What Does Rover Insurance Cover for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers?

As a pet sitter or dog walker using the Rover platform, you may be wondering – does Rover provide insurance coverage to protect me while working? Understanding what liabilities and damages are covered by Rover’s policies is important when deciding what additional protection you need.

This article examines what Rover’s guarantee does and does not cover for pet care providers, the limitations, and what types of supplemental insurance sitters should consider purchasing.

Does Rover Provide Insurance for Sitters?

Rover does not provide traditional insurance for sitters and walkers. Instead, it offers a “Rover Guarantee” that functions similarly to insurance in some situations.

The Rover Guarantee states that Rover will pay for injuries or damages to a client’s pet that occur during a service booked on Rover. It also covers theft or accidents involving a client’s property.

However, Rover’s guarantee does NOT provide any liability coverage or compensation for injuries to the sitter or walker themselves. It also will not cover damage to your property caused by a pet in your care.

What Does the Rover Guarantee Cover?

Rover’s guarantee provides the following coverage for incidents involving pets you care for through Rover:

  • Veterinary expenses: If a pet is injured or becomes ill in your care, the guarantee covers veterinary bills up to $25,000 per incident.

  • Death or loss: If a pet dies or goes missing during a service, Rover provides up to $25,000 to compensate the owner.

  • Theft or damage: If a pet damages a client’s property, the guarantee covers repairs or replacement up to $25,000. The same limit applies if a pet causes damage at third-party sites like hotels or parks.

  • Extra fees: The guarantee covers costs like boarding fees if you are unable to complete a service due to a covered incident.

Rover’s guarantee acts as insurance for the client’s financial losses. But it does not provide any liability coverage or compensation for the sitter.

What is Not Covered by Rover’s Guarantee?

Importantly, Rover’s guarantee does not provide any protection for the sitter or walker. Here are some key exclusions:

  • Injuries to you: If you are bitten or injured by a pet in your care, the Rover guarantee provides no compensation for your medical bills or lost income.

  • Damage to your property: If a pet ruins your furniture, carpets, walls, etc., the Rover guarantee will not pay you for repairs or replacement items.

  • Liability protection: If a pet injures someone else while in your care, you are responsible for the injuries and damages. The Rover guarantee does not cover your liability.

  • Business interruptions: If you must cancel bookings due to an injury or as the result of damage to your home, Rover does not reimburse you for the lost earnings.

In essence, while Rover’s guarantee protects clients, it leaves sitters and walkers exposed to major financial risks not covered under the policy.

Why Supplemental Insurance Is Recommended for Pet Sitters

Given the limitations of Rover’s guarantee, most insurance and legal experts strongly advise purchasing your own liability insurance policy. Supplemental coverage can protect you from expensive claims and losses related to your pet sitting business on Rover.

Here are some examples of good supplemental coverages to consider:

  • General liability insurance: Covers injuries or property damage caused by pets in your care that happen at your home or at client homes/sites. Provides legal defense against liability claims.

  • Business property insurance: Reimburses you for damage to your home or belongings caused by a pet, including scratches, urine stains, broken furniture, etc.

  • Care, custody, and control: Provides coverage if a pet dies or must be euthanized while in your care.

  • Business income insurance: Replaces lost earnings if you are unable to work due to a covered loss or accident involving a pet.

Sitters should have at least $1 million in liability coverage. Some home insurance policies may already include limited business liability coverage, so check your policy first before purchasing a separate policy. Your insurance agent can advise you on the right insurance products and limits to transfer your risks.

Does Rover Provide any Other Protections for Sitters?

In addition to the Rover Guarantee, the platform provides a few other helpful protections:

Background checks on clients – Rover screens all new clients by checking criminal and sex offender backgrounds. This provides you with some reassurance about who you are interacting with.

Screening process – Sitters must pass background checks before being approved to provide services through Rover. This helps weed out any bad actors.

Rating system – You can read owner reviews of sitters and walkers before deciding to engage their services. Transparency helps keep all users accountable.

Direct booking system – Rover lets you book and communicate directly with clients through their platform. You don’t have to give out your personal contact information.

While helpful, these should not replace comprehensive insurance protection for your small business activity. Make sure you fill the coverage gaps left by Rover’s guarantee.

Examples of Incidents Covered Under Rover’s Guarantee

To understand exactly how Rover’s guarantee works, these examples illustrate some common covered scenarios:

  • A sitter’s dog attacks a client’s dog while under care, resulting in $5,000 in veterinary bills. Rover’s guarantee would reimburse the client for the vet bills.

  • A client’s puppy chews through an electrical cord while with a walker and must be hospitalized. Rover pays up to $25,000 for the medical expenses.

  • A pet sitter leaves a door open accidentally and a client’s cat escapes and goes missing permanently. Rover provides compensation to the owner for the value of the cat, up to $25,000.

  • A dog scratches and ruins a sofa at a client’s home during a drop-in visit. Rover guarantee’s $25,000 coverage limit applies to furniture damages.

In all these cases, the guarantee protects the client financially. But the sitter or walker remains responsible for any of their own losses or liabilities.

Scenarios Not Covered Under Rover’s Guarantee

Contrast those examples with these uncovered scenarios:

  • A usually docile dog bites a sitter, causing injuries requiring medical attention. The sitter must pay their own medical bills.

  • An excited pet scratches deep gouges into a sitter’s hardwood floors while playing. The sitter must pay for repairs out of pocket.

  • A walker slips on a porch wet from a dog’s bath and breaks their leg. Lost wages while recovering aren’t reimbursed.

  • A pet escapes from a yard after a gate is left open. The sitter is sued by a neighbor injured trying to catch the roaming pet. No coverage is provided.

  • A pet passes away unexpectedly in a sitter’s care. The sitter must refund booked nights and loses income but isn’t compensated for the losses.

The takeaway is that the Rover Guarantee only provides protection for the clients – not for the pet care providers themselves. Sitters and walkers shoulder all responsibility for their own financial damages and liabilities.

The Bottom Line

While Rover provides some important protections through its guarantee, pet sitters and dog walkers need supplemental insurance to cover gaps like personal injuries, property damage, and liability claims.

Purchasing business liability and property insurance reduces risks and provides peace of mind if the worst happens. Don’t rely solely on Rover’s policies – get comprehensive coverage for your pet sitting business instead.



What happens if dog is injured on Rover?

The Rover Guarantee reimburses members of our community for costs arising from certain injuries to the Rover pet or resident pet that occur during a service booked and paid through Rover. It also includes 24/7 Rover Support. Coverage does not include: Damage to the sitter or dog walker’s property.

How does Rover vet their sitters?

Rover does perform background checks on prospective sitters. “Checkr (a third-party provider) will confirm information such as your citizenship and social security number as well as your driving record and criminal history. Your credit history and score are not included in the background review.”

What is the payment policy for Rover?

All payments are made upfront before the job has started. Rover holds the funds until 48 hours after the sitting job is completed before turning them over to the sitter. A full refund is available if a client cancels before the beginning of the service.

Do I tip my Rover sitter?

Tips are not required but they are appreciated. As to amount, It’s completely up to you as to how much you feel our service is worth to you. Rover does take 15-20% out of the fee you pay, so we actually receive 80-85% of what you pay up front, if that makes a difference.

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