You can buy Dog Walking insurance in the UK from the following companies:
If you're looking for a quote straight away, you can get an online quote for dog walking insurance at the Petplan Sanctuary website, and if you buy you'll have immediate access to your policy documentation.
In this article, we explain what insurance professional dog walkers in the UK need and review dog walking insurance companies to help you work out which one is best for you. Read on to learn more:
- How do I get Dog Walking business insurance?
- What insurance do I need for Dog Walking?
- How much does Dog Walking insurance cost?
- Dog Walking insurance reviews
- National Association of Registered Pet Sitters
- Simply Business comparison service for Dog Walkers
- What's the youngest age you can get Dog Walking insurance from?
- Dog Walker van insurance
How do I get Dog Walking business insurance?
There are 3 options:
- Go direct to a specialist insurance company such as Petplan Sanctuary.
- Pay to join the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers (NARPS) and then arrange discounted insurance through their scheme.
- Use an online comparison service from a general business insurance broker like Simply Business.
What insurance do I need for Dog Walking?
Public Liability insurance for dog walking can be a good idea as it will cover you in case the dog bites someone or causes an accident. (Remember Fenton?). Dog walking insurance can also cover vet fees incurred for dogs in your care (up to a set amount), death, theft and loss. Known as Care, Custody and Control, some insurers will also offer cover for Advertising and Reward and Loss of Boarding Fees (if you also board dogs). You can also get Custodial Responsibility cover for animals in your care. This offers cover against any costs or expenses incurred when defending or settling any claim for negligence made against you by clients. Key Cover will cover you for loss of keys, and it can also cover for replacement locks. Professional Indemnity insurance can cover your business against claims made by clients for loss or damage due to negligent advice or services. Employer's Liability Insurance: This is a legal requirement in the UK if you have staff who help with running your dog walking business (even if they are unpaid volunteers). It covers you for legal claims made against you by one of your employees.
It is also possible to add insurance for a range of other risks associated with running a dog walking business, including loss of money and damage to goods in transit.
Regulations for dog walkers differ depending on where you live. We recommend that you contact your local authority to see if they have specific requirements about the number of animals you can walk and insurance cover levels.
How much does Dog Walking insurance cost?
The average cost of the quotes we received was about £125 per year. This was based on finding business insurance for a professional dog walker with a turnover of £25,000 after 3 years in business, in an MK postcode. Not all insurance companies asked for the number of years in business.
But as every dog walking business has its own individual circumstances, you might pay more or less than that amount. The main factors that can influence the cost of dog walking insurance are as follows:
- The annual turnover of your dog walking business
- The amount of insurance cover you choose
- How many staff you employ
- How long your dog walking business has been trading
- Where in the UK your business is based
If you have previously made claims on a dog walking insurance policy, or if legal action has been taken against your dog walking business in the past, this may affect your price and should be disclosed when getting a quote.
Dog Walking insurance reviews
Here we compare dog walking insurance with four companies, Petplan Sanctuary, Cliverton, Protectivity and Pet Business Insurance.
Petplan Sanctuary Dog Walking Insurance Review
Petplan is the UK's No. 1 Pet Insurance company and has been in business for more than 40 years. Under their brand Petplan Sanctuary, they also provide insurance for dog walking and other pet businesses.
Petplan Sanctuary does not restrict the number of dogs that you can take on a walk.
Petplan Sanctuary dog walking insurance provides £5m of public liability cover; £100,000 of professional indemnity as standard; £10,000 of key cover; £1,250 of insurance for dogs in your care, custody and control and £10,000 in respect of negligence claims (known as custodial responsibility).
One of the benefits of the Petplan Sanctuary policy is that you do not have to be sued by a pet's owner for the policy to pay out, any communication from the owner claiming negligence can be forwarded for consideration.
There's also the option to add £10m of Employer's Liability cover for an additional premium.
The annual cost for our dog walker is £129.80 - or £12.98 per month over 10 monthly interest-free payments. The price rises to £185.80 when you add £10m of Employer's Liability insurance covering up to 10 people as standard.
Petplan Sanctuary's website also enables you to add cover for related services at the beginning of your quote. (For example, pet sitting, pet grooming, pet microchipping, pet training).
Cliverton Dog Walking Insurance Review
Based in Fakenham in Norfolk, Cliverton is a specialist insurance company focused on pet and animal businesses. Cliverton is actually a trading name of Lycetts Insurance, which is part of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.
Cliverton's dog walking insurance policy can offer £5m of public liability insurance, £25,000 of insurance for dogs in your care, custody or control and £10,000 for loss of keys or replacement locks.
The price quoted by Cliverton for our dog walker was £132.60, or 9 monthly payments of £16.21. This rose to £188.60 a year when Employers Liability for £10m was added. When we increased the annual turnover of the dog walking business from £25,000 to £50,000, and included Employers Liability insurance, the premium rose to £306.20 a year.
Payment of the insurance premium to Cliverton can be split into 9 monthly installments.
This quote did not include professional indemnity cover, which can be added as an optional extra
Protectivity Dog Walking Insurance Review
With Protectivity, dog walkers can choose public liability insurance of between £1m and £10m. For £5m of public liability cover, £25,000 of cover for animals in your care, custody or control; key cover of £10,000 with no excess, the cost was £103.02 (£8.24 per month). Its policies also include £250 of equipment cover for things like grooming gear.
When Employers Liability for £10m was added the price increased to £127.31.
It offers professional indemnity of £1m as an optional extra.
Pet Business Insurance Dog Walking Insurance Review
Another specialist, Pet Business Insurance is a division of LRMS, an insurance company which provides cover for livestock, bloodstock, zoos and animal transportation. A quote that included public Liability cover of £5m, insurance for dogs in your care, custody and control of £20,000 and key cover for £10,000 cost £110.80. . When Employers Liability was added for £10m, the cost rose to £128.10 based on one full time employee. This quote did not include professional indemnity cover, which can be added as an optional extra.
Prices correct in October 2017.
Insurance through membership of the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters (NARPS)
Joining NARPS entitles members to discounted prices on dog walking insurance from Pet Business Insurance, reducing the cost of insurance by approximately 50%.
The cost of NARPS membership is as follows:
- Bronze: £20 per month
- Silver: £144 + £8 per month
- Gold: £150 + 10 per month
Online comparison services for dog walking insurance
Simply Business has a large panel of business insurers, three of which (Ageas, Optima, Finsbury Insurance Group, and Maltings Insurance) were able to provide quotes for dog walking businesses.
However, the prices quoted were generally higher than those quoted by Petplan Sanctuary, Cliverton, and Protectivity, particularly when Employer's Liability Insurance was included.
What's the youngest age you can get Dog Walking insurance from?
- Petplan Sanctuary can sell a Dog Walking insurance policy to someone aged 18 or over
- Cliverton can sell insurance to someone aged 16 or over
- Pet Business can sell insurance to someone aged 16 or over
- Protectivity can sell insurance to someone aged 16 or over
Dog walker van insurance
If you're buying a van for the first time, you'll need to be specific that it is for "Business Use" when you sort out your insurance. We went through the quote process with Direct Line, selecting "Pet Minder" as occupation (Dog Walker isn't in their list).
The quote for an experienced driver with a 2013 Mercedes Vito was £1,293.60 per year, covering both the policyholder and their spouse. This was based on using a Milton Keynes postcode, 5 years no claims bonus, and driving 15,000 miles per year.
Price correct October 2017.
If you already own and insure a van, but you're starting a dog walking business, you will need to let your insurance company know. Otherwise, it's possible they might turn down future claims, arguing that you had not been clear about how the van was being used. Depending on your circumstances, they may charge extra to insure your van for business use.
Always make sure you read the full policy wording when you buy van insurance to make sure that your business's circumstances will be covered by the policy.