Protecting your janitorial service with commercial auto insurance
It may surprise you to learn that janitorial workers face a high risk of workplace-related illness and injuries. Cleaning staff and sanitation specialists are exposed to a wide variety of physical and chemical hazards every day, from the job they perform and the cleaning supplies they use. From slips on wet surfaces to the hazards of operating heavy machinery, running a janitorial service business is riddled with liability for small business owners.
In a recent study from the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, a survey of 620 janitors in Washington (state) revealed that 20% endured a work-related injury or illness within the past 12 months. That’s one in five who’ve reported injuries like:
- Irritation to eyes and skin
- Breathing problems caused by the repetitive motions, equipment, or chemical usage on the job
General liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance will protect you and your janitorial staff in case of accidents or injuries that occur on the job, but what about all the travel time in between? How do you make sure you’re covered for any accidents or collisions that occur on the road?
Whether you’re a residential cleaning company that uses employee vehicles to travel to jobs, or a commercial janitorial service that uses company leased vehicles to deliver cleaning supplies or equipment to a job site, you’ll want to add commercial auto insurance to your insurance policy.
Read on to learn what commercial auto insurance is, what it covers, and why you should add it to your small business insurance policy.
What do small business owners need to know about commercial auto insurance for janitorial services?
Commercial auto insurance covers any business-owned or operated vehicles in the event they’re damaged or involved in a collision. It provides coverage for vehicle servicing, property repair, medical bills, and even legal fees.
In many instances, your personal auto insurance policy won’t cover vehicles owned and operated by your business. However, depending on the policy, your commercial auto insurance may also cover your personal vehicles.
For residential and commercial janitorial services who travel to and from multiple work sites in a single day, or who require work vehicles to transport cleaning supplies and equipment to the job site, commercial auto insurance keeps your business covered while on the road.
Is commercial auto insurance required by law?
By state laws, your business is required to carry commercial auto insurance for company-owned, leased, or hired vehicles in every state except New Hampshire and Virginia. However, regardless of whether commercial auto insurance is required by your state, if your company vehicle is involved in an accident or collision, your business will be held liable for damages.
The required minimum coverage will depend on your specific state requirements. It also depends on the number and size of vehicles, how far you travel, and any risk factors specific to your geographic location.
If your work vehicle has a commercial license plate or registration, or if your janitorial service owns, leases, or hires vehicles, you’ll need to get commercial auto coverage.
What does commercial auto insurance cover for janitorial services?
Much like your personal auto insurance policy, your commercial coverage will depend on the type you choose. Speak to your insurance provider to discuss which coverage options are best suited for the needs of your janitorial business.
Coverage options may include:
- Collision to cover any costs associated with your work vehicle being hit by, or hitting, another vehicle. This includes the cost to repair or replace the damaged vehicles involved in the accident or collision.
- Comprehensive to cover any damages that may occur without an accident ensuing. For example, vandalism or weather-related damages.
- Auto liability to protect you and your company’s assets should another driver sue your business after an accident with a work vehicle.
- Personal injury or medical payments to cover any medical expenses should the occupants of a work vehicle be injured in an accident.
- Uninsured or underinsured to cover repair or medical costs after an accident if a driver doesn’t have personal auto insurance or insufficient coverage.
You can also customize your policy to include additional coverage for roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, expanded towing, and more.
The amount of coverage you need will depend on a variety of factors, such as the number of work vehicles you have on the road and how you’re using those vehicles on a daily basis.
Why janitorial services need commercial auto insurance
Your janitorial service relies on commercial vehicles to get to a job site, move equipment, and transport the cleaning supplies needed to get the job done. Investing in commercial auto insurance saves you from paying big bucks out of pocket if your employees are involved in a car accident while working.
If you’re not covered by commercial auto insurance, the costs associated with even the smallest fender bender can cripple your business.
Not covered yet?
Operating a vehicle for your business comes with risks. Even the safest driver can find themselves in circumstances out of their control, and no one wants to be stuck paying the cost of repairs out of their own pocket.
Luckily, commercial auto insurance can help you avoid expensive repairs and keep your janitorial service running smoothly. Think you may need a policy? Pie can help with that!