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Cleaning Business Insurance: What It Is, What It Covers, & Cost

No matter what kind of cleaning services your business offers, you’re handling other people’s property, much of it highly valuable. It’s easy to damage something while you’re cleaning it. 

Think about it: Can you afford to pay to replace a valuable antique, piece of clothing, or carpet if you or someone who works for you damages it? The answer for most businesses is NO. In many cases, these expenses can be enough to close down a cleaning business.

That’s why it’s critical for cleaning operations to get cleaning business insurance. It will help pay for damages when you cause harm to a client’s property or possessions. 

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know to get the right coverage for your cleaning business at a price you can afford and then reveal the top cleaning business insurers in the United States.

What is cleaning business insurance?

Cleaning business insurance is a form of general liability coverage that helps protect your cleaning-related operation if you damage a client’s property or a client is injured while you’re working for them. It also helps protect your business against claims made related to advertising and promoting your business.

General liability insurance is sometimes referred to as commercial general liability insurance, comprehensive general liability insurance or business liability insurance. These are all different names for the same type of business policy and most cleaning service businesses should have it.

What kinds of things does cleaning business insurance cover?

The following scenarios can help you understand the types of things the insurance can cover.

Start by imagining:

  • You own a carpet cleaning business. As you’re cleaning a valuable carpet made by a well-known artisan you accidentally damage it because you use the wrong type of cleaning fluid. Your cleaning business general liability insurance can help cover the damages to the rug.
  • You clean homes. As you’re cleaning, you forget to warn your client that the floors in another room are wet. As a result, she slips, falls, and breaks her ankle. Your general liability insurance can help cover the costs related to recovering from the injury.
  • You own a dry cleaning and laundry business. Cleaning wedding dresses is your specialty. One day, you use your regular process to clean an especially expensive dress. Unfortunately, it melts all the beads and detailing. Your general liability insurance can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing the dress and other damages.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of things cleaning liability insurance can help pay for.

Who needs cleaning insurance?

Most types of cleaning businesses will benefit from a general liability insurance policy. Some examples include:

Carpet cleaners

Example: You clean the carpets at a client’s home. The process you use strips some of the color off the carpet and fades them. When you notice this, you step backward and knock over a vase, breaking it. 

Coverage: Cleaner’s general liability insurance will help pay to replace both the carpets and the vase.

>>MORE: Best Carpet Cleaning Insurance Companies

House cleaning services

Example: You’re cleaning a client’s home and you damage a family heirloom painting and your client demands that it be repaired.

Coverage: Your cleaners insurance will help pay for the costly artwork restoration.

Dry cleaning and laundry services

Example: You are sorting a customer’s laundry in your shop. The evening before you had been touching up some paint. You didn’t close the can tightly and the paint spills on a laundry pile, ruining all the clothes.

Coverage: Your business liability coverage will help pay the costs to replace the damaged clothing.

Maid services

Example: A maid on your team is cleaning a client’s home. She’s dusting a valuable, one-of-a-kind chandelier and knocks off some crystals. They land on a table, breaking several pieces of glassware.

Coverage: Your cleaners business policy will pay to repair or replace both the chandelier and the glassware.

Commercial cleaning services

Example: You own a commercial cleaning company servicing the physical locations of different several retail chains. One of your clients is an Olive Garden restaurant. One evening, one of your cleaner accidentally broke a TV at the restaurant while cleaning it.

Coverage: Your general liability policy, as a part of your commercial cleaning insurance package, will pay for the new TV at the restaurant.

In many cases, commercial cleaning insurance can be referred to specifically as office cleaning or janitorial cleaning services. A commercial cleaning contract with an office building is usually called office cleaning; in many cases, any commercial cleaning contract can be referred to as janitorial cleaning.

Office cleaner

Example: Your team is cleaning a client’s office. Someone in your team accidentally spills a bucket of water on a pile of important legal papers, completely destroying them.

Coverage: Cleaners liability insurance will pay to recreate the damaged paperwork.

Window cleaning services

Example: You probably have seen cleaners cleaning the windows of high-rise office buildings, especially in downtown area. This is probably one of the riskiest jobs in the world. Many accidents can happen to these cleaners, and they may cause several damages to the building they are cleaning. And if they break the window, that could cause injuries to the people working in the building as well.

Coverage: General liability insurance will pay for any damages to the building and the medical and other costs associated with the injuries.

>>MORE: Best Window Cleaning Insurance Companies

Janitorial services

Example: One of the people on your janitorial services team is mopping a floor and forgets to put out a caution sign. Several people slip because of it and become injured.

Coverage: Your general liability insurance can help cover medical and other costs associated with the injuries.

These are just a few of the kinds of things cleaners liability insurance can help protect against.

What’s covered by cleaning business insurance?

Cleaning business insurance helps cover:

  • Bodily injury claims. Covers injuries that happen to clients and other non-employees while you or an employee is working.
  • Property damage claims. Helps pay claims related to property or possessions you or an employee damage while providing cleaning related services.
  • Personal and advertising injury claims. If you ever promote your business in a way that someone feels is misleading, your policy will help pay for related damages.

What other coverages should cleaning businesses get?

In addition to your general liability insurance policy, you should also consider:

Workers compensation insurance for cleaning businesses

Worker’s compensation insurance provides benefits if you or an employee is injured or becomes ill due to work related reasons. It will help pay for medical care, disability, lost wages and funeral expenses and death benefits should someone die on the job. The coverage is likely required by your state if you have employees. It’s also a good idea for you to get it even if you’re a sole proprietor with no employees. It can provide peace of mind knowing you have resources available to you should you become injured on the job and are unable to work.

Cleaning may not be the riskiest work, but it is not 100% safe either. Your employees are out in several clients’ sites to do the cleaning work. They sometimes may have to travel from one client’s site to another with limited time. You never know what can happen to them during the day and at different work sites. Make sure you get workers comp insurance to protect you and your employees properly.

>>MORE: Best Workers Comp Insurance Companies

Commercial auto insurance for cleaning businesses

Commercial auto insurance pays for injuries, vehicle repairs and property damage if you or an employee has a car accident while on the job. Personal auto coverage will not pay for accidents that happen while driving for work. This includes driving to a client’s home or workplace to clean it or picking up and delivering clothes.

Your employees travels from one client to another or back and forth between the office and the clients’ locations, personal auto insurance won’t cover these traveling. They will refuse your claims. Even worse, they may refuse covering you and your employees going forward. It is not worth skipping commercial auto insurance. Learn more the differences between commercial auto and personal auto insurance.

>>MORE: Best Commercial Auto Insurance Companies

Commercial umbrella insurance for cleaning businesses

Commercial umbrella insurance covers you if your business causes damage to a client’s property that is above your cleaners liability insurance limits. This coverage is ideal for businesses that regularly work on or around particularly valuable items.

If your cleaning business has contracts with other businesses such as hotels, restaurants, grocery chains, or other retail locations such as Enterprise-rent-a-car, these businesses often require you to have an commercial umbrella insurance policy up to $3M coverage, in addition to your general liability insurance policy.

>>MORE: Best Commercial Umbrella Insurance Companies

A business insurance agent or company representative can help you figure out which coverages your cleaning business needs.

How much does cleaning insurance cost?

This is a relatively low cost coverage and typically is less than $75 per month. Think about it: If you pass the cost of this coverage on to your clients, it could only add one dollar or less to your hourly rate. Can you afford to risk putting the cleaning business you’ve worked so hard to build at risk by not getting this affordable coverage?

How can I find cheap cleaning business insurance?

Here are some tips to help you get the coverage you need at a fair price:

  • Shop around for the best value. Get quotes from a few companies and compare them to find the right coverage for you at a reasonable cost.
  • Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy.
  • Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.

Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your cleaning coverage.

Top 5 cleaning business insurers

Here are the top four insurance companies offering cleaning business insurance along with what makes each one unique.

  • CoverWallet: Best for cleaning businesses wanting to compare several quotes online
  • biBerk: Best for low-cost cleaning insurance coverage
  • Hiscox: Best for cleaning businesses with unique insurance needs
  • Progressive: The best for discounted cleaning business insurance
  • The Hartford: Best for cleaners looking for a sound and ethical insurer

CoverWallet: Best for cleaning businesses wanting to compare several quotes online

CoverWallet is a cutting-edge insurance provider. The firm has developed its own state-of-the-art platform, based on its own algorithms, to ensure it is able to offer all types of business, including cleaning businesses, the right coverage they need at the most reasonable price. The platform makes it quick and easy to get quotes from several providers at once, making it possible to compare quotes from highly reputable insurers all on a single screen.

The firm’s experts have used their extensive experience to make sure you only have to input the information required to generate quick and accurate quotes. The entire process should take ten minutes or less.

You can feel confident knowing that CoverWallet is a part of Aon, an established company that provides advice to millions of businesses, large or small, in the US or international, on things like risk, health, and retirement.

Once you get your quote, CoverWallet makes it easy to purchase your cleaning business insurance online or through an agent. When you get your policy through CoverWallet, it’s simple to manage your coverage online, including downloading a certificate of insurance, filing a claim, renewing your insurance, and more. 

biBerk: Best for low-cost cleaning insurance coverage

biBerk is a low-cost business insurance provider. Despite saving money on your cleaning business insurance, you can rest assured knowing you’re still getting quality protection for your business. biBERK is able to lower insurance costs by almost 20 percent because it insures small businesses and individuals directly, without the added costs of having to work through a middleman or insurance broker.

You can feel confident knowing biBerk is a part of Berkshire Hathaway, a company headed by well-known investor Warren Buffett. It’s a firm that has millions of satisfied customers that’s been insuring people and businesses for more than 75 years.

Here’s a sample cleaning business insurance quote from biBerk.

Hiscox: Best for cleaning businesses with unique insurance needs

Hiscox offers specialized insurance coverage for cleaning companies.

It’s easy to buy business insurance for cleaning operations from Hiscox online. A rep can also help you customize your coverage to meet your unique business and client needs.

If you choose Hiscox for your coverage, you can rest assured knowing you’re entrusting your cleaning operation to a firm that’s been in business for 120 years. It exclusively offers insurance for small businesses and sole proprietors and more than 400,000 smaller companies and individuals trust Hiscox for their insurance needs.

Hiscox is known for tailoring unique insurance solutions to the individual requirements of small businesses and sole proprietors. The company offers top tier service, provides fast quotes, instant coverage and quick claims processing.

Here is a sample janitorial business quote (a more expensive category than basic cleaning) from Hiscox.

Progressive: The best for discounted cleaning business insurance

Progressive may seem like a less-than-serious company because of its ongoing series of commercials featuring Flo. You might feel concerned about entrusting your cleaning operation to the insurer.

The truth: It’s a reputable company that’s been in business since 1937. Progressive is known for its flexibility, great rates and highly responsive service.

Progressive is famous for its discounts, which could help you save on your cleaning business insurance. You can earn discounts for things like:

  • Purchasing multiple coverages
  • Implementing safe work site practices 
  • Paying annually rather than in smaller increments 
  • Agreeing to autopay.

It’s easy to get a cleaning business quote online from Progressive. It should take you less than five minutes. Here’s an example of a cleaning business insurance quote from Progressive.

The Hartford: Best for cleaners looking for a sound and ethical insurer

The Hartford is one of the oldest companies of any kind in the United States. It’s been offering insurance solutions for more than 200 years and has helped one million plus businesses with their insurance needs. The company takes pride in the fact that the Ethisphere Institute named it a World’s Most Ethical Company twelve times. The Hartford’s longevity and focus on ethical business practices makes it a company you will feel good about doing business with.

The Hartford’s dedicated and highly experienced small business team is available to help professional cleaners and cleaning business owners explore their business liability and other commercial insurance options. If you decide to purchase insurance from The Hartford, you can rest assured knowing you’re entrusting your business to a strong, stable, knowledgeable and ethical provider.

>>MORE: Best Cleaning Business Insurance Companies

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