Common Exposures for Janitorial and Day Porter Companies
Running a janitorial service can be demanding, and it’s a constant challenge for owners to deliver exceptional service while maintaining profitability. These challenges are magnified when you consider the need to balance risks related to commercial automobiles, property damage, equipment breakdowns, crime and inland marine exposures. The list below provides an overview of these risks and more—helping you identify potential blind spots in your risk management and insurance programs.
Due to the frequent travel required for janitorial services to reach job sites, commercial automobile exposures are significant. Driver fatigue, hazardous weather conditions and distractions can lead to accidents. And, just one accident can be extremely costly, as expenses related to vehicle repairs and bodily injuries can add up quickly. What’s more, if you allow employees to use their own vehicles for work, standard auto policies are often not enough.
In the event that an injury occurs at a worksite after being serviced by your business, you may be held responsible. A simple wet floor could cause slips, trips and falls that may lead to costly lawsuits or insurance settlements. Additionally, a client may claim that property was damaged by your employee, and even a frivolous lawsuit could cost valuable time and resources. General liability coverage can help cover any associated medical or legal costs related to these risks.
Natural disasters and equipment malfunctions put the offices of janitorial services at risk of property damage. In extreme events, property damage could even cause costly long-term closures during which you are unable to fulfil your contracts. This risk is worsened by the presence of large supplies of cleaning solutions and solvents that could pose a potential fire hazard.
Janitorial work depends on a variety of different equipment (e.g., mops, buffers, polishers, vacuum cleaners, wet and dry vacuums, and power tools), creating significant equipment breakdown exposures as a result. Equipment breakdown coverage can help cover the repair or replacement cost in the event of a breakdown.
Crime may not seem like a significant risk due to the fact that clients most likely pay for their contracts via card or check, and so cash is not kept on the premises. However, thieves (including your employees) do not need direct access to cash to steal from you. Equipment, supplies and securities are all potential targets for wrongdoers.
Janitorial services must not only handle valuable equipment, but also documents such as records of work and client or supplier contracts on a regular basis, creating inland marine exposures. Computer systems, signs, property and cleaning equipment all represent potential losses. Any property that’s unique or valuable, in transit, in your temporary care, stored at fixed (but movable) locations or used to transfer information represents an exposure.
Any time one of your employees is injured on the job, your business could be subjected to expensive workers’ compensation claims. Normal, everyday tasks can lead to accidents and, in turn, increased costs for your business. Mopping and wet floors can lead to slips and falls. Exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals or pesticides can cause long-term illnesses. Your employees could also throw out their back moving heavy furniture or suffer musculoskeletal injuries due to repetitive tasks. Because much of your workers’ time will be spent away from your company’s own offices, these risks may fall beyond your control.