The thought of organising insurance cover sends many of us into a fit of panic, or causes a collective rolling of the eyes. Yet doing your homework and ensuring that you’ve selected the right policy and cover, could be the difference between your business continuing to trade and you not being able to fulfil your clients’ requirements. Robbie Spear, Director at Gleaming Insurance, talks us through why spending time researching your options is crucial, and makes sound business sense.
It is often said that an insurance policy (business, home, motor etc), and by default an insurance company, is only of real value when you need to make a claim. And, whilst a claim under your home or car insurance policy can be inconvenient and, in some circumstances, quite emotionally traumatic, it’s pretty unlikely that it will effect your livelihood and/or jeopardise the reputation and standing of your business.
What do you need to consider?
When it’s time to start reviewing the insurance cover required for your cleaning business (ordinarily, it’s advisable to start doing this around 30 days before your renewal date), there are some things that you absolutely need to consider…
Firstly, what are the risks in my business (me and/or my employees) carrying out the tasks it’s paid to do? For example, if you’re a window cleaner, what’s the maximum height that I’m likely to work at? If your company specialises in cleaning domestic properties, what happens if a cleaning product that you use causes damage to furniture, or a carpet? Additionally, what are my legal obligations to the public and my employees (if you have them) when we’re working?
As we’re all well aware, we live in an increasingly litigious society where the law (predominantly correctly) looks to favour the ‘complainant’ when, often through negligence, they bring some kind of action against a business. Yes, there are many, many cases where the business is proven not to be negligent, but it’s imperative to make sure that your insurance gives you the safety and reassurance that if you find yourself in this kind of situation, your policy will respond. Also, and viewing insurance through a more traditional lens, you need to consider the value of the equipment, stock and machinery that you need/use in the course of your work.
Which is the right kind of insurance?
Once you’ve started to get clear around your requirements, what are the next steps in determining which is the right kind of insurance for your business? Step 1 (detailed previously, understanding the risks to your business) should have helped you in this sense. Whilst there’s no actual legal requirement for you to take out Public Liability cover, this will protect your livelihood and reputation if you were found to have been legally liable for damage or injury you caused during your business activities.
We see many claims where cleaners have accidentally damaged a carpet, sofa, oven, etc and the cost of the damage is well in excess of £2,000. Do you have a spare £2,000 to pay a customer their compensation, plus legal fees? Not many people do, hence the need to take out public liability insurance.
As also mentioned previously, you need to ensure that your equipment, your tools of the trade, are adequately covered against loss, damage or theft – where would you be without them? What level of cover (insured values) will you need, and does the insurance product that you’re considering adequately provide this?
As well as these fairly basic, but vital, considerations, there are numerous other aspects of insurance cover that you could consider. There are far too many of these to list here, however an example of these would be – loss of customers’ keys, failure to secure a customer’s premises, losses attributable to the dishonesty of your staff, loss of money/takings.
Gleaming are a specialist insurance provider to the UK cleaning industry and have been facilitating insurance solutions to cleaning businesses since 2011. We have helped thousands of companies in the industry to arrange their insurance and we pride ourselves on not only our wide-ranging cover, but also our extensive knowledge of the sector and an understanding of what is important to our clients.
Our exclusive insurance offering and our in-house underwriting expertise, ensures that we are able to provide cover for a wide range of cleaning activities, and also include specialist extensions – such as Damage to Property Being Worked On (if you are accused of damaging the item you are cleaning), and Treatment Risks (if solutions or chemicals damage an item being cleaned) – which are not available under most policies.
The Gleaming team, headed up by Martin Holden and Robbie Spear, have over 75 years of combined experience in the insurance industry, and are widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading specialist insurance providers.
Learn more about cleaning insurance at www.gleaminginsurance.co.uk.