A guide to insurance for window cleaners

A businessman sat at a desk calculating his bills.

Window cleaning can be a demanding and challenging job. It requires individuals to work outdoors in all weather conditions, operate at heights and handle potentially hazardous cleaning chemicals.

Like many trade-based professions, the nature of the work means there is an increased risk of accidents and injuries, especially when compared with office-based jobs. As a result, self-employed window cleaners need to financially protect themselves. This is where specialist small business insurance policies come in. 

In this guide we take a look at the types of insurance window cleaners should consider. We also outline which types of cover are a legal requirement and explain what different policies actually protect you against.

Do I need insurance to clean windows?

From a legal point of view, unless you have employees working for you, no form of insurance is mandatory for self-employed window cleaners. However, this doesn't mean it’s not advised. On the contrary, with the profession considered one of the more statistically hazardous trades, financially protecting yourself with insurance is a sensible option.

It’s also important to remember that the risks associated with window cleaning may not only impact you. There's also a risk of injury or property damage to your employees and the wider public. Having the right cover in place could be the difference between your small company staying in business and facing financial ruin.

What is window cleaning insurance?

As the name suggests, window cleaning insurance refers to specialist insurance policies designed to financially protect window cleaners. These policies tend to be made up of a few different types of cover.

Types of window cleaning insurance

As a self-employed window cleaner, there are a number of key types of cover you could benefit from most. Below we run through these policies, explaining how they can protect your small business.

Employers’ liability insurance

The only form of insurance that is a legal requirement for self-employed window cleaners is employers’ liability insurance. Naturally, however, this only applies if you hire staff.

If an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of their role within your business, these policies will help cover any associated costs. This can include legal defence fees, as well as any compensation payouts. It’s important to remember, claims can be made by former employees as well as those currently working for you.

Public liability insurance

Although not a legal requirement, public liability insurance can be very important for self-employed window cleaners. These policies are designed to protect your business in the event a member of the public becomes injured (or their property is damaged) as a result of your work. For example, your ladder could scrape against a customer’s newly redecorated paintwork while you are cleaning a window. Or a passer-by could trip over your equipment while you are working and break their leg. In both of these situations, public liability insurance may cover all legal costs relating to defending your business. It may also help cover any damages your business is ordered to pay. This is even the case if you are found to be at fault.

Tools and equipment insurance

Tools are essential for self-employed window cleaners. Without the right equipment, it is impossible to deliver a high quality service. This is why tools and equipment insurance is so important. These policies are designed to financially protect your business if any of the equipment you need to carry out your job is damaged, lost or stolen.

Additional types of cover

Self-employed window cleaners may also want to consider the following policies:

- Occupational personal accident insurance
These policies are designed to protect your income in the event you’re unable to work due to a workplace injury/illness. This could be provided in the form of weekly payments or a single lump sum, depending on the nature of your injury/illness.

- Professional indemnity insurance
This cover protects your business in the event a client seeks compensation following an error made as a direct result of professional advice you have provided. You may want to consider this if you also offer additional services that rely on giving professional advice.

How much is window cleaning insurance?

As with any form of insurance, the cost of window cleaning insurance depends on a number of factors. For example, the size of your business, the different types of insurance you’d like included in your policy and the overall level of cover you need. Here at Markel Direct, our window cleaners’ insurance policies start from £7 a month – price based on a window cleaner requiring £1 million public liability insurance cover.

Business insurance from £5 a month