Pet Sitting Insurance in The Shared Economy

Pet Sitting Insurance

Pet Sitting Insurance in The Shared Economy

Pet owners today feel more attached to their dogs and cats and put greater value on them. Because of this, insurance providers are doing more to market their services. New providers and new types of policies offer better value and more coverage. Surgery, chemotherapy, drug therapy and other medical interventions could cost thousands of dollars without insurance. With insurance, your cost could be significantly less. Pet Insurance customization allows you to choose from different deductible amounts and coinsurance. You can also choose from primary accident-only insurance or comprehensive policies that can include everything from treatment for injuries to dental care.

A lot of new pet owners do not see the necessity of having pet insurance at first because their is pet young, happy and healthy. Pet sitters are on the rise with new apps like Rover- the Uber of pet care. Rover is just another piece of the puzzle that is known as The Sharing Economy, and it’s bigger than ever. The number of travelers booked their lodging through home-sharing sites this summer double compared to last year.

Pet care has become a multibillion-dollar industry. A report from the American Pet Products Association reported that pet-sitting and grooming alone brought in nearly $6 billion last year. Colorado law previously restricted at-home pet-sitting because of legal gray areas. Before the update to the state’s pet care law, boarding someone else’s pet without a license, even watching neighbors’ animals while they were on vacation was deemed illegal. These restrictions were designed to target the inhumane treatment of animals and people running commercial businesses in underground kennels.

Companies like Rover had the benefit of seeing the swell of interest and insurance issues that Uber and Airbnb created. Rover approached states to change the laws to permit the firm to operate before becoming widely available. Colorado realized that creating insurance regulations and hiring investigators and others to ensure the regulations was an incredibly costly procedure; estimated to cost taxpayers up to $2 billion.

Rover may be dodging these costs, but they are at high risk for problems in the future. Rover’s website states that there is premium coverage for situations such as:  

  • Injuries to a pet while under sitter care.
  • Injuries to sitter’s pet in case their pet is injured by coming in contact with the pet they are caring for.
  • General liability for claims of bodily injury to a person other than a sitter or pet owner.
  • Property damage that occurs as a result of a sitter or dog walker’s services.

However, this webpage doesn’t include information about the insurance carrier, limits, or premium costs. Rover’s insurance does NOT cover:

  • Damage to the sitter’s or dog walker’s personal property
  • Injuries to the sitter or anyone related
  • Injuries to the pet owner
  • Treatment costs for medical or veterinary bills as a result of pet illness

Rover appears to be encouraging insurance coverage, but this doesn’t mean that people are purchasing coverage. In this shared economy, people running businesses need to understand that there are insurance consequences that affect you. Do you think that personal insurance plans should be purchased before becoming a pet care professional? Do you agree with Colorado’s law revisions?

 

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Melinda Martin

Account Executive

Melinda began her insurance career in 1985 with Alexander & Alexander where she received her Property & Casualty and Life & Health license. Since then she has worked at various agencies in the New Orleans area and in California as a senior account manager for Employee Benefit Plans.  While in California, she was also the Membership Director for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Melinda joined the AWS team in July of 2015.

Michael A. Seeling

Vice President

Graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a B.A. in Insurance Risk Management and is a graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School in New Orleans. He joined AWS in October of 2008 and has been awarded the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Certification (PPACA). Additionally, he is working towards his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), and Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC) designations. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is an active member of the Fore!Kids foundation.