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Janitors Face High Injury Risks

of all work injuries are caused by musculoskeletal disorders

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal injuries – the sprains and strains that result from repetitive movements – required an average of three more days of recuperation than all other injuries. These are the type of injuries to which janitors, cleaners, and housekeepers are most susceptible. In fact, custodians are hurt at a rate of 472.4 per 10,000 workers, a work injury rate more than four times the average (109.4 per 10,000 workers). Considering those numbers, you can see why Workers’ Compensation Insurance is vital for clients who own small cleaning businesses.

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Recommended Insurance Policies for Cleaning & Janitorial Services

Cleaning and janitorial service providers face unique risks, such as exposure to toxic materials, fall hazards (if they climb scaffolds), and odd work hours. Your familiarity with these risks can help you connect your clients with the coverages they need to protect their finances and their employees.

Your clients in the cleaning services industry may benefit from the following policies:

General Liability Insurance

Maids and janitors may have an office, but a lot of their work occurs at their client's location. This means they run the risk of being sued over damage they cause to other's property. General Liability Insurance can cover such third-party claims. For example, if a customer alleges that your client ruined an expensive appliance while cleaning it, General Liability can cover the cost of its replacement. If the customer sues, GL pays legal defense fees and settlements or judgments.

Property Insurance and SPICE

Your cleaning service client probably has expensive equipment - such as carpet steamers and high-powered vacuums - that they transport to their customer's property. Property Insurance protects these essential assets while they are in your client's primary business location. If insured items are destroyed or lost because of theft, windstorms, or fires, your client's Property policy pays for their repair or replacement. Your maintenance industry client should also consider adding a SPICE rider to their plan. It protects their equipment while it's in transport between sites. A SPICE endorsement also has $25,000 of basic business income protection for locations your client selects. It covers the income your client may lose when a property loss keeps them from work.

Business Owner's Policy (BOP)

Your client's small business might qualify for a Business Owner's Policy (BOP). A BOP lowers your client's premium by bundling General Liability with Property Insurance at a discounted rate.

Commercial Auto / Hired & Non-Owned Auto Insurance

Your client most likely owns or rents car and trucks for transporting people and equipment to their worksites. Commercial Auto / Hired & Non-Owned Auto Insurance covers some risks of the road, such as property damage and liability lawsuits stemming from auto collisions. If your client relies on their employees to drive their own vehicles for work purposes, they should consider carrying Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance. This policy covers legal expenses when your client's business is sued for an auto accident involving a car it doesn't own. If your client owns vehicles in their business's name, they should opt for Commercial Auto Insurance.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Nearly every business owner with employees will need to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance to comply with state laws. Your cleaning services client's employees are especially susceptible to workplace injuries, considering their physical labor and exposure to chemicals. Workers' Compensation covers employees' medical expenses and lost wages if they are hurt on the job or develop occupational illnesses.

Tips for Insuring Cleaning & Janitorial Services

Cleaning services businesses face unique risks, often because they're job requires that they spend most of their workday on someone else's property. You might want to investigate:

A SPICE Endorsement

A Supplemental Property Insurance Coverage Endorsement, or SPICE, can be added to a client's Property Insurance to protect their personal property when it is in transit or at a remote location. This endorsement also adds $25,000 of basic business protection at selected locations. If your client employs workers, a SPICE endorsement can also cover them for losses caused by employee theft and forgery.

Excess Liability / Umbrella Insurance

Excess Liability Insurance boosts your client's liability protection. Think of it as a safety net when your client's General Liability or Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance limits have been exceeded. When that happens, your client can make a claim on their Umbrella policy to cover the amount leftover on the claim. This policy can also help your clients meet contractually obligated liability insurance minimums.

The nature of maintenance work creates exposures that other clients may not have to worry about. Be sure to discuss where your client spends their day when they start looking for coverage.

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