What Does Animal Shelter Insurance Protect Against

June 16, 2014

When you signed on as an employee, a volunteer or a member of the board of directors at your animal shelter no doubt your main concern was providing a valuable community service and taking care of animals in need.  You planned to use your time maximizing your organization’s resources to their best end. So, why are you spending precious time and energy reading about insurance?

In these difficult economic times, it is tempting to buy a cut-rate insurance policy or to skip insurance altogether when you are budgeting for a lean, non-profit.  Don’t fall to temptation. Insurance protection for an animal shelter is as important as providing healthy food for the animals.  Every person involved in or with your group needs and deserves the right kind of protection. Not providing thorough protection puts not only your organization but many individuals at risk.

Animal shelter insurance covers several things that are not covered by the average insurance policy.  When you are researching insurance ask the following questions:

  • Are all dog breeds covered?
  • Are volunteer accidents/injuries covered?
  • Are fostered and adopted animals covered?
  • Are special events and fundraisers covered?
  • Are vehicles owned by the shelter covered and who may drive them?
  • Are board directors and officers covered?

If these particular items are not covered, consider the risk a lawsuit poses to your organization’s finances and, perhaps, its very existence. Board directors and officers give much to your group in terms of time, financial support and community connections. If they are not covered by the organization’s insurance, their personal assets are at risk. Good employees and volunteers are difficult to find and train. They deserve to be covered in case of an accident. The same holds true for your foster parents and families who adopt animals from your shelter.

Searching for animal shelter insurance has no warm and fuzzy appeal yet, it might be the most important step you take toward protecting your shelter and helping it provide the best possible service to the animals and your community. If you are uncertain of your group’s current insurance situation don’t wait to bring it up at the next staff or board of directors meeting. Knowing you’re fully covered will give you the peace of mind to focus fully on your mission.


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