The cleaning industry as a whole covers many specialties. Each of those specialties comes with its own liability risks, today we will cover those that are most common across the whole industry as well as those that are common among some of the top professions.
If you have questions or concerns about liability claims affecting your janitorial, maid, or other cleaning business you can check out our affordable insurance coverage options starting at $26.67/month.
1. Slip & Fall Injuries
As no surprise, one of the most common claims across all cleaning industries is from slips or falls. Despite what you think, it’s not just the wet slippery floors causing this either! Cords from vacuums and other tripping hazards lead to a lot of accidents. But these simple falls aren’t that big of a deal, right?
Think again—there are many lawsuits that pop up for your profession because of injuries sustained from these falls, slips, and trips. Medical bills can pile up fast and be an unforeseen financial burden to your company. If you aren’t prepared for a medical claim, it can put your whole business at risk.
How can this affect you?
First, by not properly placing signs or warnings in your working area, you can be held liable and responsible for injuries from these slips, trips, and falls. So always mark your work areas with proper signage, even if you are servicing areas after normal business hours. If there are injuries, you can be stuck with medical bills and reimbursement for treatment for any third-party claim. Without insurance, is your business financially ready to take on those costs?
Train your employees and get into the habit of being observant during your work. Being aware of your surroundings and the people around you can help you prevent accidents and injuries on the job. Marking the areas can reduce the risk, with people being more aware of what’s happening. And always keep your insurance coverage up to date.
2. Property Damage
Crashing ladders, negative chemical reactions, and malfunctioning equipment can all contribute to damaging your client’s property. This affects all industries from house cleaning staff up to janitorial groups cleaning office spaces. Accidents happen, there is nothing you can really do to stop that but having insurance can help reduce the financial cost to you.
Each specialty has its own property damage risks, based on the areas or products they use to clean. It isn’t uncommon for a window cleaner to have a ladder crash through a window, or for a carpet cleaner to have chemicals strip color from rugs. But are you aware of the risks that your equipment, cleaners, and services pose to your clients?
How does this affect you?
Being aware of potential issues will go a long way to preventing accidents. Training your employees well, and supervising until they are fully trained, is the best way to prevent accidents caused by your employees. However, neither of these will completely prevent accidents and claims.
Be aware of risks, do your best to prevent accidents, and work smart. Document your surroundings and be very thorough in your accident reports. Some claims won’t come in for weeks or months after, and you will need proper documentation to help fight or negotiate claims.
3. Lost Keys
Clients trust you with master keys to access their building and property. Another one of the most common issues that cleaning professionals face is losing a client’s key. The cost to rekey a building or reset electronic keys or badges is quite an expensive process.
Keeping all client keys secured and properly stowed is the first step to preventing a lost key. If you do find yourself in a situation where you have lost the keys, the best thing to do is come clean quickly to ensure that no theft happens as a result of your business. Call your insurance provider to discuss if this cost will be covered under your plan.
Can this affect you?
You can be held liable for the cost to rekey or badge a building and the staff. If you are with an insurance carrier that does not provide coverage in the event of this type of claim, you might want to shop for other policies. Filing a claim for this cost is much easier than shouldering that financial responsibility alone.
4. Employee Theft
Employee dishonesty claims are on the top of the list for all cleaning professions. This is because you and/or your staff are moving about in people’s homes, offices, or business spaces without supervision. Theft of a business’ equipment or a client’s personal belongings can cost your cleaning company hundreds or thousands of dollars. Depending on the item stolen or missing, you may want to review your liability options.
How can this affect you?
Claims may require you to carry additional insurance or a janitorial bond. Find a company that provides you with general liability and a bond to give yourself the best protection against these types of claims. At Insurance Canopy, you can purchase a bond starting at $134/year.
How to Avoid Financial Risks
1. Liability Insurance
One of the best ways to combat these common claims is to carry insurance for your cleaning business! Will it stop the claims from happening? No. But it reduces the risk that you assume and can help protect your business’s financial assets.
From a brand new business to an established cleaning company, finding the right coverage is important. If you have questions about how much coverage you need or what is right for you, contact our support team!
As we mentioned, employee dishonesty claims are at the top of the list of claims from cleaning businesses. To combat this, many people are looking for cleaning bonds to give their customers peace of mind. Bonds can also help you score contracts that require your cleaning business to be bonded.
Learn more about the bond offered from Insurance Canopy, and purchase it today along with your general liability coverage.
3. Equipment Upkeep
One of the best ways to prevent claims from happening at all is to keep your equipment maintained. Start today to make it a habit to check your equipment and supplies after each job, or require your employees to do the same thing.
Knowing about a frayed power cord or a malfunctioning rotary floor machine will prevent you from causing damage, and gives you time to fix it. We understand that your equipment is your business and without those tools, you can’t get your job done.
You also have the option to add Inland Marine Insurance to your policy. This gives you coverage for your tools, equipment, and supplies that make it possible to get the job done even if you are traveling to jobs. Tools & Equipment coverage starts at just $3.33/month for our basic coverage and goes to $5.00/month for our highest level of coverage. Find the level that is right for your equipment or tools!
Other Tips for New Cleaning Businesses
Now that you are aware of possible claims and how to insure your business, it might be time to figure out the rest of starting up a cleaning business. Check out our blog on costs for starting up a cleaning business. If you have been in business for years, there are plenty of tips and tricks in our blogs to help you boost revenue and drive success for your cleaning business.