Dog walking can be both enjoyable and a financially rewarding job. It can be a part-time gig to supplement your income or if you are successful a full-time job. A Survey by Rover.com reported in the UK metro are showing that can pocket an extra £9,200 alongside a day job.
When it comes to dealing with other peoples pets, the owner is trusting you to be responsible and to care and protect their pet to the best of your ability. In addition, the owner will expect your walking business to have the correct level of dog walker insurance to cover any unforeseen costs resulting from an incident involving their dog. As such you should consider the benefits of taking out insurance for dog walkers.
How much does insurance cost for a dog walking business?
The cost of dog walker insurance in relative terms is not expensive. In answer to how much dog walker insurance costs, expect to pay between £50 - £90 per annum. A typical dog policy will include public liability, cover for financial loss under car, custody and control plus key cover. The amount of cover will in these categories can vary and the higher the cover the higher the final premium. The annual turnover is another important factor in determining the final cost of your policy. Again, the higher your business turnover, the higher the premium.
Do you need insurance for dog walking?
From a legal standpoint, insurance is not required unless you employ staff. Having said that, you must understand that you will be working with both the public the animals and claims can be made against your business. If you are held liable, these type of claims are substantial and that can easily cripple any business. You have to weigh up the cost against risk, but at the very minimum public liability insurance for dog walkers should be give very serious consideration.
Providing a pet walking service is a rewarding job, especially if you love animals. Not only can it be enjoyable, it can also provide extra money on the side or a lucrative full time pet business. Working with animals comes with inherent hazards. A good policy will help provide you with finical protection as you operate your business. The key elements to comprehensive are listed below, but dog walker with public liability is the most important and should be the backbone of any good policy.
Public liability insurance for dog walkers : This provides cover against claims by the public, for example, should a hound bite someone. All pet walkers should consider public liability insurance to protect their business.
Care, Custody and Control : This cover provides cover for vet fees for animals that are in your custody. The vet fees cover will have an upper limit. Please check each individual policy when comparing. Death, theft and loss are also included.
Custodial Responsibility : This is another option to consider. This will protect against and expenses arising out of negligence claim against you.
Key Cover : Cover for loss of keys.
Professional Indemnity : over for giving bad or wrong advice or poor service.
Employer's Liability : If you have employees you are legally obliged to take care of them and this insurance is thus legally required.
How can I reduce my dog walker insurance cost?
If you can reduce the risk that you pose to the broker, then you should be able to get a cheaper pet business insurance policy. The first step is to compare the market, as different brokers assess risk differently. One approach to lowering toy cost is to increase your policy excess. The excess is your liability should a claim become necessary against your policy. Speak with your broker and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of taking this step. Remember you will need to have easy excess to the level agreed upon and that may pose a problem if you agree on a large excess.
Another option is to pay the full amount upfront and saving on any built in interest payments on a monthly payment scheme.
As the level and range of cover plays a big factor in the final premium, don't over insure. Check the policy for inclusions that are not necessary. Do you need stock cover and if so do you need at the level provided? Can you improve your stock management system to reduce the amount of stock in storage?
You do not need an actual certificate, but a certificate will increase your trust in the eyes of perspective customers. If you love dogs and have time, you can start on your path as a part-time walker. However, a certificate will play to your advantage, showing that you have taken the time to qualify yourself as a professional dog walker. Remember, pets are treated as family members and the owner must have complete trust and confidence in you. Having a professional qualification will provide just that. We have listed some of the more obvious advantages below.
Win new customers with Instilling confidence with your qualifications
Be recognised as professional always willing to learn and improve
More able to charge a premium rate for your services
This provides cover for your office items (computers), tools and equipment and stock. Like a VET, most pet walkers that run a business from home or office offer a range of dog items. Typical items include dog car seats and memory foam dog beds, booster seats, dog prams, telescopic dog car ramps, toys and treats, anti-barking devices and apparel. These stock items can add up to a substantial amount.
This will pay legal fee costs if a dispute arises, for example with a dispute with a client or a supplier that has gone legal.
If you are unable to carry out your business for a period of time. Think damage to your premises or equipment, this insurance will cover the loss of turnover as a result. This will have an upper limit, typically GBP50,000, but check with your broker on the exact figure.
Be a victim of ransomware can cripple your business. Imagine switching on your computer to find all your client detail are no longer accessible, they may also have obtained personal banking information. Cyber cover will help you recover the associated financial losses.
How much is dog walker insurance UK?
On average, dog walker insurance will cost in the region of GBP125 upwards, depending on the type and level of cover that you choose to include. There are a few key factors that can influence the premium price quoted. Postal code is one of these, as some areas of the UK are more prone to crime than others, take city centres for an example. The other key factors are listed below.
The amount of annual turnover that your business has.
The actual amount of cover that you choose.
The number of employees that you have.
How long you have been in the business.
Public liability (if any event occurs related to the pets you walk), your professional responsibility
Can Range from £10 to £100, for packages including professional indemnity and public liability
Tailor your policy to your needs?
The panel can tailor policies to your unique business requirements. If you only work part-time, a dog walker insurance UK policy can be provided for part-time work only.
Do not invalidate your Policy - Fully disclose any past claims
If by chance you have previously made a claim on any dog walker insurance UK policy, or any legal action has been undertaken against you or your pet walking business in the past, this may affect your quote. Failure to fully disclose any pertinent details to your broker may invalidate any claim that you subsequently may make.
Reducing claims will reduce your dog walker insurance premium
Most claims involve pedestrians that are walking or running and taking the animal by surprise. The fast reactions of the dog can result in the nipping or biting the poor pedestrian. Here are some tips to reduce your risk
Take time to find out about the animal and its temperament before agreeing to provide a walking or sitting service.
If the hound has bitten a person before make sure that you use a muzzle.
Keep your distance from others and do not let strangers approach the pet, if it is in any way aggressive.
Keep the pet on a tight lease whilst in areas with a high number of pedestrians.
Understand the different breeds, some have a greater tendency than others to be protective of the owner or their walker and thus can be aggressive.
Stay alert and try to predict any potential hazards that may result in the doggy taking an offensive action.
Bites are not the only reason for making claims, animals are unpredictable and even the most experienced handler can find themselves in a situation that they could never have anticipated, as such it is vital that you have a good policy in place.
Do you need a dog walker?
A pet waking service caters to those with a busy schedule that find it difficult to always find time for exercising their pet. The price for a dog walker will vary and depend on a number of factors, but rates are overall reasonable. Click here for more information on finding a pet walker service near you. We do not offer actual pet insurance, but we do offer pet insurance NI for Northern Ireland residents
Dog walker insurance UK is not a legal requirement, but it makes sense if you value your business. Public liability, for dog-walkers, should be considered. This will protect you from third-party claims should a dog, in your custody, decides to nip or bite a member of the public. Other cover options are available, for example, to cover vet fees. These can be selected during the online quote process.
Will I get a cheaper quote if I am a member of NARPS?
Some brokers will provide a discount if you are a member of the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters (NARPS)
How much should I charge for my services?
No one standard rate exists, as it depends on a number of factors. For example, the post code we found that central London has the highest on average at GBP10 per hour. Our guide on dog walker prices should help you decide on a suitable rate to charge for the services that you intend to provide.
Can I get insurance if I am only 16?
Some companies in this sector set the minimum age at 18, for example, Pet plan Sanctuary. However, the good news is most companies will provide cover if you are 16 or over. Cliverton, Pet Business, Direct Line and Protective are all well-known names that can provide cover for walkers 16 and over within the UK
Do I need a licence to walk dogs in a park?
The short answer is that it depends on the rules of your local authority and the park owner. Most councils will require that walkers that are being paid to exercise dogs will need to obtain a licence. The application process will normally take about 2 weeks. The cost of your policy will depend on how many dogs that you will be walking. To give you an idea of likely costs the following are the prices for Lamberth council as of 2021.
Up to two dogs £53.00
Up to four dogs £106.00
Up to six dogs £318.00
In summary, a licence is required if you take payment for providing an exercising service and makes use of a local park or open space. The licence will detail your obligations, for example, each dog must have a collar with a name tag with the name and address of the owner. Violation of these rules will result in a fine and possible loss of licence. Most councils will recognise that an operator of a pet walking business will require multiple licences and will provide a discount on multiple applications.
what insurance do i need to be a dog walker
The short answer is that you do not need insurance to be a dog walker. However, not having at least public liability insurance will put you and your business at risk should a third party make a claim against you while you are providing your dog related service.,
Dog walker insurance comparison
To find a policy that meets with your requirements, you need to get multiple quotes from a range of different providers. Comparative sites can help at this stage, but also go directly to the brokers website to see the latest deals that they have on offer for dog walker Insurance UK.