Washington D.C. House Cleaning and Maid Insurance Policy Information
Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. house cleaning and maid insurance come in.
Washington D.C. 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.
A professional liability policy afford coverage for claims of errors and omissions. If you often give advice to customers about cleaning, you may want to carry this type of policy. If your advice ends up causing damage or harm, you may be liable. Work with your agent to determine if you need this valuable coverage.
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 Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. 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 DC 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 Washington D.C. 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.
Washington D.C. 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.
Personalized Coverage for Your Cleaning Business
Your particular needs is the best way to get the right Washington D.C. 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.
Made In Washington D.C. Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Whether you have a great idea for a business and you're considering your first startup company or you are already operating a business and you're looking to expand, the location of your operations is one of the most important factors you'll need to consider. In order for a business to achieve success, it must be situated in an area that offers a healthy economy and a market that your products and/or services will appeal to.
The unemployment rate of a region paints a picture of the area's economy. A lower unemployment rate indicates that the area has a healthy business climate that can sustain the residents of the region. In addition, it's important for prospective proprietors to find out which industries are thriving in the area they're considering for their operations.
Furthermore, business owners must take into consideration what type of commercial insurance policies they will need to carry in order to protect themselves, those who interact with them, and to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
If you're considering Washington, D.C. for your business, below, we provide an overview of the above-mentioned information so you can determine if the nation's capital offers favorable conditions for success.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Washington D.C.
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Washington, D.C. was 5.3%. While that rate is considerably higher than what the national average of 3.5% at the same time, the rate had fallen throughout the course of the year.
For example, in July of 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.6%, in August it was 5.5%, and in October, it was 5.4%. This steady decline indicates that more employment opportunities as a result of a healthy business climate have become and are becoming available in D.C.
Washington, D.C. is divided into four specific quadrants, including NE, NW, SE, and SW. While all regions are considered suitable for businesses, those that are situated in commercial areas - Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast - as opposed to Northeast, which is primarily residential, are likely to offer the best opportunities for prospective business owners.
There are several industries that are experiencing growth in D.C. Not surprisingly, government-related sectors and businesses that provide services for the government are seeing the most growth. Additionally, leisure, hospitality, and tourism are also prime industries in the nation's capital, as the region attracts millions of tourists from around the globe. Construction, education, and health round out the top industries in the region.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Washington D.C.
The Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking regulates insurance in DC. Washington D.C. mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Washington D.C. requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Washington D.C. also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
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
- Appliance Repair & Service
- Blacksmith & Metal Workers
- Boat Repair & Dry Docks
- Boiler Contractors
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cabinet Installer
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Cistern Contractors
- Contractor Liability
- Curtain Cleaners
- Deck Builders
- 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
- Furniture Repair
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- General Contractors
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- Gutter Installation And Repair
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Lawn Irrigation Sprinkler System Installation
- Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors
- 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
- Surety Bonds
- Swimming Pool Contractor
- Swimming Pool Service And Maintenance
- Tool Grinding And Repair
- 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.
Also find DC local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Washington D.C. small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including District of Columbia business insurance costs. Call us (202) 800-5202.