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Janitorial Companies – Insurance Coverage for a Cleaning Services Company
Janitors, or cleaning services companies, can be challenging insurance carriers. They typically are going into another organization, they typically are given keys to other organizations and on top of that they may be working by themselves or at night when others are not around. Even if your employees are very trustworthy, you may be blamed if something comes up missing. Add to these things the fact that there may be slippery floors, chemical smells, etc. it’s important to have an insurance policy there to protect your company.
- Fidelity Coverage – Some may refer to this as a bond but this coverage is now typically written through an insurance policy. Janitorial companies need to make sure they have third party theft coverage. This will cover items belonging to the companies you are working for. Don’t settle for first party only coverage which covers your organization if your employee steals from you.
- Make sure the policy includes both residential and commercial coverages if your business is working for both.
- Worker’s Compensation – Your employees will not be covered for injuries without it. That includes minor injuries such as back strains. Depending on your state, you may give up total defense to any employee injury claim if you do not carry coverage.
- General Liability – This will cover your business if there are slips and falls, your employee damages someone’s property, etc.
Why does Forte Insurance Group offer the best coverage for janitorial and cleaning services insurance?
We understand your needs. Forte doesn’t just provide a basic policy and walk away. We aren’t like the huge insurance companies. Instead, we have created a specialized branch that deals with janitorial and cleaning service companies. We know what it takes to run a successful business. We understand you business needs, as well as the responsibilities and challenges you face.
Our experience means you can trust Forte to provide solid advice to help protect your janitorial services business and your dreams of owning your own business.
Your business dream is out there. You run it. We’ll protect it.
Insurance Risks for a Janitorial Services Company
As an owner of a great janitorial service business, you are surprisingly at risk for many things that you wouldn’t think would be a problem. This is because your employees usually travel to different locations for work and because they have access to secretive places for your clients and also usually work when the building is empty or very nearly empty. Janitorial staff almost always have to work near pricey objects and are often in the vicinity of delicate items. Further, cleaning employees utilize solutions that are caustic or just downright slippery.
Given the wide variety of situations that janitorial staff is placed in, there can arise a lawsuit just based on the circumstances. The employee could have done something wrong, causing someone to get hurt or some property to be damaged. Further, even if your employee hasn’t done anything wrong, just the allegation can still detrimentally hurt your entire financial situation (as legal fees can be enormous) and place all of your hard work and company in peril.
This is where janitorial insurance coverage comes into being.
What type of Insurance is needed for a Janitorial Service? Do I need more than general liability insurance?
First of all, it’s a great idea to get a basic liability insurance policy. That coverage will provide the base insurance coverage that you need. Unfortunately, that coverage by itself is probably not enough to eliminate all of the risks that you will encounter. This is where a specialized policy comes around. We believe that a specialized Janitorial Liability Coverage, which some people called janitorial Errors & Omissions coverage, is needed to properly cover your business for all of the unforeseen risks while operating. The additional coverage is in addition to the general liability coverage.
The Janitorial Liability Coverage (E&O) covers you as a business owner. In addition to covering you, it covers your staff plus any subcontractors that you employ. This helps you cover mistakes that are made during the course of your business. This is especially necessary in a business that is highly dependent on people – as we all make mistakes.
The Janitorial policy covers lawyer costs for any defense against your company. This is important as those fees can quickly escalate in the tens of thousands of dollars, even for baseless claims that are quickly resolved. What’s better is that these expenses are made by your carrier and, if you somehow lose the case, the damages are paid as well.
Many of our clients don’t believe that the risk of lawsuit is very high, so they want to forego carrying this extra coverage. We find that most of the clients then come back to us anyway because their clients (especially those clients that pay better) require this coverage before they are hired. Please note that it is standard practice to require that the policy also cover subcontractors.
Finally, most established cleaning companies have coverage to protect both themselves and their clients. They understand that the risks do exist for both parties and don’t want the liability to fall on them or the client. Even if the company isn’t liable, what good does it do if the client decides to get a new provider of services? This can hurt just as bad. Further, what happens if one of your employees actually does do something wrong, such as steal from a client or get hurt on their premises?
It is important to note that automobiles are generally not covered by these policies. Instead, a specific rider to a general auto policy needs to be put in place. Further, you need to know that certain hazards are not covered as well. These hazards include such things as proper environmental safety equipment, workers’ compensation coverage and sexual harassment damages.
Below is a great article that we recommend for anybody wanting to start a new janitorial company.
The Drawback of Beginning a House Cleaning Service, source: https://www.trustedchoice.com/business-insurance/industry-types/janitorial-house-cleaning/
Lawsuits against cleaning industry workers are not unusual. In one notable case, an upkeep company was sued when a worker was implicated of scratching glass in a custom-built home.
You might be a sole proprietor who cleans homes, the owner of a small to midsized carpeting cleaning business or the owner of a bigger industrial upkeep operation with lots of employees. If you run a house cleaning or janitorial company, you may need an upkeep company insurance coverage package that will cover your threats.
Some Cleaning Market Data
The following data is from a recent Center Upkeep Decision publication study.
Facility cleaning respondents reported:
- They were responsible for cleaning approximately 34 structures each
- They were responsible for cleaning approximately 1,291,858 square feet of area
- They had an average of 68 workers
- They purchased about a quarter of a million dollars worth of products each year
What Upkeep Business Insurance Do I Require?
An upkeep or janitorial service will have to cover a variety of company exposures. Your package might include some or all of the following:
- Real property if you possess your company facilities
- General liability to cover your duty for physical injury and property damage to others
- Auto coverage for liability arising from using your cars and for damage to the cars themselves
- Employees payment to cover your employees’ work-related injuries or illness
- Umbrella liability to supply extra limitations
- Staff member fidelity protection to cover theft by workers, both from you and from your customers
- Employee benefit programs for health, retirement and life
Why Janitorial and Upkeep Companies Need Special Protection
While some elements of the insurance plan you will need for your house, industrial or carpeting cleaning company appear like that of all companies, there are likewise some specific threats of your trade. Due to the fact that you work on property belonging to others, this creates an unique variety of exposures that lots of other companies do not have.
For instance, you or one of your workers might potentially harm pricey home belonging to another person or company while on the job. A computer damaged in the course of cleaning might be worth just a couple of hundred dollars, but the expense to restore the information in that computer system could be really expensive.
Another risk is worker theft, as employees have access to client equipment and property. The employee might be responsible for the criminal activity, but you could be held responsible for the loss.
The right insurance program will certainly safeguard you versus these concerns and provide you the janitorial and cleaning business insurance protection you need to safeguard your company financial investment.
Insurance Considerations for Janitorial and Maintenance Businesses
Here are some of the essential upkeep business insurance coverage and bonding factors to consider to cover with your industrial insurance representative:
- General liability: Just how much liability coverage you need? If you bring only the minimum liability protection, you may not have the protection you need to cover a substantial loss.
- Bonds: Do you need janitorial insurance bonding? A conventional fidelity bond will certainly cover theft by a worker from the employer. To cover an event such as a worker stealing from a customer, the bond must be specially backed; many bonding companies will certainly not do this because of how hard it is to measure the threat. You require a seasoned insurance specialist to handle this concern for you.
- Industrial vehicle coverage: Do your employees drive their own automobiles while on the job? If workers drive from one assignment to the next, particularly if they carry your cleaning devices and supplies with them, you could be held responsible if they cause an accident. The solution to this is to be sure your vehicle insurance policy is supporteded to include “hired and non-owned automobiles.” Liability occurring from a non-owned car deemed to be on company business will then be covered.
Understanding General Liability Exemptions
All janitorial insurance coverage programs will start with a general liability policy, and it is essential to find out about the care, control and custody exemption. Just, the exemption checks out that the carrier is exempt for damage to the personal effects of others which is in the care, custody or control of the guaranteed. Due to the fact that practically everything they do involves working on the property of others, this is particularly vital to those in janitorial and residence upkeep companies.
The logic behind the exclusion is that you have to know the best ways to carry out the standard functions of your company and, if you do not, the insurance carrier does not wish to be the guarantor of your work. In other words, when a loss is due to occasions within your control, business insurance coverage company is not responsible.
- If a worker is cleaning a restroom and accidentally spills bleach onto a neighboring carpeting, your general liability policy will probably cover the damage because the carpet was not in your direct care, custody or control.
- If a worker is cleaning a carpeting and ruins it with a chemical solution, the exclusion will more than likely use, as the carpet was in the direct care, custody or control of the worker.
Do I Need Professional Liability?
Whereas your general liability policy will cover injury to another person or damage to another’s home, an expert liability policy is developed to cover omissions and errors. Examples would be an attorney missing a filing date, an accounting professional missing a tax reduction or an insurance coverage agent failing to cover an apparent exposure.
Whether you require expert liability depends upon the nature of your business. , if you confine your activities to uncomplicated janitorial and upkeep work you most likely do not need this coverage.. If you offer your clients suggestions on what to clean, how to clean it or when to clean it, then professional liability insurance will protect you if your advice turns out to be wrong and your client suffers a financial loss.
Whether you need the protection of expert liability is an important topic to cover with the insurance agent developing your commercial upkeep insurance program.
Residence Cleaning and Carpeting Upkeep Business Insurance coverage
Your upkeep business insurance and bonding plan need to match the certain dangers you deal with.
If you are in the residence cleaning business, you have some company dangers that are distinct to your line of work. You will certainly need an upkeep service insurance coverage policy that matches your company dangers and issues.
Similarly, if you clean carpets, you will certainly require a carpet cleaning business insurance coverage that provides the best expert defense for you. You will certainly also want to guarantee that you and your workers understand the custody, care and control exclusion in a basic liability policy, as your insurance company will certainly not cover damage you trigger to the carpets you are turned over to clean.
Finding Upkeep and Janitorial Insurance coverage
Janitorial, house cleaning and carpeting upkeep companies have dangers that are unique to the certain work they do. If you run such a business, your threats can be significant. A well designed insurance program can protect you against the monetary dangers of your trade.