Whether you own a pet sitting business, or simply pet sit part-time, you’ll want to consider insurance to protect you in case anything goes wrong.
In this article, we explain what insurance pet sitters in the UK need, and then review pet sitting insurance providers to help you find the one that’s best for you.
If you're looking for pet sitting insurance straight away, you can get a quote from Petplan Sanctuary on their website.
What insurance do I need for pet sitting?
Pet sitting is a responsible job, and many owners appreciate a sitter who has specialist insurance. Pet sitting insurance can provide peace of mind for both you and your customers. If a pet injures someone or causes damage, claims can run into tens of thousands of pounds so it's worth considering getting insurance.
Pet sitting insurance is usually made up of the following components:
- Liability, including public liability insurance, which covers your business's legal liabilities to third parties, employers liability insurance, in case your employees are injured whilst at work, and professional indemnity insurance, for legal claims against your business for negligence
- Care of animals, including veterinary fees, death of animal, loss by theft or straying, advertising & reward, animals in transit
- Buildings and Property, including property damage to buildings and contents, and loss and theft of keys
You also have the options of adding extra cover for things like goods in transit and business equipment.
How much does pet sitting insurance cost?
The cost of pet sitting insurance varies depending on factors like your annual turnover, the number of people you employ, and where in the UK you’re located.
The average cost from the pet sitting insurers we reviewed was £116.77, based on a business with a £25,000 turnover (where asked for), and a Milton Keynes postcode. All quotes correct at time of writing.
Of course, if you’ve made claims in the past, or had any legal trouble involving your pet sitting business, then this will increase the price of your quote.
Which companies provide insurance cover for Pet Sitters?
Petplan Sanctuary Pet Sitting Insurance Review
Petplan is the UK's No. 1 Pet Insurance company. As well as insuring pets, they also have a brand that provides insurance for pet businesses called Petplan Sanctuary.
Petplan Sanctuary pet sitting insurance provides £3,000,000 public liability cover, £100,000 professional indemnity cover, Care, Custody and Control of Animals up to £1,250, and £10,000 custodial responsibility cover, for expenses from defending or settling claims of negligence.
It also offers employer liability cover up to £10,000,000 as an optional extra.
The quote for our pet sitter was £123.65, or £12.37 per month as Petplan Sanctuary also offer the choice to spread the cost over 10 monthly payments. When employer’s liability insurance was added, the price rose to £155, or £15.55 per month. Prices were correct in December 2016.
Protectivity Pet Sitting Insurance Review
Protectivity is a newer entrant to the pet business insurance market, recommended to us by a Bought By Many member for their competitive pricing.
With Protectivity, pet sitters can choose Public Liability insurance of between £1m and £10m. There is also up to £25,000 of cover for animals in your care, and key cover of £10,000 with no excess. Its policies include £250 of equipment cover for things like grooming gear.
The quote for our example pet sitter was just £109. Including £500,000 of professional indemnity insurance increased the quote to £148.
Protectivity says prices start from £63.07 a year or £5.04 a month. Quotes with £1m professional indemnity cover start at £84.97 a year or £6.79 a month.
Pet Business Insurance Review
Imaginatively-named company Pet Business Insurance provides specialist insurance for all kinds of animal-related businesses, including dog walking and pet sitting.
Its pet sitting insurance provides £5,000,000 public liability cover, care, custody and control of animals up to £15,000 per incident, £10,000,00 employer’s liability cover, and £10,000 loss of keys and replacement locks cover.
It also offers professional indemnity insurance up to £350,000 as an optional extra.
The quote for our pet sitter was £105 per year for a business with a £25,000 turnover, one partner/director and no full-time employees. For a pet sitting business with a £50,000 turnover, two partners and two full-time employees, the price increased to £200.80. Immediate family members are not counted as employees and are automatically included.
There is also the option of joining the National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers (NARPS), which gives you a 25% discount from Pet Business Insurance.
There are three tiers of membership, with different joining fees and monthly costs:
- Bronze – No joining fee, £20 per month (this membership does not include the discounted insurance offer!)
- Silver - £144 joining fee, £8 per month
- Gold - £150 joining fee, £10 per month
Cilverton is part of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group and provides insurance for animal business like pet sitters and dog walkers.
Cliverton pet sitting insurance provides £5,000,000 public liability cover, care, custody and control of animals up to £15,000 per incident, £10,000,000 employer’s liability cover, and £10,000 loss of keys and replacement locks cover.
The quote for our pet sitter was £121.31 per year for a business with a £25,000 turnover. This can be alternatively paid as 6 monthly payments of £21.88, making £131.30 in total.
Online Pet Sitting Services and Insurance
Insurance for these online platforms is a complex area that the insurance industry is only just beginning to come to terms with. Pet sitting is no exception - so what insurance cover do the new breed of online pet sitting services provide?
DogBuddy offers £1,400,000 of public liability insurance for both sitters and owners, while also providing £1,000 of cover for vet treatment. Importantly, the insurance is only valid for sitting that has been arranged through the DogBuddy website. So, if you use DogBuddy to find customers for your pet sitting business, but you also have other customers from other sources, you would need to buy separate insurance from one of the companies reviewed above if you wanted to be fully covered.
Tailster provides even more comprehensive insurance for dog sitting booked through its website. Tailster's insurance policy provides £5,000,000 of Public Liability Insurance, £10,000 of key cover, £15,000 of cover for injury, loss, theft or death of a dog in the sitter's care, and £1,500 of cover for vet bills.
BorrowMyDoggy, meanwhile, provides a different kind of pet-sitting experience as part of its mission to help dog-lovers connect with dog-owners. Owners are matched with sitters by distance and availability, and though sitters aren’t paid, they get the fun of looking after a pet.
BorrowMyDoggy offers its own insurance, providing its sitters with public liability insurance cover up to £1,000,000. But sitters don’t get care and custody of animals cover in case the pet is injured or lost - in contrast to the pet sitting insurers reviewed above, all of whom offer it as standard. BorrowMyDoggy's insurance also isn't valid if the sitter is paid by the owner of the dog.