So many times, it is workman’s compensation that I hear people sigh about when they say that “employees cost so much” Which in reality, is a big fat lie, but that isn’t the direction I am going today.
Workman’s compensation is an insurance that businesses with employees pay into. The individual rate varies from state to state and it is based off your total payroll. You can read about all the ins and outs in a previous article I wrote about workmans compensation. I actually went as far as interviewed an actual insurance agent.
You might read a common magazine for the pet sitting industry that talks basic liability about insurance claims. You know, a sitter breaks a glass vase, leaves the water running, damages a wooden table, etc. These are all claims for when the business was negligent.
What you don’t see much of is workman’s compensation claims. I feel like if this was promoted more, more businesses would realize how costly things can get and how quickly a business that isn’t properly protected could be put out of business.
“Not having workman’s compensation and having and accident could seriously put a business OUT of business. ” – Bella
I don’t want you to take my word for it. I want you to read what actual claims pet siting business owners across the country have had to put it. You could be the most careful pet sitter in the world. You could train your staff the best in the country. But there is ALWAYS an X factor. It is the ANIMALS that we care for. Cats can be vicious. Ever come across an attack kitty? I have. Dogs, when they get old, can have moments where they snap. It happens my friends!
I want you to read the below ACTUAL incidents and I want you to ask yourself, if you have ICs, how in the HECK can you recover from something like this? What would happen? Your contract where you demote all liability probably won’t stand up in court. If it did, it will cost you money to defend yourself. How will your name not be tarnished? All of a sudden your worker will be trying to go after the homeowner because they need someone to pay their bills and then the homeowner is going to look towards YOU the company they hired. Truth be told the WC will eventually talk to the homeowners insurance and determine percentages of liability to split the cost of the overall claim. Claims aren’t cheap. Read below:
This one happened during a meet and greet. A dog bite on the face!
Or this incident that proves you can be vigilant, but can’t always control the circumstances.
This one, we were all surprised that this wasn’t an auto claim, but it was on the job and he was hurt (and covered under the policy as an employee) Could you imagine paying $50,000? That would put many of us out of business. We don’t just have that kind of money laying around for a rainy day!
This shows how long term some injuries can be. Of course, in most cases, your worker is injured in some way, but it also usually means that the company is one person “down.” With worksmans compensation, they still pay a portion of what the sitter would have been paid. The policy pays. You don’t. Would your business survive if someone was taken out of the game today?
First, Marcia is far from a dumb owner. She is one of the most exciting people to work with. Funny too! 🙂 This is an important story that I wanted to include because often we, as owners, think we are invincible. The general public discredits cats and small dogs for “not being able to hurt us. Which we all know is false. I love how Marcia was changed from her experience and automatically started to include behavior training in her staff training. This is a business owner who learns from her mistakes! I love how she is strict with who she accepts as clients. I think we all should be!
This is a great example on how it is important to report everything. You never, ever, know what something that “feels fine” will turn into.
This one could have been REALLY bad. When it happened, I remember Julie calling me up for advice. It was beyond stressful and scary.
What Do You Do?
All this being said, do you have a protocol established if there was every an accident? Does your staff know what to do? Where to go? how to report it? For you: Do you know who you call? What your policy or plan covers? Do you know if you need to report it to the city? When to report it to the insurance? Will there be a drug test?
Please, if you don’t already, establish a protocal for if and when this ever happens in your company. You don’t want to be figuring out the HOW in the middle of the trauma.