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Free dog walking service - do we need insurance?

Discussion in 'Animal Jobs & Working with Animals' started by mctavish, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. mctavish

    mctavish PetForums Newbie

    Nov 8, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Hi! Our local community is thinking of setting up a dog walking register for local people. All dog walkers will be doing this free of charge. However, do we have to have insurance? If the pet owner has insurance/insured their dog would this be enough? It's not going to be a business and the majority of people who will use it will know each other, I guess it will be more of a social network. Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. househens

    househens Guest

    Sadly, these days, you do. My vet offers very cheap help for battlers, and has had middle income people sneak in, and then, when not happy, sue her. There are some very unpleasant people around, who seem to actually hone in on small scale voluntary orgs, and have no problem with harassing people through courts. You at least have to cover your volunteer walkers. It's very, very sad, and sadly, you only need a couple of these predatory people in hundreds of good hearted people, to destroy lives.

    Perhaps you could raise the money with a giant community garage sale, or appeal for a sponsor, or raise money doing a microchipping day?
    #2 househens, Nov 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2012
  3. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Aug 11, 2010
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    Although normal dog insurance a lot of the time has third party liability there are usually terms and conditions to what it does actually cover and doesnt. So you would need to check your individual insurances, and may find that you are not covered in this or certain circumstances. Or the person in charge of the dog if not the owner might not be.

    The best thing probably would be to contact your individual insurance companies explain what you are considering doing, and ask them to confirm in such circumstances would the third party liability cover still stand. If it doesnt then I would certainly get the appropriate insurance.
  4. Crystal Palace Doggie Day

    Crystal Palace Doggie Day PetForums Newbie

    Mar 28, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Although you are doing this free of charge, you will need insurance.

    You will be walking Dogs of "strangers" and you are liable for losing house keys, the Dog running away etc etc, while they are in your care.

    If you lose a persons Dog whilst in your care, or it runs away and gets hit by a car (I have seen this happen) the owner may sue you for negligence. Even if you are not "negligent" there could be huge vets costs involve if an accident happens in your care. A lot of pet insurance does not cover incidents that take place under the care of a Dog walker.

    Its not expensive and if the cost is a problem, think about asking a small fee per Dog to cover this.

    Imagine you lose someones keys whilst walking a Dog. Do you think the owner is going to say "Don't worry, ill pay for new keys and/ or changing the locks". No, they are going to expect your insurance to cover it.

    ALWAYS BE INSURED when dealing with the public!!

    Something to also think about, pet business insures will normally have a type of cover for "charitable organizations" IF you are not registering this organisation, they may say you cannot have that type of cover. As to if you can then just pay for business cover, rather than charitable, I do not know, you may not be able to get covered by either. I am sure their is a suitable cover though as many people walks Dogs for free, sadly though, many of them are not covered.
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