There are plenty of things to consider when running a cleaning business, whether you’re a sole trader or a limited company with employees. One consideration as a business owner is whether you need insurance. In this guide, one of our DCBN partners Superscript clear up any questions you may have about insurance and provide you with the right information for you to decide whether you need cover.
What is business insurance?
Business insurance is a broad term to describe a combination of individual covers, or products, that combined make up your insurance coverage. Which covers you require will be based on a number of factors, including the type of cleaning you do, the size of your business and where you work, more on this later.
What do I need to consider?
If you’re deciding whether you need business insurance, there are a few things to consider:
- Could you afford the cost of a claim? Often the cost of a claim will far outweigh the premium you pay to have cover in place.
- Do you have a legal obligation? If you have employees, insurance is a legal requirement in the UK, with some exceptions.
- Do your clients or associations require it to do business with you? Whilst not a legal requirement, often clients and associations will require certain levels of coverage in order to work with you.
Insurance can protect you from financial risk, cover legal costs and, in some cases, it can be a requirement to trade.
What risks do cleaning businesses commonly face?
All businesses will face some level of risk; understanding these risks will help you run your business effectively. Whilst every business is different, some of the risks you may encounter when running a cleaning business include:
- Slips and trips – As a cleaner you’ll be no stranger to a mopped floor. If a client or member of the public slips on a wet floor or trips over your equipment resulting in injury, they may be entitled to make a claim against you.
- Spills and stains – Accidents happen. If you knock over a bottle of bleach while working and stain a client’s carpet they may be entitled to make a claim against you.
- Injury to an employee – Handling equipment such as a steam cleaner can be dangerous. If an employee accidentally burns their hand, for example, you may be liable as their employer.
- Lost, damaged or stolen equipment – You rely on equipment to do your job. If that equipment is lost, damaged or stolen you may find yourself out of pocket and unable to work.
The good news is, for the risk your business may face, there is usually a corresponding insurance cover.
What insurance should cleaning businesses consider?
Each business is different, and therefore you should always look for insurance coverage that is tailored to your specific needs. We’ve outlined some common covers related to the risks explained above.
If a client or member of the public suffers an accidental injury, or accidental damage to their property as a result of your work, public liability can cover the legal and compensation costs in the event of a claim.
Similarly, if an employee suffers an injury or damage to their property in the course of working for you, employers’ liability can cover the legal and compensation costs in the event of their claim. Employers liability is a legal requirement in the UK if you have employees, you could be fined for every day it’s not in place.
Personal accident cover
Whether you have employees or are a sole trader, suffering an accident resulting in injury that leaves you or an employee unable to work could be costly. For injuries including loss of sight, hearing, speech or limb, or if an employee is left disabled as a result of an accident, personal accident cover can pay compensation to cover your earnings until you get back on your feet. It may also pay out if an accident results in disability where the individual is left permanently unable to work.
Business equipment insurance
If your cleaning equipment gets stolen or is accidentally damaged, business equipment insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing it. You may also consider hire-in machinery cover if you rent or hire equipment to do your work.
If you handle any client data online or rely on software to take booking or payments, for example, cyber insurance is an important consideration and can cover you for things like accidental data breaches, business interruption and cybercrime.
4 tips for insuring your business
If this information has left you thinking you might need to take out insurance, or update your existing coverage, here are the top 4 tips for insuring your business:
- Do your research – as with any purchase it’s important to do your research to find the insurer that is right for you. Check reviews, make sure the insurer offers the cover you need in the way you want it and check their accreditation.
- Provide accurate information – when running a quote it’s important to provide accurate information about your business to ensure the cover you are offered is fit for purpose.
- Tailor your cover – being able to tailor your insurance will ensure you can be confident you’ll be covered in the event of a claim, whilst also making sure you’re not paying for covers you don’t need.
- Keep your insurance up to date – reviewing your cover regularly as your business grows will help keep your coverage fit for purpose. Adding more employees, picking up new business activities or purchasing more equipment may all be reasons to update your coverage.
As a DCBN Partner, Superscript offer an amazing discount for our members via a special members only quote page. with 20% off their monthly insurance subscription for the first 12 months. Superscript’s flexible monthly cover gives small businesses and self-employed professionals the freedom to adjust cover as things change. Get covered in just 10 minutes.
To find out more about membership, click here: https://dcbn.org.uk/membership/ or if you are already a member, you can find details of the Superscript and many other deals here in the members area: https://dcbn.org.uk/deals/