A cleaning business needs insurance as much as any other business, as it faces several risks. These include employees damaging client property, stealing from customers, or suffering injuries from harsh chemicals. Insurance is much more than financial protection. It also solidifies the stability of your business.
In addition to insurance, janitorial bonds are a way to show clients that they can trust your business with their valuable property. Cleaning and janitorial companies should have business insurance — including general liability insurance, workers’ comp and fidelity bonds — to protect their finances in such cases.
Therefore, if you want your cleaning business to flourish, you’ll need general liability insurance to prevent a hit to your business finances. Certain types of insurance may even be required for your cleaning businesses — for example, cleaners who drive between clients may need a commercial auto policy. Businesses with a certain number of employees are also required to have workers’ compensation coverage.
What is cleaning business insurance?
Cleaning business insurance is a small business insurance policy that contains several coverage types to address the specific risks that your industry faces, including workplace injuries, accidental injuries and property damage to others, stolen equipment, and lost income.
For example, if your employee fails to put a caution sign on a wet floor and someone slips and injures themselves, the liability portion of your cleaning business insurance will pay for their medical bills.
You can think of cleaning business insurance as an all-purpose solution that covers different types of messes.
Insurance policies for cleaning businesses
Cleaning business insurance combines several types of small business insurance to cover a range of problems like damage to your business property, medical expenses for accidental injuries, and workplace illness and injuries. These include:
Business Owner Policy (BOP)
You can start with a business owner policy (BOP). A BOP bundles three essential coverage types and it’s typically cheaper than buying each coverage separately.
Here is what a BOP includes:
Business liability insurance
This covers accidental injuries and property damage to others. For example, if you accidentally spill chemicals on a client’s hardwood floor, your general liability insurance will pay for repairs. It also covers your legal costs if you are sued because of an accident.
This coverage also pays for other types of problems, including advertising injury, reputational harm and copyright infringement.
Business interruption insurance
If you cannot temporarily run your cleaning business due to a problem covered by your policy, business interruption insurance covers your lost income. For example, if a tree falls on the roof of your dry cleaning business due to a storm and you have to shut down, business interruption insurance will cover your lost income and other expenses, such as temporarily moving to a new office location.
Business interruption insurance is also called “business income insurance.”
Commercial property insurance
Commercial property insurance covers the physical location of your business and equipment if they’re damaged due to a problem covered by your policy, such as a fire or hailstorm. It includes items you own and rent, such as cleaning equipment, cleaning products, inventory and office computers.
Workers’ compensation insurance
Injuries are common for cleaning employees, and it is your responsibility to make sure your employees get the medical care they need. Cleaning businesses deal with a variety of hazards, including:
- Biological: Diseases, bacteria, and mold
- Chemical: Cleaning solutions
- Physical: Repetitive motions, moving equipment, slip and fall accidents
Workers’ compensation insurance pays for an employee’s medical costs, lost income and other expenses (such as physical therapy) if they suffer injuries or become ill while they’re on the job. If you employ at least one person, most states require you to have workers’ comp.
You can make sure your employees’ medical costs don’t come out of your own pocket by carrying workers’ compensation insurance. This helps pay for:
- Lawsuits over worker injuries
- Employee medical bills and replacement wages related to workplace accidents
Commercial auto insurance
A commercial auto insurance policy covers vehicles like cars, vans and trucks used for business purposes, such as transporting your cleaning tools and supplies to a job site. Your personal car insurance policy won’t cover you for work-related accidents.
Here are common types of insurance included in a commercial auto insurance policy:
- Property damage liability. This covers accidental property damage caused by you or an employee, such as accidentally backing into a fence at a job site.
- Bodily injury liability. This covers accidental injuries to others if you or an employee causes a car crash.
- Collision insurance. This covers the cost of replacing or repairing your work vehicle after a car accident.
- Comprehensive insurance. This covers the cost of replacing or repairing your work vehicle for problems like theft, vandalism, flood, fires, falling objects, and severe weather.
- Medical expenses coverage and personal injury protection (PIP). This covers the medical expenses for you and your passengers no matter who is at fault for the car accident.
- Uninsured motorist (UM)/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This pays the medical expenses for you and your passengers if a driver without insurance or not enough insurance crashes into you. In some states, you may be able to add UM to pay for damage to your car caused by an uninsured driver.
A janitorial bond is a type of surety bond that covers your clients for employee theft. Your clients may require that your cleaning company have this coverage.
Janitorial bonds show prospective clients that you have an insurance company vouching for your work. It’s a great way to establish trust with new clients.
When a client sees the word “bonded” on your website or on marketing materials, they are reassured that if an employee steals or breaks something, your bond provider will cover the replacement costs.
Commercial umbrella insurance
If you need more coverage on top of your general liability insurance, you may want to consider a commercial umbrella insurance policy. It kicks in when your business liability insurance is exhausted.
This is one of the most economical ways to boost your insurance coverage, through commercial umbrella insurance. It is essentially an insurance policy for your general liability, commercial auto, or employer’s liability coverage (a component of your worker’s comp insurance).
If you reach the policy limits of your liability coverage, a commercial umbrella policy helps cover any additional losses.
Hired and non-owned auto insurance
If you or your employees use any personal, leased, or rented vehicles for work, you’ll need hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA) to stay financially protected.
HNOA insurance offers financial protection against the cost of damages from an accident, including lawsuits and medical expenses. It covers vehicles your business may rent, or your personal vehicle when used for work.
Your personal auto insurance covers you while you’re driving to work, but it doesn’t insure you while you’re on the job. If you or an employee are in an accident while running work-related errands, such as fetching supplies, you’ll need HNOA coverage to be financially protected.
What is not covered by cleaning business insurance
Your cleaning insurance business won’t cover certain types of issues, including:
- Fraudulent and intentional acts
- Government seizures
- Infectious diseases
- Wrongful termination (unless you have employment practices liability insurance)
Who needs cleaning business insurance?
A cleaning business could have different types of jobs and clients, everything from cleaning a carpet at a private home to cleaning the entirety of a multi-story commercial building. Here are some examples of cleaning professionals who can benefit from cleaning business insurance:
- Carpet cleaners
- Commercial cleaners
- Dry cleaners
- Furniture cleaners
- House cleaners
- Janitorial services
- Laundry services
- Office cleaners
How much does cleaning business insurance cost?
A small cleaning business can expect to pay less for insurance than a larger business. Several factors affect the cost of cleaning insurance, including:
- Size and location of your business: Your business’ size and geographical location play a role in determining your insurance costs. For example, businesses in urban areas generally face different risks and higher costs than those in rural areas.
- Policy types and coverage limits: The policy types you choose and the limits you set will influence your insurance costs. Comprehensive coverage packages or higher coverage limits can trigger higher premiums.
- Claims history: A history of frequent or high-value claims might lead to higher insurance costs, as this suggests a greater risk associated with your business.
- Deductible amount: The deductible is the amount subtracted from an insurance claims check. Selecting a higher deductible will reduce your cleaning business insurance premiums, but you’ll get less from your insurer if you file a claim.
- Company assets: The value of your business assets, including equipment, inventory and property, affects your insurance costs. Higher asset values typically bump up premiums because the insurer is assuming more risk.
The median cost for a business owner policy for cleaning business insurance is $520 per year, according to Insureon. That’s about $43 per month. Less than a quarter (16%) of Insureon customers pay less than $500 per year for cleaning business insurance and 69% pay between $500 and $1,000 per year.
What type of bond do I need for a cleaning service business?
Cleaning businesses should consider purchasing a fidelity bond, which is also called an employee dishonesty bond. These bonds protect your customers if an employee commits property theft while servicing a client’s home, preventing you from having to compensate customers for losses out of pocket.
A janitorial service bond makes sense for many cleaning businesses. This type of fidelity bond pays your client directly in the event of a theft or property loss, up to the maximum amount purchased.
As an added bonus, being bonded and insured offers a measure of credibility with potential clients who might otherwise be concerned about having strangers enter their property.
How to save on cleaning business insurance
As you arre probably well aware, insurance premiums add to your cleaning business expenses, which chip away at your revenue. But you can employ several strategies to save. Here’s how:
- Explore your options: Prices can differ significantly from one insurer to another. The best way to find a good price is to compare business insurance quotes among several different insurers.
- Look into bundling: A business owner policy (BOP) bundles three types of coverage: business liability insurance, business interruption insurance and commercial property insurance. A BOP generally costs less than buying each coverage type separately.
- Bump up your commercial auto deductible: A higher insurance deductible typically reduces your premium because your insurer will pay out less if you file a commercial car insurance claim.
- Ask about discounts: Insurers might reduce premiums when you carry out preventive measures, such as setting up a workplace safety program.
- Choose an annual payment: Paying your annual premium in full may qualify you for a discount.
Examples of cleaning business insurance claims
Here are a few instances illustrating claim scenarios and the corresponding coverage offered by cleaning business insurance.
|You back into a client’s garage door or bash their car while driving your work van.||Commercial auto insurance|
|A thief steals your cleaning tools and supplies from your office.||Commercial property insurance|
|Pieces of antique china slip off a shelf and shatter while you are dusting a cabinet.||General liability insurance|
|One of your employees trips down the stairs while vacuuming a client’s floor and sustains a leg injury.||Workers’ compensation insurance|
How to get business cleaning insurance
It’s easy to get business insurance for your cleaning business.
Whether you’re looking for cleaning insurance for self-employed professionals or a multi-person operation, you’ll need to have some basic info about your business on hand, such as annual revenue and number of employees, to get free quotes.
You can buy a policy online and get a certificate of insurance in three easy steps:
- Complete a free online application
- Compare insurance quotes and choose a policy
- Pay for your insurance policy and download a certificate of insurance
Where to get cleaning business insurance
Most small business insurance companies sell common types of insurance so you can customize your cleaning business insurance policy. You can start with a BOP and add the coverage types you need to it, such as workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance.
Here is a list of several companies that sell small business insurance:
- American Family Insurance
- AmTrust Financial
- Auto-Owners Insurance
- Cincinnati Insurance
- Clear Blue Insurance
- Erie Insurance
- Farmers Insurance
- Frankenmuth Insurance
- The Hanover
- The Hartford
- Liberty Mutual
- State Farm
- Utica First Insurance
- Westfield Insurance
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