When commandeering a professional carpet cleaning business, it is largely unnecessary for you to ask yourself what sorts of things can go wrong as you carry out your daily work – you already know that potential damages and accidents are many and broad ranging in their natures.
On the surface, the services you offer to your corporate and domestic customer bases are very practical and might seem relatively harmless. Skim a little deeper beneath the surface and you will recognise that you are dealing with your customers’ business and residential properties and belongings.
Either yourself personally or a member of your staff works on site at these properties. You work with chemically toxic solutions that have the ability to cause damages to your customers’ properties and belongings, their health and the health of your staff.
Just like any other business or any sector and any size, there is much more for you to consider insuring your business against than might initially spring to mind. Once you start listing the potential threats posed, you realise that they are almost limitless.
The more obvious issues that might result in claims being made against you includes the likes of damages to and ruin of customers’ carpets or other fixtures and fittings on which your treatment solutions might accidentally spill or be mis-applied. Also personal injuries and illnesses caused to either your customers or your own staff by your equipment and solutions.
Furthermore, you might be responsible for the removal and temporary storage of your customers’ furniture whilst you are cleaning their carpets. Any damages to or losses of their belongings in your care constitute strong foundations on which claims are built. In other cases, your business might be an authorised key holder in order for you and your team to access your customers’ premises whilst they are out or during unsociable hours.
Such responsibility opens up an entirely different raft of potentially adverse consequences, such as loss of keys and failure to sufficiently secure their premises upon departure.
With so many concerns, can you afford to be financially unprotected against the plethora of potential claims you might find your business faced with? By those in your direct employ or those not, including your suppliers, your customers and, of course, members of the public? Successful claims cost businesses dearly, which is why most take pursue the common sense option of insurance coverage to fall back on if and when required.
The coverage in question represents the payment on your behalf of damages ultimately awarded to claimants and their legal expenses that you are also expected to reimburse if they win their case and you lose.
What Specific Types of Liability Cover Should Mobile Carpet Cleaners Investigate?
In essence, the insurance requirements of mobile carpet cleaners are not dissimilar to those of many other types of businesses. Whilst risk potentials may differ significantly between various business types, the public liability they secure is often identical in nature, it simply serves different businesses in different ways.
When compiling the intrinsic elements of your carpet cleaning public liability policy, core aspects that you should sector specifically consider are:-
This warrants first mention if you employ anyone at all other than yourself. If so, Employers liability is not simply a case of might do, it is one of legally must have. What it provides you with is legal indemnity of generally up to £10 million. This means that up to and including this amount is paid out on your behalf for successful claims brought against you by your staff who suffer damages, injuries or illnesses whilst carrying out company business.
You need to be clear that any staff member is entitled to instigate such claims, regardless of whether they are full time, part time, casual or office help, on your site or off sites at customers’ premises.
This non legal element of public liability cover addresses the flip side of the insurance coin and what you can potentially claim back via your insurance policy if your equipment and tools of the trade are damaged, lost or stolen.
Products Insurance – again a non legal requirement, it revolves around coverage of claims made against you for damages, injuries and illnesses caused by the carpet cleaning products you use for treatments and that you might also sell to your clients for self application.
Last but by no means least, non legal public liability cover offers the same protection that Employers liability does, but is activated by claims made by people who do not work for your company. These people can be simplistically termed as innocent bystanders who, for example, may have trips, falls or accidents that are not their fault, but which might be attributed as being yours.
Might There Be Any Further Considerations, Either Generally or Sector Specifically?
There might be. The definitive answer very much depends on the size and specific nature of your business. Whilst carpet cleaning businesses are often not thought of in the same terms of other corporate organisations, your risk potential can often be far greater than that of, for example, a small office based business.
In your case, you might have your own small office that poses a mere handful of risks in comparison to the off site work you undertake at your customers’ premises.
You might also have addition considerations relating to how any sub contractors you may use operate within your business and where liability would lie if their actions unintentionally provided grounds for claims. You will almost definitely use at least one car or van for transportation, in which case you should also look in to commercial vehicle or commercial vehicle fleet insurance.