There are as many different types of cleaner as there are different types of places to clean. Some cleaners specialise in domestic properties. Others clean retail premises, offices or residential care homes.
But what they all have in common is that they all need insurance to protect their cleaning businesses against unexpected losses. And there are a number of different types of insurance to cover the different types of risks that cleaners face.
So, what insurance does a self-employed cleaner need?
Public liability insurance
As a cleaner, you’ll be coming into contact with members of the public on a regular basis. Even if you have done your cleaning before the public appears, it is possible they could be affected by something that you have done.
If you’ve cleaned a floor but it hasn’t dried by the time a shop opens, for instance, someone could slip on that floor. If they broke a bone as a result of that slip, the compensation claim made against you could easily cost over £20,000 by the time that their loss of wages, legal costs and the cost of any expenses they had incurred was added to the compensation for their actual injury.
Public liability insurance protects you against compensation claims made by members of the public that allege you have injured them or damaged their property. Your public liability insurer will also defend claims on your behalf, meaning that you can concentrate on cleaning for your clients, rather than having to concentrate on legal paperwork.
If you are working on commercial premises, it’s quite common for the owner of the premises to insist that you can show evidence that you have public liability insurance as a condition of the contract. Without public liability insurance, you’ll be restricted in terms of the jobs you are able to undertake.
Employer’s liability insurance
If you employ anyone, even if those people are only employed on a casual or temporary basis, you’re legally required to have employer’s liability insurance. There are heavy fines for anyone who operates without employer’s liability insurance when they are required to be insured.
Employer’s liability is similar to public liability insurance, but it protects you against compensation claims made by employees rather than compensation claims made by members of the public. Like public liability insurance, your employer’s liability insurers will deal with claims on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about dealing with legal paperwork.
Cleaners will be cleaning other people’s premises, so they will need some way to get there. Usually that will mean that they will be using a car or a van, and anyone using a car or a van to travel between jobs is legally required to have motor insurance.
Motor insurance covers you if someone makes a claim against you because they’ve been injured or their property has been damaged as a result of an accident that was your fault. It you have comprehensive insurance, the damage to your own vehicle is covered as well. Third party, fire and theft insurance is cheaper, but that only covers damage to your own vehicle if the damage was caused by fire or theft.
Some motor insurance policies only cover you for social, domestic and pleasure use so it is important to check with your motor insurer that you are covered for using your vehicle to travel to and from your clients.
As a cleaner, you’ll have tools, equipment and cleaning materials. You’ll also have a mobile phone, and it’s quite likely you’ll have a computer that you use to run your business.
Without these items you’d not be able to run your business. Property insurance can protect you against losses due to accidental damage or theft of those items. It comes in two different forms – tools and equipment insurance and business contents insurance. Tools and equipment insurance specifically covers the tools and equipment you use for your work. Business contents insurance protects any property you use to carry out the business operations of your work, including telephones and computers.
Overall, it’s important to ensure you have all of these areas covered by your self-employed cleaner’s insurance policy. The only exception to this is motor insurance, which you’ll typically have insured under a different policy altogether. Visit our Cleaner’s Insurance page to get a quote now.