Key Coverage for Professional Cleaners: From Liability to Protecting Your Tools

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Your cleaning business will likely be legally required to carry workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance if you have multiple employees and use vehicles for business purposes. In addition, you can insure your business against common cleaning-related risks by purchasing coverage types like general liability insurance, professional liability insurance and more.

Read below to learn about the importance of cleaning business insurance and get an idea about how much you might have to pay for coverage.

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning businesses that have employees and use company cars will generally be required to maintain workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance.
  • General liability insurance protects cleaning businesses from financial losses due to bodily injury, property damage and personal and advertising injury claims.
  • Other useful coverage types for cleaning business owners include commercial property, business interruption and professional liability insurance, among others.
  • Thimble Insurance’s median cleaning business policyholder pays $38 per month for commercial insurance.

What Is Cleaning Business Insurance?

Insurance for a cleaning business can broadly refer to various commercial insurance coverage types that may be useful for maids, janitors, carpet cleaners and other independent cleaning professionals. Some insurers like NEXT Insurance and Thimble Insurance offer insurance packages that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of cleaning businesses. Otherwise, you may be able to build your own cleaning insurance policy by individually purchasing the coverage types you want for your business.

What Is Covered?

While the exact level of coverage you get will depend on the details of your policy, there are numerous risks cleaning business owners commonly face that the right insurance policy can account for. Tidy Casa owner Ryan Knoll provided multiple examples of these risks in a message to SmartFinancial based on his personal experience running a home cleaning services business.

“Using the wrong chemicals on floors, somebody getting hurt on the job, somebody stealing from your clients [and] someone crashing a nonwork vehicle while they are working a job for you” were among the risks Knoll mentioned. He also added, “Cleaning companies work on small margins so you want insurance that covers all these scenarios.”

Are Cleaning Businesses Required To Have Insurance?

Depending on your circumstances, you may be required by law to purchase workers’ compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance for your cleaning business. For example, if you have employees, you will likely be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover employees who are injured on the job unless your business is located in Texas, where the requirement only applies to businesses contracting with the government.[1]

Meanwhile, most states require commercial auto liability coverage for any car, van, truck or other vehicle that is owned by your company or otherwise used to conduct commercial activities.

You may be able to add your employees’ personal vehicles to your commercial policy if they drive their own cars to and from the buildings you clean.[2]

What Types of Insurance Does a Cleaning Business Need?

There are numerous other types of insurance for cleaning business protection you ought to consider even if they aren’t required by law. Without these optional coverages, you may not be properly insured against all of the risks listed previously.

General Liability

General liability insurance is one of the most fundamental types of business insurance, providing coverage for claims of bodily injury or property damage. For example, it could cover emergency room medical bills if one of your employees moves a piece of furniture to vacuum and a client stubs their toe on the furniture because your employee failed to move it back. It could also pay to replace a vase you accidentally knock over and break in the process of dusting.

Meanwhile, if either of these claims escalates into a lawsuit, your general liability insurance for cleaning business activities can help take care of your legal expenses. This coverage type also covers legal expenses for personal and advertising injury claims, which includes any situations where you are sued for defamation or copyright violations.


A business owners policy (BOP) is a commercial insurance package commonly marketed to small and midsize businesses. BOPs automatically come with general liability insurance and typically also include commercial property insurance and business interruption insurance.

If you have a storehouse, office or similar workspace, commercial property coverage can insure that building and the items stored inside of it against perils like fire and theft. Meanwhile, business interruption insurance can help you make up for lost revenue if you are temporarily unable to work due to a covered peril. For example, this might enable you to keep paying your employees if your company van is stolen and you are unable to get your employees and equipment to jobsites until the van is recovered or replaced.

Professional Liability

Professional liability insurance protects you from financial losses if you are accused of being negligent or otherwise failing to properly carry out the duties of your job. Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, it covers legal claims related to mistakes such as leaving a stain on an expensive rug because you used the wrong cleaning solution on it.

Other Business Insurance Policies To Consider

Some other insurance products that may be worth considering for your cleaning business include the following:

  • Commercial umbrella insurance: Commercial umbrella insurance can provide excess liability coverage that applies to multiple liability policies at once, meaning it can cover highly costly claims related to your general liability, professional liability or auto liability coverage.
  • Tools and equipment coverage: Tools and equipment coverage is a subset of inland marine insurance that covers your tools and equipment outside of the building your commercial property insurance covers. This means the items you need to do your job will be covered even when you are on the road or at a client’s building.
  • Janitorial bond: A fidelity bond can reimburse one of your customers up to the bond’s coverage limit if they accuse one of your employees of stealing from them. Keep in mind that you may have to pay back your surety company if you can’t refute the claim of employee theft.[3]
  • Cyber insurance: If your business stores any information digitally such as clients’ addresses, phone numbers or payment information, you may want to purchase cyber insurance to cover any costs that arise due to a data breach.
  • Equipment breakdown insurance: High-powered vacuum cleaners, electric floor sweepers, pressure washers and other types of industrial cleaning equipment are already insured against covered perils through your commercial property or tools and equipment insurance. However, you will need equipment breakdown coverage to insure them against internal sources of damage like short circuits and mechanical failures.

How Much Is Cleaning Business Insurance?

Your cleaning business insurance cost will depend on factors like your policy details, prior claims history and location along with the size and scope of your business. For example, the median price for cleaning business coverage from Thimble is $38 per month, although the company also offers on-demand coverage for $6 per hour.[4]

How To Get Insurance for Your Cleaning Business

To find the right insurance policy for your cleaning company, you’ll likely want to evaluate quotes from three to five separate insurance carriers. As you reach out for quotes, be prepared to share relevant information about your business like your annual revenue and number of employees.

While it can be burdensome to provide this information to each insurance company individually, you can streamline the process by going through SmartFinancial. If you type your zip code below, we’ll collect information about your budget and coverage needs through a short and simple questionnaire. Then, we’ll share that information with nearby insurance agents who can provide you with commercial insurance quotes at no charge.

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Is insurance required to run a cleaning business?

Workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance are often required by law for businesses that have multiple employees and use vehicles for commercial purposes, respectively.[1][2] In addition, a client could require you to show proof of liability insurance before allowing you to clean their home or office.

What could happen if I don’t have insurance for my cleaning business?

Without the right insurance, your cleaning business could be on the hook for expenses related to incorrect chemical usage, employee or client injuries, employee theft, damaged equipment, crashes involving work vehicles and more.

Do you need a license to have a cleaning business?

Cleaning business licensing requirements vary from state to state. For example, you will need to get a business license to start a house cleaning business in North Carolina but not in California.[5][6]


  1. National Federation of Independent Business. “Worker’s Compensation Laws – State by State Comparison.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2023.
  2. Nationwide. “Commercial Auto Liability Insurance.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2023.
  3. NFP. “Janitorial Bond.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2023.
  4. Thimble Insurance. “Cleaning Business Insurance Cost.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2023.
  5. ZenMaid Magazine. “How To Start a Cleaning Business in North Carolina.” Accessed Dec. 15, 2023.
  6. ZenMaid Magazine. “How To Start a Cleaning Business in California.” Accessed Dec. 15, 2023.

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