What Types Of Insurance Does A Pool Cleaning Business Need?
Pool cleaning businesses are active and profitable enterprises that are easily busy year-round. Pool cleaners provide services at many job sites (i.e., household pools and hot tubs, recreational pools, school pools, and gym pools), so there certainly is no lack of work.
Pool cleaners are trusted to remove bacteria and objects while safely maintaining the chemical levels in the water. Because of this responsibility, pool cleaning businesses have several liability risks.
Related: Guide to starting a pool cleaning business
What Are Some Risks for a Pool Cleaning Business?
Each business has an assortment of risk exposures that can threaten its financial well-being. For pool cleaning businesses, some of those risks include
- Car accidents
- Customer injury or illness
- Employee injury
- Loss or damage to equipment
- Chemical spills
A pool cleaning business will regularly have employees traveling between job sites. As a result, the business may encounter car accident liabilities or require physical damage repairs on company vehicles. Some of the common causes of car accidents include the following:
- Driving in unfamiliar locations
- Adverse weather conditions
- Poor visibility
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
Pool cleaning businesses may utilize all types of vehicles, including vans, trucks, and customized vehicles. They may even use many large vehicles, which are more challenging to operate, increasing risk. Driving a large vehicle may lead to unintentional damage, especially while driving on narrow, steep, or winding paths.
Customer Injury or Illness
Pool cleaning businesses may use chemicals to treat the water. However, this introduces hazards to customers if the chemical solution is off balance. For example, a too-high concentration of pool chemicals can lead to skin, eye, and respiratory irritation.
In addition, third parties can be injured during a pool cleaning service. For instance, customers or bystanders may trip over tools or hoses left out. Employees should also re-secure hot tub lids and pool gates to avoid putting children, animals, and vulnerable people in danger of accidentally falling into a pool or hot tub.
Employees face several risks while cleaning and maintaining pools. Slips and falls are common injury claims for employees. In particular, indoor pool job sites have an increased danger for slips and falls as these areas quickly become slippery. Further, enclosed areas hold in chemical fumes if too much is used, which may lead to employee illness. Over-exposure to pool chemicals irritates the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
Loss or Damage to Equipment
Since pool cleaning companies travel between job sites to maintain and service pools, their equipment also travels. When losses occur, the tool repairs and replacements cost the company time and money. Mobile equipment is at a heightened risk of loss, theft, and damage. Also, pool cleaning companies that provide repairs will be transporting extra tools and parts.
Chlorine is a disinfectant chemical used to treat water in pools and hot tubs. When used correctly, chlorine safely kills bacteria without harming swimmers. However, improper use can cause damage and injury to both people and property.
In addition, pool cleaning businesses likely transport and store large quantities of this chemical. If it spills, leaks, or combusts, the chemical may cause harm to the environment and the public’s health.
What Types of Insurance Should a Pool Cleaning Business Consider?
Pool cleaning businesses have many types of risk exposures, but these risks are covered with insurance, protecting the business from financial harm. Some essential insurance policies that a pool cleaning business should consider include the following:
- Commercial automobile insurance
- General liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Inland marine insurance
- Environmental impairment liability insurance
Commercial Auto Insurance
A commercial automobile insurance policy protects the pool cleaning business from bodily injury and property damage liability claims resulting from an at-fault accident. It also insures business-owned vehicles for physical damage claims. A commercial auto policy also insures fleets and custom vehicles, which is an important feature for pool cleaning businesses that use customized vehicles.
Car accidents can lead to costly medical bills, repairs, and settlements, so ample liability coverage is essential. Liability is the primary coverage in a commercial auto policy, insuring the business for at-fault accidents. For example, if an employee causes an accident that injures another driver and damages their vehicle, this policy covers the third-party injuries and the damage repairs.
Physical damage coverage insures business-owned vehicles for claims of collision and comprehensive damage. Comprehensive damage can be just as costly as collision damage, so having comprehensive insurance coverage on high-value vehicles is important. Some of the hazards protected against under comprehensive coverage are
- Falling objects
General Liability Insurance
A general liability insurance policy provides protection from personal injury and property damage claims that occur either on business property or because of the business’s operations. For pool cleaning companies, general liability coverage is essential to protect from claims that occur because of accidents or mishaps caused by an employee at the job site. For example, a liability policy could cover the property damage claim if an employee damages a swimming pool while servicing it.
A general liability policy covers many claim-related expenses, including
- Property damage repairs
- Medical bills
- Legal defense costs
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Employees may incur extensive bills and lose income after suffering an injury at work. Fortunately, a workers’ compensation policy covers employees for workplace injuries. The policy offers coverage for numerous expenses, such as the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Ongoing rehabilitation care
- Disability income
- Funeral expenses
Many states require businesses with employees to carry workers’ compensation coverage. But, regardless of a state’s requirements, this policy benefits businesses with employees because it protects the business and business owners too. Potential lawsuits for employee injuries quickly add up costs and strain a small business financially.
Inland Marine Insurance
Tools that move between job sites need coverage since they are at an increased risk of loss or damage. An inland marine insurance policy provides this protection. It covers the tools under an Equipment Floater that protects the equipment wherever it goes. In addition, portable items are covered for hazards, such as damage, loss, and theft.
Additionally, an inland marine insurance policy covers materials and products. So, if the pool service company sells products or transports parts to job sites, these items would also be covered for damage, loss, and theft.
Environmental Impairment Liability Insurance
Chemical spills may lead to fines, expensive clean-up costs, and property damage. An environmental impairment liability policy protects businesses from bearing all those costs.
For example, if the pool cleaning business’s stored chlorine spills and pollutes neighboring areas, the business may be responsible for the repairs, clean-ups, fines, or legal settlements. Fortunately, environmental impairment liability insurance offers coverage for negligence claims or accidental chemical spills that result in fines or damage.
How Much Does Pool Cleaning Business Insurance Cost?
Business insurance costs are determined by the pool cleaning business’s coverage amounts and loss risk. For instance, if the business has few loss risks and low coverage amounts, the insurance costs will be lower than a large business with many risk factors and assets needing coverage.
Some factors that affect risk exposure and coverage amounts include the following:
- The number of business-owned vehicles needing insurance
- Any custom or specialty vehicles
- Employee training and certification
- Safety precautions and chemical safety procedures
- The size of the customer base
- The value and condition of the equipment
- Any past or current lawsuits or insurance claims
Generally, the best way to ensure you get the best price on pool service insurance is to gather multiple quotes from different companies. Of course, the price may vary slightly between insurance companies—but also, their coverages, benefits, discounts, and package options will vary. With multiple quotes to compare, you will find it easier to pick a company that best fits the needs of your pool cleaning business.