Why Janitorial Insurance is all About Risk Management

Why Janitorial Insurance is all About Risk Management

October 30, 2018

Do you need Janitorial Insurance?

Running a successful janitorial services business relies on two crucial factors: Your knowledge and experience of client needs and your ability to manage the unique risks you face every day.

Why is risk management so important? Unlike most businesses, firms that provide janitorial and cleaning services spend most of their time in other people's buildings and handling others' property.

This relies on several key factors, including:

  • Wise selection of employees -- that means trustworthy individuals capable of handling the physical demands of the job, and the ability to follow instructions, often without close supervision.
  • Properly trained employees -- equipping them with the skills to do their jobs effectively, with additional training for new job challenges.
  • Documented safety processes -- for example, wearing the right clothing, using equipment correctly, knowing how to lift safely, and so on.
  • The protection of a solid janitorial insurance program

Getting the first three right will enable your business to build a good reputation and hopefully grow income.

Having the right insurance will protect you effectively if or when things go wrong. And the chances of that happening are high.

What Can Go Wrong?

Because you and your employees work in others’ business, healthcare and residential premises, your firm is exposed to risks arising from employee dishonesty, damage to equipment and furnishings, or injuries to others caused by an employee's actions (for example leaving a trip hazard in place), among others.

Your employees are also often handling cleaning chemicals and lots of water. They may be required to lift or move heavy objects. They may injure themselves.

Beyond these risks, you'll likely have your own premises or home-based business, as well as commercial vehicles, which are at risk damage or destruction, theft or vandalism.

What is Janitorial Insurance?

First and foremost, it's the solution to the kind of problems we just discussed.

Ideally, it's a unique program of insurance policies customized to your business needs, based on a professional assessment of the risk areas by an experienced insurance agent.

It should be flexible enough to cope with the changing shape of your business and clientele. And, of course, it should be competitively priced -- not just when you get it but also each time it's renewed.

What Types of Janitorial Insurance Do I Need?

Your insurance coverage would be very similar in structure to that of many other businesses, but individual account would need to be taken of any special risks you face.

Some aspects are considered essential for all firms, while others are options you should discuss with your agent.

  • General liability insurance -- protects you against lawsuits, defense costs and settlements arising from your activities, as well as costs for breakage repairs and replacement.
  • Commercial property insurance to protect your premises and equipment, perhaps with additional coverage for materials and equipment you use on-site.
  • Business Owners Policy (BOP), which combines liability, property and other coverages into a single policy.
  • Commercial vehicles insurance for your vans and autos -- plus coverage for employee vehicles used for business.
  • Workers compensation insurance to meet wages, medical and other costs for employees who are injured in the job.
  • Business income protection -- insures you against the effects of disruption of your activities.
  • Cyber liability insurance to protect you against the financial effects of a data breach.
  • Umbrella insurance. This sits over and above your other policies, kicking in with more coverage when your standard policy limits are breached.

What Are Janitorial Bonds?

Because you're mostly working in others' premises and handling their equipment, potential clients want to know they can trust you.

A janitorial surety bond, obtained through your insurance agent, is a service agreement between you, your client and the insurance company. It's a contract that promises to pay the client in the event you fall short in the service you provide.

Offering janitorial bonding makes a valuable statement about your reliability -- not least because if the insurance company does have to pay out, you'll then owe them the sum they paid. In other words, your financial commitment is on the line.

You can usually obtain a bond, which costs from $100 upwards for $100,000 coverage, at very short notice, typically within a day.


What Kind of Janitorial Businesses Can be Protected?

With more than three million people employed in the janitorial industry in the US, the scope of individual businesses is amazingly wide -- and all are insurable.

These include:

  • Office, factory, schools and health facility janitorial services
  • House cleaning and maintenance
  • Maid services for hotels and other establishments
  • Residential and commercial disaster recovery and clean up services
  • Carpet and upholstery cleaning
  • Laundry services
  • Lawn care businesses
  • Window cleaners.

How Much Does Cleaning Insurance Cost?

Naturally, the cost of janitorial service insurance varies widely here in Texas. For example, insurance carriers will want to know the size of the firm, its income, past history of claims and the dollar limits of your coverage.

A typical general liability premium for individual janitors and small firms might run to between $500 and $1,000 a year for up to $2m of coverage, while commercial property coverage runs out an average $500. The average cost of a $2m BOP policy is around $1,000 per year.

Obviously, your premium would be higher if you're a larger business or working in high-risk areas.


Finding the Right Janitorial Services Insurance

Because of the nature of a janitorial or cleaning business, it's important to be able to draw on the expertise of an insurance agent with experience of the industry -- people like Pasadena Insurance Agency.

They should be able to provide insight and advice on risk management, and have the right connections with leading insurers to be able to negotiate the most competitive rates.

They also should keep your coverage under continuous review and be there to help and advice in the event of your having to make a claim.

If you're looking for that kind of service here in Texas -- whether you're just starting out or renewing your coverage -- contact us at: 713-869-6991 for a no-cost, no-commitment discussion. The Agency has developed a special proprietary program called The Cost Control Strategy Solution™ (TCCSS) to perform its risk management services. TCCSS helps our clients save time and money by using advanced strategies to dramatically lower the frequency and severity of their claims to real, personal, intellectual and human assets.