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EPA Revises Worker Protection Standard

Pesticide WorkerStarting in 2017, the health of greenhouse, plant nursery, urban farm, and other workers will be better protected.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the 1992 Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) with elements designed to reduce the risk of illness or injury from unsafe pesticide exposure.  Employers must comply with most of the new requirements starting January 2, 2017 and certain other requirements starting January 2, 2018.

Exposure to pesticides is associated with a number of illnesses and injuries such as nausea, vomiting, neurological disorders, and cancer, just to name a few.  This is not only bad for a worker’s health and wallet, but it’s bad for your horticulture business, too.  These health risks can increase worker absenteeism, reduce productivity, and add to your costs.  The revised WPS aims to reduce preventable illnesses relating to pesticides through stricter regulations.

Who Needs to Comply with the Worker Protection Standard?

Employers can be subject to significant civil and criminal penalties if WPS requirements are not met.  This affects establishments that grow and harvest commercial plants in greenhouses and nurseries, fruits and vegetables on farms, or timber and trees in forests and nurseries.

Employers of researchers who help grow and harvest plants and employers of commercial pesticide handling establishments are also required to meet WPS regulations.

Learn more from EPA on which employers are affected by WPS and exceptions here.

Which Employees are Protected by the Worker Protection Standard?

The WPS protects pesticide handlers and agricultural workers. EPA defines pesticide handlers as compensated workers who:

• mix, load, or apply agricultural pesticides;
• clean or repair pesticide application equipment; or
• assist with the application of pesticides

EPA defines agricultural workers as “those who perform tasks related to growing and harvesting plants on farms or in greenhouses, nurseries or forests.”  This includes compensated workers that perform activities directly related to agricultural plant production, including repotting and watering plants.

What Changes Were Made to the Worker Protection Standard?

EPA made a number of changes in 2015 to the existing Worker Protection Standard.  These revisions improve safety measures, training, and access to information.  Some of the major changes include:

• Individuals under the age of 18 can no longer handle pesticides or perform early-entry work during a restricted-entry interval  (REI) (effective January 2, 2017)

• Pesticide handlers must complete medical evaluations, annual fit testings, and annual training prior to using a respirator; a record of these completed activities must be saved for two years (effective January 2, 2017)

• Eye flush water must be accessible at mixing/loading sites for pesticide handlers required to use eye protection (effective January 2, 2017)

• Warning signs must be posted for outdoor production areas if the REI is greater than 48 hours (effective January 2, 2017)

• Mandatory training on required protections must be provided to workers and handlers annually (effective January 2, 2017)

• “Enclosed space production” replaced the term “greenhouse” to include greenhouses, mushroom houses, grow houses, hoop houses, and high tunnels in its definition

• And more

How to Protect Your Horticulture Business from Financial Loss

To protect your horticulture business from paying penalties, it’s important to follow requirements specified in the Worker Protection Standard.  Standardize procedures for your employees and provide additional training if needed.   Each worker should be trained in recognizing hazards, using equipment and chemicals properly, and following the required safety procedures.  Enforcing safety not only prevents violations and worker injuries, it could help lower your insurance premium, too.

If an injury or illness does occur from pesticide exposure or other cause, make sure you have comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance coverage.  This covers medical costs, foregone wages, and other related costs that can be financially devastating for your business.  With this, your employees can focus on restoring their health and you can continue growing your business.

Find insurance coverage for your horticulture business.  NIP Group’s GrowPro insurance program includes workers’ compensation and other important coverages that can be custom-tailored to your operational and financial needs. For information on insurance coverage specific to your needs, visit nipgroup.com/programs/growpro or contact your broker.

 

NIP Programs develops and manages business insurance programs for industries with specialized insurance and risk management needs.

 

Source: epa.gov

4 Ways to Kill Worker Productivity (and How to Avoid Them)

work productivity

As a leader and business owner, you understand that your most important asset is your employees. When their productivity suffers, the bottom line of your business suffers too. To maintain high performance and efficiency within a contracting business, avoid these four productivity killers.

1. Inadequate Communication

Lack of communication can leave employees confused and unmotivated. When directions and goals are not clear, mistakes and rework occur more frequently. This means more time taken to complete a task or project.

Communication plays a large role in engagement too. Employees who don’t have an understanding of how their efforts contribute to the company’s mission or are not empowered to express ideas can become disengaged from work quickly. This leads to higher employee turnover, absenteeism, and other issues that hurt your overall productivity.

Ways to avoid: Open communication is key. Encourage employees to provide input and ideas. Communicate job expectations clearly and provide feedback. Make sure they understand how their work adds value to the company.

2. Micromanaging

Controlling every detail of employee work slows projects down and hurts organizational progress. Micromanagers often spend unnecessary time overseeing even simple tasks, stifling the progress of other workers. Employees may hold back from taking the initiative to improve services and processes as a result. With little to no autonomy or empowerment to make decisions, employee motivation declines and efficiency is lost.

Ways to avoid: Employees are hired because of their skill set. Delegation of tasks, training, and trust in their ability are important. Give ownership of increasingly more challenging tasks, only stepping in to supervise larger issues or when needed. Focus more on results produced and less on every detail of execution.

3. Lack of Acknowledgement and Appreciation

Failure to acknowledge and show appreciation for accomplishments and ideas leads to high employee turnover and low individual productivity. This lack of recognition can make any employee feel like they’re not valued, destroying the motivation to keep performing at their best.

Ways to avoid: Acknowledged and appreciated employees are more likely to go above and beyond their job expectations. A sincere and timely “thank you” or “great job” can go a long way in boosting morale, leading to increased productivity. Be specific when expressing this appreciation (e.g., how did the employee/team do a great job or what great idea did they come up with?). Tie recognition to performance goals. Celebrate team successes.

4. Insufficient Training

Not enough training in the job and company processes can result in costly errors and time-consuming rework later on – a death sentence for productivity. Tasks may be performed inaccurately and opportunities for improvement may go unnoticed, hurting the effectiveness of a business. Where safety is an issue, workers that are unaware of safety procedures are more vulnerable to injury and time away from the job to recover.

Ways to avoid: Adequately trained employees are not only better prepared to meet performance goals, they’re often more invested in the company’s success too (a win-win). Provide continuous training for each specific job function. Make safety a priority by providing comprehensive training and materials.

 

While the right technology and processes are also key components to an effective work environment, employee knowledge and engagement drives enhanced productivity. When their productivity improves, the bottom line of your business is more likely to improve too.

Interested in learning more helpful tips and best practices relating to your business? Visit our blog at http://www.nipgroup.com/blogs/programs/.

NIP Group, a business insurance and risk management intermediary, helps businesses with specialized risks avoid financial loss and keep operations moving forward.

Do I Need Umbrella Insurance for My Business?

Umbrella Insurance for Your Business

If a client sues your business or an employee causes a devastating car accident, will your current insurance policy cover the settlement and defense costs? If not, your business could be in serious financial trouble.

With lawsuits and claims occurring more frequently, an umbrella insurance policy can be the safety net to keep your business out of financial harm. This coverage pays the remaining costs of a claim when your primary insurance limits are exhausted. For example, you’re hit with lawsuit settlement and defense costs of $1.5 million after your employee driving the company van strikes another vehicle. If your auto liability policy only covers $1 million of this cost, the umbrella insurance will pay the outstanding $500,000.

Advantages of Commercial Umbrella Insurance

An umbrella insurance policy offers benefits that your primary liability insurance policies can’t provide.

Affordable, high coverage limit. For only a few hundred dollars a year, you can have $1 million in umbrella insurance. This coverage is available in increments of $1 million and comes with low premium payments.

More protection. Umbrella insurance is there to back you up financially when your primary liability insurance isn’t enough to cover the costs of lost assets, bodily injuries, legal fees, and more. This extra coverage better protects your business from financial loss, particularly when hit with a costly lawsuit.

Cost savings. A single umbrella insurance policy extends the coverage limits on multiple liability policies – and for a lower premium, too! Instead of paying to increase the coverage limits on each of your general liability and auto liability policies, for example, one umbrella insurance policy gets you extra coverage on both of these liability policies. And, if hit with a costly lawsuit that your primary insurance policy can’t fully cover, umbrella insurance saves you money by paying the outstanding costs.

To decide how much umbrella insurance coverage is needed for your business, identify the risks your business faces and any assets that would be covered under this policy. Then, review your current insurance coverages to determine if these terms cover all of the areas where your business is vulnerable to a claim.

Knowing this information helps you better determine the umbrella insurance coverage limits required to keep your business out of financial harm. Your insurance broker can answer questions regarding insurance options and get you coverage specific to your business needs.

Looking for an umbrella insurance policy that will save you money and provide more protection for your business? Check out NIP Group’s business insurance programs that include umbrella insurance and other coverages specific to your needs by visiting http://www.nipgroup.com/programs.

Please note: All coverages are subject to conditions, coverage limits, limits of liability, limitations, and exclusions as contained in the policy.

4 Basic Insurance Policies for Greenhouses and Nursery Garden Centers

Basic Insurance Policies for Greenhouses and Nursery Garden Centers

Having the right insurance for your business plants the seed for a stronger financial future.  When a costly claim or lawsuit is made against your business, even basic coverage can help dig you out of a financial hole.  This liability and workers’ comp insurance covers the costs when certain unexpected situations happen.

Below we provide an overview of four basic insurance policies – general liability, property, commercial vehicle, and workers’ comp – that can help safeguard your horticulture or plant grower business.

General Liability Insurance

If a third party claims your employee or work environment caused them injury or physical damage to their property, you might be held liable for paying the bill(s).  Even if not at fault, these claims are common and can be costly.  For example, a customer breaks their arm from slipping and falling on wet leaves in the aisle of your nursery garden center.

To protect your business against the high costs of property damage, bodily injury, and personal or advertising injury claims, general liability insurance is necessary.  This popular policy covers the costs of related legal fees, third party medical expenses, and much more.

Property Insurance

Structures, stock, equipment, and other business property can be expensive to repair or replace.  This property loss often results from fire, extreme weather, and theft.  During winter, for example, a greenhouse roof collapsing from the weight of snow and ice damages your stock, supplies, and everything else it crashes on top of, in addition to interrupting your business operations.

In case of an unfortunate incident,  property insurance is designed to help you get back to business after a loss of your stock, structures, equipment, or commercial and  business personal property.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance

If an employee causes an accident when delivering plants, going on a sales call, or driving a company vehicle for any business related purpose, you could be responsible for paying the damages.  These costs significantly increase when a third party is injured as a result of the accident,.

For greenhouse and nursery garden centers with traveling employees, a commercial vehicle insurance policy is essential.  This policy covers the expense of physical damage repairs to a covered auto, as well as the potential defense and payment of bodily injury claims to a third party.

Workers’ Compensation

Using sharp gardening tools, lifting heavy equipment, spraying chemicals on plants, and other daily tasks could result in injury or illness for an employee.  Even with safety procedures in place, accidents can still happen.  For example, an employee is hurt after tripping on a hose being used by another employee to water plants. When  employees are  hurt on the job, this policy covers the resulting medical costs and lost income during recovery, as well as potential litigation expenses.  Workers’ compensation is a legal requirement in most states, and a necessary policy when running a business with paid employees.

These four fundamental insurance policies better protect horticulture and plant grower businesses.  To fill any gaps where you would not be financially protected, additional coverage can be added to each policy.

Find insurance coverage for your business.  NIP Group’s GrowPro insurance program includes general liability, property, commercial vehicle, workers’ comp, and other important coverages that can be custom-tailored to your operational and financial needs. For information on insurance coverage specific to your needs, visit nipgroup.com/programs/growpro or contact your broker.

Please note: All coverages are subject to conditions, coverage limits, limits of liability, limitations, and exclusions as contained in the policy.

What Should I Put in My Cleaning Service Contract to Avoid Client Disputes?

Cleaning Service Contract to Avoid Client DisputesHaving your client sign a written contract before starting a job could save your cleaning or janitorial business a lot of money and headache later on. If a dispute with a client or unexpected lawsuit happens, this document will help you better defend your business. Otherwise, you could be left cleaning up a financial mess from disagreements over service expectations, payment, and more.

Contracts are helpful in building and strengthening relationships with clients, too. Clearly defined rates, terms, and conditions help eliminate confusion between parties and set expectations for the quality of work to be performed. A lawyer can help you draft an initial contract which can then be tailored to each job after.

Below are some details often included in a cleaning or janitorial service contract that can help avoid future conflicts with clients.

Service Schedule Details

• Start and end dates of service
• Frequency of work to be performed
• Days and times work will be performed
• Procedures for entering and exiting the premises each workday

Services to Be Performed and Supplies

• Areas and facilities to be cleaned
• Detailed list of tasks to be completed in each area
• Responsible party for purchasing and maintaining cleaning supplies and equipment

Rates and Payment

• Costs for services (per hour or per job)
• How often the client will be billed (e.g., monthly)
• Payment due date
• Payment methods (e.g., check, credit card, cash)

Refund and Cancellation Terms

• Refund policy for incomplete work or complaints
• Notice period for canceling services
• Cancellation fee, if any

If no further clarification is needed, ask your client to sign the contract. Both of your signatures make it legally binding and enforceable.

Looking to better protect your cleaning or janitorial service business from costly claims? Check out NIP Group’s MaintenancePro insurance program and contact your broker for more information.

Related Article

Found a Negative Online Review of Your Commercial Business? Here’s How to Respond

Resources

https://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/2012/09/29/how-to-build-your-own-cleaning-business-contract/

http://www.ehow.com/how_4796779_write-cleaning-contract.html

https://buildingservices.insureon.com/blog-results/6-things-to-include-in-your-janitorial-services-contract

3 Tips for Controlling Costs in Your Cleaning Service Operations

Control Costs in Your Cleaning Service OperationsReducing and controlling costs in your cleaning service includes increasing productivity and saving money where possible.  For this, it’s important to look at your business operations and identify areas for improvement.  This will help improve your bottom line and strengthen the financial future of your business.

Below are three tips that can help you control costs within your cleaning service operations.

Train Your Employees

Proper training of employees is vital to controlling costs better.  Make sure each employee is trained in safety procedures, cleaning methods, and proper use of equipment and chemicals.  This helps prevent future rework, product waste, and costly claims that can add to your expenses.

Create an Efficient Process

Increased efficiency can decrease labor costs.  To better manage your budget, it’s important to understand the time and resources needed to complete a job.  After evaluating the facility you’re contracted to service and work requirements, clearly define a cleaning method (e.g., zone or team cleaning) and prioritize tasks that will get the job done through an efficient process.  Establishing an effective process helps employees increase productivity without compromising quality of work.

In addition, consider using equipment and products that make the cleaning process more effective and less time-consuming.  Although sometimes pricey, the higher performance, durability, and longer lifespan of certain equipment and products can help you control costs better over the long term.

Keep Your Business Insurance Premium Low

There are simple ways to keep your business insurance premium low without giving up coverage.  This includes maintaining a clean claims history, enforcing safety procedures, bundling multiple policies with one carrier, and increasing your deductible.  Learn more about saving money on your business insurance here.

For better coverage that protects you from financial loss, NIP Group’s MaintenancePro insurance program can be custom-tailored to meet the financial and operational needs of your janitorial or cleaning service business.  Visit http://www.nipgroup.com/programs/maintenancepro/ for more information or contact your broker.

How did you reduce costs in your janitorial or cleaning service operations?

Related Articles

How to Reduce Costly Risks in a Cleaning or Maintenance Service Business

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Business Insurance Bill

Resources

http://cleanguidepro.com/wpDrakeBlog/category/janitorial-costs-savings/

http://blog.staplesadvantage.com/2014/01/16/new-year-new-savings-three-steps-to-reduce-labor-costs/

 

Safety Tips that Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Stress and Illness

Safety Tips that Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Stress and IllnessThe physical demands of outdoor work and extreme heat is a dangerous combination.  Landscape, tree service, construction, and other  outdoor workers spend hours under the hot sun, making them more vulnerable to heat stroke, exhaustion, dehydration, and other serious health problems.  This is not only bad for their health, but bad for your business too.

Heat stress and related illnesses have been one of the many occupational hazards OSHA aims to prevent.  In May 2015, for example, the State of California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) changed employer requirements to better protect agricultural and other outdoor workers from illnesses related to heat exposure.  This includes stricter regulations.

To avoid violating OSHA regulations and control hazards, enforcing safety procedures is your best bet.  Below we list some tips for protecting your workers from these heat-related health problems.

Safety Tips for Working in Hot Temperatures

  • Dress cool.  Wear light-colored, breathable clothing and a hat.
  • Stay hydrated. Thirsty or not, drink water every 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Take breaks. Rest in the shade when possible.  Eat during lunch or other breaks to re-fuel.
  • Watch your workers’ backs. Keep an eye out for signs of exhaustion and other heat illnesses.
  • Have a response plan. Know which steps to take if a worker shows symptoms of heat illness.

Each employee should be trained in safety procedures, including recognizing and controlling hazards, and steps to take in an emergency.  By creating a safe working environment, your workers are better protected from harm and the risk of a costly claim is significantly reduced.  If a health problem does occur even after following safety procedures, an insurance plan with workers’ comp will cover medical costs, foregone wages, and other related costs to take the heat off of your business financially.

NIP Group’s insurance programs include comprehensive workers’ comp to back you up financially so your employees can focus on restoring their health and you can continue growing your business.  Click the links below for more information or contact your broker.

LandPro Insurance >

For landscape and lawn care professionals

TreePro Insurance >

For arborists and tree service professionals

GrowPro Insurance >

For greenhouse and plant grower professionals

Resources

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/

https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/documents/Heat-Illness-Prevention-Regulation-Amendments.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/wp-solutions/2013-143/pdfs/2013-143.pdf

http://landscapeonline.com/research/article/17720

Found a Negative Online Review of Your Commercial Business? Here’s How to Respond

 

Respond to a Negative Online Review of Your BusinessA negative online review of your services could discourage other prospective clients from hiring your commercial business.  In a study by Dimensional Research, 88 percent of respondents said they “have been influenced by an online customer service review when making a buying decision.”  Not so good for your bottom line.  Don’t panic just yet, though – a quick response coupled with some TLC (tender loving care) can help turn a negative review into a positive.

A bad review can happen to even the most reliable service businesses, whether it’s from a dissatisfied client (warranted or not) or a sneaky competitor using a fake name.  Monitoring both social media and service review websites helps you gauge customer satisfaction and your reputation.  It also enables you to showcase your company values to the World Wide Web and do damage control if an online user writes a less-than-stellar review.

Below we provide some helpful response tips for maintaining a positive reputation when an unexpected bad review is written for the world to see.

Step 1: Breathe

Your passion as a business owner makes any feedback more personal.  While it’s normal human response to get defensive, staying positive will get you the best outcome.  Remember, “the customer is always right” (even if they’re wrong).

After seeing a nasty review, collect your thoughts first and then respond in a professional way.

Step 2: Show You Care

It’s important to remember that other prospective clients browsing the web will read your reply.  To make a personal connection with the reviewer, send a private message first, if possible, before posting a public reply.  A thoughtful, prompt response communicating a solution to resolve their complaint can restore your reputation.  Offering a refund or discount on their next purchase doesn’t hurt either.

For example, a reviewer complained about a delay in your cleaning or janitorial service.  Although this delay may have been due to an unavoidable situation, such as an unexpected equipment malfunction or bad traffic, this is the chance to highlight your company values, not to backlash.  Your reply could include an acknowledgement of their complaint, a statement that reinforces your company’s commitment to customer satisfaction, and how you will rectify the problem or who to contact for resolution.

Step 3: Take the Good with the Bad, and then Learn from It

Comments about your business on review sites, both positive and negative, can be used to improve your product or service.  Make it a learning experience.  For example, incorporate negative reviews into your employee training with steps to prevent future issues.  Highlight positive reviews to keep up the good work.

Rectifying a negative online review doesn’t end with these steps, however.  If given another chance, make sure the client’s next experience with your business meets or exceeds expectations.  Follow up with them after service to see how it went.  By being responsive and showing you care both online and offline, you can help influence other prospects into becoming clients.

How did you handle a negative online review?

Resources

http://cdn.zendesk.com/resources/whitepapers/Zendesk_WP_Customer_Service_and_Business_Results.pdf

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242429

 

How to Prevent a Catastrophic Fire in Your Greenhouse Facility

 

Prevent a Fire in Your Greenhouse FacilityAccording to NFPA, there was $11.5 billion in property damage from fires in the United States in 2013. In a greenhouse environment, quickly spreading fires will easily destroy crops, damage facilities, and disrupt business operations that results in lost income. These blazing flames are a result of high temperature, combustible materials, and oxygen – all elements commonly found within a greenhouse.

Flammable materials exposed to high temperature sources plant the seed for a fire disaster.  Add oxygen to the mix and your whole greenhouse operations could get destroyed.   Sources of these high temperatures include poor electrical wiring, overloaded circuits, soldering or welding work, heating systems and other equipment, and discarded cigarettes. When a flame or high heat comes into contact with plastic, greenhouse covers, shade cloths, chemicals, and other flammable items, a fire can break out. Increasing the flow of oxygen, such as through a fan, only intensifies and spreads the flames.

To prevent these elements from coming into contact with one another and starting a fire, it’s important to minimize and control fire hazards within your facility.  Below are some helpful tips to protect your greenhouse, crops, and employees.

Build Your Greenhouse to Resist Fires

The first step to preventing a fire is to safeguard your greenhouse by complying with building codes and National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements. This ensures your facility is constructed to avoid fires, including installed sprinklers, proper electrical wiring and grounding, and location distance from other buildings.

The layout and design of your greenhouse also contributes to fire prevention.  Layout and design tips include but are not limited to:

  • Building a separate ventilated area, preferably outside of your facility, to store flammable liquids
  • Placing heating systems, electrical equipment, and other combustion-type equipment a safe distance away from flammable materials
  • Using non-combustible building materials for walkways and other appropriate areas

Regularly Inspect and Control Fire Hazards

Even with a well-designed and up to code greenhouse facility, safety procedures and routine inspections are required to prevent or control a fire.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Training employees in recognizing fire hazards, handling chemicals, using fire extinguishers, steps to take in case of fire, and other safety procedures
  • Storing flammable chemicals, liquids, and oily rags in proper containers
  • Making sure exit ways, aisles, and fire extinguishers are free from obstruction at all times
  • Checking the physical and working condition of equipment, including dust and leaks
  • Making sure equipment motors and flammable material storage areas are well ventilated
  • Testing the performance of fire and smoke alarms regularly

In addition, refer to OSHA standards for workplace fire safety.

Have a Plan If a Fire Does Break Out

Response by your employees can keep a fire from spreading and causing significant damage.  Create an emergency response plan with steps to take if a fire does break out, including how and when to use a fire extinguisher, emergency contact numbers to call, and where to exit the facility.

If the fire causes property damages or injuries, the right insurance coverage will protect your greenhouse business from significant financial loss.  To get the best coverage for your operational and financial needs, it’s important to know the risks your business faces and what is covered under each type of insurance policy.

For comprehensive insurance that covers losses due to fires, NIP Group offers GrowPro insurance program specifically for greenhouse and horticulture businesses.   Contact your insurance broker or visit www.nipgroup.com/programs/growpro for more information.

Resources

https://www.ngma.com/standardpdf/FireSafety2010.pdf

http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fires-in-the-us

https://blog.safetysmart.com/2014/01/12-fire-prevention-tips-workers/

 

 

 

6 Additional Insurance Coverages for Complete Protection of Your Cleaning and Maintenance Service Business

 

Additional Insurance Coverages for Protecting Cleaning and Maintenance Service BusinessesYour cleaning or maintenance service business could be vulnerable to a costly claim if you’re only insured with basic coverage.  While the insurance policies listed in last week’s “4 Fundamental Insurance Policies…” article strengthen the foundation of a small business, additional insurance can provide comprehensive protection that your business may need to avoid a financial mess.  This extra coverage can fill in gaps where your business would not otherwise be financially protected.

Below we describe six additional business insurance coverages to consider for more comprehensive protection of your cleaning and maintenance service business.

Umbrella Liability

When your general liability, auto liability, or other liability insurance limit is only enough to cover part of a costly claim, an umbrella insurance policy is there to help with the remaining costs.  An auto accident caused by your employee in the company van, for example, results in claim settlement and defense costs of $2 million.  If your auto liability policy only covers $1 million of this total cost, the umbrella insurance coverage is there to pay the remaining $1 million.

Inland Marine

If your cleaning equipment, computer systems, or other property used in your operations are frequently moved from jobsite to jobsite, an inland marine insurance policy could keep your business afloat.  While a property insurance policy may only provide coverage for limited types of tools and equipment that are damaged within a certain distance from your designated business location, an inland marine policy will cover tools and equipment that are damaged further away from your premises.

Crime Coverage

Crime against your business can happen when least expected, robbing your business of serious money. To be prepared, a crime insurance policy covers employee theft, forgery/alteration, and loss of money or securities on and off premises.

ISO Janitorial Services Endorsement

Covering a broad range of risks, NIP Group’s add-on ISO janitorial services endorsement includes several coverage enhancements for more complete protection. Coverage includes key and lock replacement if a customer key is accidentally lost, theft of client property, property damage due to your work, damage to client property in your custody and care, and much more.

Blanket Additional Insured

If customers are requesting a certificate naming them as an additional insured on your insurance policies, blanket additional insured could save you time and unnecessary expenses.  This automatically extends “Additional Insured” status to your customers without the paperwork and potential fees each time it is needed.

Business Income – Dependent Properties

When income is lost from damages to client or other non-owned property, business income for dependent properties will cover your loss.  For example, if a school that you have a janitorial contract with has a massive fire that prevents you from performing work and getting paid, having the available business income for dependent properties coverage will cover income lost during that time period.

To choose the insurance coverages that will best protect your cleaning or maintenance service, it’s important to first recognize the risks your business faces.  After identifying these risks, review your current insurance policies so you know exactly what is covered and if these terms cover all of the areas where your business is vulnerable to a claim.

Need more than just basic insurance to cover all of the risks of your business?  NIP Group’s MaintenancePro insurance program offers cleaning and maintenance service businesses both fundamental and additional insurance policies that can be custom-tailored to your business needs.  Contact your insurance broker or visit www.nipgroup.com/programs/maintenancepro for more information.

Please note: All coverages are subject to conditions, coverage limits, limits of liability, limitations, and exclusions as contained in the policy.

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4 Fundamental Insurance Policies that Protect Cleaning and Maintenance Service Businesses