Business insurance for domestic cleaners

Being a professional cleaner isn’t just about getting a mop and bucket. You’ll need all the tools that’ll let you do the job properly – and that includes getting the right insurance. Having the correct business cover means you’ll be able to fully concentrate on providing a thorough service rather than just dusting around the edges hoping nobody looks under that vase you daren’t pick up.

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Do I really need insurance for cleaning?

Well that depends… If you’re employed by someone it’s worth reviewing the cover that they have in place first to see if it’s adequate for your needs. 

If you’re an independent cleaner and work for yourself, there are two types of liability insurance that you should consider.

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Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance isn’t a legal obligation, but it can be important. It provides compensation for damage or injury caused to your clients or general public and result from your work, for example when you’re cleaning someone’s home.

You might think accidents only happen if somebody is careless and that if you are diligent and conscientious, accidents won’t happen to you. Sadly though, life throws curve balls and the nature of accidents is that you have no control over when, how or why they occur. As a cleaner, you’re entrusted with the keys to someone’s home and responsible for polishing and buffing up all their worldly goods. So it’s worth looking for policy extensions that also cover you for:

  • Damage to customer property (bear in mind this cover typically excludes items being worked upon when the accident happened)
  • Failure to secure customers’ homes
  • Legal defence costs if damage or injury was caused by your staff

What other insurance may I need?

You may also want to consider getting additional covers to protect you from:

  • Loss of customers’ keys resulting in the need for locks to be replaced
  • Financial loss suffered by customers (if your employees had an urge to use a customer’s phone to call their second cousin in Australia for an hour) or theft of goods from customers’ homes by your employees

Employer’s Liability Insurance

If you run a cleaning business and have staff, then you’ll need employer’s liability insurance by law. You are required by law to display a copy of your Employer’s Liability Certificate of Insurance where your employees can easily read it. Failure to display the certificate can result a fine of £1000 from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Failure to have Employer’s Liability insurance could lead to a fine of up to £2,500 for every day you don't have this insurance in place.

No matter if it’s a student, temp, person gathering work experience or if somebody simply helps you out for no payment; if they work for you, they are considered your employees hence you need to have employer’s liability cover in place.

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Insuring your equipment and premises

Don’t forget the tools of your trade. You can usually bolt on extra cover to make sure that your equipment is insured in case of theft or accidental damage. Petty cash might be enough for a replacement mop head, but what about specialist tools such as carpet or steam cleaners – you may be surprised how much it all adds up to replace. And whether you run your business from home or an office, make sure you’ve got sufficient business premises insurance too.

How much is public liability for cleaners?

Premiums will depend on various factors such as how big your business is and how much you want to be covered for. Typically, minimum cover limits start from £1 million and offer other options depending on the type, size and value of properties you clean. Some clients, like local authorities or hospitals, may require you to have a higher limit of cover in place before they sign a contract with you. Your claims history will also play a part in determining how much you pay – because insurance is all about calculating risk.

How do I start comparing?

Make sure you’ve considered all the areas you need cover for and remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the right one. Always base your policy around your specific needs, because finding out you’re not sufficiently covered when you’re in the midst of a sticky situation is not good for your bank balance or your blood pressure.

Luckily for you, we can make searching for the right insurance simple – use our public liability or employers’ liability comparison services to find the right deal for you.

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