In 2016, pet owners in the US spent $5.4B on grooming and boarding services. Truly, we love our pets and care for them like any other member of the family. Pet groomers are entrusted with the care of those pets and expected to provide services in a safe manner. However, sometimes mistakes occur and animals are injured. Pet groomers professional liability protects against injury or death to an animal that results from grooming and related services.
Policy Form Examination
To more fully understand the coverage provided by pet groomers professional liability, we will be examining policy form SS4037 10/08 offered by Hartford Insurance Co. This coverage form modifies the insuring agreement of Hartford’s Spectrum liability policy, and reads as follows:
The Insuring Agreement (SECTION A. – COVERAGES) is amended to add the following:
Business Liability Coverage applies to “property damage” because of the rendering of or the failure to render professional services in the course of pet treatment, care or grooming or operating a pet boarding facility.
The SS4037 form also removes the exclusion for “professional services” found in the general liability policy:
Exclusion 1.j., Professional Services (SECTION A. – COVERAGES), does not apply to “property damage” because of the rendering of or the failure to render any professional services in the course of pet treatment, care or grooming or operating a pet boarding facility.
Exclusion 1k.(4) does not apply to domestic animals in your care, custody or control.
The definition of “property damage” is modified as follows:
”Property damage” means physical injury or damage to domestic animals.
The intent of the pet groomer professional liability form is to provide coverage for injury to domestic animals that are in the care, custody, or control of the insured and specifically caused by the professional services (i.e. grooming and related services) of the insured. It is important to note that this is not the same as animal bailee coverage which excludes injury caused by grooming or other professional services.
For further clarification, let’s examine two possible claim scenarios and determine whether coverage would be afforded under pet groomers professional liability or animal bailee coverage:
- While trimming hair around a dog’s ears a groomer slips and causes a large laceration. The injury requires veterinarian treatment and multiple stitches to repair.
- An employee of a pet groomer accidentally leaves a gate open and several dogs escape from the store. One dog is struck by a car in the parking lot and severely injured.
Claim scenario #1 is clearly the result of services rendered by the groomer. Coverage for the injuries would be covered by pet groomer professional liability. Claim scenario #2 also resulted in injury to an animal, but the proximate cause is not related to grooming services. This claim would not be afforded coverage under groomers professional liability but would be considered for coverage under the animal bailee form.
Pet Groomer Insurance Coverage
To fully protect your pet grooming business, consider an insurance plan that offers both pet groomer professional liability and animal bailee coverage. These two separate endorsements are designed to complement each other in providing broad coverage for injury, or death, to animals in your care, custody, or control.
Lastly, contact the professional agents at Safeguard Insurance for a no-obligation review of your pet grooming insurance needs. We have provided coverage to dozens of pet groomers, boarding operations and kennels, and veterinarian practices.
Safeguard Insurance is licensed to quote pet groomer insurance in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California, Idaho, New Mexico, Washington, and Oregon.