Running your own cleaning business comes with all the usual responsibilities and requirements an entrepreneur must navigate—establishing your brand, hiring and training staff, building clientele, and identifying ways to continuously grow. But running a cleaning service business comes with some pretty unique challenges, too. As a professional cleaner, you’re trusted to enter professional and private spaces, where sensitive information and prized, sentimental items are kept. Not only that, but you’re sometimes required to handle these items in order to restore them to their pristine state. While this is a role of trust and care, it also opens the door to a number of risky legal situations if you don’t have insurance for your cleaning company.

Of course, another important aspect of running a business is making sure you’re appropriately insured so that, in the event of an accident, you and your business are well protected. Read on to learn about the business insurance options you should consider for your cleaning company, what they cost, and how to navigate enrollment.

How does general liability insurance work?

General liability insurance is strongly recommended for any small business owner. If you’re interacting with customers, inviting them into an office or storefront, selling them a product, or visiting their property to provide a service, you leave yourself vulnerable to potentially expensive legal action. General liability insurance provides protection against claims of bodily injury, reputational harm, advertising injury, copyright infringement, and property damage that arise from customers using your product or engaging with your services in any way.

For those in the cleaning service industry, this could look like a lawsuit arising from a client having an allergic reaction to a product you used, an employee sharing sensitive information online that results in personal or professional harm, or damage done to a customer’s property during your cleaning. If your business faces legal action from any of these situations, insurance for cleaning companies would help cover any costs you’re deemed responsible for.

Why should I get insurance for my cleaning company?

While most states do not legally require cleaning companies to have general liability insurance, there are many benefits to small business owners and their employees. Here are just a few reasons you may want to consider enrolling in general liability insurance:

  • Financial security: If you’re still working to establish your business, it may be daunting to consider adding another regular expense to your budget—after all, no one wants to spend money they don’t need to. But this small monthly charge is an investment in your long-term financial security. In the event that a lawsuit comes up, you’ll be protected from paying big legal or medical bills out of pocket.
  • Greater client pool: Many businesses and individuals looking for cleaning services actually require candidates to have this kind of insurance, so enrolling could expand your pool of potential clients.
  • Recruiting and retention: Similarly, many employees look to work for businesses that have this insurance to protect them from liability. Accidents happen—no one wants to lose their livelihood as a result.

There are many other reasons you may want to enroll in insurance for your cleaning company. Every business is unique and has its own set of risks that incentivize buying general liability insurance. Carefully consider your business model to determine exactly what those are for your situation.

How much is cleaning business insurance?

Typically, cleaning service businesses pay less than $45 a month or $530 a year for general liability insurance, though the exact cost of your plan will be determined by the insurance company after carefully evaluating a number of key factors related to your business. This premium would cover all the previously mentioned claims, like bodily injury, property damage, advertising injury, and reputational harm.

However, there are other options to protect your business from paying for legal fees out of pocket. One such option is to choose a business owner’s policy, or BOP, instead of an individual general liability policy. This type of plan includes all the benefits listed above, as well as commercial property insurance. This protects the facility where you store specialized equipment needed to do your job, supplies, administrative office space, and more.

Rather than buying those policies separately and paying two bills, you can combine them into one plan and pay less. On average, the premium for a cleaning service business’s BOP is $43 a month, or $520 a year. While this certainly isn’t a small amount, the investment seems well worth it when you consider the potential cost of even one lawsuit.

Janitorial service bonds and why you need one

A janitorial service bond is a means of protecting your business against potential theft by your employees. As your business grows, you’ll need to hire more and more employees to keep up with growing demand. And while we all strive to hire honest people, in an industry that requires people to go into others’ homes, theft does happen. By investing in a surety bond like this, you ensure the client who has been stolen from is compensated without having to do so out of pocket.

Typically costing around $8 a month, a janitorial service bond is a relatively inexpensive way to gain the trust of current and prospective clients, as many people worry about theft when inviting cleaners into their space. The exact cost depends on how much coverage you choose to purchase and whether or not you’re deemed a high-risk business.

How to get liability insurance for your cleaning business

Obtaining liability insurance is quite simple—just follow the steps below.

  • Gather your documentation: In order to generate a quote for your business, an insurance agency will need information like how long you’ve run your business, how many employees you have, the specific type of work you do, where the business is located and if the space is rented or owned, and your business’s legal history. This information helps them determine your level of risk.
  • Determine your needs: Either independently or with the help of a commercial insurance agent, determine exactly what you need included in your business insurance plan. Every industry and individual business has its own unique risks, and making sure you get the right coverage will help you in the long run.
  • Get quotes and enroll: Once you know what you need, request quotes from several insurance companies. Review them carefully and ask questions to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting. When you’re confident you’ve found the right plan, you can begin the enrollment process.

Whether you decide to do this on your own or with an agent, you’ll be guided through the enrollment process. As long as you have your documentation in order, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Enrolling in insurance for cleaning companies can seem like an unnecessary expense, but it’s a smart investment in your cleaning business’s long-term financial security. If you’re interested in learning more about how to secure finances for your small business, visit NorthOne online. We specialize in online banking for entrepreneurs like you and are here to help your business grow.

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