Professional upholstery and carpet cleaning businesses provide an important service to many homes and businesses. You and your employees work wonders and restore carpets and upholstery to their former glory. At least, that’s what customers typically expect. But, your industry has risks and exposures that are unique to your cleaning operations. That’s why it’s vital to explore the best upholstery and carpet cleaning insurance options available to your business. In that way, your company is protected, so you can focus on running your business.
Types of Businesses Potentially Covered Under Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Insurance
- Commercial cleaning of upholstery and carpets
- Residential upholstery and carpet cleaning
- Sofa and other types of furniture cleaning
- Mattress cleaning operations
- Curtain cleaning
- Car detailing involving interior cleaning
Why is Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning Insurance Needed for my Business?
The work you and your employees do is part science and part skill. For instance, did you know there are over 300 different kinds of upholstery fabrics, while only a handful or so are common to carpeting? However, newer imports arrive in American furniture warehouses every day.
You’re probably familiar with how certain cleaners and chemicals will react with most of the carpet and upholstery material you encounter. Although you and your team are professionals who’ve likely cleaned hundreds or thousands of pieces of furniture and carpets, there’s always the risk of an unknown or previously untested fiber or fabric that is more subject to ruining after a cleaning.
Here are some real-world examples of claims received by upholstery and carpet cleaning insurance companies every day:
- Unintentional damage on an item being cleaned or an object close to it
- Mold and mildew damage on carpets and upholstery that didn’t dry fast enough after a cleaning
- Unexpected color disturbances on materials or weakening of fibers
- Auto accidents to or from a job site that damage one of your commercial vehicles or injure a third party
- Customers getting injured while walking on a wet floor, even though they were asked to stay away during the cleaning
- Carpet and upholstery cleaning workers getting sick from cleaning solutions and chemicals or getting hurt on the job
- Upholstery and carpet cleaning companies getting sued after a worker steals from a customer
These are just a few examples of the possible things that can happen when running an upholstery and carpet cleaning company.
Upholstery and carpet cleaning insurance protects your business and others.
There are direct risks to your business, as well as client risks and potential threats to your workers’ well-being.
Your business is faced with challenges every day as it cleans the homes and offices of clients. You’ve also likely invested thousands of dollars in carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment like steam vacuums, carpet cleaners, water extractors, upholstery tools, air moving equipment, floor scrubbing machines, defoamers, commercial rug cleaning equipment, chemicals, and more.
Your carpet and upholstery cleaning business likely has amassed an impressive clientele list of restaurants, party planners and caterers, hotels, professionals, elite homeowners, and more.
Even if you’re a new business and haven’t quite gotten there yet, the last thing you want is to be underinsured and not be able to make things right if something goes wrong.
Your reputation is everything. And, being adequately insured shows customers that you take your business seriously and are prepared for any incident.
Types of Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning Insurance
There are several different types of upholstery and carpet cleaning insurance from which your business might benefit. Some are specialty coverages that may not be available from typical insurance companies.
That’s why it’s best to obtain your small business insurance from a specialty insurer who understands and serves the janitorial industry.
Here are a few of the types of insurance you should consider:
General Liability Insurance
General liability coverage protects your carpet cleaning and upholstery business from:
- Accusations that you or your crew has caused property damage at a client or third party’s property
- Allegations that your business has caused an accident, illness, or injury at a client or third-party location
- Accidents at your commercial location, such as a slip and fall incidence
- Accusations of slander or libel, that is, when someone else feels a representative of your business has caused reputational harm
General liability insurance is usually the first commercial insurance purchased by a business. The Small Business Administration says that up to 53% of companies are sued while operating their businesses. That figure is likely higher for a business in the janitorial industry.
Liability coverage will pay for property damage, medical expenses, and legal expenses up to the predetermined covered amounts in the policy.
Examples of General Liability Claims
- A homeowner who just hired your upholstery and carpet cleaning service accuses one of your workers of knocking over and breaking a rare antique vase worth thousands.
- A business claims that cleaning solutions used to clean their upholstery items and carpets has made their workers and a couple of customers ill.
- One of your business’s former customers tells another carpet cleaning business that one of your workers made comments that diminished their reputation by citing shoddy work and the use of harmful products.
- A customer slips at your place of business as they enter your workplace just after it has begun raining.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
One type of small business insurance that is required by nearly every state is workers’ compensation insurance.
But beyond the legal requirements, anytime you have a cleaning crew working for you, there’s always the chance they will suffer an accident or illness due to their job duties.
Workers’ comp will cover:
- Medical expenses for your workers when related to a job injury or exposure (illness)
- Loss of income while they’re out of work due to an accident or illness
- Death benefits to survivors in case your worker is killed on the job
- Expenses related to retraining and rehabilitation after a job-related injury or illness
The average work-related injury or illness claim can run anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000. Without workers’ comp coverage, your carpet cleaning and upholstery business would have to pay those exorbitant expenses.
Examples of Workers’ Comp Claims
- One of your workers falls down a flight of stairs at a client’s home while using a water extractor on the carpeted steps.
- A worker with well-controlled asthma relapses after using a new chemical to clean upholstery at a customer’s business.
- An employee burns their hand when using a steam vac.
- A worker trips over the electrical cord of your company’s upholstery cleaning equipment.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Private auto insurance won’t pay for accidents involving vehicles driven to and from job sites. Commercial auto insurance covers these types of claims. Commercial auto coverage will pay for:
- Collision damage to your company vehicles
- Medical expenses for injured parties in an accident
- Property damage or liability claims to other vehicles if you or one of your workers is responsible for an accident
- Rental reimbursement
- Towing expenses
Many states also require that companies have commercial auto insurance on all vehicles used for business purposes.
Examples of Commercial Auto Claims
- Your worker is backing into a customer’s driveway so they can have easier access to the carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment to unload. In the process, your company trailer hits the client’s Mercedes.
- You are driving the company truck to meet with a potential business client, and your tire has a blowout on the way, causing you to lose control of the truck and hit a vehicle. Two people from the other vehicle are injured and need medical attention.
- You don’t realize one of your workers has been drinking and gets behind the wheel of one of your work trucks. Unfortunately, he caused a three-vehicle accident, and several people were injured.
Inland Marine Insurance
The term “marine” might sound like insurance that offers protection while over water. But, in this case, “inland marine” applies to the transportation of your business’s equipment and tools that are moved over land from your commercial premises to a job site.
Your company has a gap in coverage during that time if your tools and equipment are damaged or stolen.
When your tools and equipment are not at your commercial location, your commercial property insurance won’t cover it. So, you need coverage for your equipment, machines, and tools away from your premises. That’s where inland insurance coverage comes in.
Examples of Inland Marine Claims
- Your company truck is pulling a trailer that is loaded with carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment. Your worker parks at a restaurant to grab a quick bite to eat. Your worker hears a loud “bang” and looks outside. An 18 wheeler has run into the trailer, crushing some of the carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment.
- Your worker is allowed to take the company vehicle home for the night. It has a few cleaning machines on the back of the truck. When he comes out the following morning, he discovers that the machines have been stolen.
- Along with carpet and upholstery cleaning tools and machinery, you’re on your way to a customer’s place of business. Your work laptop is on the front seat of your truck. But you’re busy getting the cleaning equipment in and out of the back of the truck. When you’re all done, you realize someone has stolen your laptop. Unfortunately, you had a higher-end laptop and spared no expense. Inland marine coverage would help to replace it.
Other Types of Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning Insurance to Consider
There are many types of commercial insurance that your business might need. Your business’s level of risk will determine how important a particular kind of coverage is for your carpet cleaning and upholstery business.
In addition to general liability, commercial auto, inland marine, and workers’ comp, here are some other types of coverage you might want to include in your insurance package.
Commercial Property Insurance
If your business has a physical location where you store your tools and equipment, then you should consider getting commercial property insurance. This type of coverage will protect your building structure and any tools, equipment, office furniture, or other items stored in the building. Commercial property coverage insures against theft or damage.
General liability insurance policies have coverage limits set by you when you get coverage. These limits usually range up to $1,000,000. But, on occasion, there are commercial liability claims that exceed coverage amounts. An umbrella policy covers claims made when the limits on your standard liability policy have been exhausted. So, suppose you have a $750,000 coverage limit on your general liability but have a claim made against your company that results in a $1,000,000 judgment against your company. In that case, there’s a $250,000 gap in coverage. An umbrella liability policy would help make up for this difference and pay the remainder of the claim.
Crime insurance covers your business if one of your workers is accused of stealing something from a customer while working for you. It also covers forgeries, the loss or theft of money held for your business by one of your employees, or in some cases, if one of your workers is dishonest and it results in a loss.
Contractors’ Pollution Liability Insurance
Chemicals and cleaners are typically used in an upholstery and carpet cleaning business. There’s always the possibility the solutions could cause an environmental illness or issue. If you dispose of older carpets or materials, it must also be done within the scope of the law. Contractors’ pollution liability insurance will cover your business for environmental illnesses and exposures caused by chemicals or solutions used in your business or improper disposal of chemicals or materials.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Employment practices liability insurance offers protection against accusations a worker might make when they feel their rights have been infringed upon. These include allegations ranging from wrongful termination, discrimination, emotional abuse claims, and mismanagement of benefits, among others.
Cyber Liability Insurance
We live in an age when data security issues and computer breaches are not only on the rise, but they’re quite common. Cyber liability insurance offers coverage for incidences like these. If a hacker were to steal your customer’s data and cause harm, your customer could decide to sue your business over it. A cyber liability insurance policy would pay the covered amounts for these types of claims.
Why it’s Best to Get Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning Insurance Through a Specialized Industry Insurer
Many small businesses get typical liability coverage through an insurer, with no forethought to the types of risks and exposures their company faces daily.
In the upholstery and carpet cleaning business, your business’s risks are unique and deserve special consideration. But, tailored coverage specific to your business’s needs can only come from an experienced specialized industry insurer who understands your business and the type of work you do.
Take MaintenancePro by NIP Group, for example. MaintenancePro is considered one of the foremost janitorial service industry experts today.
When you get your coverage through professionals like MaintenancePro, you’ll have more than comprehensive, tailored coverage to fit your needs. You’ll also get expert risk control guidance to help minimize the risks to your upholstery and carpet cleaning business. And if a claim is filed, you can count on superior customer service and seamless and satisfactory claims management.
It’s wise not to wait until it’s too late to have the full coverage you need for your upholstery and carpet cleaning business. Protecting your business should be your priority.