Ever found yourself asking, “Do I need cleaning business insurance?”
When you’re just starting out your cleaning business, you might be looking for every opportunity to save money. Insurance costs might cause you to put off your purchase until you start turning a profit - and even then, you might not be 100% convinced you need the coverage.
Plus, maybe you know someone who’s had a bad experience trying to make a claim on their policy. Maybe their insurance company was a huge hassle to deal with, or maybe their claim was outright denied. So why spend the money on a cleaning business insurance policy if you might not be able to use it?
We get it. But whatever you do, resist that kind of thinking - because it could end up leading to a potentially catastrophic outcome for your business.
Not yet convinced? Want to know more? Take a look at the biggest reasons why you need cleaning business insurance:
Let’s say you were hired to clean a client’s multi-million dollar vacation home. You’re going about your work, minding your own business, when bam! - the cord from your vacuum cleaner shakes an end table, which knocks off a decorative vase. The vase looks intact, so no harm, no foul.
Or so you think.
Your customer ends up calling you a few days later, absolutely furious at a hairline crack in her vase. It turns out that the vase was an expensive heirloom - and now you need to pay out to replace it or deal with a resulting lawsuit.
This example may be just that, but it’s a scenario that happens all the time. No matter how careful you might be, accidents happen. You could knock stuff over while dusting, or leave permanent streaks on a surface because you used the wrong cleaning solution. Whatever mistake you make, you’re financially liable for it.
If you have insurance - in this instance, general liability coverage - your policy provider can pay out the cost of the claim to the customer, meaning you won’t have to pay using your business or personal finances.
However, if you don’t have insurance coverage, you’ll have to pay a customer’s claims yourself. And even if you don’t want to - say, you’re 100% confident you didn’t break that heirloom vase - your client could opt to sue you. That means you’d have to spend money on legal fees, plus the resulting payout if you end up losing.
Bottom line: Your personal finances are at risk if you clean clients’ properties without the protection of business insurance. And whether it’s just you or you have a family to look after, you shouldn’t have to put your personal finances at risk every time you go to work!
Which option do you think provides less hassle for the client?
Carrying cleaning insurance lets a customer know that if you end up damaging something or cause an accident, they should be able to get a quick and painless payout from your policy holder. They get the kind of peace of mind that may make them more likely to hire you.
Don’t stand in your own way of those big projects. Show off that you have cleaning insurance, and more clients may come your way!
Depending on the state where you live, you might be required to get business insurance, especially if you have employees. In general, most states require business owners to have two types of insurance policies:
General liability (GL) coverage protects your cleaning business from claims and lawsuits resulting from any property damage or accidents you caused while at a client’s home or office. GL provides a pretty good foundation for business protection, so we recommend starting with this policy and adding on anything else your business might need.
If you have employees - even if they’re part-time or considered subcontractors - you’re probably going to need workers compensation insurance. If someone who works for you gets sick or hurt on the job, this type of policy can cover any resulting medical fees.
Plus, workers comp policies usually cover part or all of the sick employee’s salary while they’re recovering. And if your employee ends up with a disability caused by a work-related illness or accident, your policy can provide them with some financial relief for the duration of their disability (or up to your policy limit).
Not sure what your state’s specific requirements are? Check out this blog article by the U.S. Small Business Administration - it does a great job of spelling out what your legal obligations might be based on where you live.
You know you’re a credible business - but when you’re just starting out, some clients may not want to work with you because they don’t know anything about you. Think about it: If you don’t have a lot of customer reviews under your belt, each client is basically taking a chance by hiring you.
That’s where cleaning business insurance comes into play. Having a policy shows that you’re a serious business owner - not just someone who’s cleaning houses as a side gig. From a client’s perspective, you’re someone who will treat their property with respect and professionalism.
Once you have your policy, we recommend advertising your coverage in the following spots:
Don’t underestimate the power of having a business insurance policy - it can really help open doors to new clients and better projects!
Employee growth is a huge challenge for business owners - which is why you’re probably wondering how cleaning insurance can help you attract and hire better employees. Aren’t they interested in more obvious things, like pay and benefits?
Yes and no. For sure, you’ll need fair pay to make people interested in working with you. And if you can throw good benefits on top of that, even better. But one of the best things you can do for your employees is to show them that they’ll be protected in case they get hurt or sick on the job.
Hey, it happens. Maybe one of your part-time employees falls off a ladder while cleaning a cathedral ceiling, or your best worker accidentally burns her hands while cleaning with a bleach formula.
In any of these scenarios, your business insurance can kick in and help cover these medical bills, as well as pay out any disability payments resulting from these injuries.
Here’s the deal: Anyone who is interested in working with you wants to know that you’ll be a good employer. Pay and benefits play a huge role in that perception, but don’t underestimate the role cleaning insurance can play.
It demonstrates that you’re not just a serious business owner; you’ll be there for your employees when they need you the most.
So don’t be shy about advertising the fact that you’re insured!
We can’t predict or control the future, no matter how hard we try. It’s just not enough to be extra-vigilant throughout your day-to-day routine. There are going to be days when you might end up making a mistake, or one of your employees causes an accident.
Even the best of cleaners can fall victim to accidents and misfortune - and that’s precisely why business insurance is so important.
Your cleaning insurance can help protect you from these future accidents by ensuring you don’t have to go out of business just to pay customers for their claims. After all, you didn’t start your cleaning service for that - you started it because you have a real passion and talent for cleaning.
Don’t leave things to chance. Cleaning insurance can provide you with some certainty in the future, so you can focus on doing what you do best: running your business.
We know that the budget can be tight when running your own business. Since cleaning insurance is crucial to your protection, let's take a look at the factors that may influence how much your insurance coverage may cost:
While there's no one answer for how much your policy may cost, you can quickly calculate your premium costs in less than 10 minutes. Just answer a few questions here and we can provide you with a range of insurance prices that fit your budget.
So now that you know why you need cleaning business insurance, how should you get it?
Simple: You can request free cleaning insurance quotes from Simply Business. We work with top insurers who specialize in policies for cleaners and janitorial services just like yours. Just answer a few questions about your business, and boom - you can buy a cleaning business insurance policy in just a few minutes.
I love writing about the small business experience because I happen to be a small business owner - I've had a freelance copywriting business for over 10 years. In addition to that, I also head up the content strategy here at Simply Business. Reach out if you have a great idea for an article or just want to say hi!
Mariah writes on a number of topics such as small business planning, contractor insurance, and business licenses.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.