Veterinarians may take night shifts in an animal emergency room, run a solo practice in a small town, or work with a team of other vets and veterinary assistants to operate a large, metropolitan-wide clinic. Whether they specialize in caring for rabbits and rodents, have a more traditional interest in dogs and cats, or prefer to treat large mammals, like horses, or pigs, veterinarians provide a valuable service to animals and their owners. To make sure that in the event of an accident at their office, theft of medications or equipment, or an injury to an animal in their custody or care, a veterinary business and its owner can remain protected, veterinarians should contact a local independent insurance agent to learn about purchasing the proper commercial insurance coverage.
Whether they have an existing business insurance policy, or need a new one, an experienced independent insurance agent will guide veterinarians in choosing commercial insurance that fits their practical needs. She can answer vet’s questions about finding adequate coverage, discuss options for policies offered by a number of different insurance companies, and explain the typical exclusions and limitations included in most of those policies. A licensed independent insurance agent will serve as a trusted advisor for veterinarians seeking assistance in finding professional insurance coverage for their business.
In the course of working with a local independent commercial insurance agent, veterinarians should expect that she will likely want to meet with them at their office, or other place of business. She may ask to tour the building occupied by a veterinary clinic, and she will ask about security and fire alarms in place, whether the premises has a working sprinkler system, and about the plan for removing animals from the building in case of a fire, or other emergency. An independent insurance agent may ask whether a veterinarian’s building has ever been foreclosed. She will also want to discuss the kinds of animals (and values) typically cared for by a vet, along with the cages, or constraints used for animal-patients, and the machinery and equipment installed or stored on the premises.
A local independent insurance agent will ask veterinarians about their annual business income and receipts, and about the number of employees working within a clinic or office. She will want to know about worker training procedures, animal handling practices, and the licensing status of a veterinarian, his or her partners, and any staff requiring licensure. She will also want to discuss a veterinarian’s prior work experience, the length of time they have run a practice, and will want to know whether a business has had a loss or claim in the past few years. She might also inquire as to whether a veterinarian or clinic has ever been named as a defendant in a lawsuit based on providing, or failing to provide veterinary services.
As a licensed independent insurance agent can explain, veterinarians will most likely want business property and business general liability insurance for their practice. She can describe the differences between these kinds of coverage, and discuss how some insurance companies allow vets to carry both under the same policy. She may also discuss workers’ compensation insurance, auto insurance, and professional liability coverage for veterinarians, depending on the requirements of a particular veterinarian.
A seasoned independent business insurance agent can examine factors like the professional risks faced by a particular veterinarian and exposures within a building that houses a vet office or clinic, along with the value of veterinary equipment, fixtures, and furnishings to determine sufficient commercial insurance to keep veterinarians covered. With a policy through a licensed independent insurance agent, veterinarians know that if they experience an accident, financial loss, or legal claim, their practice, property, and assets, can remain secure.