Last Updated: May 30, 2024, 1:43 pm by TRUiC Team

Pet Shelter Business Insurance

Getting insurance for your pet shelter is essential.

Pet shelters need to be protected against things like claims of personal injury, wrongful death, and violations of health and safety regulations.

For example, your pet shelter could face a wrongful death lawsuit if an animal is severely injured in your care due to the negligence of one of your employees. 

We’ll help you find the most personalized and affordable coverage for your unique business.

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Recommended: Next Insurance is dedicated to matching small businesses with the right policy at the best price.

Best Insurance for a Pet Shelter

General liability insurance is — generally speaking — one of the most important insurance policies for pet shelters. 

Some of the risks general liability insurance covers are:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Medical payments
  • Legal defense and judgment
  • Personal and advertising injury

Some other policies that may interest your pet shelter include:

  • Workers’ compensation insurance: A policy required by most states of businesses with part or full-time employees to take care of them financially if they are injured or become ill at work.
  • Commercial property insurance: Safeguards the investment your business made into its supplies, equipment, and real estate in the event of stipulated risks, such as a fire, theft, or natural disaster.
  • Commercial auto insurance: As with any vehicle on the roads, those used for business purposes are required by law to own insurance. This policy is used for vehicles used for business purposes, which are not covered by standard policies.

You will typically be faced with the choice between two distinct types of insurance providers:

  • Traditional brick-and-mortar insurers
  • Online insurers

The difference between these two groups is quite self-explanatory, though the importance of the distinction may not be initially apparent.

Due to their digital business structure, the operating costs of online insurers are far lower than that of traditional insurers. As a result, the policies of insurers tend to be far more affordable (and thus popular) with businesses.

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Cost of General Liability Insurance

On average, pet shelters in America spend between $300 - $700 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.

Compare the average cost of general liability insurance for a pet shelter to other professional industries using the graph below.

Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:

  • Location
  • Deductible
  • Number of employees
  • Per-occurrence limit
  • General aggregate limit

You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner’s policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy.

A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.

Graph showing average price of general liability insurance prices per industry

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Find the Best Rate

Discover the best coverage at the lowest rate in our cheapest business insurance review.

Common Situations That General Liability Insurance May Cover for a Pet Shelter

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Example 1: While walking through the aisles in your shelter, a visitor slips on some wet flooring, breaks an arm in the fall, and decides to sue because you failed to mark the wet floor. General liability insurance would pay for your legal defense and any required settlement.

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Example 2: As an employee moves supplies to the back of the shelter, he accidentally drops a box of food on a visitor’s bag and breaks the camera equipment within. The visitor asks you to replace her broken equipment. General liability insurance would cover the cost of replacing the visitor’s damaged property.

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Example 3: Another local pet shelter sues your business for libel. While you disagree with the accusation, you know you need an attorney to protect your interests. General liability insurance would pay for your legal defense and any required settlement.

Other Types of Coverage Pet Shelters Need

While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some of the most common types of coverage:

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Most states require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their part-time and full-time workers. This coverage protects your employees if they become injured at work or fall ill after a work-related accident. It not only covers an employee’s medical bills and lost wages if they need time to recover but also any disability or death benefits stemming from a workplace accident. 

Commercial Property Insurance

You made a major investment to establish your pet shelter. In the event of a fire, theft, or natural disaster, commercial property insurance would cover the cost of repairing or replacing your business-related property. This includes structural damage to your building as well as the equipment, pet food, and medical supplies stored there.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Any vehicle you use primarily for your pet shelter business requires commercial auto insurance to protect the vehicle, driver, and others on the road in the event of an accident. Be sure to select a policy that covers not only accident-related vehicle repair costs and medical treatment for anyone injured but also sufficient protection for any business equipment or supplies you carry in your vehicle.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

While your general liability insurance policy covers most claims, some accidents or lawsuits may be so catastrophic that they threaten to exhaust the limits of your primary coverage. Commercial umbrella insurance protects you from paying out-of-pocket for any legal fees and awarded damages that exceed your primary policy.

Additional Steps To Protect Your Business

Although it’s easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it shouldn’t be your only defense.

Here are several things you can do to better protect your pet shelter:

  • Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
  • Set up an LLC or corporation to protect your personal assets. (Visit our step-by-step guides to learn how to form an LLC or corporation in your state.)
  • Stay up to date with business licensing.
  • Maintain your corporate veil.

Pet Shelter Business Insurance FAQ

Yes, absolutely. You will need to first get a quote from an online business insurance provider like Next Insurance. Next allows you to then purchase a policy immediately and your coverage will be active within 48 hours.

A typical business owner’s policy includes general liability, business interruption, and commercial property insurance. However, BOPs are often customizable, so your agent may recommend adding professional liability, commercial auto, or other types of coverage to your package depending on your company’s needs.

"Business insurance" is a generic term used to describe many different types of coverage a business may need. General liability insurance, on the other hand, is a specific type of coverage that business owners need to protect their assets.

Every business needs business insurance, and the same is true for your pet shelter. Due to the nature of this business, proactively acquiring insurance is advised to avoid substantial financial losses.

It is also important to be aware of the legal requirements to possess certain policies (e.g., workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance) that may apply to your pet shelter.

Not necessarily. Certain exceptions may be written directly into your pet shelter insurance policy, and some perils may be entirely uninsurable.

Yes, an LLC is meant to create a legal barrier between your business and your personal assets and credit. If you haven’t formed an LLC yet, use our Form an LLC guide to get started.

An LLC doesn’t protect your business assets from lawsuits and liability– that’s where business insurance comes in. Business insurance helps protect your business from liability and risk.