For people who enjoy cleaning, there’s money to be had within the housekeeping industry. Still, there's the matter of keeping yourself or your employees safe at work that you must contend with. That includes protecting yourself during travel to and from your clients' properties.
From the vehicles you use, to the supplies you transport, you might benefit from insurance. Make a list of some of the ways you can help yourself.
Is commercial auto insurance on your list? It should be.
Getting Commercial Auto Insurance
If you provide housekeeping for a living, that likely means you'll be on the road a lot. You'll have to get from one location to the next to do your job. As a result, the vehicle you use will prove critical to your commercial success. You must protect it.
Accidents, theft or other hazards might damage your vehicles or your equipment. Not only that, accidents that are deemed your fault could harm others. This could make it harder to do your job, and put your business in a risky financial position. With commercial auto insurance, you can worry less about how you will pay for such losses.
If you drive for business, the business stands to suffer as a result of a problem. Therefore, commercial coverage contains specially-designed protection to safeguard this risk. It's almost always better for housekeeping businesses to consider carrying this coverage. Indeed, some cannot insure a commercial vehicle with standard coverage anyway.
Different businesses will need different types of coverage. However, many of the common elements of protection you need include:
- Liability Insurance: This is required for all drivers by Missouri law. This coverage helps drivers who are at fault in accidents pay for the injuries or property damage they cause others.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage: If another driver is at fault in a wreck, they might not have any, or enough, liability insurance to cover your losses. This coverage exists on your own policy, and can cover such situations. Missouri requires this coverage as well, with limits starting at:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- Collision Insurance: This covers damage to your car that results from accidents.
- Comprehensive Insurance: This pays for losses caused by incidents that are not the result of accidents. Covered situations might include vehicle fires, theft and vandalism, or weather damage.
- Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection: In the event of injuries to you or your passengers, this coverage can pay your medical bills. Keep in mind, injured employee drivers might also qualify for workers compensation coverage. This will depend on the structure of your housekeeping business and local law.
Different policies will influence how much money you might receive for a claim. For example, some policies come with replacement cost coverage. It'll pay to replace a totaled car with a model of similar value. Other policies will come with actual cash value protection. It will pay only the car's depreciated value following a total loss. Look at your business' reserve assets to see how much you could afford out-of-pocket following a loss. Ask your agent to help you strike a balance between coverage and your financial responsibility.
Keep in mind, you will need to state on your policy who has financial responsibility on the vehicle. An individual using their personal car will likely need different coverage than a housekeeper who works for a maid company and drives a company-owned car. Make sure your insurer knows the ownership status. All parties, sole proprietors or large companies, should have protection targeted.
Insuring Supplies In The Vehicle
When you go to a client's home, you might carry certain equipment with you. This might include vacuum cleaners, ladders, expensive solvents and other items. Should these items sustain damage, your business might be saddle with a loss most business owners it's loathe to pay.
In most cases, commercial auto insurance alone will not cover lost property. Even following a wreck, you might not have coverage under your policy. Therefore, you should extend your commercial insurance to better protect items in transport. You can often do so in a couple of ways.
- Turn to your Commercial Property Insurance policy. You can make a claim on the policy for the lost item. Keep in mind, item limits will often still apply.
- Consider Inland Marine Coverage. This specialized coverage protects items while shipping or transporting them. It often offers more protection for specialty or high-risk items. If you use particularly expensive materials, you might benefit from this protection.
Talk to your Auto Insurance Discounters agent about the items you carry with you. They can help you determine the appropriate way to insure these items.
Whether you drive for your service or someone else does, make sure drivers observe safe operating procedures at all times. For added safety, you might increase security items on the vehicle. You might also place GPS trackers or speed monitors on the vehicles to better control driver behavior. At the end of the day, your first priority must be safety. Still, commercial auto insurance must remain a core part of your operations.
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