You’re passionate about keeping homeowners or commercial clients’ spaces clean, sanitary and neat. But a cleaning service business does open you up to risk.
You need general liability insurance, commercial auto insurance and workers’ compensation (which is mandatory in some states) to protect you in the event of an accident or injury.
You also need to be bonded. So, if one of your employees steals from your client, the client can then file a claim against your bond.
Why You Need Insurance and a Bond
You need to be insured to protect you from lawsuits, such as someone slipping and falling on a freshly mopped floor.
But what do you do when one of your employees gets hurt on the job? Cleaning involves a lot of heavy lifting, moving cleaning equipment and standing on ladders.
If one of your employees falls off a ladder and hurts his or her back, you need workers’ compensation to pay for medical bills and any other damages.
Bonding is different from insurance. When you buy a janitorial service bond, you’re investing in a financial source in case your worker steals from a customer.
You don’t have to reimburse the client directly. Instead, the client deals directly with the bond company to cover the theft.
What Type of Insurance You Need
It can get confusing picking out the right insurance for your business. You should make sure you talk to an insurance agent you can trust.
Here are four types of insurance you need to have for your janitorial service company:
- General liability insurance (GLI): This insurance protects your cleaning business if there is property damage to your customers’ property, bodily harm where a customer or their customer (if it’s a commercial job) hurt themselves due to your cleaning practice (like someone falling on a wet floor), broken rental equipment that you don’t own and similar issues. GLI covers lawyer fees and damages.
- Property insurance: Property insurance covers your equipment, such as power vacuums, ladders and other cleaning supplies in case of theft, vandalism or fire damage. You can also purchase a rider (an addition to your insurance) to pay for property damage due to contact with toxic cleaning chemicals.
- Workers’ compensation: This insurance is required in many states. And yet, it’s designed to protect you from paying high medical expenses should one of your employees get hurt on the job. Workers’ comp will cover medical and rehabilitation costs.
- Commercial auto: Your commercial vehicles, such as a van that carries all of your equipment and employees to job sites, need to be covered too. Your commercial auto should include the vehicle, work supplies and physical injuries should your van get in an accident.
Make Sure You Invest in a Bond
Bonds are different from insurance.
Insurance protects you and your company from financial fallout if something happens on your watch.
Bonds are an investment to protect your customers who trust you with their property. While you may do a thorough job with criminal background checks, you could still have an employee with sticky fingers.
Bonds for cleaning services are relatively inexpensive compared to other bonds. For example, one insurance website said that you can buy a cleaning bond for as low as $100.
The average janitorial service bond costs $300 to $400 per year for $100,000 of coverage.
When researching bonds, you’ll see these names pop up:
- Janitorial service bond
- Janitorial bonding insurance
- Cleaning bond
- House cleaning service bond
- Business service bond
- Fidelity bond
Conclusion: Putting It All Together
So, before you put your shingle out stating you’re open for business, make sure you purchase the right amount of insurance and bond to protect your cleaning business from going under.
Now, get out there and start cleaning.
Wendy Komancheck is the owner of The Landscape Writer. She writes for lawn care, landscape and other field services. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. When Wendy’s not working, she’s at the local high school cheering on her two sons' volleyball games, taking walks with her dog, Hope, or helping out at church.Author's Website