The basics

What insurance does a cleaning business need?

Whether you’re a self-employed with no employees or own a large cleaning service with dozens of employees, one thing is for sure: The work you (and your employees) do is very physical, and it takes a continuous effort to do the best job for your clients. You need cleaning business insurance so it’s there to protect you when you need it. General liability and workers’ comp are a great place to start.

We offer cleaning business insurance for the following:

  • Janitors
  • House Cleaning Services
  • Gutter Cleaning
  • Exterior Cleaning
  • Pressure Washing
  • Pool cleaning
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Office Cleaning
  • Boat Detailing or Washing
  • Car (or Vehicle) Detailing or Washing

The coverage

Cleaning Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is a very broad form of commercial coverage that protects cleaning businesses against many of the random things that can go wrong while on the job.

Here are a few coverage highlights:

  • Bodily injury: Let’s say you have a contract with a large hotel. You wax the front lobby one evening with a new product. One of the guests slips while checking in and breaks their wrist. Liability insurance would cover the medical costs.
  • Property damage: You’re a residential cleaning business and decide to take a quick coffee break before you move upstairs to clean. You spill your coffee all over the client’s antique Persian rug (which is very expensive). Your GL policy would cover replacement and/or repair costs.
  • Personal/advertising injury: Coverage should you find yourself in a sticky situation regarding copyright infringement, false advertising, slander, or libel.
  • Defense Costs: While cleaning a client’s bathtub, you spray some of the baby’s toys with tile cleaner without realizing. That night at bath time, the child gets quite sick and goes to the hospital. They file a lawsuit the next day. Your policy will take care of court costs and legal fees.

Bonding Insurance for Cleaning Businesses

Many clients will ask if you are bonded and insured before hiring you for cleaning services. Businesses use surety bonds to protect clients in the event that one or more employees steal from the property while they are working. Cleaning businesses often get bonded to make them more reputable, attract customers, and gain an advantage over competitors. It’s a great way to gain an edge.

Workers’ Comp for Cleaning Services

Not only is workers’ comp insurance something you definitely want to have, oftentimes it’s required that you have it, regardless of whether you want to buy it or not. Workers’ comp protects you and your employees in the event of a workplace injury or illness.

States regulate workers’ comp, so depending on where you live you may or may not be required to have it. For example, in some places you may be required to have it for your employees, but not yourself.

Even if you’re not legally required to have workers’ comp, hiring parties will often require proof of insurance before allowing you to start working for them. By requiring you to have your own Certificate of Insurance, the liability is taken off of them. If something happens to you or your employee while working for them, your workers’ comp policy will pay for the damages rather than their own.

Claims Examples:

  • Falling ill from a work-related activity: As someone in the cleaning industry, you know what it’s like to work with harmful chemicals. It will cover the medical bills if you or someone that works for you falls ill from inhaling bleach or some other harsh cleaner.
  • Getting hurt on the job: The average slip and fall accident amounts to a $20,000 claim. Let’s say your mopping one late evening and slip, breaking your foot and ankle. Rather than “footing” the bill yourself, your policy will pay for the damages.
  • Lost wages: Should you or an employee need time off work to recover from a work-related illness or injury, it will supplement your lost wages.
  • Employers’ liability: Let’s say an employee feels like you failed to provide a safe work environment. They file a claim of negligence against you. It will cover attorney’s fees, settlements, and other legal costs.
  • Employee lawsuits: If you face an employee lawsuit regarding medical expenses and/or lost wages, it will take care of things.

Additional Cleaning Insurance

There are a lot of insurance policies that are a great fit for cleaning professions, especially:

Property Insurance

While dusting and cleaning by hand is effective, not everything can be cleaned up with feathers and paper towels. Oftentimes, you need to rely on expensive equipment to get big jobs done. Therefore, you’ll need a business property insurance policy.

Maybe you’re a cleaner who works at the beach cleaning weekly rentals. You’ve got a top of the line commercial vacuum to make sure all the sand gets sucked up. Or, you’ve got a carpet cleaning business and therefore own a line of expensive steam cleaners. Either way, you should protect your equipment with property insurance in case something goes wrong.

This policy will protect all of your items while at your business premises, including the premises itself. Additionally, your furniture, electronics, and other contents inside of the business premises will be protected in the event of a loss like fire, theft, vandalism, or other natural disasters.

Keep in mind that once you leave your business premises, your property coverage is left behind. In order to protect your gear in transit and while at other locations, you’ll want to get inland marine insurance.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Business auto insurance covers vehicles that are owned by your business. Coverages include:

  • Property damage liability coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Physical damage coverage
  • Bodily injury liability coverage

Keep in mind, this policy covers vehicles your business owns. If you hire, rent, or borrow vehicles on behalf of your business, in order to have the right protection, you would need hired and non-owned auto insurance. This coverage also extends liability protection to you and your employees in the event someone is using a personal vehicle for work-related purposes.

Umbrella Insurance

You know how whipped cream on a sundae gives that extra little “something”? Umbrella policies work the same way–they’re designed to provide a little extra protection to an existing policy.

All policies have limits. Let’s say your commercial auto policy has limits of $500,000. That means your insurer is obligated to pay up that amount for a claim. If you have a claim that’s greater than the limit, you would have to pay for the remaining amount. However, an umbrella policy would pay for the remainder. It’s worth looking into.

Cleaning Company Insurance Cost

General liability Costs

Cleaning insurance costs depend on multiple different factors, such as your zip code, policy coverage limits, and number of employees. Many small cleaning businesses pay around $525 per year for general liability insurance. That’s about $44/month. The cost of liability insurance will increase as your business grows in size and faces more risks.

Looking to save? Check out a business owner’s policy, or BOP. BOPs combine general liability and property insurance into a cheaper deal. They are great because you get more coverage at a lower price than getting each of the policies on their own.

Cleaning Service Insurance And Bonding Costs

A $50,000 bond for a small cleaning business of 1-5 employees could cost as low as $250-$300. Cleaning business bonds can cost anywhere from $150-$650 on average and can protect a client from $10,000-$100,000 worth of stolen goods. Surety bonds prices depend on the type of bond and the amount of coverage you need. A bond typically costs from 1-15% of the total bond amount. That means if you get quoted for a 2% rate on a $50,000 bond, you might pay around $1,000 for the surety bond.

How much does workers’ comp cost for cleaning businesses?

Workers’ comp is tough to price without knowing anything about your unique situation.

Here are a few price factors:

  • Your Location: Workers’ comp insurance is state-regulated, which is why costs vary state-to-state.
  • Your Industry: All industries are assigned a classification rate. This rate is based on the level of risk you face while at work. More risk leads to a higher rate.
  • Your Payroll: The more people you cover, the higher your costs will be.
  • Your Claims History: The more insurance claims you have, the higher your insurance will cost.

Check out our cleaning business insurance cost guide. Want a deeper look at insurance costs?

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