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The Ultimate Cleaning Business Insurance Guidebook

Table of Contents

a variety of cleaning supplies sprinkled with other lemons, and foliage on a counter top

The cleaning business industry is far more than just mops and buckets—it’s a dynamic, ever-evolving sector that combines customer service, innovation, and an unwavering commitment to cleanliness! In a post-COVID landscape, it’s clear that the industry is nowhere near slowing down; in fact, a study by Data USA predicts the employment of cleaning employees will grow by nearly 6.08% through 2029. To meet these increasing demands, cleaning businesses can only expect to skyrocket, especially when backed with the right insurance.

From accidental damages to unexpected injuries, cleaning business insurance can be your safeguard against potential risks. So, whether you’re just starting your cleaning business or looking to strengthen your existing one, Insurance Canopy is here to be your ultimate guide to understanding and navigating the world of cleaning business insurance. Let’s dive in!

What is a Cleaning Business?

A cleaning business is a company that provides professional cleaning services to various clients. These services can range from residential cleaning and commercial cleaning to specialized cleaning, such as carpet or window cleaning. These types of businesses typically employ a team of trained cleaners who use specific tools and products to ensure spaces are clean, hygienic, and well-maintained. They can offer regularly scheduled cleanings or one-time services based on the client’s needs.

Depending on your business’ specialty and the number of employees, you may fall under the following categories: independent contractors or a registered business entity.

Independent Contractors

Independent cleaning contractors are self-employed individuals who offer professional cleaning services. They work on a contract basis, providing their expertise to residential or commercial clients. 

Setting the stage for a smooth contractor-client relationship, independent cleaners lay out costs, tasks, and work hours upfront. With the freedom to set their own terms of service, they often enter into written agreements with their clients that outline the specifics of the job. It’s a role that requires adaptability, attention to detail, and a high level of professionalism.

Cleaning Business LLC

Depending on where you live, you may want or need to attain a specific license for your work as a cleaner. If you’re looking to legitimize your business, you may look into getting registered as an LLC.

An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is a type of business structure in the United States that is similar to a sole proprietorship or partnership, but with some added legal protections. If you’re wondering what legal business structure to adopt for your cleaning business, here are several reasons why you may consider registering as an LLC:

  1. Professionalism
  2. Tax Advantages
  3. Flexibility in Management
  4. Personal Liability Protection
  5. Separation of Business and Personal Assets

These types of cleaning companies often standardize their prices and terms of services, which allows them to offer more regular and recurring services. While there are plenty of advantages to an LLC, it’s important to note that it may not be the right choice for every business. If you have questions as to whether this is the right move for your cleaning venture, consult a lawyer to make the best call.

group of cleaning professionals cleaning office space

Who is a Cleaner?

A cleaner is a dedicated professional who brings spaces back to their sparkling best! This can be an independent contractor, a cleaning company, or an employee of a cleaning company. These professionals are exposed to certain risks in their line of work, such as potential damage to client property or injury on the job. Therefore, they require specific insurance coverage like general liability, workers’ compensation, and janitorial bonds to protect themselves and their businesses from potential losses.

Cleaning Business Insurance

Business insurance is a non-negotiable for cleaning services. It’s the safety net that protects these businesses from unexpected hazards—be it accidental property damage, injury claims, or mishaps on the road.

Are Cleaning Businesses Legally Required to Have Insurance?

Yes and no. While cleaning businesses aren’t universally required by law to have insurance, it’s a smart and often necessary move. General liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and property insurance are key protections for your business and its assets. If you employ others, workers’ compensation insurance becomes a legal requirement. Furthermore, if your cleaning service uses a company vehicle, commercial auto insurance is typically mandated. Some clients may insist on proof of insurance before hiring you. So, while not always legally obligatory, having insurance can be a game-changer for the reputation, security, and success of your cleaning business. As always, be sure to check state regulations to make sure you’re securing the correct coverage.

Who Needs Cleaning Business Insurance?

Cleaning business insurance is necessary for various professionals in the cleaning industry. These include those who clean carpets, wax floors, operate cleaning equipment, or offer similar services. It is particularly crucial for cleaning and janitorial companies, as they often require insurance coverage, including general liability insurance, workers’ comp, and fidelity bonds, to protect their businesses.
  • Carpet Cleaning Business

    Carpet cleaners are almost always required to attain insurance due to the high-risk nature of the work they do; this can include the potential for injury, equipment malfunction, property damage, and theft.
  • House Cleaning/Housekeeping Business

    Due to the nature of their work making other peoples’ homes and offices sparkle and shine, housekeeping businesses can assume liability for damages caused, employee accidents, misuse of clients’ property, and equipment damage if not properly insured.
  • Maid/Janitorial Services

    Janitorial and maid services assume the following risks while on the job: employee injury, exposure to hazardous chemicals, property damage, third-party injury, equipment theft/loss, and exposure to unhygienic business premises.
  • Window Cleaning Business

    Window cleaning, especially for multi-story buildings, involves significant risk for injury. They often carry equipment close to their person, which could fall and injure a third party. Chemical exposure can also pose health risks if not handled correctly, potentially resulting in worker’s comp claims.

How Much Does Cleaning Business Insurance Cost?

Short answer? Much, much less than a lawsuit. The actual cost of insurance for a cleaning business can vary significantly based on:
  • Experience and qualifications
  • Coverage options and limitations
  • Location and location regulations
  • Types of coaching services offered
  • Claims history and risk assessment 
On average, liability insurance for cleaning businesses can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars annually.
A pair of hands are working on a laptop and a calculator someone is using to buy product liability insurance.

Understanding the Risks

Insurance for your cleaning business may seem like just another expense. However, our research indicates that a monthly premium is often a fraction of the cost of a lawsuit!

Common Risks Faced by Cleaners

Cleaning businesses encounter various liability risks, including:

  1. Slip and Fall Accidents: This is one of the most common risks, where someone slips on a wet floor or trips over cleaning equipment.
  2. Damage to Client Property: Cleaners often work around valuable items, which can lead to accidental damage can lead to significant financial liability.
  3. Chemical Exposure: The use of cleaning chemicals can cause health issues if not used correctly, posing a risk to both cleaners and clients.
  4. Improper or Incomplete Work: If a cleaning job is not completed to the client’s satisfaction, they may file a claim for losses associated with the poor service.
  5. Injury to Employees: Cleaning work can be physically demanding and sometimes dangerous, leading to potential worker’s compensation claims.
  6. Environmental Hazards: Improper disposal of cleaning chemicals can harm the environment, potentially resulting in fines and cleanup costs.
  7. Theft: If an employee steals from a client, the cleaning business may be held responsible.
  8. Loss of Client Keys: Losing a client’s keys could lead to claims for changing locks or, in worst-case scenarios, theft if the keys fall into the wrong hands.
  9. Misuse of Client’s Information: If sensitive information is mishandled, it could result in privacy violation claims.
  10. Breach of Contract: If services are not delivered as per the contract, clients can file a claim for breach of contract.

Real-life Examples of Insurance Claims in the Cleaning Industry

In the cleaning industry, insurance claims are not uncommon due to the nature of the work involved. One of the most common types of insurance claims across all cleaning sectors is related to slip and fall injuries. Despite precautions taken, accidents can occur, resulting in injury and subsequent liability claims. Such incidents underline the importance of having comprehensive insurance coverage to protect against potential financial losses.

Another example of an insurance claim in this industry is pollution liability. Companies can be subject to pollution liability claims, particularly if their cleaning processes involve the use of chemicals or substances that could potentially harm the environment. For instance, an industrial cleaning contractor could face a claim for clean-up costs and property damage if contaminated water is improperly disposed.

Claims related to upholstery and carpet cleaning are also prevalent. These can include damage to the items being cleaned or even injury to employees or customers during the cleaning process. Lastly, burglary and theft are among the five most common cleaning business insurance claims, highlighting the need for surety bonds to maintain a level of trust within the cleaning industry.

These real-life examples underscore the potential risks and liabilities that cleaning businesses face daily, making insurance coverage an essential part of successful business operations.

Emerging Risks in the Cleaning Industry

As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s no surprise that web-based concerns have also begun to arise—even in the cleaning industry! If you utilize digital meet-up platforms (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc.) or social media to book clients or conduct marketing, house sensitive client information online, or facilitate payment via a third-party app service, it’s important to know you’re assuming a degree of cyber liability risk. 

cleaning supplies from top angle

Types of Cleaning Business Insurance

Ready to find the perfect insurance policy for your cleaning business? Let’s start by exploring the different types of policies available! This list can help you determine which is the best fit for your unique needs.

General Liability Insurance

A general liability policy for a cleaning business acts as fundamental insurance coverage that protects your company against claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury caused by your business operations or employees. For instance, if a client slips on a wet floor during a cleaning job and gets injured or if your employee accidentally damages a customer’s property, a general liability policy can help cover the legal expenses and potential settlements, thereby shielding your business from significant financial risk.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance for a cleaning business protects against claims of negligence related to your professional cleaning services. If a client alleges that your cleaning services caused harm or didn’t meet the agreed-upon standards, leading to financial loss, this policy can help cover the legal costs and any damages awarded. It safeguards your business from the financial consequences of alleged mistakes or oversights in your professional cleaning services.

Commercial Property Insurance

A commercial property policy for a cleaning business protects the physical assets of your company, such as office space, equipment, and supplies from unforeseen events like fire, theft, or natural disasters. So, if your high-end vacuum cleaner gets stolen or your office suffers damage due to a storm, a commercial property policy can help cover the cost of replacement or repairs, ensuring your business operations aren’t heavily disrupted.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Worker’s compensation insurance for cleaning services covers injuries or illnesses that occur while performing work-related duties, including medical expenses, disability benefits, and lost wages. It helps protect a cleaning business and its employees, if any, by providing financial support and ensuring they receive proper care in case of work-related incidents.

Inland Marine Insurance

Inland marine coverage is a type of insurance that protects a cleaning business’ personal property, materials, and equipment while in transit or away from their primary location. It helps safeguard against potential losses or damages, ensuring you can continue your business without financial setbacks. If you provide a mobile service (such as transporting cleaning supplies from one location to another) this kind of coverage can be a fantastic way to have peace of mind while conducting business as usual!

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is specifically designed to safeguard vehicles used for business operations, including cars, vans, and trucks. If you’re using your vehicle to transport cleaning tools and supplies for work, you’re covered. However, it’s crucial to note that your personal car insurance won’t extend its coverage to work-related incidents or accidents.

Other Relevant Insurance Options

Looking for a little extra coverage? These additional options can be terrific add-ons, providing they meet the needs of your practice.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance provides coverage for lost income and additional expenses when business operations are disrupted due to unforeseen events such as natural disasters, fires, or other covered perils. This insurance helps cleaning businesses recover financially during downtime and ensures they can continue to support their clients without suffering significant financial losses.

Medical Expenses Coverage

Medical expenses coverage is a type of insurance that helps cover the costs of medical treatments, hospital stays, doctor visits, and prescription medications. It provides financial protection and peace of mind to cleaning businesses by ensuring they are protected from the potentially high expenses associated with healthcare services.

Surety Bond

A surety bond for cleaning businesses, also known as a janitorial service bond, is a type of insurance that protects your clients from potential losses caused by your employees’ actions, such as theft. It serves as a guarantee to your clients that you stand behind your services and are prepared to compensate them if any issues arise. This bond can be a valuable tool for cleaning businesses, enhancing their credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of clients. By having a surety bond, you not only provide peace of mind to your clients but also gain a competitive edge, as it demonstrates your commitment to ethical business practices and customer satisfaction.

Additional Insureds

Additional insureds could include their clients, venues where they conduct their sessions, and any collaborating professionals or organizations involved in their practice. By adding these entities as additional insureds to their insurance policy, cleaning businesses provide them with coverage in the event of any liability claims arising from their services.
cleaning woman in office space with gloves on smiling at camera with phrase reading: Wait—I need insurance?

Choosing the Right Insurance

Navigating through the myriad of life insurance options can be daunting, but choosing the appropriate coverage is essential for cleaning services to secure their future and maintain the continuity of their service.

Assessing Individual Needs

When it comes to insurance for cleaning businesses, one size certainly does not fit all. It’s crucial to assess your individual needs based on various factors such as any unique aspects of your work that may require specialized coverage. By understanding these elements, you’ll be better equipped to choose an insurance policy that provides comprehensive protection for your specific circumstances.

Evaluating Insurance Providers

Selecting an insurance provider shouldn’t be based solely on your parent’s longtime preference or the latest TikTok trend. While recommendations can be useful, business will thrive when you pinpoint your exact needs and align them with your budget. So, rather than relying entirely on word-of-mouth, here are a few more things to consider while shopping!
  • Reputation and Financial Stability

    • When choosing an insurance company, reputation and financial health are key. A solid, well-regarded company is typically more reliable in processing claims and making payouts. Conversely, a poorly rated or financially unstable insurer might fall short when you need them most. So, it’s worth your time to investigate these aspects – they can make all the difference between finding a dependable ally in your insurance provider or facing unexpected hurdles when you require coverage.
  • Customer Reviews

      Customer reviews provide valuable insights into a company’s service quality, responsiveness, and overall customer experience. They can highlight potential issues or strengths that may not be evident from the company’s promotional materials, helping you make a more informed decision about which insurance provider will best meet your needs.
    • (Psst.. did you know Insurance Canopy currently holds an almost 5-star review on Google for its exemplary customer service? 🤭)
  • Top Cleaning Business Insurance Providers

      Outside of Insurance Canopy, other top providers of insurance for cleaning businesses include Progressive, Thimble, Hiscox, Simply Business, and AXA. But when it comes to rates? You can’t beat us. Policies begin at $26.67 per month. Get an instant quote by taking our short quiz and learn more about us below!

Understanding Policy Terms and Conditions

Understanding the terms and conditions of your cleaning business is like reading a roadmap to your coverage. It clearly outlines the “dos and don’ts,” showing you what’s covered— and more importantly—what isn’t. It’s also your guide to responsibilities like when to pay premiums and alerts you to any exclusions or limitations. By comparing these ‘roadmaps’, you can navigate to the policy that fits your unique needs and risks, steering clear of future surprises or legal potholes.

Cost Considerations

When picking a cleaning insurance policy, costs to consider when budgeting include:
  • the “premium,” which is the amount you’ll pay regularly for the policy
  • deductibles, the amount you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance starts to cover a loss
  • potential costs related to policy exclusions or limitations, where you might have to cover some risks entirely on your own

Navigating Cleaning Business Insurance Claims

Imagine this: you’ve secured the perfect policy and now you’re making the world a cleaner place with complete peace of mind. Fantastic, right? But what if you need to file a claim? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ll guide you through the exact steps to ensure a smooth and speedy payout process. Let’s ensure you’re fully prepared, no matter what comes your way.

1. Notify the Insurance Provider

Reach out to your insurance provider as soon as possible after the incident, providing a preliminary account of what happened. This initial communication is crucial, as it sets the stage for the entire claims process. It’s your first step towards resolution and potential compensation, so make sure it’s prompt and detailed.

2. Document the Incident

The second step of filing an insurance claim is akin to being a detective at the scene of an incident. It’s all about documenting what happened. This involves gathering evidence, taking photographs or videos of the damage, and jotting down every relevant detail. These details are invaluable, as they paint a comprehensive picture of the incident for your insurance provider. Remember, the more thorough you are in this stage, the smoother your claims process is likely to be.

3. Work with Insurance Adjusters

Step three of filing a claim involves collaboration with your insurance adjusters. They will examine your collected evidence, inspect the damage firsthand, and determine the amount of compensation you’re entitled to. It’s important to collaborate openly with them, providing all requested information and answering questions fully. Like a reliable guide, they navigate you through the complex terrain of the claims process, helping ensure you reach a fair and satisfactory resolution.

4. Resolve Claims Efficiently

Provided you have completed the above steps promptly and accurately, your claim should be ready for approval. If approved, they will provide compensation based on the terms of your policy and the extent of your loss. It’s in this final step that all the careful documentation and communication pay off, leading to the closure you’ve been working towards.

Tips for Lowering Insurance Premiums

Here’s the deal: at Insurance Canopy, our mission is to provide a policy you’re happy with, especially when it comes to cost! Here are a few strategies to keep your premiums at a minimum.

Risk Mitigation Strategies

Risk mitigation is crucial for any cleaning business, ensuring they can provide the best possible service to their clients while protecting themselves professionally.
  • Professional Training

      Professional training and certifications are vital for risk mitigation in cleaning businesses. In a career that can be physically demanding, staff must be equipped with the necessary knowledge on proper cleaning techniques, safe use of chemicals, and compliance with health standards. This reduces the likelihood of workplace accidents, potential lawsuits, and non-compliance penalties. Additionally, certifications can enhance a business’s reputation, demonstrating commitment to quality and safety to clients.
  • Implementing Safety Measures

      Enforcing safety measures is a crucial risk mitigation strategy for cleaning businesses. These measures, such as ensuring employee training on safe chemical use and maintaining a secure environment for cleaning operations, can prevent potential accidents or lawsuits. Additionally, safety protocols like emergency response plans in case of spills or accidents demonstrate readiness, further reducing risks associated with unexpected events.

Comparing Quotes from Different Providers

Checking out different insurance companies lets you see the variety of prices out there. During this process, you might find special discounts or offers from some insurers that can lower your costs. Also, getting a quote can give you the upper hand in negotiating if a company is willing to price match.

Bundling Insurance Policies

Consolidating insurance policies under the same provider can frequently result in reduced premiums, given that companies tend to provide discounts to clients who purchase various insurance types from them. This approach not only streamlines the administration of your policies but also fortifies your rapport with the insurance company. As a result, you could stand a better chance of obtaining better deals and achieving long-term financial savings!

Negotiating with Insurance Providers

Negotiating with insurance companies may provide an opportunity to reduce your premium. This enables you to express your unique needs and budget limitations, which may prompt the company to offer discounts or eliminate unnecessary coverages to suit your situation. Additionally, showcasing a track record of loyalty or a positive claim history could potentially tip the scales in your favor during these discussions.  

Legal Considerations for Cleaning Businesses

In the cleaning industry, you’re granted a unique peek into your client’s private world; this privilege comes with legal responsibilities. Having a clear understanding of these legal considerations isn’t just smart—it’s a potential lifeline that could protect you from an expensive lawsuit.

State and Local Regulations

Understanding and complying with state and local regulations is crucial for running a legitimate cleaning business. These rules may dictate aspects such as employee training standards, use of eco-friendly cleaning products, waste disposal methods, and necessary business licensing. Adherence to these regulations not only solidifies your cleaning business’s legal standing but also fosters trust with clients and shields you from potential legal complications.

Contracts and Agreements

Crafting meticulous contracts and agreements is vital in the cleaning business to clearly define the extent of your services, pricing, and duties. These documents can help avert miscommunication, set appropriate client expectations, and safeguard you from potential legal disputes. It’s imperative that both parties comprehend and consent to these terms before initiating a cleaning service agreement. This forethought ensures seamless professional interactions and fosters a healthy, long-term client relationship.

A frustrated business owner with papers on their desk.

Cleaning Business Insurance as a Marketing Tool

Here’s something we find super neat: did you know that an insurance policy can help market your cleaning business while protecting it simultaneously? 😁

Communicating Insurance Coverage to Clients

Business insurance for cleaning services can be a powerful marketing tool when communicated effectively to clients. It conveys professionalism, trustworthiness, and a commitment to safeguarding the client’s interests.

At Insurance Canopy, we understand the value of credibility—and having insurance is one way to accomplish it! That’s why we provide an insurance badge. Once you are an Insurance Canopy customer who has purchased an insurance policy, you have access to an online portal where you can get your site seal, or proof of insurance, to show on your website and other places.

Building Trust Through Insurance Transparency

Being upfront about your insurance coverage can set you apart in a competitive industry. When you highlight your insurance details on your website or promotional materials, it not only builds trust with potential clients but also appeals to those who prioritize safety and security. This transparency can be an influential factor in their decision-making process, turning prospects into loyal customers.

FAQs About Cleaning Business Insurance

Still have questions? We know untangling the world of cleaning insurance can be difficult… which is why we’ve done all the research for you!

No Mess, No Stress: Insure Your Cleaning Business Today!

At Insurance Canopy, we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our insureds. We listen intently to our policyholders and conduct in-depth research on feedback received. So, what have we learned?

We don’t just offer one-size-fits-all cleaning business insurance—we provide tailored coverage that comes through when you need it most; our nearly 5-star rating on Google shows we put our money where our mouth is. 🤭

We make our policies as cheap as possible, without cutting corners—policies start at $26.67/month.

We make our online applications quick, easy, and intuitive—you’ll get a quote in less than five minutes and proof of insurance in less than ten. How’s that for convenience?

Learn more about Insurance Canopy, your go-to expert on cleaning business insurance.

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