Cleaners insurance

Find out what's included in business insurance for cleaners, what's excluded and whether you need to take it out.

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Cleaning may not seem like a dangerous profession, but your clients trust you with their properties and their possessions, so you carry a lot of responsibility. We looked at how business insurance for cleaners can protect you against legal action and who can benefit from taking it out.

What is cleaners insurance?

Cleaners insurance is business insurance tailored to the needs of cleaning professionals. Cover varies by individual needs, but usually includes public and product liability covers, employers liability and contents insurance.

Do I need cleaning insurance?

Business insurance for cleaners is not a legal requirement, with the exception of employers liability cover if you employ staff.

However, considering your workspace is your clients’ properties and there are chemicals and wet floors involved, taking out some level of cover is a good idea. This is especially true of public liability insurance, which covers you in case you cause damage to a third party or their property (including clients).

What type of cleaning insurance do I need?

This depends on the type of cleaning business you run.

If you employ staff, you are legally required to take out employers liability insurance. If you have your own premises, business contents insurance and cover for equipment would be a good idea.

Public liability and product liability are recommended to all cleaners, as claims for these issues can run to extortionate amounts.

Public liability insurance for cleaners

One of the most important elements of cover for any business owner or professional, public liability cover protects you in case a member of the public is injured or their property is damaged and your business is legally liable.

This can be especially important for cleaners, as you work inside the homes or offices of your clients and use chemical agents and water as part of your duties – both can cause damage to people and their property.

This policy helps with legal fees and any compensation payments you are required to make.

You might also consider taking out product liability cover, which protects you in case one of the products you use causes harm to a client.

Employers liability insurance for cleaners

Employers liability cover is a legal requirement for anyone who employs staff. It protects you in case an employee claims they’ve been injured or fallen ill as a result of the work they did for you.

This includes former employees, part-time staff, unpaid interns and some freelancers.

Business contents insurance for cleaners

If you keep your equipment in dedicated premises or in your house, consider protecting it against damage and theft with business contents insurance. Note that your regular home insurance is unlikely to cover anything you use as part of your business.

The policy can include computers and other tech you use in the running of your business.

If you carry your equipment with you to clients’ properties, look at taking out a policy that includes cover outside of your premises or house.

You can also look at taking out commercial van cover, if you use one. Note that you must tell the provider of your car insurance if you use it for business purposes, including travelling to clients’ properties.

What isn’t covered?

Some elements may not be included as standard and will require additional fees. This often applies to things like lost key cover, equipment cover and business vehicle insurance.

Additionally, not every insurer will include cover for some accidents, such as spilled bleach and breakages. If you break an item in a client’s house, the item itself will normally not be covered (the home owners will need to use their own contents insurance for this).

Examples

  • Damage to a client’s property. No matter how skilled and experienced you are, accidents happen. If you’re cleaning a client’s expensive TV and it falls off its stand and breaks, you can be held responsible. Even if the client has contents insurance, they might still want compensation from you. Having liability insurance can help protect you in this instance.
  • Accident at work. If you employ staff, one of them can trip and fall while cleaning a client’s property and injure themselves. Employers liability insurance can help you with legal fees and compensation payments if they sue. It’s also required by law, so there is no way around it.
  • Theft of equipment. If you carry your own cleaning materials and equipment, what would happen if someone stole your vehicle, with everything inside? Will you be able to replace it all straight away? If not, taking out business equipment insurance is a good idea.

* This is a fictional, but realistic, example.

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