Insurance for Petting Zoos

Zoos, Wildlife Parks, Petting Zoos, and Amusement Parks are designed for recreational purposes. Some will have a large variety of animals and amusement devices such as trains and floatation rafts. Some zoos will have rides; some will have game arcades; some will have exhibits or museums; and some will have swimming, boating, or other water activities. Camping, lodging, gift shops, and eating facilities are common to zoological gardens.

Petting Zoos have unique exposures that turn most insurance companies away from offering coverage options and insurance programs. We’ve developed a few target insurance programs specifically tailored for Petting Zoos.

Recommended Insurance Programs for Zoos and Wildlife Parks

Minimum recommended coverage:

    •   General Liability
    •   Commercial Property Insurance
    •   Hired and Non-Owned Auto (full commercial auto if vehicles owned)
    •   Employee Dishonesty Bond
    •   Business Income with Extra Expense
    •   Workers’ Compensation

Other coverages to consider for Petting Zoos:
Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Bailees, Contractors’ Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, Employee Benefits, Commercial Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto, EPLI Coverage, Environmental Impairment, Business Auto, Stop Gap Liability, Liquor Liability (if alcohol is sold).

Common Liability Risks Associated with Petting Zoos

General Liability Insurance
Premises liability exposure is high for Petting Zoos due to the large number of visitors to the premises. Public and life safety code compliance is the primary concern. The numbers and type of animals and rides and their potential to injure, maim or cause death must be thoroughly reviewed. Great care must be given to the setup, operation, maintenance, and condition of protective enclosures, with adequate security and safety provided for patrons.

The petting zoo or wildlife park should have appropriate permits from the state. Good housekeeping is critical to preventing trips, slips, and falls. Adequate lighting, marking of exits and egress should be in place. Steps should have rails, be well-lit, marked, and in good maintenance and repair. Parking must be appropriate for the type of amusement park, and assistance should be provided. Security at the facility, in buildings, corridors, and parking areas, needs to be carefully checked and reviewed.

Lodging, camping and other sleeping facilities present significant loss potential and require careful review. Acts of theft or crime against patrons is another area of concern; security is an important area to evaluate. The zoo or park may present an attractive nuisance hazard when not in use. There must be adequate security to prevent unauthorized entry to children and vandals.

Products liability exposure can be high if there are restaurants on premises due to the potential for food poisoning from inadequate food storage, handling, and cooking procedures. Foreign objects in food may result in choking or illness. There may be some exposure from souvenirs or other retail items, especially if those souvenirs are designed for children.

Business Property Insurance
Property risks can be significant as many zoos and park operations require expensive machinery and equipment. Fire losses due to wiring, machinery, and equipment are common. The key to control is regular, disciplined maintenance. Electrical wiring must meet all codes. There must be circuit breakers and/or fuse boxes that cannot be overridden. Flammable fuels, paints and varnishes must be stored in approved containers and cabinets. Welding and soldering must be done in a safe environment away from flammables.

If there is an off season, the petting zoo or wildlife park may be a target for vandalism. A watchperson service should be provided or a caretaker should be on premises every day. Wind and other natural elements can severely affect large outdoor rides, stages and exhibits. All buildings and equipment should be grounded to prevent damage from lightning strikes. Business income and extra expense exposure is substantial because of the unavailability of backup facilities and a limited season of earnings.

Equipment breakdown risk may be high, particularly if the amusement park operates on a seasonal basis. Damage to a key attraction which cannot be repaired quickly due to limited availability of parts may result in a substantial loss of business. All equipment must be maintained in good condition and documented.

Commercial Auto
Automobile exposure may be relatively minor if only service vehicles are used. If patrons, customers, visitors, employees or others are transported, automobile exposure can be substantial. Often buses, shuttles, or other transportation is available and must be carefully reviewed. If lodging is available, limos and other airport transport may be offered. Drivers must be licensed appropriately. All business owned vehicles should be maintained on an ongoing basis and documented. If employees use their personal vehicles for work related tasks then hired and non-owned coverage should be purchased.

Commercial Crime Policy
Crime exposure for most parks and zoos comes from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks should be conducted on all employees. Employees should be checked when they leave after their shifts to prevent inventory theft. All financial duties should be separated and reconciled regularly. Cash may be collected for parking, admission, and vending operations. All money must be counted by more than one employee and deposited by another. There should be a monitoring device to match ticket sales to cash. Cashiers’ monies should be stripped regularly and deposited to prevent a large buildup of cash.

Inland Marine Coverage
Inland marine exposures include computers, mobile equipment, and valuable papers and records. Computer and other electronic equipment are extensive and need proper review and handling. Contractors’ equipment is used to maintain the premises. Some of the rides, displays, or exhibits may be mobile. Valuable records and papers are from vendor, supplies, and maintenance records.

Workers’ Compensation
Workers compensation liability can be high for petting zoos and wildlife facilities. Workers who maintain the grounds may be exposed to chemical applications of herbicides and pesticides. Employees repairing and maintaining machinery and equipment can suffer back or lifting injuries, hernia, sprains, strains, and amputations. If any work is done above ground using lifting devices, falls can result. Workers who handle certain types of animals can be susceptible to major injuries.

Liability Insurance Quotes for Petting Zoos

General Liability Shop.com offers great liability insurance quotes for Petting Zoos throughout the U.S. Our Zoo programs include all lines of business insurance, as well as our Target Business Owners Policies (BOP) and Commercial Package Policies specifically designed for Zoos and Petting Zoos. Contact one of our business insurance Specialists today at (800) 900-8657, or start a quote online now.

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Our Top Carrier Solutions for Petting Zoos
  • Philadelphia
  • Markel
  • Patriot
  • Zoo Liability Classification Codes

    Commercial insurance companies use various liability classification systems in order to classify and rate coverage premiums for Petting Zoos. Costs for coverage will vary depending on the size of the zoo as well as the types of animals housed and other services offered. Here are the most common business insurance classification for Zoos:

    Business Liability Category: Recreations and Sports

    SIC Business Insurance Codes:

      •   7996- Amusement and Recreation Services
      •   7999- Other Amusement and Recreational Industries
      •   8422- Zoological Gardens

    NAICS Liability Classifications:

      •   712130- Zoos and Botanical Gardens
      •   713110- Amusement Parks

    Business ISO General Liability:

      •   Code: 10020- Amusement Parks

    Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

      •   9016- Amusement Park and Petting Zoo