Are You Properly Insured?
by Mark Farrimond, Gleaming Insurance
“Most window cleaners in the UK have inadequate insurance cover, that’s a fact....”
That may sound like a strange opening line, particularly coming from an insurance broker, but there is a worrying number of window cleaners who aren’t covered should they need to make a claim for damaging the glass or other items being cleaned. This is an important area that we feel needs to be addressed to ensure that window cleaners have the right type of policy to cater for the work they undertake.
Most window cleaners have been sold policies by non specialist insurance brokers or companies that don’t provide cover for “damage to property being worked upon”. This is a standard exclusion under most public liability insurance policies which are widely sold to many types of tradesmen including window cleaners. This exclusion does not have a particular relevance to most trades but is extremely pertinent to the window cleaning industry. If you were to damage a pane of glass, frame or any other item being cleaned during the time you were cleaning it, perhaps breaking the window or by scratching it with a scraper blade, then you will find that the damage caused would not be covered. The result of this would mean you footing the bill for replacement windows which can run into tens of thousands of pounds.
You may not be aware that your policy has this exclusion as it will only become apparent when you wish to make a claim. If the policy does not state that the cover is provided, then 9 times out of 10 it will be excluded as it is a common exclusion. Premiums tend to be cheaper for policies with this exclusion with Public Liability prices starting at £70- £100 for a £1m limit of indemnity. Whilst some window cleaners may feel that this enough to pay, is it worth taking the chance? Could you afford to pay a claim yourself? Would your business survive?
If you clean the inside of premises from carpets to upholstery you should also make sure your policy provides cover for treatment risks where damage to carpets, upholstery or soft furnishings can be caused by chemicals used in the cleaning process. Most policies also exclude this as standard as they aren’t specifically designed for the work you do.
It is also apparent that many of these standard policies only offer cover for window cleaners using ladders or water fed poles. Should you need to hire a platform, a cherry picker or cradle then you will certainly not be covered, even if you only need cover for a one off contract. Again, the policies we can offer cover you whether you use water fed poles, ladders or any other form of equipment through to abseiling equipment.