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30 Pet-Sitter Insurance Claims from 2011


describe the imageBusiness Insurers of the Carolinas (BIC), PSI’s Preferred Provider for pet-sitter liability insurance and bonding often reviews the claims history of the PSI insurance program.  

BIC’s data continues to show that care, custody and control (CCC) claims are the biggest producer of claims in terms of frequency, while dog bite and bodily injury claims continue to lead the way in severity. The statistics also indicate a significant rise in veterinary medical expenses and bodily injury (dog bite) claims over the past four years.

The list of recent insurance claims submitted by professional pet sitters below is shared as a way for all PSI members to improve their business practices.  Pet sitters have shared with BIC that these examples bring home the importance of learning from others’ mistakes—and avoiding these types of problems in their own businesses. 

30 Pet-Sitter Insurance Claims from 2011

  1. A dog in an insured pet sitter’s care got into a scuffle with another dog, causing injury to both dogs. Total Paid $1,619.
  2. While two dogs were in a client’s garage with their pet sitter, both ingested ant-freeze and required medical attention. Total Paid $3,024.
  3. An insured pet sitter was walking a group of dogs when one of the dogs in the group attacked another, causing injury. Total Paid $3,332.
  4. A client’s dog pulled the leash out of his pet sitter’s hand and bit a porcupine. The dog was taken to the veterinary clinic for treatment.  Total Paid $354.
  5. A dog in its pet sitter’s care swallowed a tennis ball and required surgery. Total Paid $2,976.
  6. While staying with an insured pet sitter in her home, a client’s dog was bitten by spider, became ill and required veterinary treatment. Total Paid $934.
  7. An insured pet sitter placed a pill she was going to give a client’s dog on the counter to help the dog, which was getting sick. The client’s cat jumped on the counter and ate the pill. Total Paid $1,161.
  8. While a pet sitter had her client’s dog on a retractable leash, the dog lunged towards the housekeeper and the pet sitter locked the leash while dog was in mid-jump. The dog fell down and injured its leg and required surgery. Total Paid $8,472.
  9. An insured pet sitter broke an antique lamp while in client’s home. Total Paid $1,000.
  10. A dog in a pet sitters care came out of its collar and attacked another dog, causing serious injury. Total Paid $1,198.
  11. A pet sitter was taking care of multiple dogs. Two dogs were attacked and injured by another dog in pet sitter’s care. Both dogs required medical attention. Total Paid $8,237.
  12. While on a walk with an insured pet sitter, a client’s dog stepped off the sidewalk and fell on a drain grate and broke its leg. Total Paid $1,857.
  13. While in a dog park, dog in a pet sitter’s care attacked and injured another dog in the park. Total Paid $1,951.
  14. A dog in a pet sitter’s care jumped up and nipped a person standing nearby while the pet sitter was waiting for an elevator. Total Paid $36,865.
  15. An insured pet sitter overfed a client’s dog, causing diarrhea. The carpets in the client’s home had to be cleaned. Total Paid $1,695.
  16. A dog in a pet sitter’s care attacked a third party. Total Paid $65,000.
  17. A client’s cat became sick while in an insured pet sitter’s care and required medical attention. Total Paid $1,212.
  18. While at his pet sitter’s home, a dog received a cut from the doggie door and required stitches. Total Paid $515.
  19. While being groomed by a pet sitter, a client’s dog was cut on back of the leg with the clippers. Total Paid $987.
  20. A group of dogs were playing outside at an insured pet sitter’s home. The dogs got into a fight and one was injured and required medical attention. Total Paid $1,892.
  21. While being walked by a pet sitter, a client’s dog escaped from his leash and was attacked by another dog. Total Paid $2,103.
  22. Before leaving a client’s house, a pet sitter did not put lid the back on the litter box correctly. The cat urinated on carpet. Total Paid $534.
  23. An insured pet sitter injected a client’s cat with two much insulin. The cat became sick and was taken to the veterinary clinic. Total Paid $2,515.
  24. While playing at his pet sitter’s home, a dog broke his leg. Total Paid $3,360.
  25. A pet sitter walking two dogs on leashes lost control of the dogs. Both dogs jumped on a woman who was passing by, knocking her down. Total Paid $18,000.
  26. An insured sitter did not shut the crate correctly before leaving a client’s home. The client’s dog got out and damaged carpet, footboard of a bed and a comforter. Total Paid $2,951.
  27. While playing in an insured pet sitter’s yard, a client’s dog tumbled down a hill, rupturing a disk in its spine. Total Paid $5,054.
  28. A pet sitter left a client’s dogs unattended for several days. The dogs urinated and defecated throughout the house. Total Paid $9,593.
  29. While in an insured pet sitter’s care, a dog suffered a heatstroke and died. Total Paid $12,825.
  30. A pet sitter placed a hidden key outside a client’s home. The client’s home was burglarized and merchandise was taken.  There was no sign of forced entry and it was discovered that the hidden key was missing. Total Paid $10,000.

Do you need more information on selecting the right pet-sitter insurance for your business? Download this free resource from PSI.


the pet sitter I hired to watch my cats while I was on vacation failed to properly insure that my door was securely closed and locked when she left the house. The door was left open and one of my cats ran out. If I do not recover my cat is this a valid claim under most pet insurance policies?
Posted @ Monday, June 24, 2013 10:24 PM by patti
Patti, thanks for your comment. The pet-sitter insurance coverage that Pet Sitters International (PSI) recommends to our pet-sitting members through Business Insurers of the Carolinas includes care, custody and control coverage. This is the coverage excluded from many liability policies, but the coverage needed to cover pets in their care. We recommend you speak with your pet-sitter about their insurance coverage. We are sorry to hear your cat escaped and hope she is found quickly. 
-Beth Stultz, Pet Sitters International
Posted @ Tuesday, June 25, 2013 7:11 AM by Beth Stultz
I hope you might be able to help me. I'm a Pet Sitter. I was walking a dog who attacked and bite another dog. Both were off-leash. The dog I was with has known dog-aggression towards other female dogs, but seemingly not males. The dog she attacked was male but much smaller. It too was off-leash. Both were on neutral territory. Who is at-fault here? I run a Pet Sitting business and knew the dog could be aggressive(inattentiveness on my part not leashing, so I said I'd take care of medical expenses. Am I in the "wrong" or are we both at fault? Any and all insight would help. Also, I live in Vermont if that info is needed.  
Thanks, Paul
Posted @ Saturday, November 30, 2013 5:41 PM by Paul H Moore
Paul, we recommend you contact your pet-sitter liability insurance company to discuss this claim (as only licensed insurance agents can provide specific information and advice on claims). We are sorry to hear about this situation. If you need additional information on pet-sitter liability insurance, we recommend you contact Business Insurers of the Carolinas at 1-800-962-4611, ext. 224. 
Pet Sitters International
Posted @ Monday, December 02, 2013 9:50 AM by Beth Stultz
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