Dog Groomer Insurance in Washington – Cost and Coverage

Insurance for Dog Groomer businesses in Washington must take into account the level of risks that you have to face.

All business carries with it a degree of risk where the expectations and budgets are not met. That’s what business means – you take a risk and you plan for a reward.

But why add to the level of risk from events that you couldn’t possibly foresee no matter how much planning and investment you have made.

Dog Groomer Insurance in Washington, D.C

Insurance gives you the one thing that your own Dog Groomer business cannot get from you, which is the security in case something outside of your own control goes wrong, you do not stand to lose everything you have invested.

Without it, you are not just risking the business itself, but could also be staking your personal assets because the laws of Washington place the responsibility for many of your business’ liabilities directly on you, unless you have incorporated a limited liability company.

Running any retailers business in Washington brings with it automatic risks, like a natural disaster that destroys the physical location out of which you operate, or a visitor to your store property getting injured on the premises of a customer alleging a breach of contract. These are the kinds of reasons why you should protect both your business’ assets and your personal assets.

There are some types of insurance that are mandatory in Washington, like workers compensation, unemployment and disability cover, and in this case failure to carry the cover could result in fines and criminal penalties.

Other insurances may not be required by law, but make good sense. We will outline the risks your retailers business is subject to and kinds of cover should take out and the likely costs.

Liability insurance for Dog Groomer in Washington.

General liability insurance

A retailers business operation like yours in Washington is dealing every minute of the day face-to-face with the public.

This exposes you to a specific class of risks that are termed General Liability.

The law in Washington decrees that a business must exercise a proper level of care for any person visiting your premises.

If by some chance a customer or even someone who is just visiting or passing through your store suffers some kind of injury or damage to their possessions and they allege that this was due to negligence on your part, you could be sued.

Usually, this kind of event is called a “trips-and-falls” occurrence, because the most common example is when someone stumbles and falls due to a broken step or wrinkled carpet.

There are other kinds of negligence that can either injure a person or damage their possessions and it is extremely difficult to prove that your store was 100% safe in front of a judge.

The slightest degree of doubt can leave you having to pay a court decision for thousands of dollars, along with lawyers bills that can add up to multiples of that.

Product Liability insurance

The basic nature of Dog Groomer business means that you are supplying goods to your customers, who are buying it with a level of expectations and trust in you.

If the goods that you supplied do not match this expectation, or worse, if they caused some kind of damage or injury when the customer got home and started to use them, then this can very quickly turn into a serious case of allegation against you. 

In such a case, the provision of Product Liability insurance will give you cover.

Today, Dog Groomer business is running in a litigious society. In the event of just one lawsuit from a liability claim, without Dog Groomer insurance, your business could have to close.

Wouldn’t you be better off shifting that burden off your shoulders and concentrating on what you need to do best, which is running a successful business.

Asset insurance for Dog Groomer in Washington.

Any accident or event in Washington, like floods, tornados and hurricanes can wipe out your Dog Groomer business in a few minutes.

As well, fires caused by arson, or vandalism, can do enough damage to make your premises unsafe for trade.

Commercial property insurance

Commercial property cover protects your Dog Groomer business against such losses. If you rent or lease your business premises, your landlord may stipulate the need to carry insurance, as their own policy may not cover it.

As well, if you have taken out a mortgage to finance buildings and improvements, it will almost certainly be required in terms of the loan agreement.

The actual costs for commercial properties insurance will depend on several individual factors that relate to your own Dog Groomer business’ exact needs.

You should include considerations of your location in Washington to calculate the correct insurance coverage.

  • The value of the property (called the insurable value or IV)
  • Mortgages or liens on the property 
  • Type of other businesses for which this property is used and the levels of public access
  • Levels of security, fire prevention and alarms, sprinklers, extinguishers etc.
  • What types of materials and products are stored in the buildings alongside your own
  • The general condition of the building (take into account its age, quality of construction, any prior incidents etc.)
  • General conditions of the location such as location of nearest fire stations, police stations and Washington emergency services, quality of roads, etc.

Commercial Auto insurance

If you are picking up inventory from suppliers, or delivering goods to your customers, then Commercial Auto insurance is required by law in Washington.

It’s essential to remember that private insurance is automatically canceled if you are using a private vehicle for Dog Groomer business activity. What’s more, if there is an accident en route, then the liability for all the consequences will rest 100% on you as the owner.

Usually, premiums for commercial auto insurance have a base rate that covers accident and third-party claims. The replacement value of the vehicle (IV) is a major factor along with things like the chances of theft or vandalism.

Features of the vehicle itself, like the cost of repairs and the safety record of the model also affect premium costs. If your car is fitted with safety and anti-theft devices, you could qualify for a discounted premium.

Talk to your insurance broker to get the right policy at the best cost.

As well as consulting with agents and brokers you have located yourself, you can let the internet do a lot of hunting for you.

Try your favorite search engine with a phrase like “insurance agent in Washington” and you are sure to come up with many good alternatives.

 As well, insurance companies themselves sometimes offer free quotes online.

How much insurance cover should a Dog Groomer business take in Washington, and what are the likely costs?

Every Dog Groomer business is unique and there are no rules, but experienced help is at hand.

Authorized insurance agents with a license to operate in D.C should be able to give you the full range of services.

One of the benefits of working with professionals is that they can often bundle several of your policies together into one package that is easier to manage and will save you money in premiums.

This is known as a Business Owners Policy (BOP) that usually combines liability and commercial property insurance, but additional covers like cyber security and income protection can be added.

The actual level of cover you need depends on several factors, like the size of the business, the level of investment in equipment and inventory, your claims history as well as the location of premises etc.

In the table below, we are listing three broad categories of low, medium and high requirements for cover, as well as an indication of the likely annual premiums.

Please note that these are very general guidelines and do not indicate specific charges.

Talk to your insurance agent or insurance company in to set the final terms of cover and to find the cheapest Dog Groomer business insurance.

Subject Level of cover Likely average cost per year

Low risk

General liability $1 million per year, maximum $250,000 single claim $450 – $600
Commercial property cover Calculated on insurable value (IV) 30-40 cents per $100 IV
BOP $1 million liability + calculated commercial property cover $350 – $500 & 30-40 cents per $100 IV
Commercial Auto Full accident & third party plus replacement value $1200 – $2200

Medium risk

General liability $2 million per year, maximum $1 million single claim $700 – $950
Commercial property cover Calculated on insurable value (IV) 45-55 cents per $100 IV
BOP $2 million liability + calculated commercial property cover $600 – $800  & 35-45 cents per $100 IV
Commercial Auto Full accident & third party plus replacement value $1400 – $2800

Highest risk

General liability $5 million per year, maximum $1 million single claim $1000 – $1500
Commercial property cover Calculated on insurable value 65-75 cents per $100 IV
BOP $10 million liability + calculated commercial property cover $950 – $1750 & 65-75 cents per $100 IV
Commercial Auto Full accident & third party plus replacement value $1600 – $3000

Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers compensation insurance provides benefits to Dog Groomer business workers who suffer work-related illness or injury, including medical expenses, death benefits, lost wages, as well as rehabilitation.

Without  this cover, you as the employer may have to pay penalties levied by Washington.

On top of that, you will have to pay the benefits out of your own pocket. The cost of workers compensation is based on weekly remuneration, usually around $1 per $100 of weekly pay.

Check with the Washington authorities to see whether you need this cover, and to whom it must be paid.


How do deductibles affect premiums for Dog Groomer business in Washington?

For your Dog Groomer business in Washington to make the best use of your cash flow, it makes sense to use some insurances as a backup rather than trying to cover every risk. The way to do this is to accept a small amount of the risk yourself, which you agree with when negotiating the policy by setting the “deductible” amount on a claim.

A deductible is the amount that your business accepts for paying any claim.  It means you share some of the risk with your insurer.

 In return, you will have to pay lower premiums, and the larger the deductible, the lower the premiums. The deductible can be either a dollar amount or a percentage of a claim. 

Can a Dog Groomer business in Washington take out short-term insurance?

When there are seasonal variations in the level of trade that your Dog Groomer business experiences, it can make sense to either suspend cover for months when you are closed for business, or even to boost covers for periods of high activity.

Many insurance companies in Washington offer such short-term policies, giving cover for periods of days, weeks or months. Talk to your agent or broker to find out more.

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