Do I Need Bonding If I am A Sole Proprietor Pet Sitting Business?


Thief (Photo credit: FotoChesKa)

Bonding is a type of insurance that you can get from almost any business insurance company. Typical rates I have seen from places like Mouer Foster are $100 for $10,000 bond.

A bond is in case a worker steals from a client, the client and the company is protected up to your bond limit. Although the worker has to be proven guilty in a court of law for it to kick in.

Often times sole proprietors ask if they really need it? In all reality, it is pretty rare that a business owner would steal from their clients. If they stole, they wouldn’t have a business, right? So from the business owners perspective it usually isn’t necessary.

Although from the client’s perspective, they usually feel note safe and secure having it. Why? I am really not sure. If a business owner stole from the house, they certainly are not going to make themselves available to the client to give them the bonding info and then go through the whole process of investigating. Or at least my common sense seems to think they would just disappear, right? So in actuality, a client requesting that a sole proprietor be bonded is really a mute topic. It doesn’t make logical sense if you understand how bonding works.

However, for pure marketing purposed, I would suggest that a sole proprietor does just pay the small fee to get bonding insurance. Saying that you are “bonded and insured” makes clients feel safer, even though, like I said previously, there is no logical evidence to really support that.

Last, if you have staff, even if you do trust them, it is still a good idea to get bonding insurance for the company. The clients will feel better, and you (as the business) would be covered if any of your beloved staff deciders to go to the dark side.

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3 replies
  1. Nancee
    Nancee says:

    AMEN! I’ve been also saying the same thing the whole time to everyone! I’m glad you’ve addressed this topic, which is a hot potato of sorts in the pro pet sitting world!

    Here’s a site that explains bonding and insurance:
    Read especially the bonding part. A bond works quite differently from insurance. Only the bond policy holder (the business owner) can file a claim, not the client. Bonding payment only happens after the covered person is sentenced and the company chases after that person to recoup losses. Well, if you bond yourself, it doesn’t make sense for you to chase after yourself… 🙂

    I’ve personally spoken to the web master on the phone last month and he still stands by what he says on the site above. I totally agree with him that the sitter’s reputation and character trump them all.

    It’s funny that caregiving for humans (childcare, senior care, patient care) doesn’t require bonding, yet somehow we have to have bonding for animal care? Are humans worth less? LOL. And we’re technically doing the same thing–for different species, that is. 🙂 We’re care providers, not construction workers.

    That said, I still wouldn’t shell out some bonding dough for ad purposes. I don’t believe in rewarding people’s ignorance. 😉 Even more reason to educate the public on this subject.

    If I had employees, then yes, I’d definitely bond them, even if they were people I personally know well, for the clients’ peace of mind.

  2. Kristinne Kilpatrick
    Kristinne Kilpatrick says:

    I am sole proprietor and though I know and have known that I don’t need bonding and that where my insurance comes into play. I believe in making my clients and potential clients at ease it’s a small price to pay when someone who is looking for a sitter chooses the sitter with bonding and insurance rather than the one without. In 33 years I have heard that is why they have chosen me.

    • Bella Vasta
      Bella Vasta says:

      Kristinne, I totally agree with you! So you basically get it for advertising purposes, yes? WOW! 33 years in business? Did I read that right? Keep in touch and keep me posted! Love hearing from you 🙂


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