The Properly Insured Window Cleaner

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When you first start a service business, there is a laundry list of choices to make.  What business name should I choose? What logo?  What service area will I target?  One of the most important items is selecting insurance.

Every business needs liability insurance, but it’s especially important for a service business. Working at customers’ homes or places of business exposes the service contractor to a certain amount of risk.  No matter how carefully a contractor works, there is always the potential for an accident.

Liability insurance is designed to protect both the worker and the property owner in the event of an accident.  For instance, if a window cleaning company sends workers to a site, and those window cleaners accidentally drop a ladder on someone’s car (GASP!), the damages and associated expense of repairs should be covered by the window cleaning company’s insurance policy.

This siding has been damaged by improper pressure washer use. Without Care, Custody and Control insurance, it's not covered!
This siding has been damaged by improper pressure washer use. Without Care, Custody and Control insurance, it’s not covered!

Most window cleaning and pressure washing companies in Oakland County, Michigan carry some form of general liability insurance.  As a customer, you should insist on seeing proof of that coverage.  If the window cleaning or pressure washing company can’t provide it, then you should run the other way!  But there’s more to it than that. Why?  A typical general liability policy has a hidden gap that most people aren’t even aware of.  That gap can make all the difference when it’s time to make a claim.


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What I’m referring to is called Care, Custody and Control.  It’s an insurance term that basically means this:  A service contractor takes into his care, custody or control any item that he is working on as part of his normal or expected service.  So, when a window cleaner in Bloomfield Hills begins to clean a window or mirror, that particular item is now under his care, custody and control.  Or if a pressure washer in Troy washes vinyl siding, that siding comes under his care, custody and control.  But here’s the catch.  Most general liability policies exclude Care, Custody and Control!  Yes, that means what you think it means.  If a window cleaner damages a window while cleaning it, it’s not covered!  If a pressure washer damages a deck or siding while pressure washing, it’s not covered!  

Most service contractors, and even their insurance agents, are ignorant of this fact.  They often don’t realize they are flying without a net, so to speak, until it’s time to make a claim.  It’s only then that they realize they don’t have the coverage they need.  In that unfortunate event, both the contractor and the customer lose.

Lake State Cleaning has coverage for Care, Custody and Control.  We make it a point to have insurance coverage for every possible scenario on the job site.  We take every precaution, and we’re very careful.  We do our best to always work safely, too.   We’ve been in business since 1999 and have never had to file an insurance claim.  But, in the event that an accident occurs, we wan’t our customers to be protected.  We’ve gone the extra mile to make sure we have the coverage we, and our customers, need.

Whatever service contractor you choose, make sure they have Care, Custody and Control coverage.  That way there won’t be any surprises if and when it comes time to make an insurance claim.