The Complete Golden Guide to
Dog Liability Insurance

TLTR: This article explains what dog insurance is, how much it costs, and describes the different types. It also explains whether you need dog liability insurance and describes dog walker insurance and dog trainer’s insurance.   

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings 

The American Pet Products Association’s 2019-2020 Pet Owners Survey found that almost 63 million U.S. households own dogs.     

That’s a big number, but it’s not surprising. We love dogs because they’re always there for us. Even on days when it seems like nothing’s going right, our canine companions are just a call away from happily running to us and brightening up our day. This special relationship between humans and their wolf-descended friends is a bond that goes back centuries and will certainly always be with us. 

If you’re one of the many millions of pooch appreciators, you should know that covering your furry friend with dog insurance is a great way to make sure that they’re always properly cared for.

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What Is Dog Insurance?

More accurately known as pet insurance, dog insurance is a policy intended for dog owners, mainly to mitigate and minimize the overall cost of expensive veterinary bills and liability expenses.    

Think of the policy as a form of health insurance for your pet. Depending on the insurance plan you choose, it covers (or reimburses) the cost of treating your dog’s unexpected injuries and illnesses.  

What are the Types of Dog Insurance?

Dog insurance plans are typically divided into four kinds: 

      • Accident-only Plans cover incidents and injuries like accidental ligament tears, poisoning, road injuries, or ingestion of foreign objects. 
      • Accident and Illness Plans is the most common type of plan. It covers accidents and illnesses such as allergies, digestive problems, cancer, and infections.  
      • Insurance with Embedded Wellness is a comprehensive plan that covers most forms of accidents and illnesses and may also cover vaccinations, cremation and burial, heartworm prevention, rabies flea or tick medications, dental care, and dietary consultations. 
      • Endorsements or Add-ons can extend your coverage. This includes cancer coverage and wellness add-ons like acupuncture and other forms of physical therapy.    

Depending on specific factors, the policy will either partially or completely cover veterinary expenses. 

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How much does Dog Insurance Cost?

The rates for dog insurance generally depend on the type of insurance you choose. If you’ve bought an accident and illness plan, you’ll need to pay around $585.40 per year or $48.78 monthly.  

If you’ve bought an accident-only plan, then you’ll need to pay $194.09 per year or $16.17 per month.   

Dog insurance might seem expensive, but the benefits it provides to your canine companion will always outweigh the cost. That said, the amount you’ll need to pay in premiums will depend on a list of other factors like: 

  • Age of the dog – The older the dog is, the costlier the insurance will be. 
  • Breed of the dog – Some dog breeds are naturally more prone to diseases and anatomical deformities than other dogs. Carriers will set higher rates for them.   
  • Gender of the dog – More claims are submitted for male dogs than female dogs. This means that owners of male dogs will need to pay higher rates.  
  • Your location – Rates for dog insurance are higher in major metropolitan areas compared to the suburbs and rural locations.  

While paying monthly or yearly premiums for young and healthy dogs might feel like a burden on your bank account, the cost of emergency veterinary treatment can often surpass your expenses.  

Furthermore, for older dogs more susceptible to needing regular treatments such as surgery, having dog insurance can mitigate any out-of-pocket expenses. 

Can I get Insurance for Pre-existing Conditions?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any dog insurance companies that cover preexisting conditions. However, a preexisting condition will not bar you from getting standard dog or pet insurance.  

Note: Your coverage options for standard dog insurance will depend on whether your dog’s preexisting condition is curable or not. 

Preexisting conditions like respiratory infections, urinary infections, vomiting, diarrhea, and other curable conditions are generally permissible, and insurance companies typically won’t hold you back from obtaining the full range of insurance options. 

But if your dog has been diagnosed with or shows signs of cancer, diabetes, allergies, lipomas, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and other non-curable chronic conditions, insurance companies will permanently exclude the conditions from your standard dog insurance policy.

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What is Dog Liability Insurance?

No matter how gentle or friendly you think your dog is, you can never know what they’re truly feeling. One moment they’re happily playing in the yard, and the next, they’ve injured a postman doing his job. According to Statista, 2019 saw a total of 5,803 canine attacks on postal workers in the U.S.  

Dog liability insurance protects you from any financial burden that resulted from your dog injuring someone or destroying someone else’s property.    

Do you need Dog Liability Insurance?  

In an ideal world, no dog would ever do anything that wasn’t permissible and smiled upon. But unfortunately, reality isn’t so kind. As a dog owner, you need to have adequate liability insurance for a dog to cover injuries that your dog might cause.  

The size, breed, and history of your dog’s temperament won’t matter as even the smallest of dogs can scar your neighbor, or worse – their child.  

So, it’s a good idea to consult with your insurance agent or broker to understand which dog liability insurance would be the best for you and your dog.

Why is Dog Trainers Insurance Important?

Dog trainers work with dogs and their owners. They teach owners how to get their dogs to obey specific actions and dogs to respond to their owner’s commands. But working with animals comes with unique risks.  

Dog trainers insurance helps cover dog training businesses for any damages and defense expenses that arise from a legal claim as a result of bodily injuries and property damage. The policy also provides coverage should a dog in their care and custody become get lost or become injured.  

The insurance can provide financial compensation and medical coverage to the trainer or the owner of the dog if their pet injures another person.   

Standard dog training insurance covers the following: 

What Insurance do Dog Trainers Need?

If you run a professional dog training business, you need to have a business owners policy (BOP). A BOP provides your business with three vital forms of coverage to help protect your pet training business from claims related to bodily injuries or property damage: 

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance will help cover claims that your business caused property damage or injured someone.  

For example, if your employee is training a dog and it accidentally breaks a wooden fence, this liability coverage can help repair the damage.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance will help cover your businesses’ building, as well as equipment and tools that you own or rent. This includes toys, collars, mussels, leashes, cages, and food. 

Business Income Coverage

Business income coverage can help replace lost income that your dog training business experiences as a result of fire and water damage, theft and vandalism, or any other covered perils.

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What is Dog Walker Insurance?

Given the hectic daily schedule of most Americans, they can often find it difficult to find time to walk their dogs. This is where professional dog walkers come in. They’ll walk your dogs and provide them with food and water. Dog walkers are also responsible for taking pets to the vet in the event of an emergency.  

Given the unpredictable nature of dogs and how much time dog walkers spend with them, it makes sense that insurance companies offer dog walker insurance.  

This insurance helps protect a dog walking business from any unpredictable damages or legal defense costs that arise from claims. For example, if one of the dogs that the dog walker is walking attacks and injures a pedestrian, this policy would cover the medical fees. Similarly, if the dog that the dog walker was walking is injured, that would also be covered by this policy.  

As with any other insurance, you pay a monthly or yearly premium and, in return, the insurance company will provide coverage for any accident or injury.

How much does Insurance for Dog Walking Cost?

You can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $600 per year in dog walking insurance costs. There may be cheaper options available if you look a little further. Cheaper policies generally provide bare-bones coverage limits, and if your insurance isn’t enough to cover an accident, you’ll need to pay out of pocket.  

However, if you join a dog walking service, then insurance is generally provided as part of your tenure with little to no cost to you. As it’s more convenient to have someone else handle the administrative burden that comes with the profession, many dog walkers prefer joining a dog walking business.

How do I get Dog Walker Insurance? 

If you choose to go it alone, the best way to get good dog walker insurance is to ask for quotes from at least four to five different insurance providers. You can then research each offer and analyze their features. Make sure that you’re comparing the same coverage type. Pick the one that suits your needs and budget the best. 

When you’re deciding on insurance, it’s crucial to first make up your mind on whether you want to start your own business or join a service like Wag!, Barkley or Holidog. Your experience with insurance will vastly differ based on the option you choose. Most walkers opt to join dog walking services because they typically provide perks like full-digital software services, customer service, and insurance.    

You can also find an agent near you who can assess your needs and find the perfect dog walker insurance for you.  

Did you find this blog helpful? Let us know in the comments below. 

FAQs

What are the best dog/ pet insurance companies?

What are the things that you need to look for in dog/ pet insurance?

It’s important to understand what your dog insurance covers. Some of the things that you need to make sure your pet insurance covers are: 

  • Chronic coverage 
  • Hereditary conditions 
  • Alternative treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic care 
  • Number of deductibles provided 
  • Limits 
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