You may be working in other people’s homes and with their possessions, but you still need to have cleaning insurance in place to protect yourself and your cleaning kit in case accidents happen.
From public liability insurance to contents insurance, we clean things up…
Do I need cleaning insurance?
If you’re an independent cleaner or run your own company, you’ll need cleaning insurance in place to protect yourself, your customers, employees (if you have any) and the tools of your trade.
The nature of the job means you’ll be in and out of people’s homes, handling their (potentially pricey) possessions daily. And however careful you are, accidents do happen.
What type of cleaning insurance do I need?
There are several types of cleaning insurance cover worth considering, including public liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance, and buildings and contents insurance. If you’re employed by a cleaning company, you’ll probably be covered by their insurance. But it’s worth checking so you know whether you need extra protection in place, for example, if you use your own cleaning equipment.
What does cleaning insurance cover?
A cleaning insurance policy can be made up from a range of business insurance options that are tailored to your business. Here are some examples:
- Public liability insurance – this is to protect your business against legal costs from injury, illness or damage claims made by the public, when your business is at fault. For example, you fail to put down a wet floor sign and a member of the public then slips and injures themselves.
- Employers’ liability insurance – if you have any staff working for you, this is a legal requirement, to protect you against claims made by your employees. For example, a worker injures themselves while using a faulty piece of equipment you supplied them with.
- Tools insurance – cleaning businesses often use powerful cleaning equipment that’s expensive to replace. Tools insurance will insure it against theft or damage.
- Business and office equipment insurance – covers you against damage, theft or loss of any equipment you use to run your business. This is separate to the tools and equipment used to clean. This cover refers to operational equipment, such as computers etc.
- Personal accident insurance – if you die or are seriously injured in an accident, this can compensate you for your injuries or your family if you died. Personal accident insurance can cover you both in and out of work. This is usually a business insurance add-on.
- Legal expenses cover – this can cover the legal costs of other business-related claims, such as employment tribunals, tax investigations or even data breaches. This is usually a business insurance add-on.
Depending on whether you need domestic or commercial cleaning insurance, your policy can be tailored accordingly.
How much does cleaning insurance cost?
How much cleaning insurance costs depends on a few things:
- The type of cover you need – whether you’re a domestic cleaner or commercial cleaner may affect your premiums, as you’ll be likely to have extra costs associated with commercial cleaning.
- The number of staff you’re responsible for – if you have any members of staff, you’ll need to have employers’ liability cover as a legal requirement. The more staff you have, the more cover you’ll need.
- Your equipment – if you’re a larger business with industrial cleaning equipment, you’ll want to insure that expensive gear. That’ll come at a higher price.
Public liability insurance for cleaners
Public liability insurance offers protection against claims made as a result of property damage or injuries sustained by members of the public, that occur as a result of your work.
It can give you peace of mind that if a customer’s property is accidentally damaged while you’re going about your business, you’d be covered for legal expenses or compensation claims. (Be aware – items you were working on at the time of an accident are usually excluded).
It also offers reassurance that, in the event of an accident related to your work – say someone slips on a wet floor you’ve just cleaned or trips over your vacuum power cable – you’d be covered for any legal fees or compensation costs.
If you’re trusted with clients’ house keys, it’s worth looking for a policy extension which offers protection if you fail to lock up properly when you leave, or you can check to see if the policy offers it as standard.
You can compare and take out a public liability insurance policy no matter what size your business.
It’s a not a legal obligation, but some clients may want to know you have it before they offer you work.
Employers’ liability insurance for cleaners
If you run a business and employ other people – even if it’s only one person, or on a temporary basis – you’ll legally need Employers’ liability insurance, and a displayed certificate to prove it. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £2,500 for each day uninsured.
Employers’ liability insurance is designed to protect you against claims made by people while they are in your employment, for example if they become ill or injured as a result of working for you.
Business premises and contents insurance for cleaners
You may be doing the bulk of your work out and about, but you’ll have a business base, where you keep all your equipment and it needs the correct protection in place.
Professional cleaning equipment like carpet and steam cleaners can be expensive, so you’ll want insurance to cover it in case of accidental damage or theft. Also, you’ll need to ensure it’s protected while being transported from job to job.
If you store all your equipment at your own home, make sure your insurance provider is aware, as you may need extra cover beyond your usual home contents insurance.
What is commercial cleaners’ insurance?
Commercial cleaners’ insurance is just a business insurance policy that’s tailored for commercial cleaners. Domestic and commercial cleaning businesses have different needs, so they should be insured differently. Commercial cleaning businesses are more likely to have extra employees, so employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement. Commercial cleaning businesses also work in public, which means something like public liability insurance should be considered as part of your policy as well.
If you’re a commercial cleaner, make sure that you get the right commercial cleaning insurance to protect your business.
Get the right commercial cleaning insurance
Getting the right commercial cleaning insurance depends on the type and size of your business. Cleaning insurance policies can be tailored to suit your business, so you need to work out how much cover you’ll need. As a commercial cleaning business, you’ll be working with other businesses, who may have certain requirements before signing a contract with you. For example, they may have a required minimum for public liability insurance, to ensure that you can handle any claims that could be made against you.
If you have any members of staff, who aren’t direct family members, employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement for your business. If you don’t have it, you can be fined up to £2,500 a day, for every employee that works for you.
Those are probably the two most important ones, but you should seriously consider how much you protect yourself for things like tools insurance, as the equipment you’ll use for a commercial cleaning business can be much more expensive than domestic cleaning services.
Get the right domestic cleaning insurance
Like any insurance policy, exactly what cleaning insurance you need will depend on a number of specific factors like your claims history, the size of your business and the exact nature of your work.
Get a domestic cleaning insurance quote now and see if you could start saving.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get cover as a commercial cleaner?
Yes, you can get commercial cleaning insurance, because business insurance policies can be tailored to suit your needs. So, if you’re a commercial cleaner, you might want cover for things like public liability, employers’ liability (if you have staff helping you), as well as tools insurance for any expensive equipment you use.
What type of excess should be expected with cleaning insurance?
The excess on your policy will vary, depending on the amount of cover you’ll need. Some policies can have no excess, while others can cost hundreds or, for particularly large businesses, even thousands of pounds. It depends on the type and size of business you are, and the cover you need.
Because a cleaning insurance policy can be tailored with different types of insurances to suit your cleaning business, the excess amounts can be different for each policy. Therefore, make sure you know how much the total amount of excess is, to avoid a nasty surprise if worst comes to worst.
What other insurance should a cleaning company have?
Other than all the other examples we’ve mentioned, there are a few other types of insurance you might need as a cleaning business. If you are a larger cleaning business who has a fleet of vans for transporting equipment and travelling between sites, you may want to look at fleet van insurance policy. If you only have one van then you’ll just need business van insurance. If your business is based out of a commercial building, you’ll also want to consider commercial property insurance.