Tag: pet sitter insurance

Employee’s vs. IC’s

Clients often ask us if our pet sitters are employees of the company or independent contractors.  Why would that be important?  There is a huge difference in companies that have employees vs. independent contractors.  This may be important for some people for many reasons.

1.  Looking for consistency when different sitters are caring for your pets.

2.  Workman’s compensation covers injuries while on the job.

3.  The company has control over HOW the jobs are done and WHEN the jobs are completed.

4.  The company can train employees.

5.  The company has control over WHO is caring for your pets.

When a pet sitting company hires employees they are legally able to train them to perform jobs in a certain way so all the clients receive the same level of service.  When companies hire independent contractors they have no control over how the job is being done and can’t train them to provide a certain level of service.  They also have control over who is actually caring for your pets.  Did you know that when you hire a company that hires independent contractors, if that person is not available to do the job, they can offer that job to ANYONE.  The company has no control over WHO is actually caring for your pets.

When a company hires employees they are legally required to have a workman’s compensation plan in place to cover their employees if they get hurt on the job.  Did you know that companies that hire independent contractors aren’t allowed to provide workman’s compensation?  If an independent contractor gets hurt on the job, they could go after the pet parent for compensation.

If something goes wrong….you only have ONE person to work with on resolving the issue.  When you work with a company with independent contractors you have the company AND the independent contractor to deal with.

Hiring a company that has employees will save you headaches and hassle in the long run and you’ll ultimately be happier.

Price Shopping for a Pet Sitter

So, you’re planning your vacation, excited and ready to go!  Wait…what about the pets?  You need to make arrangements for their care while you are gone.  You call a couple of professional pet sitting companies and decide to price shop against Rover.com, Care.com, and Dogvacay.com.  Your price comparisons tell you that it is less expensive in the long run to go with Rover or one of the others rather than a professional pet sitter.

Let’s weigh the pro’s and con’s:

Pro:

There is still a level of insurance provided to pet sitters registered with Rover.com.

Con:

Pet owner is responsible for a $500 deductible if anything were to happen to their pet while in the care of a Rover.com pet sitter.  A professional pet sitting company does not pass the deductible along to the pet owner.

Pro:

The insurance coverage of a Rover.com pet sitter includes professional liability insurance which covers property damage that occurs as a result of a sitter or dog walker’s services, or from FAILING TO RENDER THOSE SERVICES.  (Meaning, the sitter forgets to visit, or leaves town without having someone else take care of your pets).

Con:

Pet parent is responsible for the $500 deductible.  Again, a professional pet sitting company does not pass the deductible along to the pet owner.

Pro:

The Rover.com sitter you decide to work with is probably an animal lover and has the best intentions of taking great care of your pet.

Con:

Generally, a Rover.com pet sitter does not do this for a living.  It’s side money for them and they typically work another job or have other responsibilities that may take precedence over the care of your pet.  A professional pet sitting company does this for a living.  It is what they do full time.  They have back up plans in case the sitter assigned to you can not make a visit for any reason.

The cons listed are not to scare you away from using a Rover.com pet sitter.  It’s simply to make you aware of the “what if’s” and help prepare you for your interview of the sitter you decide to work with.

Here are some questions you should ask your Rover.com pet sitter:

  1.  Are you insured only through Rover.com?  Or do you have additional insurance?  With who?

  2. What is your backup plan?  If something happens to you, one of your kids, family members, etc. and you have to be away from home for long periods of time, how are my pets going to be cared for?

  3. What is your cancellation policy?

  4.  What happens if the sitter has to cancel a booked reservation?

  5. Will you send me updates with pictures?  How often can I expect those?

  6. How quickly do you respond to phone calls, text messages and emails?

If the Rover.com pet sitter you interview and meet face to face passes your tests and you have a good gut feeling, by all means, go for it!

 

Pet Sitter Insurance and Bonding

Is your pet sitter insured and bonded?

Below is an example of traditional insurance provided for pet sitters:

BASIC LIABILITY LIMITS:

BASIC LIABLITY COVERAGE:

  • $2,000,000 General Aggregate

  • $1,000,000 Products/Complete Operations

  • $1,000,000 Personal & Advertising Injury

  • $1,000,000 Each Occurrence

  • $100,000 Fire Legal Liability

  • $5,000 Medical Payments

  • $100 Deductible Per Claim

  • Premises/Operations Liability

  • Products/Complete Operations

  • Host Liquor Liability

  • Incidental Malpractice Liability

  • Incidental Contractual Liability

  • Employees Coverd as Insureds

SPECIAL POLICY FEATURES:

  • Coverage for damage to property in your care, custody, and control, including the pet.

  • Coverage for lost keys. Pays up to
    $2500 to re-key customer’s locks.

  • OPTIONAL: Coverage for Pet Grooming, Limited In Your Home Pet Care, and Housesitting.

Your pet sitter’s insurance may have more or less coverage than what is listed above.  It is appropriate for you to ask to see your pet sitters proof of insurance, but it is not customary for pet sitters to share their declarations page.