Are pet sitters and dog walkers bonded? They should be! Unfortunately, just because they should be bonded does not mean that is the case.
What does bonding mean?
A bonding policy is an insurance policy in place to reimburse the client if a pet sitter is convicted of stealing. These are key points!
- The sitter must be convicted of theft.
- The bonding company will then reimburse the client for the value of the items stolen.
- Bonding policies can vary in levels from $5000-$20,000.
A client cannot ask for reimbursement for theft if the sitter is not convicted of the crime, and for large level thefts the policy may not cover the entire amount, depending on the policy limit.
Professional versus hobby sitters
Professional pet sitters are expected to adhere to higher standards of expectations than hobby sitters. Hobby sitters are friends or family, or maybe a neighbor who steps in to help. They do not pet sit as their primary income and often have other jobs. Most professional pet sitters do carry bonding policies, although it is not required by any licensing procedures. Some companies, especially companies where the owner is the only sitter, chose to forgo the bonding policy. In the case of owner operated companies, the bonding policy is there for the peace of mind of the client more so than to insure the company in the case an employee were to steal.
How important is bonding?
If you are working with a company that employs sitters other than the owner, then the company should have a bonding policy in place. No company owners want to believe that their sitters will steal from their clients, but it is remiss of the company to not insure themselves against every possibility. Dog walker bonding policies are relatively inexpensive when compared to insurance and should not be a hardship for a company that has been in business for any length of time.