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Keep Working Dogs in Business with Insurance for Therapy Dogs
Therapy dogs are working animals, but the job they perform involves much more than task completion. Dogs who have completed obedience training and have been tested for appropriate temperament may continue onward, with their handler, to be trained to provide therapy services. Therapy dogs travel, with their handler, outside of their home to provide service in various facilities including but not limited to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, daycare, rehabilitation centers, and offices. Dogs are affectionate creatures, and highly trained therapy dogs offer psychological or physiological intervention to individuals who are striving to overcome difficult physical, medical, and emotional situations.
Therapy Dog vs Service Dog
Observing dogs in public places is all too familiar as establishments become more pet-friendly. Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether dogs are pets or whether they are providing therapy or service to individuals in need. Often, dogs providing therapy or service are designated by visible gear such as a vest or walking harness. It is important to note the distinction between therapy dogs and service dogs, as each receives specific training and each interacts differently with the individuals, not handlers, whom they are providing a service.
These working dogs are trained by their owners and typically provide service on a volunteer basis. Therapy dogs are expected to not
be easily startled, should be commanded by voice, should not eat dropped food or beg for food, and should be well adapted to working with a variety of people in situations where petting is highly encouraged. Dogs providing therapy are not granted access to establishments such as service dogs are granted access via the Americans with Disabilities Act.
These working dogs are trained by professionals and taught to provide assistance to persons with disabilities. Persons assisted by a service dog must be accompanied by the dog in a variety of public places, therefore, service dog access is enforced by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Service dogs assist individuals to achieve safety and independence, typically by providing mobility assistance. Petting of service dogs is not encouraged.
Therapy Dog Benefits
- Lowering the risk and aid recovery from heart attacks, strokes, and seizures
- Reducing stress, anxiety, and fear
- Lowering the risk from other ailments and diseases
- Creating calmness and lowering blood pressure
- Encouraging interaction and giving companionship
- Aiding recovery from those who have PTSD or other trauma
- Providing a respite from isolation or loneliness
- Offering comfort and reassurance
- Helping individuals recover from the loss of a loved one
- Creating a sense of wellbeing and love
Many different organizations use therapy dogs, including schools, hospitals, care and nursing homes, and even offices. There’s no limit to who can benefit from a therapy dog.
These dogs are highly skilled and trained animals. Training a therapy dog takes around two years and can cost up to $20,000, so it’s a considerable investment in time as well as money. Therefore, protecting these beautiful animals is essential and so is protecting your investment.
The Risk of Owning a Working Dog
The issue with working dogs, as opposed to pet dogs, is that they are working with new people or strangers on a regular basis. This carries a certain amount of risk. In the unfortunate event of a working dog causing an injury, those people are more likely to sue the owner or organization for using what they perceive as an unsafe animal.
Despite the risk, however, there’s no doubt about it: working dogs are an essential asset to many individuals and organizations.
Training the dogs takes considerable time, effort, and, of course, money. With the added possibility of facing a lawsuit, these dogs can quickly become very expensive to maintain.
While working dogs are generally considered reliable and safe, we must not forget that they are animals and that they have minds of their own.
Dogs can deliver a powerful bite, particularly if they are startled or feel unsafe. This is where people who have working dogs can find themselves in difficulty. And this is the reason that insurance for working dogs is so important.
Take a look at these statistics. Although these are statistics for all dogs, working dogs make up a proportion of the numbers.
- 7 million dog bites occur in the US alone every year.
- The number of dog bite claims nationwide increased to 18,522 in 2017, up 2.2 percent from 2016.
- 800,000 dog bites result in medical care each year.
Getting Insurance for Working Dogs
You can protect yourself from potential lawsuits by getting liability coverage. The problem is that most insurers won’t provide coverage for working dogs. Or, if they do, you’ll find that they only cover certain breeds. These will not be the breeds that are classified as “dangerous.”
Fortunately, there is an answer to this problem. We are specialists at providing liability coverage for a wide range of activities and businesses that other insurers refuse to cover.
XINSURANCE is powered by Evolution Insurance Brokers, LC (“EIB”), an excess and surplus lines insurance brokerage. With 30 years of experience, we can offer customized coverage via our all-in-one approach.
This approach means we look at each business or person individually. We assess their situation and needs. Then we create a plan that covers their requirements for liability. Our unique offering allows us to provide broader coverage as well as higher limits (up to $10 million limits with higher limits available through reinsurance partners).
For those that have working dogs, we are proud to be able to offer insurance for working dogs:
- Businesses or individuals that utilize working dogs.
- All breeds of dog.
- Dogs with an existing bite history.
- All levels of service experience.
- Bodily injury and property damage to third-parties.
Please note that our insurance for working dogs does not cover bites to the insured or insured’s family. Nor do we cover damage to property that the insured owns or rents.
The types of working dog that we can provide coverage for include:
- Police dogs (K9).
- Explosive sniffers.
- Narcotic sniffers.
- Guard dogs.
- Service dogs.
- Bed bug dogs.
- Search and rescue dogs.
- Ranch dogs.
- Emotional assistance dogs that work in commercial settings, such as schools, dentists, hospitals, hospices, and other medical facilities.
This list is not exhaustive. If you have a working dog that doesn’t fit into these categories, please give us a call to see how we can help you.
If you have a pet that isn’t classified as “working” and you would like to protect yourself from liability, XINSURANCE can also help you via our Animal Liability coverage.
Commercial Therapy Dog Insurance
If you provide therapy dogs as a business, you’ll probably already be familiar with insurance for therapy dogs. You’ll likely have it in place already. A lot of people don’t realize, however, that the coverage tends only to cover volunteering activities. This means the insurance is only covering your therapy dogs if they engage in activities that do not involve payment.
If at any point you plan to use your therapy dogs for commercial work, you could be in for a shock if something happens and you find that your insurance is invalid. An incident could be devastating financially, so it’s important that you find an insurance that covers you for commercial therapy dogs and gives you peace of mind.
Thankfully, we have a solution!
XINSURANCE’s Commercial Therapy Dog Insurance is designed to provide comprehensive insurance no matter what the activity is that your dog engages in. We pride ourselves on giving our customers peace of mind knowing they’re covered adequately for commercial activities.
The policy protects from claims against you as well as litigation and the coverage can be fully customized to suit your requirements. Furthermore, we cover any breed of dog, regardless of the experience they have so if you have a specific breed of dog that’s usually difficult to find insurance for, we at XINSURANCE can help you.
XINSURANCE is powered by Evolution Insurance Brokers, LC (“EIB”), an excess and surplus lines insurance brokerage. Our underwriting team has over 30 years of experience so you can be reassured that we are the experts in providing insurance solutions that perfectly fit your needs.
Do You Have Adequate Coverage?
We can even have a look at your existing policy for free and tell you if it’s providing adequate coverage or not because we believe it’s essential for people to know exactly what they’re paying for. Our goal is to help you avoid any problems that arise from not having the right insurance coverage.
We always hope for the best when engaging in commercial activities, but unfortunately, in this day and age, we have become a litigious society and the only way to combat that is to make sure you have the right protection in place.
If you get a therapy dog certification through an organization, you might already have liability insurance through the organization and certification. Thus, in some cases, you might not need our liability insurance coverage but in other cases, you might! Most of the time, included insurance coverage only covers volunteering. We typically pick up where the other guys won’t cover you or if you want your own policy aside from any free offering. In any case, we can provide a free policy review and let you know if there are any gaps. If there are gaps that you want to be covered, then that’s where we can help!
How to Get in Touch with XINSURANCE
If you need insurance for working dogs, there are many ways you can get in touch with us here at XINSURANCE.
We have information about how our all-in-one approach works plus details of our extensive product line on our website. Additionally, you can also receive a quote online making it a quick and simple way to get a price.
If you require more specific information or have any questions, then please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, call and speak to a member of our team on 877-585-2853.
We want to make sure you are as informed as possible before providing you with your working dog coverage. Feel free to contact us with any queries you have, no matter how big or small.
If you’re based in the Salt Lake City area, you can visit our office and have a chat face-to-face. We’re located at 8722 S. Harrison Street, Sandy, Utah 84070.
If you prefer to find us via social media, you can take your pick of the platforms. We are active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram and regularly post updates on our products and services.
Getting in front of our customers is also important to XINSURANCE, so we have a busy events calendar that is updated regularly. You never know, we might be attending an event local to you, so please come and find us for an informal conversation.
Working dogs are such a valuable and essential asset, so don’t leave your protection to chance. Get proper coverage in place and allow your dog to continue its amazing work without the worry of facing an unaffordable lawsuit without coverage.
Originally published May 25, 2019 3:39 PM, updated August 04, 2020