Window washers face enormous risks, especially when they’re cleaning the glass of high-rise buildings. Scaffolding accidents are all too common as workers try to access windows in hard-to-reach areas. That’s just one reason that window cleaning insurance is important for contractors in the window washing business.
You and your workers use proper personal protection equipment because you know it’s wise to always be prepared. For the same reason, you want to protect your company from unexpected and potentially devastating financial losses.
There are many risks and exposures that businesses face every day. But, factor in an industry often performed out in the elements, under challenging circumstances, and add chemicals to the mix, and any number of things can go wrong.
MaintenancePro was designed and tailored especially for contractors that maintain the windows of commercial buildings.
Is Window Cleaning Insurance Right for Your Business?
Every type of business can benefit from commercial insurance. But for most, it’s also necessary. Answer the following to evaluate how important coverage is for your business:
- Is there the potential that a mishap could occur and something could go wrong while working for a client?
- Is it possible that someone standing by could get hurt, or can damage occur to your client’s property through an accident by one of your workers?
- Do you have employees on the payroll?
- Does your business have company vehicles or are other vehicles used while getting to a work site?
- Do you have a physical base of operations or commercial site from which you operate your business, take incoming calls, store equipment, etc.?
- Have you invested a great deal of money in tools and equipment for your business?
- Do you use chemicals or potentially toxic substances while cleaning windows?
- Is your customer’s personal information or data stored on your computer or network?
- Would you rather not have to worry about someone suing your business and bankrupting it?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, some forms of small business insurance would be beneficial for your window cleaning business.
What Kinds of Insurance are Available for Window Cleaning Contractors?
When thinking about insurance for your window cleaning operations, there are three things to consider: financial protection for you and your business, coverage to protect your workers, and a policy for incidences that can potentially impact your clients or third parties.
Depending on your business’s mode of operations, your window cleaning business may need:
- General liability coverage
- Umbrella liability insurance
- Commercial property insurance
- Worker’s Comp
- Commercial auto insurance
- Inland marine coverage
- Contractors pollution liability insurance
- Cyber liability coverage
- Employment practices liability insurance
After discussing the risks associated with your business, you and a licensed insurance agent may decide together that your business may not need every type of window cleaning insurance available to you.
But, when your business benefits from multiple types of coverage, many insurers can offer a discounted package deal to lower your premiums.
Let’s learn more about the various coverages.
General Liability Insurance for Window Cleaners
General liability coverage is the first insurance policy that a window cleaning business should consider. Most companies in nearly every industry have a general liability insurance policy, at a minimum.
Research from the Small Business Administration shows that just over half of small businesses are likely to get sued.
Commercial general liability coverage offers your business financial protection if a customer sues you or accuses your business of causing an injury or property damage to someone besides an employee.
General liability will pay:
- covered amounts for medical treatment if work done by your company causes an illness or accident
- property damage caused by one of your workers
- judgment amounts from a lawsuit
- covered amounts if someone sues over slander or libel accusations
- legal fees to defend your case
One thing to consider is that most customers won’t even consider hiring a window cleaning contractor before having proof of adequate general liability coverage. Also, some states will require a commercial general liability policy before issuing window cleaners a license.
General liability claim example: Your window cleaner loses control of their water-fed pole, dropping it below. It strikes a pedestrian in the head, knocking them to the ground and injuring them. Your general liability policy will pay for the pedestrian’s medical treatment. If the injured party decides to sue, general liability insurance will pay the legal expenses to defend your business and any covered amounts settled out of court or awarded in the lawsuit.
Umbrella Liability Insurance for Window Cleaners
General liability policies have pre-determined limits, usually chosen by you when you obtain your policy.
But there’s always the chance that a single claim could go beyond those limits, leaving you holding the bag for a significant amount of money.
Let’s say your general liability policy has a $500,000 limit per occurrence. How would your window cleaning business deal with a lawsuit that resulted in $1,000,000 being awarded by the court to the person suing your company?
Without an umbrella liability policy, your business would have to cover the rest. For most window cleaning companies, this would be unfeasible. But if you had umbrella coverage, it would kick in when your general liability limits are exhausted.
Umbrella liability claim example: Let’s say your worker has allowed too much water to drip below as he cleans the windows of a building. Slime has accumulated in a small area in one of the wet spots and causes someone to slip.
The fall fractures the person’s neck and causes a brain bleed, leaving the person needing medical attention indefinitely. The injured person sues. He can no longer work and was an executive who earned a significant salary.
His attorney argues that a significant portion of his client’s lost salary should be considered when the judge renders his argument. The judge agrees and awards the injured man $10,000,000.
The problem is your general liability policy only has $5 million in coverage per occurrence. You decided to waive umbrella coverage when you obtained insurance coverage for your window washing business. The other $5 million amount awarded will bankrupt your business and then some. If you had chosen umbrella coverage, it would have taken care of the additional $5 million.
Commercial Property Insurance for Window Cleaners
Many window cleaning businesses have a brick-and-mortar location to run their business from. Business owners use commercial premises to receive incoming calls from customers, set appointments, and store their business’s equipment and tools.
Your business’s personal property and equipment are one of the most significant investments in your company. So, it makes sense that you’d want to protect it from a loss or damage that results from a fire, theft, or other covered events.
Commercial property insurance claim example: Your window cleaning business has grown impressively, and you’ve been able to invest in a commercial location, complete with a building, office furniture, and a place to store your supplies.
Your investment in all your equipment, machinery, and commercial property stands at $275,000. Unfortunately, one evening an electrical fire destroyed most of your structure and equipment.
It’s a good thing you have a high-quality, comprehensive commercial property insurance policy to help you rebuild quickly.
Worker’s Comp Insurance for Window Cleaners
When you first began your window cleaning business, chances are you were a one-person show. But, now you’ve grown and likely have more window washers under you to expand your operations.
You owe it to your workers to take care of them if they get hurt while working for you. Think about it. The window cleaning business is a dangerous industry. Your workers are often in dangerous locations. Even with the best safety protocols, accidents happen.
This is where worker’s compensation protects your workers and your business. Workers’ comp insurance covers medical expenses and lost salary for your workers if they get sick because of a work-related illness or get hurt while on the job.
A typical work injury can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Without insurance, you’d be left paying for it on your own or risk having an employee sue your company.
Workers’ comp will also pay for your worker to go through rehabilitation or retraining if the need arises. If your employee is killed while working under you, it will also pay death benefits to your worker’s family.
Most small businesses with workers on the payroll must carry workers’ comp because almost all states mandate it.
Workers’ comp claim example: Your worker is on a ladder cleaning a second story window, working in brutal 95-degree temperature. He’s slightly dehydrated and gets dizzy, falling off the platform to the ground. He’s lucky and survives, but not without several broken bones.
In the meantime, he’ll need a couple of surgeries, ongoing medical treatment, and a way to provide for his family. Workers’ comp will cover those medical and financial needs while your employee recuperates.
Commercial Auto Insurance for Window Cleaners
Most states require commercial vehicle coverage. Commercial auto insurance will pay for medical expenses, collision repairs to your commercial vehicle, rental reimbursements, towing, property damage, and legal fees when you or one of your workers is at fault in a vehicle accident.
Commercial vehicle insurance can cover one vehicle or multiple vehicles. The important thing is that every vehicle used in your business’s operations is listed on the policy, even personal vehicles used to get to and from a window cleaning job.
Commercial auto claim example: One of your company trucks has a tire blowout, sending your work vehicle out of control and causing an accident.
The victim says the accident could have been avoided and accuse your company of neglecting proper maintenance on your truck. Their lawyer says the tire had lost too much treading, precipitating the accident.
A lawsuits is brought against your window washing company, and total settlements reach nearly $1 million. Your commercial vehicle insurance will handle the arbitration for you and pay the covered amounts. It’s a good thing you were adequately insured; otherwise, it could have been financially devastating for your business.
Inland Marine Insurance for Window Cleaners
Most of the time, your equipment, machinery, and tools are stored at your commercial premises or on a job site. But there’s always that point in between where there could be a lapse in insurance coverage of the items you need to do business with.
Your commercial property insurance protects your equipment while at your business. But, outside of that, you need other coverage.
Inland marine insurance will protect your tools and equipment while away from your commercial property and while it’s stored elsewhere or in transit.
Inland marine claim example: You allow one of your workers to bring the company truck and trailer home because he lives across town, near a job he needs to complete the following day. It’s a regular customer, and your worker has brought the truck home numerous times.
The trailer holds expensive equipment, including lifters. Unfortunately, when your worker wakes up the next morning, he discovers that the equipment has been vandalized. Inland marine coverage would help pay to replace the damaged goods.
Other Coverage Options for Your Window Cleaning Business
We’ve explored the primary types of window cleaning insurance that your business is likely to need for comprehensive protection. There are numerous other types of insurance your business might require, depending on the scope of your business.
These include employment practices liability insurance, cyber insurance, and contractors pollution liability insurance, among others.
- Employment practices liability coverage protects your business if an employee claims that you mistreated them or felt they were discriminated against.
- Cyber insurance offers protection if a hacker steals your computer files, along with personal information about your customers.
- Contractors pollution liability insurance will pay for damages resulting from your company’s use of chemicals or improper disposal of a chemical or hazardous material.
It’s a good idea to have a conversation with a potential insurer about your window cleaning operations, equipment and chemicals used on the job, and other important details so they can help determine which types of coverage best benefit your business.
A Quick Recap of How Window Cleaning Insurance Protects Your Business
Without quality comprehensive protection, you could stay awake at night worrying about the potential scenarios that could cause your business to have expensive and unexpected expenses.
These include claims and expenses involving:
- Injuries to third parties and others who are not your workers
- Third-party property damage or damage to clients’ properties
- Reputation lawsuits
- Injuries to your workers
- Damage involving your work vehicles or injuries to other drivers
- Property damages to your commercial property
- Damage or theft of your company tools, equipment, aerial lifts, and other machinery
- Accusations from an employee of being discriminated against or treated wrongly
- Theft of your customers’ data
- Damage or illness from chemicals used by your window cleaning company
- Extensive protection from lawsuits that could otherwise bankrupt your business
When you think about it, window cleaning insurance is instrumental in helping your business continue operating and bringing in revenue, despite any unforeseeable circumstance or devastating event.
What Does Window Cleaning Insurance Cost?
The cost of your insurance premium involves multiple factors. These include your workers, payroll amount, the value of your commercial property and equipment, the number of company vehicles your business has, previous claims history, and more.
You will also need to determine how high you want your limits to be. You can choose policy limits from $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more. You can choose umbrella coverage limits up to $25 million.
Keep in mind the higher your limits, the higher your insurance premiums will be. And, the lower your limits, the lower your premiums will be.
Many business owners discover that the minuscule premium difference between coverage limits isn’t worth sacrificing more comprehensive coverage. Therefore, many contractors choose moderate to high limits to ensure their business is covered in any eventuality.
Newer business owners sometimes start with smaller limits and increase them as their business grows.
A reputable and knowledgeable insurer can discuss your options and help you choose a policy that works for you.
Get in Touch With a Specialized Window Cleaning Insurer Today!
When you’re running a business, every moment counts. As a window cleaning contractor, you want to be prepared from the first day you operate your business.
Tailored insurance coverage specific to your business is vitally important to offer you the complete protection needed for your window cleaning company.
MaintenancePro by NIP Group offers the most extensive coverage for window cleaning businesses in the industry. We also provide risk control programs that can ultimately help you lower your premiums and reduce claims against your business.