Do people need dog walking insurance when walking friends and relatives’ dogs?
People who walk dogs for friends, neighbors or relatives as a favor typically don’t need insurance. Walking dogs to help may involve certain minimal risks, but any associated risks are usually covered by the personal liability provisions of homeowners or renters insurance so long as payment isn’t exchanged;
Dog walking insurance becomes essential when payment is involved for the services. Charging a friend, neighbor or relative can change the service into a commercial activity, thereby nullifying any protection from homeowners or renters insurance. When services are charged for, commercial insurance is often necessary.
If there’s any uncertainty about whether this insurance is needed, an insurance agent specializing in dog walking policies can help determine if a policy should be purchased.
What protections can dog walkers obtain through dog walking policies?
Dog walking policies typically provide a range of coverages. While the precise protections offered by any specific policy depend on that policy’s terms, options frequently include the following:
- General Liability Coverage: May cover common accidents that could happen to almost anyone or any business.
- Commercial Auto Coverage: May cover a car or other vehicle driven to/from clients’ houses.
- Lost Key Coverage: May cover the cost of rekeying a house and/or replacing keys if the given key is lost.
- Animal Bailee Coverage: May cover any injury, death or loss occurring to a dog that’s being walked.
- Errors and Omissions Coverage: May cover incorrect advice given by dog walkers to their clients (E&O coverage).