Your janitorial liability insurance covers a lot of ground, but it doesn’t cover everything.
Janitorial liability insurance isn’t really a topic of debate. Even if your locality doesn’t require it (and many do), your clients will want proof of liability insurance before they hire you. Why? Because that insurance covers any damages to their property.
It’s similar to auto liability insurance. If you’re in an accident and you damage someone else’s car, your liability insurance pays for the repairs. The same is true with your business liability insurance. If you or someone on your team drops a bottle of cleaner and ruins a section of carpeting, your insurance would help cover the repairs.
Janitorial liability insurance also covers personal injuries in spaces where you’re working. For example, if a customer slips and falls on a wet floor while you’re mopping, your liability insurance would help cover medical expenses. As much as it does cover, however, liability insurance doesn’t cover everything.
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Your janitorial liability insurance won’t cover these situations
Even though janitorial liability insurance is necessary and will help cover a number of damages and injuries, there are still common events and issues that it doesn’t cover.
1. Injuries to your employees. While your janitorial liability insurance may cover injuries to your clients, any injuries your employees suffer on the job would be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, or workers’ comp for short. Most states require workers’ comp, although the details vary.
2. Damage to your property. If you want coverage for an office or shortage space and any equipment or supplies you keep there, you’ll need commercial property coverage.
3. Damage to your equipment. Yes, damage to your property and damage to your equipment looks pretty similar. Generally speaking, however, that commercial property coverage mentioned above will only cover property and equipment at a specific location. You may need additional coverage for equipment damage or theft that happens in transit or at other locations. Some companies have this as an add-on to commercial property coverage, and some have this as a separate policy called inland marine coverage, Specialty Property Insurance Coverage Endorsement (SPICE), or simply, equipment coverage.
4. Lost business income. Sorry, but your janitorial liability insurance won’t cover any income you lose if your business can’t operate. Some policies may include this under property coverage, while it’s an add-on for other policies.
5. Your company or personal vehicle. Whether your team uses a company vehicle, your personal vehicle, or their own transportation, janitorial liability insurance won’t cover it. So you’ll either need to get commercial vehicle insurance or perhaps a supplement to your personal vehicle insurance. Similarly, if your employees use their own transportation, they are responsible for insurance coverage.
6. Employee theft. Your janitorial liability insurance may cover accidental damage or injury, but intentional theft of a client’s property would fall under the provisions of a surety bond.
7. Anything beyond the limits of your coverage. Just like auto insurance, your business insurance policy has limits. For example, your liability insurance may cover damages and expenses up to $2,000,000. Any costs beyond that are your responsibility. However, an umbrella policy can extend coverage.
How to find the right insurance for your commercial cleaning company
Right now, you probably think that all this extra coverage is a big series of dollar signs. Fear not! There is some good news. Most insurance companies can work with you to customize a policy that meets your needs without being overly expensive.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind, however. To begin with, every insurance company and every policy is different. Some companies will offer pre-designed packages for business owners that may include a combination of the above coverages.
Several factors will determine your final cost for janitorial liability insurance, as well as total insurance coverage. These factors include:
- Your clients. Some may require higher insurance coverage amounts.
- The number of employees you have. More people means more coverage.
- Your deductible. Like any insurance, a higher deductible means a lower overall premium. However, that also means more money out of your pocket if you have a claim.
- The kind of coverage you need. You may or may not need all the coverages available to you. Or, for example, if you do need commercial vehicle coverage, your premium will change depending on how many drivers and vehicles you have.
How much will all this cost? Again, there are so many factors that it’s hard to share an exact number. Estimates range anywhere from $500 per year to $3,000 per year, with most janitorial companies falling somewhere in the $1,000 range.
Whatever you decide, be sure to work closely with an insurance professional. They are your teammates in determining how much and what kind of coverage you need.
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