Full Guide to Choosing the Best Window Cleaning Insurance
WEveryone who owns a business needs the protection of insurance coverage. Businesses that perform dangerous work need it even more.
When you clean windows, whether it be on a short ladder or a scaffolding platform twenty stories up the side of a high-rise, there is an inherent risk of danger.
If you operate a business that cleans windows, you need window cleaning insurance to protect yourself, your employees, and your business.
Not sure what type of insurance you need or how much it costs?
Here’s our full guide to choosing the best window cleaner insurance for your company.
What Is Window Cleaning Insurance?
Technically, there’s no such thing as ‘window cleaning business insurance.’
What does exist is business liability insurance, and that’s one of the most important types of insurance policies to own.
But for a window cleaning business, that’s not the only type of insurance you need. There are a variety of insurance policies you’ll need to adequately protect your business and your workers.
Here are the different types of insurance policies you need:
- Business insurance/general liability insurance
- Worker’s compensation insurance (if you have employees)
- Disability insurance
Whether you work as a solo independent contractor or have a team of employees, you need insurance coverage to protect against property damage, injuries, and lost income.
Without insurance protection, you and your business are at risk.
Window Cleaning Companies Need Business Insurance
A business insurance policy, also called a business owner’s policy or BOP, provides coverage from liability.
But, they can cover several other elements of your business.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is the standard insurance policy that all business owners need.
Also referred to as professional liability insurance, a general liability policy covers your business against any claims of personal injury or property damage that occur as a result of the work you do or the service you provide.
For example, if you’re washing windows ten stories up and drop a tool on the hood of someone’s car on the street below, your liability coverage will pay for the damage.
It does not provide equipment coverage for your own equipment or property — it only covers damages caused by you and suffered by a different party.
Business Income Insurance
Business income insurance protects your future earnings. If there’s a fire, extreme weather, or an event that forces you to close your business for a time, business income insurance will replace the income lost during that time period.
Business income insurance is sometimes referred to as business interruption coverage, as it only pays benefits when your business is disrupted by something beyond your control.
This type of coverage can cover your payroll expenses, utilities, company car payments, mortgage or rent payments, and lost profits.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance protects your equipment and the physical space that you conduct your business in.
Whether you run your business from a storefront, an office space, or from your own home, commercial property insurance protects against things like theft, vandalism, and fire and water damage.
Should a fire sweep through your property, this coverage can help pay for the replacement of computers, office furniture, and any other physical objects on the property.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance protects any vehicle that you use while conducting business, as well as any people or property damaged by that vehicle.
These types of policies provide collision coverage, property damage liability coverage, and bodily injury coverage for your vehicles, your employees, and yourself.
Window Cleaning Companies Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you have employees, you are required by law to offer them the protection of worker’s compensation insurance.
There are different workers’ comp laws for each state, so depending on where you work and operate your business, you’ll need to secure the proper amount of “workers comp” coverage as mandated by your state.
If an employee gets injured on the job site and you don’t have workers’ comp insurance, you could lose your business license and be prohibited from conducting business in your state. Not to mention having to pay exorbitant legal fees.
Don’t have employees?
If you work alone but occasionally hire uninsured independent contractors to work for you, you don’t need a traditional workers’ compensation policy. However, you may need a workers’ compensation ghost policy.
A ghost policy isn’t so much insurance coverage as it is a way to show proof of insurance. Some clients require their window cleaners and other contractors to provide a certificate of insurance. A ghost policy does exactly that.
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Window Cleaning Companies Should Provide Disability Insurance
Because the job site of a window worker can be high in the sky, having a disability insurance policy is crucial.
While workers’ comp insurance covers medical expenses for on-the-job injuries, a disability insurance policy provides income protection if you lose income when you’re out of work due to an injury or illness. It doesn’t matter whether the injury is suffered on the job or not.
For window washers, this type of coverage is especially important.
A slight back problem could prevent you or an employee from wearing a safety harness.
A hand injury could make it impossible to use the equipment needed to clean oversized windows.
A leg or foot injury could prevent you from safely climbing a ladder.
Doing physical work requires physical capability. When that capability is lost, your income will be lost with it — unless you have disability insurance.
Disability insurance is important for the business owner or independent contractor, as well as any employees you may have. That’s because this type of insurance guarantees that you’ll be able to collect at least a portion of your pay while you recover from your injury.
Disability Insurance Is an Employee Perk
Disability insurance is an excellent perk to add to an employee benefits package. This added coverage can help you attract and retain top talent, which is essential in a competitive business like yours.
Many people assume that if they become disabled and cannot work, they can rely on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to cover their lost income. For most people, this is false.
The average monthly SSDI benefit in 2022 is $1,358, which is less than $350 per week. This isn’t nearly enough to cover the monthly expenses of most households.
How Much Does Window Cleaning Insurance Cost?
Not sure if you can afford to cover your window washing business with all the necessary insurance?
Here are some of the key factors that go into determining how much your window cleaning service can expect to pay for different insurance policies.
According to the online insurance comparison site Insureon, window cleaning businesses pay a median of $650 per year for general liability insurance.
However, this price can vary considerably based upon a number of different factors.
Your location is a factor, as coverage in some states is more expensive than in others. The amount of coverage you need is also a major factor — the more protection you want, the more it will cost you.
Additional coverage, like commercial property insurance, commercial auto insurance, or business income insurance will also increase your rates.
Workers’ Comp Insurance
The number of employees you have will directly affect how much you’ll pay for workers’ compensation insurance. The more workers you have, the more it will cost you.
State, location, and the job’s risk level are also factors in determining monthly premiums.
The national average for workers’ comp insurance is $78 per employee per month. That totals out to $936 per employee per year.
Window cleaning involves physical risk. More so than less physical jobs such as marketing or sales. Therefore, most window cleaning businesses should expect to pay higher than the national average.
The state in which you operate is also a big factor, as there is a huge disparity in workers’ comp rates by state.
For example, the average workers’ comp cost per employee in New Jersey is $1,415 per year, while businesses in North Dakota pay an average of $376 per year per worker.
Here are some factors that affect the cost of disability insurance:
- Amount of coverage needed
- Where you work
- Pre-existing health conditions
When you offer disability insurance to your employees, you can do so with a group policy. These cost much less than individual policies, but individual policies offer much greater flexibility.
When you buy disability insurance for yourself, you’ll be presented with a whole host of options and ways in which to customize a policy that works for you.
Disability insurance policies have benefit periods and elimination periods, and both factor into the cost of your premium.
What Are Benefit Periods?
The benefit period is the amount of time that you want to collect benefits. This could be two years, five years, ten years, or longer. The longer the benefit period, the higher the premium.
What Are Elimination Periods?
The elimination period is a waiting period between the date of your injury and the date you can start collecting payouts. These range from 30 days up to 720 days, and the shorter the period, the higher your premiums will be.
Disability policies also allow you to add a variety of riders (additional benefits) to make your plan more comprehensive. The more riders you add, the more you’ll pay.
Overall, most individuals spend between one and four percent of their annual income on disability insurance premiums.
Where Can You Get Window Cleaning Insurance?
With a quick Google search, you can find all sorts of insurance comparison sites. Some provide free quotes from different insurance companies.
This is a useful option for small business owners looking for a quick glimpse at insurance prices, but it’s not the only way to obtain a business insurance quote.
Do you have an insurance agent that you already work with?
Let them know you need small business insurance and request a business insurance quote. You can sometimes save money by having multiple policies with the same provider.
You can also contact insurance companies directly. Well-known national insurance providers, such as Progressive, are easy to work with. Their agents can help customize the insurance policies you need for your specific business.
No matter where or how you choose to receive your insurance quotes, always gather a few to compare prices and terms.
In some cases, it can be beneficial to select a more expensive policy if it offers far greater benefits than the slightly more affordable one.
As a window cleaning business, there are all sorts of insurance plans and policies that you can choose from.
These are the three most important ones:
- Business liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Disability insurance
With these policies covering you, you’ll be able to protect yourself, your employees, and your business.
Note: If you’re an independent contractor, you should also add health insurance to your list of insurance requirements. Gigly provides supplemental health benefits for freelancers, so make sure to check out our plans.