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Old 02.05.2011, 09:21
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Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

A question for those of you who are doing dog walking/sitting as a paid service, and those who are clients of dog care providers:

How have you handled insurance issues?

In the past, I had a dog sitter who ran a proper business and carried her own insurance. In the two years since this wonderful lady retired, I have been unable to find anyone already set-up to work legally - so I'm now looking at either helping a qualified candidate set up his/her own business or - my least-preferred option - to employ him/her as my employee.

So - those of you who are dogwalking as self-employed or as a business - what insurance company are you using for your commercial liability policy? What does this insurance cover - i.e., does your policy cover:

damages caused by you/the dog?
accidents where you/the dog are deemed at fault?
accidents where the dog is injured by a third party?
medical care for the dog/third party due to an accident?

And, what does this type of policy generally cost?

---

Those of you who are clients: If your dog care provider is working as your employee, or if you use someone who is not registered as self-employed or as a business, what kind of liability insurance do you carry to cover the dog walker?

If I understand it correctly, standard Privathaftpflicht covers third parties in charge of a dog who are not working commercially, but not dog walkers/sitters who are paid. Do you carry another liability policy, and if so, what kind, from which insurer?


Any insights as to how you have dealt with the insurance issues related to your dog care provider would be much appreciated.
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Old 26.06.2022, 19:04
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Re: Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

For self-employed dog walking do you happen to know if the liability insurance needed is Professional liability or Commercial ( third party ) insurance?

I am a little confused about the difference between these two.
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Old 27.06.2022, 09:45
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Re: Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

Anyone’s RC (assurance responsabilité civile, sorry no clue what that is in German) will cover the cost of damages because of their dog or because of their actions or an accident to a dog under their supervision. Even if both owners are present the RC can kick in—we had a situation with two dogs off leash and under the supervision of the owners and an accident occurred and I offered to pay for all of the vet bills for the other. My insurance covered half since there is legally a shared responsibility since we were both present, but had I been walking her dog and my dog myself and something had happened, my insurance would have paid it all, minus the deductible of course but that’s pretty low. A friend’s kid several years ago ended up breaking several of my dog’s teeth, we didn’t have full visual and it was a younger kid so we never found out how but he had been throwing sticks and my guess is he ran out of sticks and threw a rock and didn’t want to own up to it but anyway, retrospectively I was informed that had we declared that at the time, my friend’s RC would have covered either half or all the cost depending on how they decided the responsibility was shared since I was technically present.

Perhaps this could be enough for your needs?
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Old 27.06.2022, 15:55
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Re: Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

Thanks for your reply.

I was looking for something to cover harmful and unfortunate incidents such as the animal being hit by a car or accidentally breaking a leg. Perhaps being attacked by another dog.

I emailed Axa today and they seemed to suggest Professional Liability and also basic legal insurance so we have taken this out and hopefully it won't need to be used!
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Old 27.06.2022, 23:26
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Re: Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

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Thanks for your reply.

I was looking for something to cover harmful and unfortunate incidents such as the animal being hit by a car or accidentally breaking a leg. Perhaps being attacked by another dog.

I emailed Axa today and they seemed to suggest Professional Liability and also basic legal insurance so we have taken this out and hopefully it won't need to be used!
If the animal is covered by pet insurance, there might be coverage for medical care as a result of an accident. It really depends on the policy. Of course the priority in the event of an incident where the animal is injured is to seek medical treatment. The pet insurer will likely want to recover the cost of treatment if another party was at fault.

Most pet owners have significant coverage in the way of liability insurance.

Legal insurance is always good to have. Even the most experienced dog walkers can encounter situations where someone else's dog is not under control, for example, cyclists with their dog running beside them with no leash.
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Old Yesterday, 09:19
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Re: Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

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If the animal is covered by pet insurance, there might be coverage for medical care as a result of an accident. It really depends on the policy. Of course the priority in the event of an incident where the animal is injured is to seek medical treatment. The pet insurer will likely want to recover the cost of treatment if another party was at fault.

Most pet owners have significant coverage in the way of liability insurance.

Legal insurance is always good to have. Even the most experienced dog walkers can encounter situations where someone else's dog is not under control, for example, cyclists with their dog running beside them with no leash.
I think from a dog walkers prospective, we want to be covered if something goes wrong regardless of 'who is at fault'. Some owners have pet insurance and others do not.
We use Animalia for our own Yorkie and they seem to be fairly reasonable. For the instances where we have used them, they have asked for the receipt and a brief description of events which is submitted on their own online portal. I don't think they ask if anyone was at blame.
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Old Yesterday, 09:34
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Re: Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

Our walker has insurance - but we also have our own insurance (through Elvia on PL insurance).



Had to claim once; and was fairly trouble-free
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Old Yesterday, 10:24
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Re: Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

Wow - seeing this thread from a decade ago was interesting - as in all that time, despite interviewing scores of candidates, I never could find one who was interested in/able to set up professionally. So if you are thinking of doing this, good on ya!

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I emailed Axa today and they seemed to suggest Professional Liability and also basic legal insurance so we have taken this out and hopefully it won't need to be used!
From what I learned back then, much might boil down to whether the sitter is considered a 'Hilfsperson', or is the sitter 'Gewerbmässig'? I Additionally, if you regularly care for the dog, the question comes up as to whether the sitter could also be considered a Halter. So... it's complicated.

Your insurer should be able to advise you, including about helping you understand Berufshaftpflichtversicherung options.

Key is making sure your insurer knows exactly what you plan to do, including where.

As in, will you be caring for dogs in your home, in the client's home, will you have a key to enter the client's home when they are not present? Will you be caring for more than one dog at a time? If so, and very important, do those dogs belong to different owners, and do you have each owners' permission to care for their dogs while also caring for others? Will you transport a client's dog in your car? What authority will you be given to make decisions about veterinary care? And of course, what type of insurance do your clients carry?

And of course, are you limiting your paid work to five or fewer dogs at a time - this goes to regs in the TschV for education requirements.

Here are a couple of articles that might be of interest. The first is from Daniel Jung, an attorney who often write on animal-related legal issues. IT focuses mostly on trainers setting up as self emplyed, but also touches on sitters:
https://www.daniel-jung.ch/Hunde/Ber...de%20Aug16.pdf

And the second is from the SVV:
https://www.svv.ch/de/hundesitting-w...d-versicherung

Andone from the Blick:
https://www.blick.ch/life/natur/hund...id2590308.html

And this from Petsitting24, an interview with an expert from AXA:
https://petsitting24.ch/de/ratgeber/...e-versicherung


---

As above, I never found anyone willing to work professionally, so most of what I found out is only background - I never had a need to try to put it into practice. So be guided by your insurance company.

Bottom line - anyone peing paid to hold the other end of the line should understand liability issues, and discuss this with the owner!


All the best with this venture...
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Old Yesterday, 10:45
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Re: Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

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Thanks for your reply.

I was looking for something to cover harmful and unfortunate incidents such as the animal being hit by a car or accidentally breaking a leg. Perhaps being attacked by another dog.

I emailed Axa today and they seemed to suggest Professional Liability and also basic legal insurance so we have taken this out and hopefully it won't need to be used!
When my pup’s leg was accidentally shattered by another dog a few years ago, the owner’s RC insurance paid for everything.
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Old Yesterday, 12:57
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Re: Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

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Wow - seeing this thread from a decade ago was interesting - as in all that time, despite interviewing scores of candidates, I never could find one who was interested in/able to set up professionally. So if you are thinking of doing this, good on ya!

On this one - our dogwalker is actually setup as a "dog trainer" (registered with the kanton and whatnot).



The walking rates are lower than the private training rates (~40chf/hour if she can take your dog + another at the same time), but she also works on leash-behaviour and whatnot (critical for us, as he's a rescue with a few phobias)
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Old Yesterday, 14:43
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Re: Dog Care Providers and Clients - Which Insurance?

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On this one - our dogwalker is actually setup as a "dog trainer" (registered with the kanton and whatnot).



The walking rates are lower than the private training rates (~40chf/hour if she can take your dog + another at the same time), but she also works on leash-behaviour and whatnot (critical for us, as he's a rescue with a few phobias)
There are a lot of offshoots involving dogs and my wife is interested in grooming. The formation just looks very expensive but I guess it is an investment

Thanks for all the information above and all the posts have been very helpful.
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