Cleaners & Cleaning Business Insurance

19/06/2013 -- Mary Simpson
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Do Cleaning Businesses need Insurance?

Here are some of the things that could go wrong and where cleaners insurance can come to the rescue:

  • An employee steals cash and valuables from a customer's home.
  • A worker leaves keys in an office or shop door and the premises are burgled.
  • An employee sues you for industrial dermatitis caused by cleaning chemicals.

Employers Liability Insurance

Required by law, Employers Liability Insurance provides cover for injury or illness that your employees may suffer as a result of their work. Make sure you declare all types of cleaning work - office, domestic, carpet/upholstery cleaning, pressure washing, builders cleans, industrial, dry ice cleaning, etc.

Public Liability Insurance

Whether you’re a self employed sole trader or a small cleaning firm, you are legally liable for injury to the public and damage to property caused by your business.

Public liability insurance can give you financial protection against claims, and include cover for treatment risks (eg shrinkage, colour runs, using the wrong cleaning process on carpets, soft furnishings and upholstery).

Although not legally required, many main contractors won't consider a subcontractor who doesn’t have Public Liability Insurance.

Cleaning Insurance Exclusions

Property being worked on: Be aware that damage to property being worked on is often excluded from cleaning insurance policies. Bizarre though that may be, this clause can leave the cleaner having to shoulder the full cost of a loss.

Chemical treatment damage: Damage as a result of any chemical/treatment applied is a standard exclusion under most cleaning contractors and contract cleaners general tradesman policies.

Theft and Loss

Cleaners can forget to shut windows or doors or set the security alarm on a property.  As cleaners often work outside business hours, opportunistic thieves can be quick to take advantage of the situation.

A good cleaners' insurance policy can cover you for this type of employee lapse, and pay out a sum to help meet any losses you have to reimburse to the client.

Specialist cleaning insurers can also provide cover to protect you against other common pitfalls - loss of keys, misuse of customers' telephones and theft of property.

Domestic, Commercial and Industrial Cleaning Contractors Insurance

Based in Bromley in Kent, Camberford Law PLC has been providing specialist insurance for the cleaning industry since 1958.

The nominated insurance advisors to the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) and corporate members of the National Carpet Cleaners Association (NCCA), they insure most types of cleaning businesses. 

Their exclusive Cleaning Contractors and Support Services Insurance Scheme is a good example of the type of cover options available, including:

  • Employers' Liability
  • Public Liability - £1m, £2m and £5m with higher limits available. Included in the public liability section are:
    • Products Liability - for legal liability from any product supplied, stored, handled, manufactured, treated, sold or distributed by you
    • Treatment risks (eg shrinkage, colour runs, using the wrong cleaning process on carpets, soft furnishings and upholstery)
    • Lapse of security at customers' premises caused by staff negligence
    • Damage to customer's property taken off site for cleaning
    • Damage to property being worked on
    • Loss of damage to workers' clothing and personal effects
    • Accidental destruction of customers goods
    • Financial Loss
  • Legal Expenses
  • Property - includes All Risks cover for cleaning machinery in the UK
  • Motor Fleet Insurance
  • Directors & Officers Insurance

Optional extras

  • Loss of customers' keys to cover replacement costs plus any resulting
  • Misuse of Customer Telephones
  • Fidelity Guarantee (theft of money or goods by employees)

Policy holders can access a document drafting facility as well as an online Employment Manual.