Animal shelters and rescues are important to the communities they serve. Animals come to you for care and shelter until they find a forever home. Some come from other shelters, caregivers abandon some, and others show up with little or no history of their life to date. Every animal is a priority in your daily activities. But, sometimes caring for animals is risky. In those moments, what type of insurance you purchased is critical to you shelter or rescue’s well-being.

Insurance

Few people that enjoy shopping for insurance. It can be a long and tedious task if you don’t have an agent that fully understands what you do every day. Finding the right insurance is the first step to being able to properly care for animals in need. Most animal shelters or rescues know they need general liability insurance and directors and officers insurance. There are other insurance coverages that help protect you too. Animal care custody and control liability is often overlooked and excluded from most policies.

What is animal care custody and control liability insurance?

Animal care custody and control liability protects your animal shelter or rescue if somebody sues you for an injury or death to an animal. It is a critical coverage that you can add on through an endorsement to your liability insurance policy.

Why do I need animal care custody and control?

Some animal shelters and rescues think they don’t need this coverage because they don’t knowingly take in someone’s animal. But, animal shelters and rescues have been the victim of lawsuits and needed animal care custody and control to protect them. Here are two common scenarios where this coverage can help.

Owners change their minds.

We’ve all seen it happen. Previous owners abandon their four-legged family member and make the right decision by leaving him/her in your care. A few days pass by before they return wanting to reclaim their pet. What happens if the cat, dog, or horse get sick or run away in that short period of time. Who is responsible? If the family sues your organization, are you protected?

It depends on who the court declares as the rightful owner. In some cases, signed releases are not recognized as valid in a court of law.

Lost pets.

What happens when somebody finds a roaming animal and brings it to you? It’s not theirs and they are looking for a place they know will care for the animal until the owners can be contacted. Plenty of shelters and rescues accept these animals into their care and hope to reunite them with their family.

 

What happens if they run away or passes away in your care before the family comes to pick the animal up and return home? The family may decide to file a lawsuit and say the death or disappearance of their animal is your fault.

In both cases, general liability insurance won’t cover defense or settlement expenses unless you purchased animal care custody and control coverage. Contact your insurance agent today to add this valuable coverage to your policy. If they don’t offer it, contact an insurance agent that specializes in animal shelter and rescue insurance.

Working with animals on a daily basis requires special individuals with big hearts and a strong will. Animal shelters and rescues rely on these individuals to run smoothly and make decisions in the best interest of the animals in need. Animal rescue organizations vary in type and size. Some have a physical location and others are 100% foster-based. Some participate actively in adoption events while others rely on social media to promote adoptions. No matter the operational differences – they all require specialized liability insurance.
Foster-based Organizations
Animal rescues that are foster-based rely on volunteer foster parents to house and care for their animals. One of the most common questions we hear is,
“Does my animal rescue really need liability insurance if we don’t have a physical location?”
The answer is simple: “Absolutely!”
Why?
Many assume general liability insurance only protects organizations from slip and fall accidents at their location. While this is true – there are other protections included in liability insurance policies for nonprofit animal rescues. Here are 5 main reasons your foster-based animal rescue needs liability insurance:

  • Animal Bites.
    Liability insurance protects against damage or injury to individuals not associated with your rescue (volunteers or employees). One of the biggest risks you face is a member of the public getting bit by a dog, cat, or horse in your care. These individuals may file a lawsuit claiming your organization was negligent which led to the bite. Lawsuits involving minors can be extremely costly to an organization. Liability insurance pays to defend you and settlement costs when necessary.
  • Adoption Events.
    Many foster-based rescues rely on adoption events to introduce animals to the public and increase chances of adoption. If you attend adoption events, your organization faces many risks because you can’t control everything all the time. Animals can jump and knock individuals over, scratch, and attendees might fall and injure themselves at your booth/table. Liability Insurance pays to defend your organization and any settlement costs resulting from the lawsuit. The best liability insurance policies extend to include coverage at these events while others may charge an additional fee for each event you attend.
  • Foster Home Visits.
    Foster parents open their hearts and homes to animals in need of care. The actions of the animals are not covered under their personal homeowner’s insurance policy. To protect your organization from incidents occurring in a foster home, you need to purchase liability insurance. Liability insurance protects you in the event a potential adopter visits the home, injures themselves and files a lawsuit for damages.
  • Medical Expense.
    Each of the incidents above shares a common factor- the chance for an individual not related to your organization to become injured. Whether they choose to file a lawsuit or not – there are still medical bills that need to be paid. Liability insurance pays medical expense in these instances.
  • Adoptions Gone Wrong.
    You go to great efforts to place animals with amazing forever homes. Aggression testing, socialization, and adoption applications are necessary parts of this process. Even with these steps, adoptions sometimes go wrong. A dog may bite or show aggression in their new home causing a lawsuit to be filed against your animal rescue. The right liability insurance covers instances like these and pays to defend you and any settlement costs incurred.

These coverages are unique to animal rescues and shelters and require an insurance policy tailored to your specific needs. Contact your insurance agent today to confirm these necessary coverages are present on your policy. If you have additional questions or need more information, contact the team at Animal Welfare Organization Insurance program at 800-673-2558.

Volunteers are one of the cornerstones to running your animal shelter or rescue successfully.  You rely on them to help with day to day needs, care for the animals, organize events, spread the word about your mission, and be passionate about the great work they are doing. Did you know they are one of your biggest risks?  Volunteers are human and unpredictable in their actions.  To successfully manage their actions and minimize risk, implement an official volunteer program.  Here are the categories your program requires:

Volunteer Handbook

Volunteer handbooks contain valuable information about the animal shelter or rescue.  They provide new volunteers with:

  1. Background information
  2. Mission and Vision
  3. Application process
  4. Training expectations
  5. Behavior expectations
  6. Volunteer waiver
  7. Organization policies

Require new volunteers to review the handbook prior to completing a volunteer application.  This information sets the precedence for expectations during their time volunteering for your organization.

Volunteer Waivers

Volunteer waivers are typically included as part of the handbook.  They are vital for animal shelters and rescues to have in place.  A strong waiver includes:

  1. Release of liability for injury and bites
  2. Acceptance that injuries are not covered under a worker’s compensation policy
  3. Acceptance of policies and procedures
  4. Emergency contact information
  5. Release to contact to provide medical help or attention if needed

Volunteer waivers are a safety precaution. Volunteers may still choose to file a lawsuit if they believe the animal shelter or rescue is responsible for an injury.  Waivers are part of your defense in court but should not be your only defense.  Work with your legal counsel to draft a waiver that best suits your animal shelter or rescue needs.

The Right Insurance

The best way to be proactive in protecting your animal shelter or rescue from financial loss as a result of a lawsuit is to purchase insurance.  There are many types of insurance you can purchase for your organization including:

  1. General Liability Insurance
  2. Professional Liability Insurance
  3. Accident & Health Insurance
  4. Director’s & Officer’s Insurance

Liability insurance protects your financial assets by paying defense and settlement costs of a covered lawsuit.   Take the time to research animal shelter insurance options today.  Purchasing insurance after a lawsuit is filed will not protect you.

Volunteer Training

Volunteer training is vital for new and existing volunteers.  Create a strong volunteer training program by answering these questions:

  1. What do you want the training to accomplish?
  2. What do your volunteers need to know?
  3. What do your volunteers already know?
  4. How do they learn best?

These answers will help you to create a valuable training program that is beneficial to both the volunteer and the organization.  Once training is completed, have your volunteers tell you what they learned and how they can implement this in their tasks.  Training is never complete and should be offered on a routine basis to volunteers.  The knowledge and education help make them valuable to your team.

 

When many think of animal rescue, images of pulling animals from shelters, hosting adoptive events and most importantly, finding good homes for pets in need.   While these activities are an important aspects of animal rescue, there are other details that involve the business portion of running a rescue group.

A rescue group has medical and food expenses, transport planning and fundraising activities that must be addressed.     If they have a physical location where the animals are housed or meet potential adopters, liability and hazard insurance must be purchased.   But is animal rescue insurance coverage needed if the group does not have a permanent structure for housing and visits by adopters?   Do they need coverage if the group is completely foster-based?

The answer to these questions is yes, rescue groups that are foster-based do have the need for animal rescue insurance.   

General liability insurance is needed by all rescue groups.   This type of policy will cover property damage along bodily injury and subsequent medical bills. General liability coverage can help defend your group against lawsuits, slander and libel that are outside the realm of your group’s service.

Officers and directors insurance can cover your group’s board of directors, employees and volunteers.   It can protect the personal assets of those serving against lawsuits directed towards the rescue group.  Having such a policy in place may encourage qualified individuals from serving on the board of directors or as a group officer.  This coverage can also cover the 501C organization itself against many type of lawsuits. 

While the task of purchasing insurance may not have been considered when your group was founded, it is a valuable method of protection.   Defense against a lawsuit that can costs thousands of dollars and can place personal assets of members and the very existence of your organization at risk.  Allow your group to continue on its mission of saving the lives of homeless pets by obtaining adequate insurance coverage.

Business organizations under the leadership of their managers operate in different business environments with unique challenges. Just like there are many things that affect the operations of an organization, managers need to wear many hats if they have to make their businesses succeed.

Some of the issues that present crucial challenges to businesses are the work-related injuries and illnesses that can impede the productivity of employees and pose serious legal challenges to organizations. With the rising medical costs, purchasing accident & health insurance coverage can make sure your employees are healthy – physically, financially and emotionally.

Hospital (Inpatient) costs can be daunting for you and your employers, and there can never be a better helper than an appropriate insurance coverage. Some work-related accidents can be traumatic, especially if they involve fractures. Accident & health insurance covers fatal fractures through its fracture benefit plan.

Deaths that result from accidents or other employee engagements can have enormous impact on the financial base of the organization when the beneficiaries file a wrongful death suit. Accident and health insurance covers wrongful death and workman’s liability if the employer is injured in the line of duty. Therefore, the right insurance cover will help protect your organization against financial effects of bodily injuries. This insurance could help you cover your employees lost wages, hospital expenses and rehabilitation expenses in case the injuries subject your employee to long-term ailment.

Instead of worrying about how much your plan will cover, you will be concerned about getting better. For an employer, you will stop wondering what will happen in the event unexpected medication will be required to help treat your employees. Instead, you will let your insurer cater for virtually all costs, including inpatient and outpatient expenses until your employee fully recovers.

Cash payments (out-of-pocket) payments can run out of control and can cause an organization to loose money. In addition, it can cost n organization thousands of dollars to cater for daily needs of an employee. It is worth noting that a combined insurance coverage will be there at the time when you need that important help. A good accident and health insurance, you don’t have to freak about unplanned costs since your supplemental insurance will fill the existing gaps of your health coverage.

With the right accident insurance, employers can provide their employees with insurance benefits and cushion themselves from costs that come with wrong or lack of proper coverage.

 

A landlord may feel the need to require animal insurance as a means of limiting her liability. Landlords, although appearing to have an interest primarily in their tenants and the tenants’ well-being, actually have a greater interest in themselves and the condition of their security property, otherwise known to  the rest of us as merely  our apartment or house. Because the condition and safety of their property interests is at the top of their lists, they must take practical steps to protect that property and their own liability as the owner of the property.

Animal insurance is important because it protects landlords against two types of liability, both of which scare property owners.  Animal  insurance covers the landlord in the event of any damage caused by the animal and  covers liability the landlord may incur as a result of an injurious act of a pet.

Animal insurance covering pet damage to a rental unit can be added as a rider to a tenants regular renter’s insurance policy for an additional policy premium. Insurance which includes liability insurance covering injuries caused by the tenant’s pets can also be added as a rider to the tenant’s renter’s insurance policy in locations where that coverage is available for renters to purchase. i f a  policy purports to cover various pet related injuries, be certain that the policy does not offer such limited coverage that it becomes impracticable to give effect to that provision. Coverage for anything is available in a particular state  only when that state’s legislature authorizes that coverage

There are additional contractual ways of offering protection to a landlord in addition to requiring animal insurance coverage provided by tenants on the acts of their pets. Certain pet agreements entered into by landlords and tenants may serve to reduce risks to landlords caused by pet misbehavior but does not replace the protection of animal insurance. One of these agreements can be put into effect by clearly stating the nature of any acts the landlord is responsible for and which acts of the pet’s behavior are then the sole  responsibility of the tenant-pet owners.

Any landlord making use of a pet agreement  to assign rights and/or responsibilities relating to pets on the premises must maintain a  list of the specific pets covered b the agreement and must further be vigilant to keep the list updated.

 

There is much joy to be had while running an animal shelter. Finding animals forever homes on a regular basis can be hard work, but is very rewarding. However, for all the things that can go right in your shelter, there are many others that can go wrong. That is when a liability waiver comes in handy. Liability waivers can save you a lot of headache and financial hardships. Here are a few examples of what a liability waiver can protect you and your shelter from.

1. Dog Bites.

Dogs are the most sought after animal in a shelter, and the majority of visitors in your shelter will likely be looking to add one to their family. When perusing the dogs, the visitors may put their hands in the dogs cage to initiate contact. While many dogs will be docile and friendly, others may perceive this as a threat and bite the stranger’s hand. This can be problematic because injury or disease can happen as a result. If that visitor signed a liability waiver though, then you are clear of any blame.

2. Cat Scratches.

Cats are another animal that is highly sought after in a shelter, and chances are your shelter houses many. One of the cats in your shelter may come into contact with many visitors in a day, and may scratch them. While a cat scratch, or bite may seem harmless at first, it can have lasting consequences. A cat scratch can lead to a nasty bacterial infection known as cat scratch fever. A visitor who contracts cat scratch fever from one of your shelter cats may hold you liable. However, a liability waiver would say different.

3. Slips, Falls. Etc…

Even if your shelter animals are well contained and on their best behavior, there is still many things that can go wrong. A dog may urinate on the ground, and someone could slip in it. The puddle may have gone unnoticed by the shelter staff until this accident occurred, so a wet floor sign didn’t get put out. Liability waivers can include a clause for this situation, and any other non animal related incident.

Wildlife Rescue Insurance

October 29, 2013

Wildlife rescue insurance is simply important for organizations that help protect endangered species. Like animal shelters and clinics, these venues specialize in protecting and rescuing wild life. They also feature onsite physicians that treat animal injuries and other mishaps. These organizations are found across the nation, and offer services for both domestic and wild animals. They also take care of animals that are housed at local zoos and even animal museums. While these entities offer valuable services to the community, they are not exempt from lawsuits or other legal issues. In order to protect your animal or wildlife agency, you simply need the right insurance.

If you are struggling to find coverage for your organization, sites like AWOIPOnline.com. They specialize in helping animal welfare organizations find the right insurance plans and coverage. When it comes to wildlife rescue insurance, there are different types of policies available. According to experts, general liability insurance is a must. This type of coverage protects your organization from faulty claims and legal issues. It also protects your agency from lawsuits that stem from falls, slips, and other mishaps on your property. Whether it is a guest, visitor, or even an employee, you want to protect the physical integrity of your property as well. As a result, property insurance is also a worthwhile and lasting investment.

While all shelters strive to protect their volunteers, visitors, and animals, accidents do occur. This includes dog bites, along with injuries resulting from slips or falls. Whether you’re a director, manager, or volunteer, accident and health insurance is simply mandatory. In fact, this is considered the most common type of wildlife rescue insurance on the market. Sadly, a number of accidents occur within animal shelters and organizations each year. While the most common accidents are animal bites, volunteers have also been exposed to certain illnesses and medical ailments. With proper health or accident insurance, however, their medical costs will be covered by the respective organization or company across the board.

If you require property, professional liability, or accident insurance, AWOIPOnline.com is committed to meeting your needs within time and budget. Remember, even wildlife rescue agencies can be sued or face legal threats on a daily basis. To effectively secure your property and volunteers, simply get comprehensive coverage that offers maximum protection at every turn. For more information on wildlife rescue insurance, contact AWOIPOnline.com for convenient quotes and plans.

Running a non-profit animal shelter means that you’re already squeezing every dime for all it’s worth, and cutting back as much as you can on your expenses. Considering how much liability insurance can cost, and how infrequently it gets used, it’s understandable that your insurance might be something you think about dropping.

Don’t do it.

Your Animal Rescue is Important, Make Sure it’s Protected

You know that your animal shelter is safe for both your pets, the people who come to visit them, and your volunteers. The odds of someone getting hurt while on your property might seem slim, but there’s a big difference between slim and impossible. All it takes is one careless moment, or one unforeseen circumstance and you could find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit that puts your entire animal rescue program at risk. The fact that you are dealing with animals, and can’t predict exactly how they will react to visitors or situation further increases the chances of someone getting hurt.

Having SPCA insurance means that you, your shelter, and your volunteers will be protected if an accident happens, and that you will be able to stay open for business.

What SPCA Insurance Covers

Your animal rescue isn’t like every other rescue, there are traits that make it unique. SPCA insurance providers know this and have done a great job of creating insurance plans that can be customized to perfectly suit your needs.

Getting the Most Out of Your Insurance

In addition to choosing a SPCA insurance policy that covers every aspect of your animal shelter, you should also take care when choosing the agent you will be working with. You’re going to be happiest and feel the most protected when you have an insurance agent who loves pets and is excited about the work that you do. Finding one who has hands on experience with animal shelters similar to yours is a bonus.

If something does go wrong, you need to notify your insurance agent right away!

Animal rescue insurance is simply essential for any shelter or agency. While these centers save hundreds of dogs and cats per day, they are not exempt from legal ramifications or lawsuits. This is especially true if a person gets bitten or injured by one of these animals within their premises. Most rescue centers also double up as adoption agencies. This is a great way to find lost, abused, and discarded animals new homes. These animal welfare organizations also provide animals for other charitable and philanthropic endeavors. This includes dogs and cats that provide company for elderly and bed ridden patients.

While animal rescue insurance agencies provide a great service to the public, they must have some type of insurance. This includes property insurance, which protects their structures from fires, vandalism, and other structural mishaps. Theft insurance protects animal shelters from robberies and break-ins. Insurance is also available for all directors, managers, employees, and volunteers. This can be medical, along with dental and other benefits. Securing the right insurance, however, depends on the needs of the animal shelter or agency in question. Sadly, many organizations feel they do not need insurance because they are too small. Others believe they are exempt from lawsuits since they are providing a valuable service to the public.

If you work in or manage one of these organizations, animal rescue insurance is simply vital. Whether it’s property or accident insurance, you need coverage that will effectively protect your employees and patrons. Sadly, there are many people out there that love to sue small or big companies. Most of these people, however, are simply looking to milk your business or insurance company out of thousands of dollars. With the right insurance, however, your business will fully protected against faulty or fake claims. Insurance also covers any accidents or mishaps that occur on your property. This includes animal bites, along with fenders benders in the parking lot.