Category: Service Businesses
NAICS CODE: 561740 Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services
Description of Operations:
Carpet cleaners provide cleaning services for rugs and carpets at a customer’s premises. Some operations provide exclusive services for one client only, while others have a number of clients or offer services to the public on an “as needed” basis. For business customers, work is often done while the business is closed.
The carpet cleaner removes furniture and other obstacles, vacuums the carpet, then cleans it with an extraction machine that puts down cleaning solution (water and/or steam with a detergent) and vacuums up the used solution at the same time. Special coatings, such as stain-proofing or water-proofing, may be applied. The extraction machines may be self-contained in small operations, but usually are connected to a truck by large hoses that provide the water and remove and store the used solution.
Property exposures are usually limited to an office with equipment and supply storage. There may be storage for vehicles used to transport equipment and crew to job sites. If any of the chemicals and cleaners are flammable, proper labelling, separation, and storage is needed in approved containers and cabinets.
Crime exposures are primarily from employee dishonesty as employees may steal the customer’s belongings. Hazards increase without proper background checks, references, and reviews conducted by the carpet cleaner to be sure all procedures are properly followed.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable, bailees customers floater, contractors’ equipment, and valuable papers and records. Cleaning equipment and supplies are transported to the customer’s premises, used, and brought back with the crew. The bailees exposure is for customers’ property in the care, custody and control of the carpet cleaner. For high-valued carpeting, a small spill or other damage could reduce the value or require replacement of the entire item.
Occupiers’ Liability exposures are limited at the cleaner’s premises due to lack of public access. Off-premises exposures are high due to cleaning done on customers’ premises. Spills, marring, and scratched surfaces are common, as are the upset or dropping of breakables. Many of these fall under the care, custody and control exclusion, and represent the bailees exposure discussed under inland marine. Wet carpeting, adjacent floors, or disorganized cleaning equipment can pose a trip and fall hazard to the client’s customers or household. The absence of basic controls such as proper caution signs may indicate a morale hazard.
Property damage to customers’ furnishings is an additional exposure if the insured moves furniture at the customer’s site during the cleaning process. A major concern is failure to secure the premises during cleaning and especially upon completion of the work. The hazard increases in the absence of proper training and procedures such as lockup procedures, key control, and final checklist. Some areas of a customer’s home or business may need to remain closed because they contain property susceptible to damage, dangerous pets, or confidential information.
Personal injury exposures include invasion of privacy and even assault to the customers or their employees. Failure of the cleaning service to run background checks and review references on employees both increases the hazard and reduces available defenses.
Automobile exposures may be high in larger operations as owned vehicles are used to transport equipment, supplies, and crew. Small tank trucks contain the cleaning solution (or water) and the used solution after removal. Drivers’ ages, training, experience and records, as well as the age, condition, and maintenance of the vehicles, are all important items to consider. MVRs must be reviewed regularly. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept at a central location. If vehicles are taken home, a personal use policy must be enforced.
Workers compensation exposure can be high. Work is frequently performed under time constraints. Workers can experience lung, eye, or skin irritations and reactions to the cleaning chemicals. Slips and falls can occur during cleaning. Lifting can result in back injury, hernia, sprain, and strain. Employees can also suffer assault if they work “off hours” in empty premises. Pets owned by the client may attack or bite workers.
Minimum recommended coverages insurance for carpet cleaners:
Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Contractors’ Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability, Workers Compensation
Other insurance coverage to consider for Wineries for carpet cleaners :
Building, Bailees Customers Floater, Computers, Employment Practises Liability, Environmental Impairment Liability, Stop Gap Liability