Cleaning businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Some focus on commercial clients, while others work with residential clients. But no matter the industry or niche, cleaning business owners need a plan for what might happen if things go wrong.
That’s where cleaning business insurance comes in. You might not think about it at first glance; after all, cleaning is not really known for being a risky occupation.
But in business, as in life, it's usually better to be proactive. With the right coverage in place, business insurance can help you manage risk and win new clients.
Do you need insurance to start a cleaning business?
You don't want to find out the hard way that you need liability insurance for your cleaning business. So, let’s cut to the chase: Do you need insurance to start a cleaning business?
Probably not. Typically insurance isn’t required by law for cleaners like it is for doctors or construction workers. Most states don’t require cleaning businesses to have insurance. It depends on factors such as the type of cleaning you do.
But should you get insurance when you start a cleaning business? It’s probably a good idea. What if a client sues you because you accidentally spill bleach on their rug? It's better to be proactive and have the right insurance protection in place than pay out of pocket afterward
Besides covering property damage and bodily injuries that can happen, cleaning business insurance can help you stand out from your competition. It can:
- Help you win jobs because clients won’t worry about you being unable to pay for damage.
- Make you look professional by taking your business seriously.
- Protect your business from financial hardship.
Another reason you might need insurance is that your clients may require it before agreeing to do business with you. If you already have coverage, you can simply provide them with your certificate of insurance, sign the contract and get to work.
3 types of insurance for cleaning businesses
The type of insurance that’s best for your company depends on a few factors. However, most cleaning companies can generally benefit from having protection for general liability, errors and omissions, and tools and equipment.
General liability insurance
General liability insurance is the most basic type of coverage for any business — including those that provide cleaning services, such as:
- Janitorial services
- Window washing
- House cleaning and maid services
- Carpet cleaning
- Pressure washing
General liability coverage protects you against common claims against cleaning businesses, like bodily injury (slips and falls), property damage (damaging the client’s property or belongings) and personal injury.
It’s important to note that personal injury might not be what you think. Personal injury covers claims like libel, slander or advertising mishaps.
For example, your client might sue you for posting a picture of their house without their consent on your company’s social media page. That’s a type of advertising injury that general liability insurance could cover.
Errors and omissions insurance
Errors and omissions (E&O) coverage is also called professional liability insurance. It covers your company from claims if you or any of your staff makes a mistake during the course of their work.
For example, suppose you own a floor cleaning company and used the wrong type of cleaning solution on your client’s marble floor, which discolors. Your client could file a suit for damages against your business. E&O coverage helps you defend yourself if you’re accused of making a mistake that causes someone to lose money and can cover your legal fees.
Tools and equipment insurance
Cleaning business insurance that covers tools and equipment can be vital to keeping your company up and running. It can pay for your tools and equipment if they're stolen or damaged. Coverage is particularly important if you have expensive machinery that takes a long time to repair or replace.
So, if your industrial vacuum cleaner or floor machine goes missing, your insurance can help you replace it quickly and potentially without having to delay your jobs for very long.
Other cleaning business insurance that’s good to have
Depending on your employees and services, you’ll likely need more than general liability, E&O, and tools and equipment coverage. Other common cleaning business insurance includes:
Workers’ compensation insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance covers employees with work-related injuries or illnesses. It can help pay for (up to policy limits):
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Retraining skills
- Disability benefits
- Funeral expenses in severe cases
If your business has any staff, there’s a good chance your state requires you to have workers' compensation insurance for your cleaning business. But it's still worth considering even if it isn't mandatory — workers’ comp can provide peace of mind for both employees and owners alike.
Commercial auto insurance
Commercial auto insurance is vital if you use vehicles in your business. It covers damage or injuries caused by accidents while driving for business purposes. It also includes liability coverage if anyone sues your company because they were hurt while using a vehicle in connection with your business.
Get NEXT insurance so you don’t get taken to the cleaners
You might not think about cleaning business insurance right off the bat. But when there’s an accident, it’s better to be prepared. Your company could get stuck paying out-of-pocket for claims and lawsuits without the right protection.
So, if you’re thinking about starting a cleaning business, you need to be sure you’ve got the right insurance in place. With business insurance from NEXT, you’ll have the confidence to take risks and get your small business off the ground.
We're 100% dedicated to the self-employed and small businesses. We offer customized business insurance designed to protect you from the risks you face every day.
It takes about 10 minutes to apply online, purchase coverage, and secure your certificate of insurance.