House Cleaning and Maid Insurance Policy Information
House Cleaning and Maid Insurance. House cleaners provide basic cleaning services to the interior of residences. Some provide exclusive services to one client only, while others have a number of regular clients or offer services to the public on an "as needed" basis. Typical services include the removal of trash from all areas of the premises, cleaning bathrooms and kitchens, dusting, and regular vacuuming, mopping or sweeping of floors. Other services may include cleaning of carpets or draperies, polishing floors, and window washing. Some provide cleaning services for properties up for sale or after criminal activity.
If you offer your services as a house cleaner, you need to know the risks involved and protect yourself from potential liability. Lawsuits in the home cleaning industry are fairly common. For instance, a cleaning business was on the receiving end of a lawsuit when one customer claimed that glass became scratched during cleaning, leading to a lawsuit for $300K against the company. Serious legal trouble can befall your business if you're oblivious to the risks you face and do not take action to mitigate them - and that is where house cleaning and maid insurance come in.
Housecleaning maid insurance protects your janitorial from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Essential Cleaning Business Insurance
Housecleaning is a huge industry, and Americans spend millions of dollars each year on hired help to clean their homes. Most home cleaning businesses are smaller operations - which represents huge potential for liability claims from customers.
As the owner of a cleaning business, there are a number of different perils that you need to insure your business against. Any comprehensive house cleaning and maid insurance policy should contain:
- General liability coverage for property damage or bodily injury to others.
- Auto coverage for damages resulting from the business use of vehicles.
- Worker's compensation insurance for work-related illness or injury caused to your employees.
- Fidelity bonding to cover employee theft from the business or customers.
In addition, your business may need an house cleaning and maid insurance umbrella liability policy with additional limits for substantial claims.
Special Coverage for Home Cleaning Businesses
Many of the aspects of insurance for cleaning businesses are similar to those that all businesses need, but there are also special house cleaning and maid insurance coverages that are specific to the cleaning industry. Since your job involves going out to people's homes and providing a service in their homes, the exposures that you face are unlike those of most other businesses.
For instance, if you or someone working for you causes extensive damage to the property of a client while working for your business, you are liable in most instances. The risk can be hidden; as an example, a laptop might be damaged that's worth a several hundred dollars, but the data on the laptop may be worth much more or even be irreplaceable.
Employee theft is also a big concern for cleaning businesses. If an employee is accused of theft by the property owner, then you may be held liable for the cost of whatever items are stolen. A comprehensive house cleaning and maid insurance policy can put these risks in a mitigatable format so that your business doesn't suffer due to the actions of those working for you.
Considerations for Cleaning and Janitorial Business Insurance
There are unique insurance and bonding requirements for cleaning and janitorial businesses. A commercial insurance agent can discuss your business' needs for:
- General liability insurance. Not all businesses are created equally, and your business has unique needs that your agent can help you address. For instance, businesses that carry only the minimum amount of liability insurance may not be fully protected, but some may be. Work with an agent to discuss the policy you need and the limits your business requires.
- Bonds. Janitorial insurance bonding for your business must be adequate. Standard fidelity bonds may cover theft from employers, but the bond must have a special endorsement stating such. This is due to the difficulty in measuring risk. Work with a seasoned insurance agent to handle bonding and ensure your bond is adequate for your situation.
- Commercial auto insurance. Getting to the job site requires commercial insurance on your business' vehicles. Even if you are using a personal vehicle, your personal auto may not cover damages to your vehicle or others when you are on the job.
House Cleaner's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are slight at the house cleaner's premises due to lack of public access, but moderate away from the premises due to hazards at the job site. When cleaning residential interiors, there is some potential for slip and fall injuries to the client or their family members due to wet, slippery floors, spills and equipment and supplies impeding access.
The absence of basic controls (e.g., proper caution signs, the use of non-slip finishes, etc.) may indicate a morale hazard. There is also the risk of injury or damage to customers' property from spills, marring, scratched surfaces, and the upset or dropping of breakables. Many of these fall under the care, custody and control exclusion, and should be covered under inland marine bailees' forms.
All agreements regarding responsibility for the property in the insured's care need careful review and evaluation. House cleaning services typically employ casual labor and have high turnover, with minimal time or budget for training, which can increase the loss potential. Pre employment background checks and reference checks should be a part of the hiring process in order to protect clients.
A major concern is failure to secure the premises during cleaning and especially upon completion of the work. This hazard increases with high employee turnover. The cleaning service should have specific procedures addressing lockup and key control that include a final checklist by the supervisor of a particular client when the job is completed. Some areas of a customer's home may need to remain closed because they contain property susceptible to damage or contamination, dangerous pets, or confidential information.
Personal injury exposures include invasion of privacy and even assault to the customers. Failure to run background checks and review references on employees increases the hazard and reduces available defenses.
Workers compensation exposure can be high. Casual labor, high turnover and minimal training time are all factors affecting losses. Work is frequently performed under time constraints which can encourage workers to cut corners. Lung, eye, or skin irritations and reactions can result from cleaning chemicals.
Slips and falls can occur during cleaning operations. Back injuries, hernias, sprains and strains can result from lifting. Employees can be assaulted while working in empty residences. Pets owned by the client may attack. Close supervision is needed. Workers may be injured in auto accidents during transportation to and from job sites.
Property exposures at the cleaner's premises are usually limited to an office and storage of equipment and supplies. Cleaning supplies may contain flammable chemicals that require proper labeling, separation, and storage in approved containers and cabinets to reduce the potential to fire. There may be a garage area for vehicles transporting equipment and crew to job sites.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty, including theft of clients' property. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. All ordering, billing and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly. Supervision and monitoring are important to control losses.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable if the house cleaner offers credit to customers, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Contractors' equipment is limited to cleaning supplies and equipment, such as vacuum cleaners, taken to the customers' premises. Some cleaners may store some of their equipment on the customers' premises; others do their work with equipment provided by the client.
There may be a bailee's exposure for customers' property in the house cleaner's care, custody and control. Damage to high-valued items like carpeting and drapery could result in a sizable loss since a small spill or other damage could result in the entire item being unusable.
Commercial auto exposures are generally limited to driving to and from clients' premises with crew, equipment, and supplies. All drivers must be well trained and have valid licenses for the type of vehicle being driven. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
If employees provide their own transportation to job sites, the exposure is limited to non-owned for workers running work-related errands. If workers transport coworkers in personal autos, the cleaning service should verify that personal automobile insurance has been purchased.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 349 Building Cleaning and Maintenance NEC
- NAICS CODE: 561720 Janitorial Services
- Suggested ISO General Liability Code(s): 96816
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 9014
Personalized Coverage for Your Cleaning Business
Your particular needs is the best way to get the right house cleaning and maid insurance policy in force - one that works for you and your business and that protects you from the unexpected. Your agent can help you understand the subtle nuances of basic business insurance and the needs that your company has while helping you find the right level of coverage for you specific business' risks and perils.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
Additional Resources For Contractors & Home Improvement Insurance
Learn about small business contractor's insurance, including what it covers, how much it costs - and how commercial insurance can help protect your contracting business from lawsuits.
- Air Conditioning Systems Installation Repair
- Blacksmith & Metal Workers
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Contractor Liability
- Curtain Cleaners
- Door And Window Installers
- Dryer Vent Cleaning
- Drywall Contractor
- Electrical Contractors
- Environmental Remediation Contractors
- Fence Installation
- Fire Sprinkler Contractors
- Fire & Water Restoration Contractors
- Flooring Contractor
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Paperhanging Contractors
- Plastering And Stucco Contractor
- Pressure Washing Contractors
- Propane And Fuel Dealers
- Rug, Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning
- Sandblasting Contractors
- Security Alarm
- Septic Tank Cleaning
- Siding Contractor
- Sign Installation & Repair
- Solar Panel Installers
- Snow Plow
- Stone And Tile Installer
- Swimming Pool Contractor
- Tree Surgeon
- Tree Trimming
- Tank Cleaners
- Upholstery Shop
- Waste Haulers & Garbage Collection
- Water Well Drilling
- Welding Contractor
- Wildlife & Pest Control
- Window Cleaning
A contractor that wants to begin or stay in business, liability coverage must be obtained for the premises or operations, off-site locations and products/completed operations exposures. These coverages may be included as a part of a businessowners policy (BOP) or purchased in a commercial general liability (CGL) policy. Owners and contractors protective liability and railroad protective liability coverages may also be required in certain cases in order for a contractor to obtain a particular job.
Physical damage coverage for tools, supplies and equipment, both on and off the contractor's premises, is a concern. Liability exposures at the premises of the contractor, and at the premises of the contractor's customer, must be properly addressed along with completed operations. Business insurance is very important as is workers compensation insurance protection for employees.
Contractors may work under a general contractor as a subcontractor in larger construction projects - like a new commercial site or residential subdivision. They can work on smaller projects directly with a home owner, usually specializing in renovations or remodels.
In business insurance speak, often called 'artisan contractors' or 'casual contractors', they are involved in many aspects of construction and contracting work – and include various trades and skills. Carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, roofers, tree trimmers, landscaping are just a few examples. They may do roofing, fencing, drywall, tile work and many other trades that involve skilled work with tools at the customer's premises.
An artisan contractor performs a single trade or job, and each has its own specialized liability needs with its own exposures to risk and accidents. Contractors liability insurance can offer coverage for bodily injury, property damage, advertising injury and medical payments.
Most artisan contractors should have commercial general liability at the very least, but many need broader coverages - like an umbrella to increase their limits of liability, inland marine policy to protect their tools, workers compensation if they have employees, and even commercial auto if they use vehicles for business purposes.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors' Equipment and Tools, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Accounts Receivable, Builders Risk, Computers, Goods in Transit, Installation Floater, Valuable Papers and Records, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practicesand Stop Gap Liability.