Virginia Animal Shelter And Pet Rescue Insurance Policy Information
Virginia Animal Shelter And Pet Rescue Insurance. As an animal shelter and pet rescue organization, you provide care and shelter for the creatures that you give refuge to. You also employ a staff, hire volunteers, and work with the general public. As such, there are a number of risks that you are exposed to, and those risks can have a significant financial impact on your non-profit organization.
Animal rescue organizations take in abandoned animals, provide them with food, housing, and medical care, then attempt to place them for adoption. Some organizations will accept most domestic animals. Others may specialize in breed-specific animals, such as greyhounds or pit bulls. Others may accept only exotic animals such as birds, reptiles or animals found in the wild.
Most rescue groups are funded by donations and adoption fees and are run by volunteers. Some have lodging facilities while others rely heavily on foster parents who care for animals in their homes until a permanent home is found. When an animal is accepted by the organization, it is evaluated to determine whether it needs medical treatment and to identify any behavioral problems, such as aggression, that might disqualify it from adoption.
Animals suitable for placement with new owners receive medical care, including vaccinations and spaying or neutering, before being made available for adoption. Animals that are found to be extremely unhealthy or overly aggressive may be euthanized.
Your ultimate goal is to ensure that the critters you care for are healthy, healthy, and secure a permanent home. While you make every effort to ensure a happy ending for all, should trouble strike, you could end up facing serious financial repercussions. To safeguard the animals in your care, the clients that you work with, the staff and volunteers that keep your VA shelter running, and your own personal assets, having the right type of Virginia animal shelter and pet rescue insurance coverage in place is crucial.
Virginia animal shelter and pet rescue insurance protects your non-profit organization from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Is Insurance So Important For Pet Rescues & Animal Shelters?
From veterinary care to property damages and from personal injuries to community events gone wrong, VA animal shelters and rescue organizations face a number of risks. Even though you make every effort to ensure that all of the aspects of your facility are properly handled and everything goes smoothly, there's always a chance that the unthinkable will happen.
If something does go awry, you will be held liable for the damages, and those damages can be financially devastating. For instance, if someone visiting your facility is bitten by an animal or trips and falls over equipment and takes legal action, you could be looking at hefty legal expenses and damages.
Without Virginia animal shelter and pet rescue insurance, these costs could lead to financial ruin; however, if you have the right type of coverage, your insurance provider will help to pay for the expenses so that you don't end up footing the bill.
What Kind Of Insurance Should Animal Shelters And Rescue Organizations Carry?
Every animal shelter and rescue organization is different, and as such, the insurance needs for each operation will differ. The size of the organization, the type of animals you care for, and where your facility is located are just a few of the factors that will determine the type of insurance coverage you need.
Regardless of the specifics of your organization, there are a few key policies that every VA animal shelter and pet rescue center should carry, including:
- Commercial General Liability - Commercial general liability covers third-party property damage and bodily injury claims that occur as a result of negligence on behalf of your staff. For example, if a visitor trips slips on a puddle of water while touring your facility and sustains an injury, your commercial property insurance will help to cover the cost of any related medical care, as well as the legal fees that may arise if the individual files a lawsuit.
- Commercial Property - This type of coverage protects the buildings and the contents within them from any named perils, such as a fire, storm damage, vandalism, and theft. If a wind storm tears the roof off of your shelter and rain soaks the equipment and furnishings inside, your commercial property insurance will help to pay for the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged property.
- Directors & Officers - Often simply referred to as D&O insurance, this type of policy will cover any libelous actions of your board members; the inappropriate use of your organization's funds or fraud, for example. A directors and officers insurance policy will protect your animal shelter and cover any associated legal fees and settlements.
- Workers Compensation - If any employee or a volunteer sustains an injury while he or she is on the job, workers' comp insurance will help to cover the related medical care, lost wages, and any legal fees that may arise if the individual files a lawsuit. For instance, if an employee is bathing a dog and the dog mauls the employee, workers' comp insurance will pay for the medical care that is needed, lost wages, and other related expenses.
These are just some of the types of Virginia animal shelter and pet rescue insurance coverages that should be in place. Other coverage options might include commercial auto, inland marine, and commercial umbrella insurance.
VA Animal Shelters And Rescues Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure can be high if customers have access to areas with animals. The customer waiting area must be kept clean of animal waste and loose animals in order to prevent slips, trips, and falls. Leashes and carriers should be required to protect customers and other animals.
Enclosures should be secured to prevent escape, with each animal boarded separately to prevent attacks by other animals. Escaped animals could attack people or other animals, or cause damage to neighboring properties.
Off-premises exposures include visits to clients' premises. When animals are placed temporarily with foster families, the rescued animals could be aggressive to the family members, their pets, potential adopting families, and the general public.
Products liability exposure is from the animals placed for adoption. Veterinary records confirming appropriate inoculations should be maintained, along with evaluations of an animal's behavior.
Environmental impairment exposure is moderate due to the potential for air, surface or ground water, or soil contamination from the handling and disposal of biological waste material, including euthanized animals. The rescue organization must follow all federal and state procedures for disposal.
Workers compensation exposure is high due to the unpredictability of even the most domesticated animal. Workers may be injured by biting, scratching, kicking, or other attack. All employees must be trained in appropriate restraint techniques. Problem animals should be clearly identified so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
Other common injuries include lifting that results in back strains or sprains, trips and falls, respiratory ailments from inhaling dander, and communicable diseases transmitted by animals. Workers should wear gloves and masks to prevent contamination from bodily fluids, particularly blood. Many rescue organizations have no employees, relying on volunteer labor.
Property exposure includes an office and boarding facilities for animals. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning, There may be laundry equipment used to clean bedding which can overheat. All should be well-maintained and meet current codes. Food and bedding supplies are combustible and should be stored away from heat sources.
Poor housekeeping can be a serious fire hazard. Animals and pharmaceuticals may be a target for theft or vandalism. All animal enclosures must be properly secured. Limited amounts of pharmaceuticals should be kept on premises. Controls should be in place to prevent access to the premises after hours. Alarms are recommended.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks should be conducted on all employees and volunteers handling money. Adopting individuals often pay the foster family at the time of adoption. Receipts should be provided and those monies forwarded immediately to the organization's treasurer. The drug PCP and other pharmaceuticals may be a target for theft. Animal anesthetic must be kept under careful control with limited amounts kept on premises.
Inland marine exposure is from computers and valuable papers and records for animal and adoptee information. Duplicates of all records should be made and kept off site. Inventory procedures must be in place to keep track of property at the homes of volunteers. There may be computers used for recordkeeping.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands. Volunteers using their own vehicles may drive significant distances to pick up and deliver animals. If the rescue organization picks up or delivers animals, all drivers must be licensed with acceptable MVRs. All vehicles must be well maintained with documentation kept in a central location.
Animal Shelter And Pet Rescue Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more and ensure that your non-profit is properly protected with the right Virginia animal shelter and pet rescue insurance, speak to a skilled insurance broker about your specific needs.
Virginia Economic Data & Small Business Insurance Information
If you're planning on starting a business, a lot of planning and factors need to be taken into consideration. Of course, having a great business model and offering valuable products and services are all keys to your success; however, there's something else that you need to take into consideration: where you're going to set up shop.
In order to reap the success that you hope for, you need to choose a location that offers favorable conditions for your specific business. If you operation isn't located in a location that can benefit from what you plan on offering, you aren't going to achieve the success that you desire.
For entrepreneurs who are thinking about Virginia as a location for their headquarters or a branch of their company, it's important to familiarize yourself with the economic trends in the commonwealth. It's also essential that you have a keen understanding in regard to the type of insurance coverage you'll need to carry to protect yourself, your clients, and your employees.
Business Economic Trends In Virginia
In regard to job growth, VA exceeds the rate of national job growth. As of February 2021, unemployment rates were at a historic low in The Volunteer State, with a rate of 3.2% throughout the state; 0.1% lower than the last historic low of 3.3% in October of 2018. That's lower than the national unemployment rate, which was reported to be 3.8% in February of 2019. Economists are forecasting continued job growth throughout the state into 2021.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has seen a dramatic upswing in economic growth in recent years. As of late 2021, the unemployment rate had fallen to a record low of just 2.9 percent; a significant difference compared to the national unemployment rate, which was 3.7 percent. In a one-year period, nearly 65,000 jobs were added. In 2019, the unemployment rate and economic growth of the state continues to be positive, and it expected to remain in the green well into 2021 and the future.
In regard to areas that offer the most favorable conditions for business owners, there are several. Metropolitan areas, including northern (Arlington, Fairfax, etc...), central (Richmond, Ashland, Lynchburg, etc...), and southern (Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, etc...) all afford great opportunities for entrepreneurs. However, virtually any location in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be considered favorable for business owners.
Industries that offer great promise in Virginia include:
- Education and training
- Information technology
- Travel and tourism
Commercial Insurance Regulations & Limits In VA
The Virginia Bureau of Insurance regulates insurance in Virginia. Just like any other state in the country, there are regulations in place regarding commercial insurance. Business owners are required to carry certain types of coverage to protect themselves, their clients, and their employees.
Small businesses with 2 or more employees are required by VA state law to have workers comp insurance coverage.
If you use certain types of motor vehicles for business-related purposes, you'll also need to invest in commercial auto insurance coverage to protect your drivers, as well as other drivers on the road.
Additional Resources For Non-Profit Insurance
Find useful articles on business insurance for non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, charities and associations.
- Animal Shelter & Pet Rescue
- Classic & Collector Car Clubs
- Credit Union
- Fraternal Organization
- Labor Union
- Parent Teacher Organization
- Public Administration
- Social Work Services
- Youth Groups
For 501(c) Non-Profits - Directors And Officers Liability Insurance has become an increasingly important policy to have. D&O coverage protects insured directors or officers against claims involving allegations of wrongful acts occurring while performing their duties as such. The insurance is divided into two separate coverages:
Side A coverage reimburses the individual directors and officers for payments made for loss each has incurred because of wrongful acts.
Side B coverage reimburses the corporation for the payments it has made on behalf of the directors or officers themselves.
General Liability is a foundational policy for almost any business. Most companies do not have any control over the final cost of injuries to a person injured because of their operations, products, or services. The person injured may be a young child, a blue-collar worker, a surgeon, or a homeless person.
The cost of the injuries may be comparatively minor or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the person and the extent of his or her injuries. Do you have sufficient assets to pay such a loss?
Commercial general liability insurance is designed to help you protect your assets with three main coverages:
- Coverage A: Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
- Coverage B: Personal and Advertising Injury Liability
- Coverage C: Medical Payments
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Directors and Officers Liability, Employee Benefits, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Fine Arts, Musical Instruments, Commercial Articles Floater, Computers, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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