Running a window washing business can be lucrative. However, it's not without risks. Window cleaners face potential liabilities, accidents, and property damage from their business operations. To protect yourself, your employees, and your business, having comprehensive insurance is essential.
You can learn about the different coverage options available for this industry and the critical considerations for selecting the right policy to protect your business.
Why Get Insured?
As a window cleaner, you are responsible for the safety of your clients and their property. General liability insurance can help protect you from liability risks, such as bodily injury, property damage, and legal expenses resulting from accidents or negligence. This insurance can help you to pay for medical expenses, repair or replace property, and defend yourself against a lawsuit.
Here are some additional tips for window cleaners to reduce liability risks:
- Wear safety gear.
- Be careful not to drop anything.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Get written permission.
- Keep a record of your work.
Window cleaning businesses heavily depend on valuable tools like ladders, scaffolding, lifts, and specialized cleaning equipment. Insuring this equipment is essential to safeguard it against theft, vandalism, fire, and other perils. Considering the mobility and value of this equipment, an inland marine policy covering mobile equipment may be a necessary investment. This coverage simplifies equipment replacement, minimizes downtime, and ensures uninterrupted operations for covered claims.
Workers' compensation insurance is an important part of your window cleaning insurance if you have employees. It pays for your employee's medical expenses from work-related injuries and occupational diseases. Most workers' compensation policies include employers' liability, which helps protect your business from third-party legal liability as an employer.
Workers' compensation insurance typically covers medical expenses, a percentage of lost wages, and death benefits statutorily required for employees injured at work. It does not cover all employee-related claims, so you may also need to purchase employment practices liability insurance that covers employee claims of discrimination, wrongful termination, or sexual harassment allegations.
Business Auto Coverage
Window cleaning businesses often require vehicles for transporting equipment to different job sites. Commercial auto insurance protects you against third-party bodily injury and property damage liability caused by at-fault accidents where your driver was negligent. You may opt for physical damage on your business-owned vehicles to cover auto damage from fire, theft, vandalism, and collision. You may even get reimbursement for a rental while your car is in the shop being repaired from a covered claim. This helps your firm operate smoothly in the event of an unforeseen accident.
While general liability and other insurance policies offer coverage limits, there may be situations where claims exceed the policy's limit. Commercial umbrella insurance helps provide additional protection by extending the limit on your underlying general, auto, and employer liability coverage. This window-cleaning insurance coverage is an extra safety net, ensuring your firm is adequately protected against high-cost lawsuits and claims that could potentially exhaust your primary liability policies' limits.
Business Owner's Policy (BOP)
A BOP for window cleaners combines multiple insurance coverages, general liability, and commercial property into a single package.
A BOP may help cover the following costs:
- Lawsuits related to customer injuries or property damage caused by your cleaning services
- Voluntary medical expenses for third-party injuries resulting from your business operations
- Business-owned asset loss
- Damage to your rented or owned commercial space
- Lawsuits associated with accidental advertising injuries like libel and copyright infringement
- Business interruption resulting from covered physical damage to your building forcing your company to shut down temporarily.
Additional Policies to Consider
Window cleaners who store sensitive customer data on computer servers or use online platforms for communications and transactions may need cyber insurance.
Here are some of the things that cyber insurance can cover:
- Data breach notification costs: These are the costs of notifying customers that their personal information has been compromised.
- Credit monitoring expense for affected parties
- Data recovery costs are the costs incurred for recovering lost or stolen data.
- Legal fees: These are the costs of defending your business against third-party lawsuits arising from a data breach.
- Business interruption: Replaces income loss due to an insured cyber incident.
When running a window cleaning business, your employees often have access to private homes and offices, sometimes without direct supervision. While you may trust your employees, this level of access presents an opportunity for theft.
Janitorial/surety bonds are necessary for your client to recover from such an incident. These bonds act as a surety that reimburses your clients in the event of employee property theft. In addition, some clients may require your company to have this coverage as they may consider it risky to invite cleaners into their homes or workplaces.
It's important to note that janitorial bonds exclude property damage liability and other mishaps occurring during a cleaning job, for which you'll need to have general liability.
Window Cleaning Insurance Costs
Here's what you need to keep in mind when calculating your coverage costs:
1. Assess Your Risks
Identify the specific risks associated with your window cleaning business, such as annual revenue, employee risks, value of specialized equipment, and operating in busy urban areas.
2. Customize Your Policy
Work closely with business insurance agents who understand window cleaning insurance and will recommend appropriate coverage. They can tailor your policy to match your specific needs.
3. Review Your Policy
Regularly review your insurance coverage to ensure it aligns with changes in your business operations, expansion plans, and regulatory requirements.
The Benefits of Getting Insured
Window cleaning insurance can protect your firm, assets, and employees. Various policies address specific business needs, from general liability and property coverage to worker's compensation and inland marine.
Insurance Advisor can assist you in finding the optimum insurance today. With their industry knowledge and expertise, our agents can help you navigate the complexities of insurance and provide multiple quotes to select the policies that meet your business needs. Visit the Insurance Advisor blog for more insights or explore more services on our website.