YOU ASK:

I plan to set up a pet sitting business. Do I need to take out insurance and what kind?

WE ANSWER:

A pet sitting or dog-walking business should be covered with pet sitting insurance.

This covers for liability - both to the owner of the pet and to any other third party in case something goes wrong while you are sitting or walking the pet. The insurance will provide cover starting from the time you pick the dog up from his owner's house, walking or sitting the dog, up until the time it is returned to their owners.

The insurance will cover costs for medical treatment if the dog gets injured or meets with an accident. It will also pay for liability due to the dog's acts that cause injury and damage to a third party or to their property.

It should be proven, though, that the pet sitter has taken reasonable care to prevent damage to others or harm to the dog. For example, if the dog breaks free of his leash while he was being walked and he is injured in an automobile accident, that is covered. However, if the pet sitter failed to put on the dog's leash and the dog bit someone, this will not be covered under the policy.

The insurance will also cover necessary damage you caused to any items belonging to the dog's owner in the course of your doing your job. For example, as you were about to go to the owner's house to pick up the dog, you realize that you lost the house owner's key. You were forced to break the door open to get to the dog.

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