Choosing the right insurance cover
11 November 2019
When you operate a cleaning business, whether as a sole trader or as a larger limited company then you need to carefully select the most appropriate insurance covers to protect not only your customers, but also you and your business. It must be cover that includes all the activities you undertake and one that covers most eventualities.
But that is just the start of it – when you dig a little deeper you will quickly see that not all insurance policies are the same, in fact the vast majority out there are not suitable for a cleaning contractor at all.
A standard liability policy is designed to cater for all trades, so a cleaner can have one, a builder can have one, a plumber can have one and on the list goes – these types of policies are generic and have lots of exclusions in place that mean that often a cleaning contractor won’t actually have the cover they need (or expect).
Like many people, premium costs focus the mind, but your policy cover is really the most crucial aspect when it come to selecting appropriate liability insurance.
Let me explain:
A standard liability policy excludes "damage to property worked on" or property that is in your "custody, care or control" and it will also exclude any form of "treatment risk".
That means for a cleaner, that if they cause damage to an item (sofa, carpet, window) they are cleaning, they will not be covered! If any chemicals or treatments they apply cause damage, then again, they will not be covered!
What that means, say for a sole trader, is that the £75 premium saving they made when they renewed their policy has just cost them £3,000 to replace a damaged, brand-new sofa because they had the wrong cover in place.
But there are also other risks that a standard off the shelf policy won’t give any cover for, some that can prove very important further down the line. Three such examples that are not usually covered are:
Failure to Secure a Customers Premises – if you are responsible for locking up when the cleaning work has been done and forget to do so.
Loss of Customers Keys – if you carry your customers keys and lose them. Not only will the locks/keys need changing but your customer might suffer other losses too.
Employee Dishonesty – they are your companies’ biggest assets, but what if a cleaner decided to act dishonestly and steals credit cards, valuables or cash – you would be left picking up the bill.
The GLEAMING INSURANCE policy is a specialist liability policy designed purely and exclusively for cleaning contractors - no other trade gets our policy wording.
Of course, premium costs are always very important to every business, but when you look at the potential costs of having the wrong cover in place, then this really does pale into insignificance for any professional cleaning contractor.
There are lots of companies out there, both in the real world and in the virtual world, offering liability cover but very few indeed offer the specific extensions and wide cover that cleaning contractors require.
You need to be very sure that your cover is correct and appropriate – it might not be everyone’s favourite pastime but delving into your policy wording will quickly reveal the quality of your insurance covers.
Don’t get caught out, always choose a specialist in your sector – they know and understand the risks and more importantly they have the policy wording to help protect and mitigate your risks.
Written by Gleaming Insurance.