Upholstery & Carpet Cleaners: The 6 Key Types of Small Business Insurance You Need Most

As a professional upholstery and carpet cleaner, you help your customers maintain their soft furnishing and floor coverings so they stay sanitary and last longer. There's no replacement for professional cleaning services - even regular vacuuming and rental cleaning machines can't provide the same level of maintenance. It takes expert-level attention and training to provide the superior carpet cleaning services, and you should seek the same qualifications in your insurance provider.

Professional upholstery and carpet cleaning is not without its risks. In addition to the risks associated with the solvents, compounds, and chemicals you use, your business also requires frequent driving and extended visits in clients' homes, which adds to your risk exposures. Each of these exposures can be addressed with the proper insurance policies. Below is a list of the six coverages insureon recommends to upholstery and carpet cleaners...

Depending on where you operate, the size of your business, and the specific services you provide clients, your insurance needs might be slightly different than another upholstery and carpet cleaning business. That's why each of the above policies can be altered to fit your business.

General Liability Insurance for Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning Services

Especially if you run your upholstery and carpet cleaning service out of a commercial building, you'll need a General Liability Insurance policy to protect your assets from three common types of third-party claims: property damage, bodily harm, and personal injury.

Whenever someone outside of your cleaning service alleges that your business is responsible for one of those injuries, your General Liability Insurance can step in to help pay for the associated costs: expenses like legal defense, legal investigation, settlements, and judgments. Here's what a General Liability claim might look like for your upholstery and carpet cleaning service...

  • An employee uses the hot water extraction method on a customer's wool carpet, which causes it to shrink and the client to sue for property damage.
  • A client trips over the hose that runs from the truck-mounted carpet cleaner to his living room. He thinks you could have prevented his injury (a broken wrist) by running the hose through a lower-traffic area.
  • After noticing that a client's neighbor is severely neglecting their horses, you anonymously call Animal Care and Protective Services. The neighbor suspects it was you, and sues your business for personal injuries.

There are two great things about General Liability Insurance. First, it can protect your business whether the incident happens on your premises or at the home of a client. Second, it can protect your business even if the claim turns out to be fraudulent.

Commercial Property Insurance for Upholstery and Carpet Cleaners

Upholstery and carpet cleaners require a variety of specialized (and often expensive) cleaning equipment and supplies, which makes an effective Commercial Property Insurance policy a necessity. If your upholstery and carpet cleaning service suffers property damage or loss (or if you accidently damage a client's property), your Commercial Property Insurance policy can help you repair or replace...

  • Business Equipment. Everything from your dry foam machines to portable hot water extraction systems to rotary machines.
  • Tools. Vacuums, compression sprayers, buffers, brushes, and much more.
  • Products and Supplies. Think encapsulation compounds, antimicrobial agents, and other chemical and non-chemical cleaners.
  • Clients' Property. When client property is in your care, this coverage protects your business from employee theft and other damage done to electrical systems, carpeting, furnishings, fragile objects, and more.
  • Commercial Property. And of course, if you own a piece of commercial real estate, your policy will cover that too.

In addition, your Property Insurance can also cover certain contract penalties, like if your service misses a cleaning-related deadline.

Professional upholstery and carpet cleaning professionals are also eligible to add a special Supplemental Property Insurance Coverage Endorsement (SPICE) to their Property Insurance policies. This extra coverage is specially designed with cleaning professionals like you in mind. It protects your business's property in the event that it should be stolen or damaged while in transit or when it's at a customer's home. A SPICE can...

  • Add $25,000 of extra protection at selected locations.
  • Extend coverage for incidents like employee theft, securities, and forgery.

Keep in mind that standard Property Insurance policies tend to cover common perils, like fire, thefts, and storms. If you live in a part of the country prone to less common disasters, like flooding or earthquakes, you may want to add event-specific coverage to your plan.

Insurance for Less: Business Owner's Policies (BOPs) for Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning Services

Many upholstery and carpet cleaning services qualify to purchase a Business Owner's Policy (BOP), which can help business owners save money on their insurance plans. A BOP is a package policy - it combines your General Liability and Property Insurance.

In order to qualify for a BOP, your insurance provider must classify your business as "low-risk" for GLI and PI claims. Because of this, your insurance provider can offer you the BOP for a lower monthly premium than you could get if you purchased the policies separately.

Many small-business owners choose to add a Business Interruption endorsement to their BOPs. This extra coverage increases the effectiveness of your Property Insurance by helping you pay for continuing expenses (loan payments, rent, salaries, and more) after your business suffers a property loss that forces it to shut its doors.

Commercial Auto Insurance for Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners

By definition, carpet and upholstery cleaners are mobile cleaning professionals, and it's unlikely you'd be able to do your job without a fleet of business vehicles to transport cleaning equipment to your customers' homes. Any time you own a vehicle - a passenger car, van, truck - exclusively for business travel, you need a Commercial Auto Insurance policy to protect the driver, the passengers, and the vehicle.

Commercial Auto Insurance is one of the most important policies that carpet and upholstery cleaners can carry because of the inherent risks of owning and driving a vehicle. Even if you and your employees consistently drive with caution, there's no way to control the other drivers on the road, some of whom may be distracted or even impaired. Commercial Auto Insurance kicks in when...

  • You have an auto accident. Whether or not you or an employee is found at fault, this policy has you covered.
  • You hit something without wheels. Backed into a mailbox? Sideswiped a guardrail? Collided with Bambi? It's covered.
  • Someone vandalizes your vehicle. Sometimes there's paint that you just can't clean yourself.
  • Your vehicle is stolen. Whether it happens on your premises or at a client's home, you are protected.

In the event that one of the above should happen, Commercial Auto Insurance helps you pay for an assortment of associated costs like medical expenses, vehicle repair or replacement, and legal expenses if the incident leads to a lawsuit.

Workers' Compensation Insurance for Upholstery & Carpet Cleaners

As an upholstery and carpet cleaner, it's likely that you employ part-time and fulltime workers to help you provide excellent cleaning services to your clients. Most small-business owners rank employee safety as a high priority, but you can't prevent every accident, especially when you work with potentially hazardous cleaning agents and machinery. That's where Workers' Compensation Insurance steps in. In the event that one of your cleaning technicians suffers a workplace injury or illness, Workers' Compensation Insurance can help you pay for things like medical bills and lost wages.

This type of coverage is regulated by the state, which means your insurance requirements may vary depending on where you live. You can learn more about your state's laws in our guide to Workers' Compensation Insurance. In addition, an insureon agent can help you find coverage that complies with these laws in order to avoid costly Workers' Compensation fines.

Cleaning Technicians: Get Extra Liability Coverage for Your Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Service with Umbrella Insurance

If you're interested in adding extra liability coverage to your carpet and upholstery cleaning service's business insurance plan, consider Umbrella Insurance. Umbrella Insurance increases the coverage limits on multiple policies, including General Liability and Commercial Auto Insurance, all for one low monthly premium. It's sold in sums of $1 million, and all that extra liability coverage tends to cost business owners only a few hundred dollars each month.

Why would your modest business require $1 million in extra coverage? The fact is, claims can be expensive, no matter the size of your business. Imagine that you or one of your employees caused an auto accident that ended up severely injuring the driver in the other car. Between the medical bills, the vehicle damage, and the legal expenses, it's easy to see how one claim can bust the limits of a primary policy.

Get Small Business Insurance Quotes for Your Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Service

When you are ready to gather small business insurance quotes for your business, contact an insureon agent. Your agent will be well-versed in the insurance needs of carpet and upholstery cleaning services and will work with trusted insurance providers to gather multiple quotes fast. If you'd rather fill out our electronic application, you can have your insurance quotes sent to your inbox.

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