Business Insurance For Dog Walking

Compare business insurance quotes with Savvy to find the best policy for your dog walking business. 

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, updated on July 27th, 2023       

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Many people who love animals, especially dogs, consider a dog walking business to be their dream job. You can enjoy the outdoors, have fun with multiple fur babies and keep fit, all whilst getting paid! However, have you thought about what might happen if one of your dogs bites another dog or even a person? For this reason, having business insurance as a dog walker is vitally important. 

You can compare quotes for business insurance to protect you right here with Savvy. Just answer a few simple questions about your new business venture and the insurance you need, and you’ll have a wide range of offers to consider instantly from some of Australia’s most respected insurers. Compare quotes here with Savvy to help you get the best-value insurance for your dog walking business today. 

What types of insurance should I buy for my dog walking business?

The main types of insurance to consider if you’re running a dog walking business are: 

Public liability insurance 

You can be held personally liable for any biting, attack, accident or injury caused by any of your dogs. For this reason, it’s vital to have public liability insurance to protect you against any third-party liability claims resulting from your dog walking business. 

Public liability insurance is essential for anyone who has contact with the public or their property. It will protect you and your business against any third-party claims that your negligent business activity (in this case, walking dogs) caused injury to someone or damage to their property.  

Many councils take the issue of liability so seriously that there are by-laws which stipulate that all dog walkers and pet sitters must have a minimum amount of public liability before they are permitted to take their dogs onto council land or even public beaches. This type of business insurance offers between $5 million and $20 million worth of cover. 

What it covers:  

  1. Third-party personal injury claims 
  2. Damage to a third party’s property 
  3. Legal fees to defend yourself 

Personal accident and illness insurance  

Since you rely on being fit and healthy to walk your dogs and earn your income, taking care of your health should be high on your priority list. Accident and sickness insurance can provide cover for you if you have an accident or become sick and are unable to work. It can provide a weekly replacement income if you’re injured or too ill to earn any wages. 

What it covers: 

  1. Loss of income as a result of an injury or illness 

 Optional extras can include: 

  1. Death benefits 
  2. Disablement benefits 
  3. Payment of business expenses during your recovery period 

What isn’t covered under my dog walking business insurance?  

The most common general exclusions include: 

  1. Damage to your own property 
  2. Events which happened before or after your insurance period 
  3. Professional negligence 
  4. Wilful failure to take care 
  5. Unlawful activity 
  6. Contractual liability 
  7. Reckless behaviour or intentional damage 
  8. Anything to do with asbestos 
  9. Any effects of pollution caused by your business activity 

Compare quotes for public liability insurance and accident and sickness insurance right here through Savvy. With so much competition in the market, we can help you find the best business insurance at the lowest cost so you have peace of mind that you’re covered no matter what happens. 

How much will my dog walking business insurance policy cost? 

There is no set cost for a business insurance policy, as each applicant is different and faces unique risks. Many factors influence the price and cost of business insurance, including the following: 

  • The state you’re in  
  • Whether you live in a rural or urban area 
  • Your business structure 
  • Your business size and turnover  
  • If you have any employees 
  • Your insurance history 
  • Whether you’ve made an insurance claim in the past five years 

The main factor which will affect the cost of your insurance is the industry you’re in. All businesses in Australia are classified according to the risk their industry poses, and are allocated a risk ratio. These ratios are used by insurers to calculate the comparative risk of any one business compared to another.  

However, because your location also plays a part in the cost of insurance, how much you’ll pay will also depend on where you live. For example, the cost of public liability insurance for a business in South Australia will be different than for a dog walking business in WA. 

Why do I need business insurance?

Dog walking and pet sitting may seem a simple task, but there are many risks to consider and things that could potentially go wrong. For example: 

  • What if the dog you’re walking attacks another dog, which ends up requiring expensive veterinary care? 
  • What if the dog you’re walking slips its lead and attacks a child or another person? 
  • What if a dog in your care slips its collar and runs out into a road, causing a major car accident? 
  • What if the dog you’re looking after escapes and goes missing? 
  • What if the dog eats something nasty and becomes sick or even dies? 

In many of these instances, you can be held personally liable for the damage, injury, loss or expense caused by the animal under your care and control, just as tradies and handymen are also held responsible for the work they do. 

Such personal injury or damage claims can run into millions of dollars, which is why it’s so vitally important to have insurance to give you cover in the event that an unfortunate incident does take place. Public liability insurance is there to protect you and your business so you can continue being a pet sitter and walking your furry friends well into the future.

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Common questions about business insurance for dog walking

What level of liability coverage will I need to walk my dogs on council land?

The amount of public liability insurance you’ll need to walk dogs in public varies from council to council and from state to state, so you will need to contact your local council to find out the regulations that apply in your area. Public liability insurance is usually offered for $5 million, $10 million or $20 million.  

What information will I need to make an insurance claim?

The information you should have to hand when you contact your insurance company to make a claim will include: 

  • The name of the policyholder 
  • Your policy number and start date (which can be found on your Certificate of Currency) 
  • A detailed description of the incident (what happened to cause the damage or loss) 
  • Specific dates and times when the incident happened 
  • Contact details of any other parties involved (or witnesses to the event) 
  • Details of your police report number (if an accident or crime took place) 
  • Details of the property lost or damaged  
  • Your bank details for settling the claim 
How often will I have to pay my insurance premiums for my dog walking or pet sitting business? 

You will be able to choose how often you pay your insurance premiums. You can either pay upfront for the year or in monthly instalments. Paying your insurance premium annually is usually between 5% and 10% cheaper than paying monthly, so if you can afford to pay your insurance annually, it may be worth doing so to get the cheapest price. 

What’s the difference between public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance?

The difference between public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance is that public liability covers you for claims made by third parties for injury, sickness, loss or damage. Professional indemnity covers businesses for claims by customers or clients relating to professional mistakes made when providing a service or advice. As such, this generally won’t be required for those running dog walking businesses. 

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