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Insurance: Questions about "Covid-19" Related Coverage

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  • Insurance: Questions about "Covid-19" Related Coverage

    Governor Insurance is publishing a statement to answer some common questions asked by groomers. Here is their statement:

    Governors Guidance is available to help you understand the perplexing questions that you may have concerning your general insurance policies. Keep in mind that there are different coverages available from different insurance companies and all insurance policies are not identical to one another. The basics of insurance policies are typically similar when it comes to general coverages but it is the special endorsements that relate directly to your specific type of business that provide you with the additional coverage you may need.

    With the outbreak of Covid-19 having a large effect in all industries, we are here to address some of the questions that we have been asked or continue to be asked where things may or may not be covered in a specific insurance policy.

    First and foremost, the safety of you, your employees, the animals you work with, your clients and the general public’s health and safety are of the most major consideration. Insurance policies do not specifically address in detail the many orders that have been given by the cities, counties, states and the federal governments. These orders that have either restricted your business from operating or not has created an unclear area when it comes to coverage, in an insurance policy, specifically if these orders are law. If it is interpreted to be a law, most policies exclude coverage if you are committing a crime therefore your coverage may not protect you. This situation has not been tested to our knowledge since the inception of the Stay at Home…Essential vs non-essential determinations.

    Below is some Governors Guidance to questions we have been asked:

    How are groomers curbside services covered by business insurance?

    With respect to your General Liability, your business policy should cover you anywhere you operate in the continental United States including its territories. Your coverage extensions for protection of the animals should also cover you in this situation.

    Can business owners/employees reach in a car to get a pet and be covered?

    This is generally part of the exchange process when a groomer is starting the process of providing their professional services. Your liability and your specific animal coverages should cover these situations.
    Does fleeing pet coverage apply during exchanging pets before/after grooming at curbside?
    If you have the proper coverage in place for the care, custody and control of animals then you should have coverage if an animal were to flee and you were liable for the potential fleeing and subsequent damage or loss to the animal.

    If mobile groomers retrieve pets “contact free” including of regular social distancing from owners’ backyards or garages, are they covered for fleeing pets?

    With respect to the liability of a business owner or their employees, this is typically a standard activity for their business operation. The retrieval of animals from a client’s yard or garage is very typical to the operations and is covered if they are deemed liable for the loss or damages that may have caused during their standard operations provided they have the proper animal coverage endorsements in place.

    Please keep in mind that your businesses are not standard businesses, and there are specific coverage endorsements that need to be on your policy to protect the professional Liability of yourself and your employees as well as specific coverages to protect the animals that you are working with should a client ,their animal or a third party become injured through your businesses negligence.

    Please keep in mind also that a business policy does not cover the injuries that you or your employees may sustain during your business operations and a Workers Compensation policy is strongly recommended to protect your business, yourself and your employees should a work related injury happen to you or your employees.

    Thank you. Contact us at 877-738-4766

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