As with most things in window cleaning, the question of the necessity of insurance is not clear-cut. Window cleaners are active throughout the day, are in potentially dangerous situations and have to comply with a lot of health and safety legislation, so it would seem obvious that insurance is necessary.
Employer’s liability insurance
However, the only legal requirement for window cleaners to have insurance is in the case of employer liability, when a company owner employs staff. While this is not relevant for any one man one band operations, employer’s liability insurance protects you in the case of your staff making a claim against you if they get injured at work. Employer’s liability insurance covers both the cost of the claim, as well as the legal fees incurred, although specific policies offer different levels of cover.
Public liability insurance
Despite this, many windows cleaners choose to take public liability insurance in order to cover themselves from any accidents, giving them the peace of mind that they are protected from the costs of any potential accidents at work. Window cleaners have constant access to other peoples’ property, so they are constantly in situations where claims could be made against them – public liability in your window cleaning insurance would protect you from this.
It’s not only clients who could make a claim against you for damages, however. Any member of the public can claim that they have suffered personal damage, injury or loss as a direct result of your actions.
Accidents do happen, and, in the case of window cleaning, there is a lot that can go wrong. Damage to a window or drainpipes while working or even the van you use while driving around are sources of potential risk. The cost of claims can be huge, and, when combined with the legal fees incurred, could run into millions of pounds.
As such, public liability often has a minimum cover of £1 million, with a maximum of £5 million, but all can be adjusted depending on the size and scale of your operations. It is also well worth considering the additional extras that public liability insurance can provide, like cover against financial loss and products liability.
Therefore, it’s not difficult to see why the vast majority of window cleaners take out public liability insurance, even when it’s not a legal requirement. Having that peace of mind that you are fully protected means you can go about your job without any additional worries.