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.