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Commercial umbrella insurance for cleaning and janitorial businesses

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Commercial umbrella insurance

Once a policy’s limit is reached, commercial umbrella insurance provides additional coverage for liability claims made on general liability, commercial auto, or employer’s liability insurance.

Umbrella insurance boosts your coverage limits

The costs of a lawsuit against your cleaning business can quickly add up – even to the point where your insurance coverage isn’t enough to cover it. Commercial umbrella insurance, similar to excess liability insurance, can pay for claims that exceed the limit on your liability policy.

The policy can boost the coverage limits of your:

Most cleaning businesses purchase umbrella insurance to satisfy client contracts that require policy limits higher than $2 million.

How does umbrella insurance work for cleaning businesses?

Umbrella insurance activates when the limits are exhausted on the underlying policy.

For example, say your employee fails to use a wet floor sign after mopping a client's floor. Your client slips and falls, suffering a serious head injury that leaves them unable to work for months. The client sues you for $2.5 million in damages.

If your cleaning business has general liability insurance with a $2 million per-occurrence limit, that policy would cover the first $2 million. Then your umbrella policy would kick in to cover the remaining $500,000.

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What coverage does umbrella insurance provide for cleaning businesses?

A commercial umbrella liability policy simply mirrors the coverage of the underlying policies, which may include:

General liability coverage

Umbrella insurance/excess liability insurance provides coverage after your general liability insurance reaches its policy limit. It can help cover legal costs related to:

  • Customer slip-and-fall injuries
  • Customer property damage
  • Advertising injuries, such as slander and libel
  • Copyright infringement

This policy will also cover claims on the general liability portion of a business owner’s policy (BOP), which bundles general liability insurance with commercial property insurance at a discount.

Commercial auto insurance

The cost of a car accident involving multiple vehicles can go sky high if the other drivers sue for damages.

Umbrella insurance covers liability claims that exhaust the limits on your commercial auto insurance. It also extends coverage on hired and non-owned auto insurance for cleaners who drive their own vehicles for work purposes.

If you or one of your employees gets into an auto accident, it can cover legal costs related to:

  • Injuries caused to others
  • Damage to another person’s vehicle
  • Other third-party property damage

Employer’s liability insurance

Cleaning involves physical labor, which is why umbrella insurance is a recommended policy for professions like house cleaners, janitors, and window cleaners. If one of your employees blames an injury on a lack of proper equipment or other negligence, they could sue.

When an employee lawsuit over an injury escalates and exceeds the limits on employer’s liability insurance (usually included in workers’ compensation insurance), umbrella insurance kicks in to cover the costs. It adds an extra layer of protection to your existing coverage.

Umbrella insurance does not cover:

  • Professional liability lawsuits (for this, look to excess liability insurance)
  • Property insurance claims
  • Expenses covered by the underlying policy
  • Employee discrimination lawsuits

Other policies for cleaning and janitorial businesses

In addition to commercial umbrella insurance and its underlying policies, cleaning professionals should also consider:

Business owner's policy: A BOP bundles general liability insurance with commercial property insurance. It costs less than buying the policies separately, but not all cleaning businesses are eligible.

Janitorial bonds: Janitorial bonds might be required by your clients. They provide reimbursement if one of your employees steals from a client. These bonds are also called employee dishonesty bonds.

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Are you ready to safeguard your cleaning business with commercial umbrella insurance? Complete Insureon’s easy online application to compare quotes from top U.S. insurers. Once you find a policy that fits your needs, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.

Updated: April 29, 2022
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