Finding the right business insurance for your pet store is an important step in protecting your business and achieving long-term success.
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When you run a pet store, it’s important to be prepared for incidents that could hurt your business, whether it’s a fire that damages your store, a lawsuit brought by a customer who was injured on your premises, or a customer’s pet being injured in your care. Unforeseen disasters could have a severe financial impact, making it difficult to continue operating. Business insurance can provide the financial support you need to survive through difficult and costly events.
What insurance coverage do I need for my pet store?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant to pet stores:
Many pet stores offer animal grooming, boarding, or veterinary services. If your store offers these services and takes temporary possession of a customer’s pet, you will likely need bailee’s coverage (sometimes known as animal bailee coverage).
When customers leave their pets in your care, there’s a risk that the pet could be injured—and you could be held liable. While you can reduce the likelihood of injuries by hiring skilled staff and adhering to strict safety guidelines, accidents are always a possibility. If a pet is harmed, lost, or dies while it is in your care, custody, or control, bailee’s coverage will cover losses, including veterinary expenses and costs for advertising or offering a reward for a lost animal.
- While waiting to be picked up after grooming, a dog under your store’s care escapes and runs into the parking lot, where a car hits it. The dog requires medical attention. Bailee’s coverage would pay for the dog’s veterinary bills.
Commercial property insurance is a crucial coverage that will protect the value of your building, furniture, inventory, and other business property. Commercial property policies typically also provide coverage for animals held for sale if they are harmed due to a covered peril. Animals are highly vulnerable to smoke, fire, and water and may be valuable and difficult to replace, making this coverage a key consideration.
If a disaster such as a fire or storm damages your pet store, it can be difficult and costly to recover from the damages. Commercial property insurance can provide funds to replace or repair your business property if it is destroyed or damaged by a covered peril such as fire, explosion, storm, vandalism, and more.
- An electrical fault causes a fire to break out in your storage room and spread to the rest of your pet store, destroying expensive tropical fish and other merchandise, as well as damaging the building. Commercial property insurance would cover the damages and repairs.
Pet stores see large numbers of customers on a regular basis, which means that there is a high risk that a customer will be injured while on your premises. It’s important to maintain a clean, organized store with good lighting and clear walkways, but accidents can happen even in the safest environments.
In addition, the presence of animals for sale and pets belonging to customers can present extra risks. If a third party suffers bodily injury or property damage at your store, general liability insurance can step in to cover the situation, providing funds for any medical costs, legal fees, or damages.
General liability insurance also includes coverage for product liability. If a customer or their pet suffers any injury or damage due to your products, your business could be held liable.
Finally, general liability insurance covers personal injuries, which can include claims of false arrest or detention, wrongful ejection from the premises, unauthorized searches, and more. This coverage may be useful in instances of alleged shoplifting.
- Bodily injury: A customer slips on a puddle of dog urine in your pet store that your employees failed to clean up. The customer injures his ankle and requires medical attention. Your general liability insurance would cover the customer’s medical costs as well as your legal fees if the customer decides to sue.
- Product liability: Your pet store sells a range of high-end imported pet food. Unfortunately, a batch of the food was contaminated in the manufacturing process and several pets fall ill. Your business is sued. General liability insurance would cover the claims.
Business interruption insurance, also called business income insurance, is a common addition to commercial property or business owner’s policies. This coverage provides funds to cover lost income and operating expenses if you are forced to temporarily close your business due to property damage from a covered peril.
Pet stores depend on their retail locations to operate, and business interruption insurance is a valuable coverage that can help cover losses in income if a disaster strikes. Commonly covered perils include fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, explosion, and vandalism.
- A severe storm causes part of your pet store’s roof to collapse. You must close your store until the roof has been repaired. Business interruption insurance will cover your losses in income and operating expenses while you are temporarily closed.
Pet stores typically see large numbers of customers and have employees who have access to cash registers or safes, making these businesses vulnerable to crime. Although you can decrease your crime risks with background checks and security procedures, you could still be affected by employee dishonesty or other crimes.
Commercial crime insurance can protect your business from these risks, covering financial losses related to crimes such as theft, burglary, robbery, forgery, and fraud, whether they are committed by outside parties or internal employees.
- Someone breaks into your store and steals $4,000 from a safe. Commercial crime insurance would cover the loss.
Pet store employees may suffer common injuries caused by slips and falls, heavy lifting, long periods of standing, or repetitive strain; in addition, the presence of animals adds the risk of employees being bitten, scratched, or contracting diseases. If employees are injured or fall ill as a result of their work, workers’ compensation insurance will provide financial and medical benefits.
Workers’ comp will pay for medical expenses, lost income, and rehabilitation for injured workers, and it will also provide death benefits and funds to cover funeral costs in the case of a work-related death. Workers’ compensation insurance is legally required for employers in almost every state. To avoid paying significant penalties, it’s critical to comply with state laws.
- One of your employees severely injures her back while lifting heavy bags of dog food. Workers’ compensation insurance would cover the employee’s medical expenses and a portion of lost wages if she is unable to work for a time.
- If your pet store owns vehicles to provide pickup or delivery services, you will need commercial auto insurance. This covers bodily injury and property damage if the driver of the vehicle is at fault in an accident, as well as the value of the vehicle itself if it’s damaged by a collision or another peril.
- Cyber liability insurance protects your business from the financial consequences of cyberattacks, data breaches, and other cyber threats. Pet stores may offer online sales or save customers’ credit card information and other personal data; if this data is breached, you could be held liable. Cyber liability insurance can provide the funds to defend your business in a lawsuit, as well as any expenses necessary to recover from a cyber event.
- Pet stores may benefit from a business owner’s policy (BOP). This common type of policy combines general liability, property, business income, and extra expense coverage into a single package, and other coverages may be added by endorsement. BOPs are typically less costly than purchasing each type of coverage individually.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) protects your business against lawsuits by prospective, current, or former employees accusing your business of wrongful treatment such as discrimination, harassment, or other employment-related issues.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for business insurance will vary based on the type of insurance coverage and the risk profile of your business. Insurers consider factors such as:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Claims history
Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, a pet store with a history of frequent claims will face higher premiums. Premiums also rise as you increase the limits of insurance. Different insurance companies have different models for rating risks, so it is worth comparing pricing across different insurers.
In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer coverage for pet stores:
|Provider||Business Interruption||Business Owner's Policy||Commercial Auto||Commercial Crime||Commercial Property||Cyber Liability||Employment Practices Liability||General Liability||Product Liability||Professional Liability||Workers' Compensation|
Purchasing the right insurance coverage can protect your pet store from the financial consequences of a variety of major risks, from property damage to customer lawsuits or injuries to animals in your care. Since these incidents can be financially devastating, it’s wise to ensure that you have a wide range of insurance coverage to help your company survive any unexpected catastrophes.