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Cleaner Insurance UK

As a cleaner you’ll spend your working days working in other people’s property surrounded by their valuable possessions, so having good insurance is critical. Your customers trust that you’ll treat their homes, offices and buildings with enormous respect. Our guide to Cleaners insurance will explain everything you need to know about the different coverage on offer, and give you an idea of the average cost of these.

If you’d like to know how much Cleaners insurance might cost for you, fill out a quote form and fill out some basic information to receive quotes from top UK cleaning insurance providers. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have, and choose the best policy to suit your needs.

Popular Types of Insurance for a Cleaner

Cleaning work can be a tricky business—you’re likely to need a Public Liability policy. If you hire anyone, you’re legally required to hold Employers’ Liability insurance

There are a few core insurance policies that quality self-employed cleaners and small cleaning businesses will hold, but there are some optional extras that can offer you financial security if something unexpected goes wrong. Here’s a summary of some popular insurance coverages you might be interested in.

Common Types of Cleaner Insurance & What They Cover
1.Public LiabilityIf you damage a client’s property, or cause an injury to a third party, Public Liability will cover any compensation and legal cost for you
2.Product LiabilityOften sold with Public Liability, Product Liability protects you if damages occur due to a product you use or sell (e.g., heavy-duty cleaning products)
3.Employers' LiabilityLegally required if you hire anybody, Employers’ Liability covers you if someone is injured or becomes unwell due to their work for you
4.Personal AccidentPersonal Accident and Critical Illness coverages can cover financial losses if you’re out of action due to work-related illness or injury
5.Business Use VehicleIf you use your personal car to drive between multiple clients, make sure you declare “business use” to your car insurance company.
6.ToolsProtects your tools if they’re stolen or if they’re accidentally damaged/lost

Here are some examples of how insurance can help cover your cleaning business:

Cleaners Insurance Examples

  • Public Liability: While cleaning your customer’s home, you spill cleaning fluid on their carpets and they sue you for the cost of the replacement. Your Public Liability would cover you for the compensation and any legal fees incurred.
  • Product Liability: You sell a customer a cleaning product you recommended to them, however it causes damage to their walls. They sue you for the damages and repair costs. Your Product Liability covers the repair cost.
  • Employers’ Liability: An employee falls over some loose equipment you’ve left out and believes you’re at fault. They can’t work for 2 weeks, and sue you for their lost wages. Employers’ Liability would pay out any compensation awarded by the court, and any legal defense spending you had during the proceedings.
  • Personal Accident: You’re involved in a minor car accident and can’t work for a month due to your injuries. Your Personal Accident insurance covers a % of your wages while you’re out of work.
  • Business Use Vehicle: You scrape into somebody's vehicle while parking outside a customer's house. Your Business Use Vehicle insurance pays for the cost of their repairs.
  • Tools: While you’re taking your lunch break your tools are stolen. Your Tools insurance covers the cost of replacement for a similar set of tools.

FAQs

Yes, cleaners in the UK absolutely need some form of insurance. While not mandatory, no good cleaner would work without Public Liability. If you’re hiring someone (even if only for a short period) then Employers’ Liability is a legal requirement, and if you use your vehicle for business purposes (such as going from one client site to the next) then you’ll have to upgrade your insurance to a Business Use policy. Those are the basic coverages to consider at a minimum.

No, your cleaner/cleaning provider should provide their own relevant insurances before working for you. However, it is your responsibility to appropriately check the cleaner’s references and insurances—if they damage your property without appropriate Public Liability, for example, they might not be able to afford the cost of the damages straightaway.

Traditional methods of saving money on other insurances still very much apply to your cleaners insurance. While not exhaustive, these should give you an idea of how you might save:

  • No previous claims/convictions
  • More experienced as a cleaner
  • Lower levels of coverage
  • Working in an area less known for claims (away from big cities, airports, power stations etc.)
  • Comparing multiple quotes from different providers
  • Not offering waste disposal as part of your business operations

The same insurances that apply elsewhere in the country still apply in London—however, if you work on more expensive properties, you may want to consider a slightly higher level of coverage just to make sure you’re 100% covered if something goes wrong.

You may also pay slightly more for your insurance in London than elsewhere in the country. London is typically a riskier area to insure due to the more expensive property values, higher population density and busier streets and roads.

Yes, house cleaners need to be insured. Most clients will insist that you hold a Public Liability policy before agreeing to work with you, to protect their own property from any damage you might accidentally create.

If you’re working for another business or an agency, check what you’re insured for before heading on-site. Some agencies may include you into the insurance coverages, but some may ask you to have your own before bringing you onboard.

What insurances do you need to be a Cleaner?

Firstly, while it isn’t a legal requirement, Public Liability is generally considered a must-have within the industry. The average settlement for a Public Liability claim last year was £13,500, and considering an annual policy with £2,000,000 of cover will set you back around £53 per year it’s a no-brainer.

In terms of legal requirements, the two to keep an eye on are Employers’ Liability and Business Use Vehicle insurances. Employers’ Liability is required if you bring any additional staff onboard, even if you’re just paying someone to help you for a single day, so if you’re ever considering bringing someone on board make sure you’ve got it sorted ahead of time.

Business Use Vehicle insurance covers your vehicle to support your business, whether transporting your tools or going from one client to another. If you use your vehicle for business purposes, and haven’t informed your insurer (and paid the additional costs) then you risk your insurance being voided. If you use your vehicle to transport the tools of your trade, have a look at Goods in Transit insurance as well if you’d like them covered for damages while driving.

Finally, Personal Accident offers you financial security if anything ever does go wrong that puts you out of work, making sure you can keep paying your bills, rent and any other monthly expenses you have. Tools insurance can help protect your equipment if it’s stolen or accidentally lost/damaged, especially useful if you typically work with more expensive equipment that might be tricky to replace like expensive hoovers or carpet steam cleaners.

How much does Cleaner Insurance cost?

The average starting cost for a basic cleaner insurance policy of £2M of Public Liability will cost just over £50 per year, but bear in mind that some cleaners will pay a lot more than that, especially if you are looking for a more robust policy to protect your business.

Especially noticeable is the over £150 increase in cost brought about by bringing an employee onboard (and the additional required Employers’ Liability), however the fines for not being covered (£2,500 per day for each day someone works for you unprotected by Employers’ Liability) are severe and make having it ahead of time more than worthwhile.

Sole Trader

In this example, a sole trader is looking for his domestic cleaning insurance policies in the UK. If you’re typically operating in non-domestic settings (such as offices or schools) you may find your costs increased due to the additional risks.

graph showing the average cost electricians insurance in the UK
Average Cost of Cleaners Insurance for a sole trader
£2m Public Liability (PL)£53
£5m PL£85
£2M PL, £2,000 Tools (not left in van overnight)£147
£2M PL, £2,000 Tools (left in van overnight)£218
£2M PL, £5,000 Tools (left in van overnight)£253
£2M PL, Personal Accident£77
£2M PL, Personal Accident, £2,000 Tools (left in van overnight)£274
£2M PL + 1 Employee + £2,000 Tools + Personal Accident£437

Limited company with 5 employees

You’ll notice a significant increase in insurance costs as your business grows—simply put, the additional staff naturally increase the risk of accidents happening, so your insurance has to increase to reflect that.

graph showing the average cost electricians insurance in the UK
Average Cost of Cleaners Insurance for a Limited Company with 5 employees
£2m Public Liability (PL) and Employers' Liability (EL)£700
£5m PL£743
£2M PL, £2,000 Tools (not left in van overnight)£826
£2M PL, £2,000 Tools (left in van overnight)£1,051
£2M PL, £5,000 Tools (left in van overnight)£1,180
£2M PL, Personal Accident£972
£2M PL, Personal Accident, £2,000 Tools (left in van overnight)£1,324

More Information on Types of Cleaners insurance

Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance for cleaners keeps you protected in the event that your work causes damages or injury to third parties. These could include your clients, other businesses on-site or members of the general public. Public Liability will cover any legal expenses and compensation awarded against you.

Most quality cleaning businesses don’t operate without Public Liability, so while not a legal requirement, you may lose clients if you can’t present a valid policy before working for them.

Employers’ Liability Insurance

Employers' Liability Insurance is a legal requirement for any business in the UK that employs staff. Whether they’re brought on full-time, part-time, or even for a one-off piece of work, you must carry a valid policy.

Employers’ Liability covers you against any illness or injury claims made by current or former employees, and covers any compensation and legal costs you’re liable to pay.

Personal Accident

Personal Accident insurances are designed to protect your income if you’re out of work for the immediate future due to an accident. Whether short or long-term, there’s a variety of different policies available to protect you if something goes wrong. An especially enticing benefit for employees, Payscale research found that 97% of cleaners in the UK have no health insurances provided by their current role.

Tools Insurance

Tools and Equipment insurance protects the tools of your trade in the event that they’re stolen or accidentally damaged/lost. Especially useful for those using expensive/niche tools, Tools coverage can help keep your business running efficiently if something does happen.

Salary Information

The average salary for a cleaner in the UK is £9,760. However, it's probably fair to say that this figure is propped up by the South East and London, the only 2 regions above the average. Cleaners typically earn the least in the North East, taking home just £8,344 per year from their cleaning work.

graph showing the average salary for cleaners in the UK
RegionAverage Salary
North East£8,344
West Midlands£8,667
East Midlands£8,717
Wales£9,023
Yorkshire and The Humber£9,107
South West£9,183
East£9,204
North West£9,406
Scotland£9.660
National Average£9,760
South East£10,315
London£12,683

While the figures might feel low, and are certainly considerably less than most other jobs in the UK, they probably don't tell the full story. Considering the average cost to hire a cleaner in the UK is between £12 and £23 per hour it's likely fair to suggest that cleaners aren't working traditional 8 hour working days for 5 days a week.

There could be a number of reasons for this—perhaps they supplement their income through other jobs/methods, or aren't relied on to be the sole provider for their household (perhaps sharing responsibility with partners or family members). Cleaning also likely appeals to people who need flexible hours in their life, perhaps as parents or carers.

Methodology

Quotes were gathered for sample cleaners/cleaning businesses in NW London. No fewer than the three cheapest quotes were averaged to gather our results, The cost of your insurance may be higher or lower than our results depending on the different variables insurers measure risk profiles by.

Luke Masters

Luke is a freelance research associate. Prior to NimbleFins, he worked at FreshMinds, Investigo and BMW. His work in data analytics, pricing, strategy and business development now help him write business insurance content to support SMEs. Read more on LinkedIn.

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