Pet Waste removal insurance
Suppose you are running a business involved in clean up, removal and disposal of pet waste. In that case, you need to consider protecting yourself against accidents and court cases with Pet Waste removal insurance.
Like any business, you face risks from many hazards. Generally, you can think of these as coming from three main areas:
- Legal liabilities
- Loss of or damage to physical assets
- Mandatory requirements.
In all three of these cases, unless you have proper insurance, you are facing the possibility of things going wrong, and there are no limits to the amounts you may have to fork out or lose.
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Pet waste removal has some specific risks brought about by the need to be active at your customer’s homes, farms or offices, where there is an increased chance of damage to them or their property. This makes General Liability insurance a special need for you.
Every time you or someone who works for you steps foot onto the property of a customer in order to collect pet waste, you are legally entering their domain. Inside, you have legal requirements that you will perform your services with full care and diligence.
If something happens and a person there is injured either directly by you, or as a result of something you have done while you are performing your services, then you can be held responsible for the consequences.
Imagine this. You have brought your barrows, sacks and bags into a customer’s home, but left a scoop lying at the gate. Suppose the scoop falls over, and just then a member of the house, or a visitor, walks through the gate, and trips over the scoop.
Whatever is the result of the accident, in terms of harm to the person or their clothing, is your fault in the eyes of the law, and you can be held to be legally responsible for meeting all the associated costs, as well as for things like emotional damage.
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Another scenario to consider is if your work requires you to dig out patches where waste has been buried by the animal, as is often done by cats. If you have dug the hole, but haven’t yet had the chance to fill it in, and someone steps into the hole and breaks a bone, it will be deemed to be your fault.
A third possibility is if you are cleaning up after collecting all the pet waste, and use a high-speed water jet. Suppose by accident the jet flies out of your hands and breaks a window, flooding the interior of the home. If there is any damage to walls, carpeting or furniture you will be liable for all costs and may also have to front-up for legal fees.
When you are performing your pet waste removal services at a place of business or home of a customer, General liability insurance gives you the cover you may need in case of such events.
Because you are providing a service for payment, you have a legal requirement to do the work in a professional and competent way, with due care and diligence.
Professional Liability insurance (also known as Errors and Omissions insurance / E&O) is for service providers because your customers are paying you to perform your services correctly, and thoroughly – in other words, professionally. If something goes wrong, a customer can claim that you performed without due diligence, care or skill.
Suppose you have a contract to collect waste regularly on a certain day of the week and at a specific time. Imagine that a customer is throwing a big garden party, and timed the event so that you would have called immediately before to clean up all the pet waste.
If something happens that prevents you from getting the work done, they may claim that you spoiled the event and caused financial and emotional damage.
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You cannot claim that this is not your responsibility. The level of damages could easily exceed a whole season’s income. As well, if you have to go to court, the cost of defense can be considerable.
For both General Liability and Professional (E & O) Liability insurance, a great plus is that in case you have to defend your pet waste removal business from a claim, the whole cost and process of defending you is the responsibility of your insurance company.
Legal costs can be thousands of dollars. Without liability insurance, even if in the end you win the case, you will have had to pay all of the lawyer costs yourself.
Equipment Insurance for pet waste removers
If equipment you use is stolen or damaged, you may face high replacement costs. You have extra risks because you can’t always have supervision of all the equipment you bought on site for the different actions, as well as whatever is still loaded in your vehicle. So, you need insurance to cover any claims.
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Company Vehicle Insurance for pet waste removers
Commercial vehicle insurance is essential if you own a truck or van for business. The cost of replacing a vehicle and its contents can be high.
Also, you cannot finance the purchase of a vehicle from a finance company unless you take out comprehensive auto insurance.
Remember, you are not insured if you are using your personal auto for business activity.
Because the risks of accidents and collisions are usually higher for commercial vehicles, insurance companies provide higher levels of protection. You will be able to get up to $1 million or even $2 million in vehicle cover.
These are a legal requirement in most states, and you do not have the option not to take out cover.
There are two kinds required by state or federal law for which any business has no option and you need to take out at least the minimum of cover legislated.
Without this cover, you could land up with substantial penalties or even a criminal record. Your best action is to find the company that sells the cover at the best price.
Workers compensation insurance is mandated in all states. In six of them, only state-owned insurance companies can sell the cover, and in the others, it can be bought from individual insurance companies.
You are required to have the cover if you employ more than a specific number of full time, part-time, casual or sub-contract workers. The actual number differs from start to state and so does the cost.
Third-party vehicle insurance is legally required in all states, to, at a minimum, cover bodily injury and property damage to other people, not the driver. Some states also require personal injury protection, and cover for medical payments. Check with your local insurance agents and brokers to see what is necessary in your state.
Can you get pet waste removal insurance for seasonal activity?
If you work as a pet waste remover only for part of the year, consider temporary insurance. In many states, the demand for pet waste removal is seasonal, and it can make sense to close down in the quiet months.
Some insurance companies sell special policies where you can take out pet waste removal insurance for a specific time period and you only pay for the period of cover. You will have the necessary level of cover and will save money due to the lower premiums.
For example, pet waste removal insurance can start on a specified date and run for an agreed number of weeks or months, giving the same protection as annual cover.
How much is pet waste removal insurance?
The charges for pet waste removal insurance for general liability, and Errors & Omissions depends on the level of protection you require.
Insurance for your pet waste removal assets like the equipment and autos will depend on the value of anything that can be damaged, vandalized or stolen.
Most equipment insurance covers will pay out based on the original cost of the items, with annual depreciation, and do not always match the replacement cost.
Your own State sets mandatory insurance costs for Workers Compensation insurance and vehicle third-party cover.
Many other service providers do special work on the premises of customers. The most relevant is Groundskeeping and Landscaping services.
As well, you can use as a guide what we have written about the usual costs for insurance for Handymen, Solar panel contractors, Roofing contractors, Fencing installers, Field Service Technicians, General Contractors, Plumbers, Painters, Electricians, Glaziers, Locksmith, Carpenters, and Concrete contractors.
We are providing very general guidelines to the levels of cover and the annual premiums you can expect to pay.
|Subject||Level of cover||Likely average cost per year|
|General liability||$1 million per year, maximum $500,000 single claim||$450 – $750|
|Professional liability||$10,000 full year, $2,000 single claim with $200 deductible||$250 – $350|
|Equipment||Calculated on insurable value (IV) with $250 deductible||$120 – $250|
|Vehicle||Based on replaceable value||$1200 – $3000|
What are the costs of insurance for a small pet waste removal business?
We can only give a broad estimate of likely pet waste removal insurance costs. Your pet waste removal business has its own special requirements. You should consult with insurance brokers and companies to give you a quote based on the average cost of insurance for small businesses like yours.
What should your deductibles be?
You can reduce your insurance premiums by accepting to pay an agreed part of any insurance claim. This is called the deductible amount.
Insurance companies have high administration costs for claim handling, and they don’t want to deal with “nuisance” claims. Typically, small business claims are lower than or just a bit larger than the deductible, so most claims are never made but are just met by the insured party.
See how much you can save by talking to the insurance company or your insurance broker or agent.