What happens when a house cleaner can’t afford insurance? Do you tell your clients or not?
You always want to get insured before you go into a client’s home, but what if you can’t afford it?
You can ask clients to pay you one time before you get insured, but then you have to use your very first paycheck to get insured for your next cleanings.
Listen: House Cleaner Can’t Afford Insurance – But It’s Okay, Right?
Watch: House Cleaner Can’t Afford Insurance – But It’s Okay, Right?
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Should You Tell a Customer You Can’t Afford Insurance?
What do I tell a customer who wants to know why I’m not insured? Which I’m not because I’m about to start a cleaning business.
So, when they ask me why I’m not insured, should I say, “Because I’m a new company“?
Or should I say, “Oh, I’m not insured yet because, you know, waiting for the money to come in so I can pay for it“? What’s the best answer for that question?
Don’t Pretend Like You Have Insurance
Now, instead of pretending like you have insurance … And I’ve seen house cleaners who do this. They say, “Oh, yes, I’m bonded and insured.”, and the customer does not ask for a policy number.
And then they get to the customer’s house, and they damage or destroy something. Then the customer expects that they’re going to pay for it because they said they’re insured, but they’re not.
And then they’ve got to pony up the money that they don’t have to pay for something that they damaged.
Be Honest That You Can’t Afford Insurance
So, if a customer asks you, “Are you insured?”, and you are not, then you need to be honest with them and say, “I’m not insured. You are my first customer. I’m getting started in the industry right now, and the first money that I earn from you is to cover my insurance.
So, what I would like to do is I would like to have you hire me because my intention is to pay for the insurance with my very first earnings. And so, I would like for you to be aware, because I don’t want to lie to you, to be aware that I’m starting.
And so, would that be okay with you if I clean the first time and I’m not insured? So that I can get the money and become insured, so moving forward, I’m insured for the rest of my life?”
If They Won’t Work with You Until You Can Afford Insurance
Now, if they’re not willing to work with you, then you have another problem. You’re going to have to go get the money from somewhere else so that you can come back and then be insured.
But I would be very honest with your customers, because I’ve seen lots of house cleaners lie, and then something tragic happens. Then they’ve got to come up with the money.
I don’t know if there are house cleaners who have never had to use insurance. It’s possible. But it’s safer to have insurance in case you or an employee breaks something.
You Wouldn’t Drive a Car with No Insurance
It’s always an accident, and no one ever expects that it’s going to happen. But it’s the same concept of you getting in a car and driving at 65 miles an hour on the interstate with no car insurance. But you’re going to be really careful.
The reality is you don’t know the carefulness of all the drivers around you. And so, although you might be super careful and you’re not getting in any accidents, it might not even be your fault. But if another uninsured motorist hits you for some reason, then suddenly now you have damage to your car.
And let’s say that they smash your car so that the car door doesn’t even open. You can’t even climb in through a window because the window and the door are crunched. Now you have to get it fixed, because it’s not like a bumper that you can duct tape back onto your car, right? You’re going to have to come up with the money to do that, in spite of the fact that it wasn’t even your fault.
Only Insurance Can Stop Accidents from Hurting Your Business
This is the same kind of concept where you go to someone’s house, and you are responsible for their property. And that’s what happens when you’re a house cleaner.
You are going into another person’s home, and you are saying, “I will be responsible for everything that happens while I’m here.” So, even if you don’t damage it and they say that you do, you are on the hook for replacing or repairing whatever’s damaged.
Let’s say that you use some kind of chemical, and it says it’s safe to use on wood floors. But it damages the wood flooring because you used it on the wrong kind of wood floor. That’s a possibility, and it happens all the time. You’re responsible for that.
You Have to Be Upfront with Your Customers
And so, if a customer asks you, you must be upfront and honest. You must be honest and say, “I don’t have insurance, and I’m getting started. I’m looking for one person to give me enough money to get started so that I can get insurance.
And if you’re uncomfortable with me not having insurance coming to your house, would you mind paying me upfront? I will go get the insurance right now, and the first time I come to your house, I will have insurance.
And then if you don’t like the work for whatever reason, I will still have insurance, but then I will give you your money back on the next house that I clean.”
You Will Need Insurance at Some Point in House Cleaning
The purpose of the insurance is not because you’re going to have to need it. Probably you will at some point. If you have a long enough career in house cleaning, you will probably need it at some point.
But the reality is, even if you don’t need it now, it’s insurance. It’s the peace of mind of knowing, “If I damage, break, or destroy something, it’s not all the money out of my pocket. My insurance policy kicks in, all I’ve got to pay is the deductible, and they will pay the rest.”
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