From inoculating dogs to spaying cats, veterinarian offices handle health and wellness check-ups, exams, minor surgery, and a multitude of other care services for pets. Veterinarian offices typically accept most house pets, including cats and dogs as well as some services for exotic animals and other small mammals, like rabbits, birds, and reptiles. As with any business, veterinarian offices have their own set of risks. These include potential harm to employees, accidents that can occur on the premises, and a variety of liabilities as a result of the care given to animals in the office. Due to these risks, protecting your business by choosing adequate veterinarian office insurance is vital.
Types of Veterinarian Office Insurance
As a veterinarian, you have various types of insurance policies to choose from. The type of veterinarian office insurance you choose will depend on your own business needs, and which risks you and your insurance agent feel you need protection from.
One of the most basic insurance policies available for veterinarian offices is general liability. With a general liability insurance policy, your business will be protected against certain risks associated with doing business that may lead to lawsuits, including damage to your property or bodily injury. For example, if in the waiting room one of your client’s dogs bites another client, they can turn around and sue your office. In this case, general liability insurance will cover costs associated with lawsuits and litigation.
Veterinarian Office Business Owner’s Policy
For a more comprehensive insurance policy, business owner’s policies exist. A business owner’s policy, also known as a BOP, is a package policy that combines general liability with other optional insurance coverages. For example, a BOP can protect your business against unexpected events like natural disasters or extreme weather conditions that cause you to lose money. If a natural disaster occurs in your area that causes damage to your building or examination equipment, a BOP can help cover the cost of repairs or replacements.
No matter what type of business you run, mistakes can occur, so it is important to stay protected. In your veterinary office, a mistake — such as giving the wrong medication to a client’s pet — can cause them financial burden if the pet becomes ill and needs to be taken to a veterinary hospital. In this case, you will be responsible for the bills, which can, in turn, affect your business finances. To protect your business from such liabilities, professional liability insurance offers coverage.
Any time an employee or veterinarian of your office uses a vehicle for business purposes, commercial auto insurance is required. Commercial auto insurance will protect your company from financial burden in the case of an accident while the vehicle is being used for business. For instance, if your veterinarian makes house calls in order to attend to a sick animal that is not able to make it into the office, driving to their home is considered business related and therefore any accident occurring on the way there or back, will be covered by commercial auto insurance. Not only will repairs to the vehicle be covered, but also medical expenses for anyone in the vehicle at the time.
A surety bond is a guarantee given by the veterinary office business owner that lets your clients know you promise to provide the services as requested under any contracts you have with your clients. This may include any type of services you offer, such as grooming services for show dogs that come to your veterinary office, or contracts with other related businesses.
In order to protect your employees from potential risks in your veterinarian office, worker’s compensation insurance is required. If an employee is injured on the job, such as if they are bitten by an animal while performing health care services, worker’s compensation will cover medical expenses as well as provide income assistance if they miss any work as a result of the injury. Worker’s compensation is required by law of any business with at least one employee.
Veterinarian office insurance comes in a variety of different policies meant to cover each and every potential risk you can imagine. Protect your business by choosing insurance policies that will offer you security for any type of unforeseen event or liability risk.