Last Updated: February 23, 2024, 8:42 am by TRUiC Team

Zoo Business Insurance

Getting insurance for your zoo business is essential.

Zoo businesses need to be protected against claims involving things that could foreseeably cause serious financial losses, such as animal injuries, accidents involving animals in transit, and potential abuse allegations. 

You will also want to protect your business from potential property damage or personal injury claims that occur within your zoo’s premises. 

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 Zoo Business

General liability insurance is — generally speaking — one of the most important insurance policies for a zoo business.

Some of the risks general liability insurance covers are:

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

Having said that, you will likely want to purchase additional coverage for a zoo business. This is because you will need to protect yourself from a wide variety of perils, particularly in relation to animal deaths:

  • Livestock transit insurance covers the cost of death or serious injury of livestock while being transported. 
  • Animal mortality insurance covers the cost of replacing certain zoo animals if they die due to a covered risk. 
  • Commercial property insurance covers the cost of repairing and replacing your zoo’s commercial equipment, such as office furniture, animal habitats, and more.  

You will also want to decide what type of coverage provider you will choose (i.e., online insurer vs. traditional brick-and-mortar insurer.).

Even though both can be advantageous in their own way, we recommend going with an online insurer (e.g., Tivly, Next, etc.) as a small business because their personalized coverage is significantly more affordable and time-efficient.

This is because they do not need to use an insurance agent and so benefit from having lower overhead. 

Let's Find the Coverage You Need

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Cost of General Liability Insurance

On average, zoos 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 zoo business 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 low-cost business insurance review.

Common Situations That General Liability Insurance May Cover for a Zoo Business

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Example 1: A visitor to the zoo is walking down a staircase when she slips and falls on the steps, injures herself, and requires transportation by ambulance to the hospital. She demands that your business pay for her medical treatment. Your general liability policy will likely cover her medical costs if you file a claim with your insurer.

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Example 2: One of your zoo employees is carting feed for the elephants when she loses control of the hand cart. The cart slides into a zoo visitor, knocking her down and resulting in a head injury. The visitor decides to take legal action against your business. Your general liability policy will cover the cost of your legal defense, including the cost of hiring an attorney and of any settlement that might be required.

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Example 3: A zoo in another city in your state has decided that your logo is taken directly from their logo and takes legal action against your business. Your general liability policy will pay for the cost of your legal fees. If it is necessary for you to settle with the other zoo over the logo, you can rely on your policy to cover the cost of the settlement as well.

Other Types of Coverage Zoo Businesses 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

Your zoo employees most likely need to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance to meet state requirements. The workers’ comp policy you purchase is useful for more than meeting legal requirements, though. It serves as protection for your employees and your business. If an employee is injured on the job performing job-related duties, the policy will pay for his or her medical care. It will also help cover lost wages while the employee recovers.

Commercial Property Insurance

The cost of getting the equipment and supplies needed to open and operate a zoo is substantial. Any major loss of these items can come with a significant financial burden. A commercial property policy is intended to protect against such a situation. If your property is damaged or lost due to a covered event, you can file a claim to help replace your lost property and get back on your feet.

Commercial Auto Insurance

If you have one or more company vehicles used primarily for business, you need commercial auto insurance. A commercial auto policy protects your business in several ways. It covers the cost of fixing or replacing damaged vehicles and pays for medical care for drivers and passengers involved in accidents. And if you or your employee cause an accident, commercial auto insurance will pay for damages and medical care for the other vehicle and its occupants.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

The general liability policy you carry will protect your business in most situations. However, there are some instances, such as major lawsuits, when the policy limits may be exceeded. You can purchase additional protection through a commercial umbrella policy. The umbrella policy will pick up where the general liability policy leaves off. This can protect you from paying any remaining damages out of pocket.

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 zoo business:

  • 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.

Zoo 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.


This is because you will not be able to accurately predict when you will need to rely on your business insurance, and not having it when you need it can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars down the line. 

Note that this will also likely be a legal requirement at a state level if you choose to hire employees. 

Not necessarily. Certain exceptions may be written directly into your zoo business 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.