employees), it only takes a second for a frightened or adventurous dog to slip away and out the door. This can be a heartbreaking situation for everyone involved! Proper coverage can help ensure you’re in the best position to help the owner recover their beloved pet, or compensate them financially if the dog can’t be found.
Personal accident / disability:
If you are involved in a workplace accident and can’t work due to personal injury, this policy will cover loss of income during your period of recovery.
This policy covers any third party who is injured by a pet in your care. Imagine you’re transporting the dog to and from your home to groom and the dog bites a stranger on the side of the road—you really wouldn’t want to be sued over that!
How to get insurance:
Some of the best and most comprehensive insurance policies for dog groomers are available through dog grooming associations! Most professional dog groomers seek to join grooming associations anyway, so a lot of associations are starting to offer discounted insurance packages as part of their membership fees. Typically the insurance offered through these associations are your best option because the insurance companies are used to dealing with the specific unique requirements of dog grooming professionals.
Remember, associations are completely optional, but you may as well choose to put your money toward a membership with the most benefits. The National Dog Groomers Association of America and the National Groomer Association of Canada are both associations with great insurance programs.
If you prefer to get your own insurance without joining a grooming association, an insurance broker is your best bet to help you research, bundle, discount, and purchase the right insurance for your business needs.