Practitioner Insurance FAQ

Why is this a pilot program?

One of the challenges in finding insurance that covers paid-for services inclusive of AAI is that there is very little data for insurance underwriters about the risk they’re assuming. This pilot program hopes to establish both the interest in this kind of coverage as well as a data set that will reflect actual claims by AAT/AAE practitioners over time. Our hope is that once we have established a strong data set, we will be able to negotiate better premium rates as a group.

Do I need to be registered with or be evaluated by Pet Partners in order to apply for practitioner insurance?

No. During the pilot, we will be accepting applications from all practitioners. The application will collect information about therapy animal registrations or evaluations which may influence your premium, but you may apply regardless of your registration status with Pet Partners.

Who may apply for coverage?

If you are a professional in the United States incorporating a therapy animal in goal-oriented, planned, structured and documented interventions, this program may be an option for your comprehensive professional liability insurance. Please note this is primarily intended for independently employed professionals. We anticipate the most interest in mental health and allied health fields, but if you are in a different field using AAI professionally, contact us and we’ll work to identify the most appropriate application for you.

Why aren’t you including facility dogs/animals at this time?

Facility animals can vary widely from facility to facility. Some animals are owned by the facility, some visit with multiple handlers, some are used for AAA rather than goal-oriented structured interactions. Because there is no one definition, so many variables, and no articulated standards for facility animals, they are not included as part of this pilot program.

Is this program appropriate for elementary or high school staff?

This pilot program is primarily intended for independently employed professionals seeking professional liability insurance. Generally teachers and other school employees are covered by the school’s policy.

I am a medical doctor/nurse practitioner. May I apply?

If you currently carry medical malpractice, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your current provider and ask if there is an exclusion on AAT. It may be possible to request to waive the exclusion with additional qualifications or for an additional fee.

Is this the same insurance coverage your volunteers have?

No. Professionals who choose to pursue insurance through this pilot will not be part of the Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program insurance policy, which is for volunteers only. This policy will be a comprehensive professional liability insurance policy that is inclusive of AAI activities.

What will be my level of coverage?

During this pilot program, each policy will be individually written for the applicant. Coverage will not be less than $1M and you may discuss increasing that limit with the insurance company once they provide you an initial quote.

Will all species and breeds of therapy animals be covered?

During the pilot program, each policy will be individually written. It is possible that the insurance company may decline to cover specific animals for a number of reasons. We encourage you to submit information for all the animals you are interested in working with. Quotes are non-binding. You may adjust details such as which animals would be included and request a second quote, if desired.

Are there any rules or regulations I must follow in order to be insured? For example, will my animal have to be on leash during interactions?

The application includes an attestation section where handlers will be asked to commit to animal welfare as well as client safety. There are no specific requirements for interactions such as the use of a leash.

Why is Pet Partners asking to be included on emails about my insurance quote and policy?

Part of our goal with this pilot program is to collect data that will help us establish a more robust insurance program for practitioners. It is, therefore, valuable to know how expensive quotes are and how many people choose to purchase a policy.