Insurance for veterinarians covers the risks of caring for animals, dealing with pet owners, and running a medical facility with expensive equipment and pharmaceuticals. Veterinarian insurance is more than one policy, combining general liability, business equipment, malpractice and often animal bailee policies. Costs for the proper coverage and mix of policies is about $6,000.
If you are looking for a fast way to get vet insurance, visit The Hartford today. You’ll get a quote within minutes with an insurance carrier known for providing the most coverage on basic policies. The Hartford makes it easy to get started with its business owners’ policy (BOP) and its “Stretch Your Dollar” bundling plan.
Veterinarian Insurance Providers
Most commercial insurance carriers offer insurance for veterinarians and animal clinics. Providers vary with some covering large clinics while others offer specialty policies to animal care providers. Check with providers to be certain that your practice is covered properly.
Best Providers for Veterinarian Insurance
|Insurance Provider||Best for|
|The Hartford||Veterinarian clinics of all sizes providing care for small to mid-sized animals.|
|Nationwide Insurance||Strong option for small clinics with small staff working with large animals and livestock|
|Insurance321||Great to help busy veterinarians find the best policy from various carriers|
|AP Intego||Excellent choice for veterinarian clinics with changing staff needs|
|State Farm||Small clinics working with small to mid-sized animals in a brick-and-mortar clinic|
1. The Hartford
The Hartford is known as a leader for business insurance policies. The carrier is not only one of the largest in the nation, but it prides itself on looking at the intricate details of covering specialized businesses such as veterinarian clinics. The Hartford bundles policies with a unique Stretch Your Dollar bundle approach.
This carrier is perfect for vet practices seeking complete veterinarian insurance coverage for any size clinic with staff and covering various animal species. Most veterinarian practices start with the BOP bundle for vet insurance. This reduces the number of total policies while providing a wide range of risks.
Nationwide Insurance is a national provider of small business insurance. This carrier offers coverage ranging from business property and liability to business income and equipment breakdown. It also offers ancillary vet insurance coverage options that include utility service interruption and restoration of valuable papers and records.
Nationwide is a great choice for small veterinarian clinics with a small staff. Veterinarians who work with small to large-sized animals find coverage are well suited for Nationwide’s commercial policies. Its business owner policies combine general and professional liability but don’t offer the BOP for mobile vets. Nationwide also offers pet health insurance.
Insurance321 serves as a broker to find the best coverage with the best insurance carrier with one fast online application. Insurance321 works with top commercial lines insurance carriers to give its clients fast quotes, doing the work of shopping for them. A two-minute application followed by a five-minute call is all that is needed.
Insurance321 is for the busy vet clinic looking to shop rates and coverage around. Policies may combine several carriers depending on the underwriting needs of the veterinary clinic. Those who use Insurance321 are sure to find the right combination of policies with the least amount of work.
4. AP Intego
AP Intego is modernizing how small businesses get commercial insurance. With pay-as-you-go options for workers’ comp and veterinarian liability insurance policies, AP Intego helps business owners get coverage while holding on to important cash flow. This online aggregator partners with the largest commercial providers in the industry so that a veterinarian sleeps well knowing his people and animals are covered.
AP Intego is a great option for a business looking to get reputable insurance carrier protection without having to go to multiple platforms to manage the account. Workers’ compensation is integrated into payroll services giving real-time accurate coverage and pricing.
5. State Farm
State Farm is a national insurance carrier that offers a wide range of personal and business insurance. This carrier customizes coverage to make sure you get what you need without paying more than you need. State Farm streamlines claims processes to help a small business get back to work sooner than later.
State Farm is ideal for small veterinary practices dealing that don’t have a large staff. This veterinarian insurance carrier provides coverage for small animal clinics that don’t work with exotic animals. State Farm offers coverage for mobile clinics with commercial auto as well.
How Veterinarian Insurance Works
Every business faces general liability risks of clients accidentally getting hurt. Trip and fall accidents and injuries to third-party pet owners and property increase with animals around. Veterinarian general liability insurance covers these types of claims. Veterinarian malpractice covers incidents where a pet owner claims the veterinarian didn’t render services according to professional standards.
A veterinarian clinic must protect its patients, their owners, the clinic employees, and the building and equipment needed to provide animal care. Protection for each of these risk segments involves either a separate type of policy or an additional election on primary vet insurance policies. It is important to understand the best insurance policy for your practice.
Animal Bailee Veterinarian Insurance Coverage
Animal bailee insurance is unique to veterinarian practices. It covers the costs if an animal is injured, passes away or disappears while under the care of the vet. This coverage helps absorb the costs of medical bills, medication and temporary location care for animals needing additional support. It also pays for advertising and reward costs to find lost pets.
For many veterinarians, the worst-case scenario is a natural disaster or emergency such as a fire destroying the clinic. In such an event, animal bailee veterinarian insurance covers the costs to relocate animals to a safe place and provide them additional care and medicine while recovering.
Veterinarian Insurance Policy Types
Veterinarians have different needs depending on business size, what services are rendered and the types of animals they serve. Insurance for veterinarians covers those who own and operate an animal clinic, those who maintain mobile veterinarian practices, and those who work for clinics but might not be completely covered for all professional liabilities.
Veterinarian General Liability Insurance
Covers veterinarians and the entire clinic for accidental injuries to clients. General liability insurance covers losses to third-parties such as human or pet clients while in the waiting room, examining room or on premises. This might include a pet owner tripping on a dog’s leash while walking to an examination room or a cat clawing a designer purse in the waiting room.
Veterinarian Insurance for Building & Property
Covers the building and internal property against loss from fire, theft, vandalism and a list of other covered perils. Common losses include a pipe bursting leading to equipment damage and failure, theft of equipment or medications, or fires that lead to building and contents destruction.
Veterinarian Malpractice Insurance
Covers veterinarians for professional liability in claims where pet owners state the vet didn’t do their job according to professional standards. Employed vets at a clinic are usually not covered by the clinic malpractice policy and need to obtain their own veterinarian malpractice insurance. Malpractice covers the claim and the legal fees to defend you.
Veterinarian Insurance Features
Insurance for veterinarians usually refers to the two primary liability policies: general liability and malpractice. Most clinics don’t cover employed veterinarians for malpractice even though many vet insurance liability policies cover both general and professional liability. Every veterinarian should confirm whether he is covered for malpractice or not.
Here are some common policy features and add-ons to consider when buying vet insurance:
- Loss of income: This covers the veterinary clinic for lost revenues due to closure or loss in a covered claim; during claims, landlords and vendors still expect to get paid, and this helps mitigate the costs of staying in business
- Loss of use: If a claim results in the loss clinic use, the policy will pay for the clinic to move to a temporary location while its own facilities are being repaired or replaced; this allows the animal clinic to continue operations without additional lease costs
- Computer property: Covers computer equipment and all peripherals including cables that are required for business use; many veterinarian clinics have extensive medical file and billing data maintained on computers in the office
- Equipment breakdown: Similar to loss of use, equipment breakdown pays for the inability to use professional equipment due to break down; for example, if the X-ray machine breaks, the animal clinic may have a loss of income or additional expenses to care for its patients
- Spoilage: This covers the loss of perishable items like medicines or foods due to mechanical breakdown, utility loss, or refrigerator contamination; if all medicines in the refrigerator spoiled because the power went out overnight, spoilage covers the loss
Within certain policies bought for a veterinarian or animal clinic, there are riders and inclusions to consider. Some of these have automatic minimal coverage that a veterinarian can choose to increase. Others are optional coverage benefits that the policyholder must opt-in for.
Insurance for Veterinarians Additional Coverage Options
General liability and business property coverage only go so far to cover the many risks of veterinarians. Every veterinarian clinic should add these additional insurance policies and coverage options to prevent financial risk due to a high-cost claim or lawsuit.
Workers’ Compensation for Veterinary Businesses
Very few veterinarians are solo operations. Clinics often have administrative staff, vet technicians and other support personnel. Most states require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries or illnesses to employees while at work.
Dealing with sick and scared animals increases risks to those working at the clinic. Animals can become aggressive and bite or scratch workers who are trying to evaluate or administer care. Slippery floors, needles, scalpels, and even some fumes can lead to accidental injury or illness for anyone working in the veterinarian clinic. Workers’ compensation insurance for vets covers this.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance for vets covers the risks of driving and transporting animals in a company vehicle like a work van. Personal auto insurance doesn’t cover incidents of work vehicles used for business purposes. Commercial auto insurance covers the vehicle and any person in the vehicle as well as third-party injuries and property damage from an auto accident.
Veterinarian clinics that have mobile spay and neuter clinics or transport animals on behalf of pet owners are at higher risk of claims and lawsuit if in a vehicle accident. While commercial auto doesn’t cover any tools or supplies in the vehicle, anything attached to the vehicle, such as exam tables and medicine cabinets, is covered.
Backup of Sewers & Drains
Business insurance policies don’t cover claims of sewers or drains backing up, yet this can cause significant damage and business interruption. This may be a separate policy or a rider to an existing BOP that covers losses resulting from clinic drains backing up into the facility.
Veterinarian clinics are highly susceptible to this type of claim because of the large amounts of fur and hair that get run through the plumbing systems daily. Without the coverage, the clinic is responsible for the costs of repairing floors and furniture and must move animals to a safe location where they can be properly cared for.
Veterinarian Insurance Costs
Veterinarian insurance costs vary based on the amount of coverage elected and the types of animals the clinic cares for. Small animal vets don’t have the same liability as large or exotic animal vets. Animal clinics can expect to spend around $6,000 in annual premiums for the right combination of basic policies and coverage.
Insurance for Veterinarian Costs
|General Liability Vet Insurance|
|Building and Property Vet Insurance|
|Malpractice Vet Insurance|
|Workers' Compensation Vet Insurance|
Here are how different veterinarian insurance policies protect you :
- General liability vet insurance: Covers general liability claims for $1 million per occurrence and up to $2 million in an aggregate annual total; thus, three claims from human clients, cover each human up to $1 million but can’t exceed $2 million in total
- Building & property vet insurance: Any leased or owned building with contents is covered; minimal property coverage for $30,000 with a $500 deductible; however, that might not be enough cover expensive equipment like X-ray machines
- Malpractice vet insurance: Some carriers include malpractice in the general liability for claims about professional misconduct; a total of $1 million is covered per incident with no more than $3 million in coverage paid for all malpractice claims in a year
- Workers’ compensation vet insurance: Getting bitten by an animal or poked by a needle requiring medical attention with costs covered by workers’ compensation; minimal policies cover each injury up to $100,000 with a total of $500,000 in paid claims annually
Animal clinics need to evaluate the cost of veterinarian insurance to the potential risks. Claims increase annual premiums. While liability and workers’ compensation don’t have deductibles, the veterinarian should consider what he is willing to pay out of pocket in the event of minor injuries and claims.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Vet insurance is there to help veterinarians keep practicing pet care while dealing with claims.
Do Veterinarians Have Malpractice Insurance?
Veterinarians should have malpractice insurance policies in the event of a claim against their professional services. Most veterinarian clinics don’t cover employed veterinarians under a company policy; therefore, every veterinarian should purchase his own malpractice insurance for veterinarians.
How Does Pet Insurance Reimbursement Work?
Pet health insurance covers the costs of many procedures a dog or cat gets at a veterinarian’s office. While policies differ slightly, most pet insurance reimbursement policies work where the pet owner pays the vet directly then submits a claim to the insurance. Reimbursement is paid directly to the pet owner.
Does Animal Bailee Cover Rewards?
Animal bailee insurance coverage pays for the expenses of the escape and recovery of a pet that is under your care, custody, and control. This means it can pay to repair the hole dug by a dog to get out as well as the costs to locate and recover the pet, including reasonable rewards often up to $500.
The Bottom Line
Insurance for veterinarians provides benefits in the event there is a loss or claim at the vet facility. Several policies combined create the complete vet insurance package that protects visitors, both human and furry, when at the veterinarian clinic. Vets vow to protect animals, veterinarian insurance protects their practice from loss, accidents, and unjust claims.
Rather than get lost in confusion with three or four policies, The Hartford makes buying insurance for veterinarians easy. The vet’s BOP combines general liability with business property and business interruption insurance for an easy and affordable solution.