Like all industries, workers’ compensation for janitorial services provides coverage for lost wages and medical expenses related to illnesses or injuries sustained while on the job.
Almost every state in the country has its own laws for this coverage, which can vary, but the basics of coverage are the same. And before you can get into buying the right policy, you have to know how to classify your workers and maintain compliance with all the laws.
If a cleaning person slips on a freshly buffed floor and hurts their ankle, that’s going to cost your janitorial or cleaning business a lot of money unless you’re properly insured.
It’s also going to cause that worker to need medical care, time off work, and perhaps even rehabilitative therapy to get back to 100%. This coverage is designed to protect both employees and the companies that employ them.
Workers’ compensation insurance can cover medical bills and expenses, as well as lost wages (partial) during time off work related to injury or illness recovery. There are three main areas of coverage involved:
Immediate and ongoing medical costs related to the incident, including medications, surgery, doctors’ visits, specialist referrals, etc., and death benefits for fatal incidents.
Court costs, lawyer fees, witness fees, and settlement costs are all covered by this area of workers’ comp insurance.
This is simply about maintaining coverage that is compliant with the law in your state, as fines can be imposed for those who do not comply.
Within this coverage, there are also two main categories to consider.
The classification of a janitorial services business can be a bit tricky. That’s because even though some companies are divided into residential and commercial services, there are also plenty that do both. Therefore, it’s best to understand the classifications before you dive in.
In addition to these classifications, there are some special considerations to keep in mind with janitorial workers’ compensation coverage.
If you do both residential and commercial cleaning, you should separate your payroll and make sure that you classify employees accordingly. If the majority of your business is commercial, underwriters may be okay using code 9014 to classify employees. However, you should also have the 0917 code for residential on your policy as an “if any basis” so that it gets paid, even if you are listed primarily as commercial.
Although hood and vent cleaning is considered part of the 9014 classification, most underwriters don’t like it there. Issues like roof and height exposure are factors that the underwriter doesn’t want to see. Therefore, you should talk to your insurance provider about classifying these services accurately so that you’re covered and claims get paid if anything happens.
While construction cleaning, such as final cleaning or move-in and move-out cleaning, is covered under code 9014, the removal of construction debris is not. If employees are hauling and cleaning up sheet metal, bricks and cinder blocks, etc., it’s going to be under code 5610 instead. Otherwise, you may not get claims paid accurately with your workers’ compensation insurance for janitorial services.
If you’re only doing 5610 cleanouts once or twice per year, the underwriter may allow you to list as 9014 primarily. You’ll still want to include the other code as an “if any” addition, though.
Although it’s technically a janitorial service, carpet cleaning is classified as laundry and coded 2581. If you only clean carpets once in a while, you may not need this code. However, if your entire business (or a segment of it) is for carpet cleaning, you need to classify employees under the 2581 code.
Cleaning exterior windows on tall buildings is not considered general janitorial services. The 9014 code will only cover ground-level cleaning or residential window cleaning. You need to have employees classified under 9710 if they are cleaning windows above the ground. This informs the insurance company of the additional risk involved.
Although it’s under the same class code as janitorial, pest control is fumigation. Therefore, many underwriters won’t write workers’ comp for it even though it’s in the same class. Make sure that you’re being transparent about your business and its operations so that you can properly classify employees and get the protection that your business needs.
Workers’ compensation insurance for landscapers and lawn maintenance professionals falls under its own classification, not part of janitorial or cleaning services. There are multiple codes, with 0042 being the most common (landscaping or gardening contractor). Other codes include:
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when you’re buying janitorial services insurance, including workers’ comp for janitorial and cleaning businesses. By taking the time to explore your options and better understand the workers’ comp process, you’ll be more prepared to make the right decisions.
You can also enlist the help of the experts to get the perfect workers’ compensation insurance for janitorial services, no matter what kind of cleaning company you run.
Business insurance can get expensive and when you need different types of coverage, it adds up quickly. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to get the protection that your business needs. If you are in the market for workers’ comp insurance for landscaping businesses, for example, you’ll want to make sure that you stick to that classification in your search.
When you do it right, you can find the perfect janitorial insurance for your workers’ comp needs, no matter what those might be. Part of that comes in choosing the right company to work with.
Workers’ compensation insurance is based on risk, just like all insurance products. Therefore, some industries and businesses will find that they are considered to be a higher risk and thus pay higher premiums for insurance coverage. The good news is that if you choose a reputable insurance provider, they should be able to get you covered, even if you have a few things working against you.
In addition to finding someone that has the coverage that you need, you’ll want to look for an insurance company that has:
If you do it right, you’ll have the perfect coverage for your business in no time.
Workers’ comp insurance for janitors is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Protect your people and protect your investment at the same time by choosing better business coverage that includes premium workers’ compensation insurance for janitorial and cleaning businesses. Partner with the experts at Kickstand Insurance to get your business covered and more.
Note: The information provided in this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional legal or insurance advice. Laws and regulations regarding workers' compensation insurance are complex and vary by state and by specific circumstances. Therefore, readers are encouraged to consult with a qualified legal or insurance professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem they might have.
Mordechai Kamenetsky, co-founder and lead agent of Kickstand, is recognized as an expert in workers' compensation. He is passionate about helping small businesses manage risks and lower their workers' comp costs. In his articles, he educates readers and clients on the intricacies of workers' comp insurance.