Janitorial insurance is a group of policies cleaning businesses purchase to cover their risks. Every cleaning business from residential maid services to commercial janitorial companies need business insurance, but which policies they get depends on their business operations and level of risk. Janitorial insurance costs range from $375 to $3,500 per year.
CoverWallet makes getting janitorial insurance easy. It offers you multiple quotes from top carriers and helps make sure you get affordable coverage fast. Complete a free, no-obligation questionnaire online and get covered in minutes.
Top Janitorial Insurance Providers
Janitors who want to compare offers from multiple insurers for general liability insurance
Small commercial cleaners seeking an easy, online application for coverage
Residential cleaners who want fast online quotes and flexible payment options
Small janitorial businesses who want to include coverage for employee theft in their BOP
Cleaning business owners who want personalized insurance advice from a local agent
When you’re looking for cleaning business insurance, you have two options: work with a broker or go directly to the carrier. Either way, you’re going to want to find a top business insurance company with strong financial ratings and experience in your industry.
CoverWallet is an online insurance brokerage that helps clients get quotes from multiple carriers through a single application. That makes it ideal for business owners who want to shop around for the right coverage without spending a ton of time completing applications with different insurers.
Additionally, CoverWallet holds licenses in every state except Rhode Island and Vermont. This allows its agents to quote small business insurance across the country, including general liability insurance for janitorial businesses.
CoverHound is another insurance broker that allows you to compare multiple policies from top carriers. Its online application takes about five minutes to complete, and it often results in immediate quotes. When it doesn’t, CoverHound provides an estimate based on the business information you provide.
There are many reasons to carry insurance for a cleaning business, but your needs will vary depending on the style of work you typically do. Whether you want to cover damage to your equipment or protect against any damages to clients’ homes, CoverHound will match you with a provider to meet your needs.
Residential cleaning business owners who only work on interiors should consider working with Hiscox when they want a straightforward online experience and affordable coverage. General liability policies from Hiscox start at just under $360 per year, and business owners can opt for a monthly payment plan for no extra charge.
Hiscox is a national carrier that specializes in small business insurance, offering broad coverage in all of its commercial products. The company identifies janitorial as a top industry, which means it has experience with cleaning business risks and can identify the appropriate protection.
For cleaning businesses, Travelers offers a business owner’s policy that combines general liability and property insurance with the added feature of $25,000 of coverage for employee dishonesty. This valuable inclusion makes Travelers the smart choice for business owners who want an affordable BOP and protection for an employee’s criminal behavior.
Travelers is a well-known company with a long history of providing insurance solutions to small businesses. It customizes its insurance products to fit the unique risks of the industries it covers, plus its large size allows the provider to write policies for a few hard-to-insure businesses including startup cleaning businesses.
Liberty Mutual is the best choice for janitorial business owners who prefer to work face-to-face with an insurance expert rather than getting quotes from an online platform. Getting advice from a trusted adviser who has taken the time to learn about your specific business operations can provide peace of mind.
Liberty Mutual might be better known as a homeowner’s and personal auto insurance company, but it has also been named the No. 1 property and casualty carrier for businesses looking to work with independent agents. It achieved this ranking through a combination of financial strength, industry expertise, and local resources.
How Janitorial Insurance Works
Janitorial insurance isn’t a specific policy you can buy. Instead, it’s any number of commercial policies janitors may want to protect their business. Each policy covers a specific set of risks. For example, general liability pays costs associated with customer lawsuits. Small janitorial businesses typically pay between $350 and $800 per year for general liability insurance.
If you own a small cleaning business, you may qualify for a business owner’s policy, or BOP. BOPs bundle general liability and commercial property coverage, often for a lower rate than what you might pay for these policies separately. Janitorial businesses typically pay between $750 to $1,300 for a business owner’s policy.
Types of Janitorial Insurance
The most fundamental type of cleaning business insurance is general liability, which pays for third-party claims over bodily harm and property damage. However, most cleaners need other business policies, especially if they have employees or business-owned vehicles.
Most Common Cleaning Business Insurance Policies
Type of Insurance
What it Covers
Third-party claims for bodily injury or property damage
Cost of business assets such as buildings, equipment, and supplies
Injuries, property damage, and lawsuits arising from accidents involving business-owned vehicles
Employees’ medical bills and wage replacement following work-related illness or injury
Business property as it moves between job sites
Claims that exceed limits on liability coverage
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance protects cleaning businesses when third parties accuse them of causing bodily injury, property damage, or advertising injury through copyright infringement or defamation. Policies often pay for repair bills, medical expenses, and your legal defense in liability lawsuits. Since clients’ lawsuits may be your greatest financial risk, general liability is the most important coverage type for most cleaning businesses.
Some situations that trigger your general liability insurance coverage include:
- A customer slipping on their clean floor after you mop it
- Your employee knocking over an expensive statue in your client’s lobby
- A competitor claiming your tweet about their service is defamation
According to John Espenschied, Agency Principal, Insurance Brokers Group:
“Every cleaning business should own general liability insurance, especially when it will be working on the premises of a client’s place of business or personal residence. The potential for damage to a third party’s property, even if you are not at fault, may result in expensive court costs and lawyer fees. Also, most companies you do business with will ask for proof of insurance or a certificate of liability insurance.”
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing your cleaning business’ physical assets up to your policy limits. These assets typically include your office space, its furniture and fixtures, and your cleaning equipment and supplies. Business owners who lease commercial space can get property insurance for equipment and supplies.
Additionally, janitorial business owners should consider the following endorsements:
- Lost key coverage: Pays for rekeying a building if you or your employees lose the keys
- Employee dishonesty: Pays for a client’s property when it is stolen by an employee
You can choose to insure your business property either at actual cash value or replacement cost. Actual cash value replaces at market value minus depreciation and has lower premiums, whereas replacement cost pays what it costs to replace the item at today’s value but has higher premiums.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Cleaning businesses that own cars, trucks, vans, or a combination of vehicles need commercial auto insurance in case one is involved in an accident. Policies can cover your repairs and medical bills, the other driver’s damages, and your attorney’s fees if the other driver sues. What your auto policy pays for depends on which coverage options you pick.
Commercial auto coverage options include:
- Liability: Pays the other driver’s medical and repair bills or your legal bills if they sue (Most states require you to have at least liability coverage for your business-owned vehicles)
- Collision: Covers your repair bills after a car accident
- Comprehensive: Pays your repair bills after damage is caused by something other than a car accident, such as theft or vandalism
- Medical payments: Covers you and your passenger’s medical bills after a car accident regardless of who caused the accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist: Covers your medical and repair bills after an accident with a driver who either doesn’t have coverage or whose coverage is insufficient for the damages
- Hired and non-owned liability: Pays the other driver’s medical and repair bills after an accident in a vehicle that’s rented, hired, or leased but not owned by your business
Personal auto policies exclude business driving when the vehicle in question is used primarily for business, but they may cover periodic business trips. Cleaning business owners who use their own car or truck for work need to review their policies or work with their agents to make sure they are covered.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Most states require businesses with even a single employee to carry workers’ compensation coverage to pay for their lost wages and medical bills if they suffer a work-related illness or injury. Policies sometimes include coverage for your legal defense if an employee claims your negligence or intentional acts caused their injuries.
Situations workers’ compensation insurance typically covers include:
- An employee’s chemically-induced lung disease after years of inhaling toxic materials
- An employee’s broken arm after falling down the stairs
- An employee’s work-related lower back pain
Janitors, maids, and other cleaners face several work hazards, and their injuries are not covered by other liability insurance policies.
Inland Marine Insurance
Inland marine insurance is a type of property coverage that follows your equipment as it moves between work sites and when it’s stored in an off-site facility. Commercial property insurance only covers property when it’s at the location listed on the policy. This is insufficient for most janitorial and cleaning businesses because most need to transport equipment and supplies to their clients’ homes or offices.
Aside from covering your business’s physical assets away from your main location, inland marine acts much like commercial property. It covers similar perils, such as fire, wind, theft and vandalism, and it can be written on an actual cash value or replacement value basis.
Umbrella insurance extends the limits of your other liability policies, which basically means it picks up where the others fall short. For example, if you have a general liability limit of $300,000 and your cleaning business has legal fees of $350,000, umbrella insurance can cover the $50,000 excess.
Commercial umbrella policies only extend coverage on certain policies, including:
- General liability
- Employer’s liability
- Commercial auto liability
Extending coverage on general liability may help you land large commercial jobs where the contract requires larger liability limits. Your umbrella coverage helps you meet the requirements, and it usually costs less than adding to your general liability limits.
Janitorial Bonding Insurance
Janitorial bonding insurance is a three-party agreement between your cleaning business, your client, and your insurer, or surety. The agreement states that the surety will pay the client if something goes wrong and then get reimbursed by you. Cleaning and janitorial bonds typically cost 1% to 15% of the total amount of the bond.
Janitorial surety bonds typically cover two types of claims:
- Employee theft
- Failure to deliver on a contract
A surety bond works more like a guarantee than traditional insurance. This, plus the fact that your insurer promises to first pay and then get reimbursed by you, makes getting janitorial bonds more like qualifying with a lender than buying insurance from an agent. Surety bond providers want to see more established companies with good track records and owners with good finances. That can make getting a janitorial bond difficult for startups and more costly for owners with bad credit.
According to Jeremy Schaedler, President, Schaedler Insurance Agency, Inc.:
“While often an afterthought to business liability insurance, cleaning businesses should strongly consider buying a janitorial bond as well. A janitorial bond is a great form of advertising for cleaning businesses because it tells potential customers their business is trustworthy. The bond serves the purpose of protecting clients in the event of theft by the business’s employees. This bond typically can be purchased for amounts ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 in coverage and is very affordable most of the time with premiums starting in the low $100 range per year.”
Janitorial businesses that are bonded and insured often have an easier time landing large commercial contracts. For instance, building owners usually want to protect their business and their tenants, so they make bonds and liability insurance contractual requirements. Considering a recent study showed that office buildings comprise 31% of the commercial cleaning contracts, janitorial businesses owners would be smart to get covered.
Janitorial Insurance Costs
Janitorial insurance costs range from about $375 to $3,500 per year, depending on coverage needs. Small cleaning businesses might pay $750 to $1,300 each year if they only require a business owner’s policy. For comparison, large janitorial businesses that need additional policies should expect to pay several thousand dollars per year.
Janitorial Insurance Costs by Coverage and Policy Type
Typical Annual Premiums
General liability insurance
$375 - $800
Commercial property insurance
$10,000 - $100,000
$380 - $1,000
Business owner’s policy
$750 - $1,300
Commercial auto insurance
$1,500 - $2,500
Workers’ compensation insurance
$1,500 - $3,500
Inland marine insurance
$10,000 - $100,000
$180 - $1,500
$400 - $1,500
Your total cleaning business insurance costs is the sum of all your yearly premiums. Still, businesses with similar insurance needs can end up paying different rates because insurers look at a variety of factors to determine premium.
Some of the items insurers use to calculate your cleaning business insurance costs include:
- Clients: Business owners with commercial and industry contracts face more risk, so they pay more for their janitorial insurance than those who take only residential work
- Revenue: Businesses that earn more have more to lose, and that makes them riskier to insure, causing their rates to go up
- Claims history: Businesses with few or no claims usually get more favorable rates because insurers assume they are safer than others
- Employees: More employees automatically increase your workers’ comp premiums simply because you have more people to cover, but other policy rates may go up because of the additional risks employees bring
- Location: A business located in a flood zone, in a high-crime area, or far from a fire station pays more for their janitorial insurance
- Coverage limits: Increasing your limits provides greater coverage, but it also means you pay more for your insurance
- Deductibles: Higher deductibles usually mean lower premiums, but you want to make sure you choose an amount you can afford to pay if a disaster strikes
Cleaning business insurance costs can vary from carrier to carrier, so business owners should get multiple quotes before they pick their policies. That way they can compare rates and policy details to find insurance that suits their business. Business owners who don’t have the time to shop around for policies can use a broker like CoverWallet to get matched up with the provider that’s best for them.
Tips on Getting Janitorial & Cleaning Business Insurance
Buying janitorial insurance is not like buying other forms of insurance that are standardized and easy to find, such as life insurance or health insurance. Before shopping for insurance policies, there are a few important things to know that can help you get the best policy for your cleaning business.
Here are four tips to help you buy cleaning business insurance:
1. Gather Your Business Information
Whether you work with an agent or purchase online from a carrier, buying janitorial insurance requires filling out an application. You need to fill out this application accurately because the information on it helps determine your rate. Moreover, incorrect details may mean your carrier denies your claim if you ever have to file one.
Some of the information you need to fill out on insurance applications:
- Business contact information
- Revenue estimates for the year
- Number of employees
- Number and type of vehicles used for the business
- Claims history for at least three years
2. Know Your Risk Exposures
Businesses have inherent risks that increase the owner’s chance of loss. For cleaning businesses, the inherent risks include injuries to you or your employees from slip-and-falls or exposure to dangerous chemicals, damage to your client’s property, and accidents while traveling between work locations. Once you know your risks, you can identify the coverage you need.
3. Look at Value, Not Price
You don’t want to be underinsured or over-insured. Cheaper janitorial insurance with limited coverage may mean you’re out of luck when it’s time to file a claim. At the same time, getting more coverage than you need can hurt your bottom line. Your best option is to compare both cleaning business insurance costs and policy terms.
4. Use an Agent or Broker Who Knows Your Industry
It’s important to you work with someone who knows your industry because it means they understand your risks and how to cover them sufficiently. Since you know your business better than anyone else, you’ll quickly be able to tell whether or not an agent or broker specializes in covering cleaning businesses.
According to Ryan Knoll, owner of Tidy Casa Cleaning and Maid Service:
“Cleaning companies have very specific needs when it comes to insurance and there are only a handful of companies who specialize in working with them. This is especially true when it comes to workers’ compensation. In my first few years of business, I used three or four insurance companies instead of one. Once I found a company that specializes in insurance for cleaning companies, I consolidated coverages and saved about $6,000 per year. Spend the time and do the research. Find someone who knows about your niche.”
Janitorial Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This article covers most of the information you need to choose the appropriate janitorial insurance for your operations. However, every cleaning business has its quirks, so we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions here.
Do I need insurance to start a cleaning business?
Every state has its own rules regarding licensing. Some may require janitorial insurance to get your business license or a service contractor’s license, so it’s a good idea to contact your state government before you apply. However, even if insurance isn’t required, you may want coverage to both protect your business and earn prospects’ trust.
Do home-based businesses need janitorial insurance?
You most likely need janitorial insurance even if you run your business from your home office. Most homeowner’s insurance policies exclude business activities, so your insurer may decline work-related claims, such as a delivery person slipping on your front walk if they’re delivering cleaning supplies. Home-based business owners can usually cover their risk with a BOP.
Does my cleaning business insurance cover independent contractors?
Some basic business policies specifically exclude 1099-employees, including general liability. That’s a big risk to your cleaning business because clients may sue you for independent contractors’ mistakes. This is why it’s important to work with an agent who can help you decipher your policy and advise you on what to do about the gaps.
Whether you’re a sole proprietor offering house cleaning services or own a janitorial cleaning company, you need quality small business insurance. Even if your business assets are limited and you don’t have expensive equipment to cover, you can still be liable for third-party property damage and injuries. Getting adequate insurance coverage is essential to protecting your business when the worst case scenario happens.
Purchasing the right janitorial insurance for your company can be a relatively inexpensive way to protect against a loss so severe it puts you out of business. If you need reliable coverage for your cleaning business fast, connect with an expert at CoverWallet today.