Dusting Up on Business
Top 5 Risks for Cleaning and Janitorial Businesses

Between handling cleaning chemicals, moving heavy equipment, operating power tools, and cleaning public spaces, there are a lot of things that could go awry for the typical cleaning business. To help you protect your cleaning company from financially devastating lawsuits and losses, let's look at what you can do to limit your exposure to the following risks:

  1. Damage to customer property. If an employee uses the wrong cleaning solution on a client's expensive hardwood floors, your business could be sued for the cost of replacing the damaged property.
  2. Third-party bodily injuries. Say you clean office buildings, and a client's employee slips and falls on the just-mopped floor. Your client can hold your business accountable for the employee's medical expenses.
  3. Damage to your equipment. You rely on your cleaning gear to run your business. If something happens to your equipment, you're out of work until you can afford to replace it.
  4. Chemical exposure. If you don't properly store chemicals, your business could be on the hook for pollution damages.
  5. Employee occupational injuries. Your employees work in labor-intensive conditions. If they suffer bodily injuries because of their work, your business is liable for their medical expenses.

In this guide, we'll give you an overview of the policies designed to protect your business from these risks.

How Cleaning Business Insurance Can Address Your Exposures

How Cleaning Business Insurance Can Address Your Exposures

Whether your business is a carpet cleaning service or a window washing company, you'll need to limit the risks outlined above. One of the simplest ways to do so is to invest in business insurance for cleaning companies.

Here's how the following policies can protect your business:

  • General Liability Insurance covers your business's legal expenses when it's sued over damage to customer property, rental equipment, or other property not owned by your business. GL also covers lawsuits over your work causing a third party (i.e., someone who isn't employed by your business) bodily harm. So when a client's employee slips on a freshly mopped floor, GL Insurance pays for your lawyer fees and damages you owe.
  • Property Insurance reimburses your business when its power washers, carpet cleaners, or other pieces of equipment are stolen, vandalized, or lost in a fire. Many policies also include coverage for loss or damage caused by certain weather events. You can also add a Pollution Coverage rider to this policy to ensure your business can pay for damages associated with any toxic chemicals you use.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance covers medical costs for your employees' occupational injuries. If an employee develops a hernia, strains their back, falls, or suffers from exposure to hazardous cleaning chemicals, Workers' Comp covers their medical bills and rehabilitation costs. State laws typically require employers to have this coverage.

Of course, your small business insurance policies can't prevent these risks from happening. Rather, they give you a way to handle the financial fallout when the worst-case scenario happens. Always try to limit accidents when and where you can. We'll look at a few options below.

Cleaning Business Risk Management Tips

Cleaning Business Risk Management Tips

Here are some ways you can reduce the likelihood of accidents, losses, and lawsuits in the first place:

  • Properly train your employees. Your employees should know what protective gear to wear to reduce their exposure to hazardous fumes. Be sure to instruct them on proper lifting techniques and equipment operation. These steps can help them avoid costly work injuries and keep your Workers' Comp rates reasonable (fewer injuries = fewer claims = fewer premium hikes).
  • Use caution signs. Whenever there is a fall hazard (e.g., a freshly mopped or waxed floor), place a floor-stand sign at either entrance to the area. That way, passersby have the opportunity to take an alternate route or tread carefully.
  • Store cleaning equipment in a fireproof place. This reduces the risk of losing your gear in a fire. You should also be careful when storing certain chemicals. Carefully read storing instructions and follow through on them.

Keep in mind that even cautious cleaning businesses can still experience unexpected losses. Accidents are unpredictable, which is why it's best to supplement your risk management plan with adequate small business insurance.

Free Insurance Quotes for Cleaning Businesses

Free Insurance Quotes for Cleaning Businesses

Cleaning business insurance can potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses and property loss costs. For free quotes on cleaning business insurance, submit an online insurance application.

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