Bonding and insurance are two things you don’t want to skimp on. It protects you and your clients.
When a client asks you if you are bonded, what they are asking is this: If you commit fraud, or steal from me will I be reimbursed?
You may be the most honest person in the world, but your new clients don’t know this and they don’t know you. And when they hire you, they are inviting a perfect stranger into their home. They have valuables, they have children and they have pets. They have expensive cars and expensive stuff. And that is good reason to be scared. We don’t live in a safe world anymore. Sorry.
A bond protects your customers in case of theft. Here’s how it works. Let’s say you clean a house and the customer later finds his Rolex watch is missing from the bathroom counter and they think you took it. So they file a police report. The police come to your house and investigate, and if they find proof you took it, you are going to have return it, or replace the watch if you’ve pawned or fenced it. If you have to replace the watch and don’t have the money, the bond would pay the client to replace the Rolex watch. Once the bond is paid out, you then repay the bond in installments. Either way – if you steal it or an employee of yours steals it – you have to pay to reimburse the client. So hope you never have to use it, but it brings great peace of mind to use this in your advertising.
Lots of people will ask you if you are bonded and insured. Lots of house cleaners lie. Don’t do it. If you say “yes, you have bonding and insurance,” be prepared to tell them which company you are bonded through.
Because the next question that follows is “With which company?” You are paying $30 per month to an insurance company for bonding and insurance, you should have an answer that flows really quickly off the end of your tongue.
Answer: Nationwide, would you like the number of my policy for verification?
If you can’t provide the answers to these questions, you shouldn’t be in someone else’s home.
Don’t bring anyone with you into the house that is not covered by bonding and insurance. Let’s say your sister comes to visit and she does not own a house cleaning company, but she has cleaned her own house for many years and she is trustworthy, though not covered by any bonding and insurance, can she help you clean for the day? The answer is no.
She may be the best house cleaner in the world, but without the bonding and insurance, you are not protected and neither is the home owner.
Can your teenage daughter or your husband come help you if you get stacked up on jobs? Not unless they are covered by bonding and insurance.
My mom came to visit for a couple of weeks and didn’t want to stay home while I was house cleaning during the day. She offered to come help me.
AWESOME – I could really have used her help. But wait! She wasn’t bonded or insured so I had to leave her home.
Guess what? My mom is the most amazing person on the planet and she would never steal from anybody. I know that. My clients however, do not. They don’t know my mom. I couldn’t bring her along.
Translation: If you don’t know what you’re doing and you ruin the finish on my hardwood floors and I have to have them refinished or replaced can you pay for it?
Insurance is vital. You want to use the fact that you are insured in your advertising. Insurance for your client’s property is a good business move, as it protects you from crazy clients who may try to sue you for ruining a finish on stainless steel appliances or breaking a valuable heirloom.
If anything should happen to your clients property – your fault or not, if they blame you, you are responsible. So yes, get insurance.
One reason we choose houses in the 0-15 year range is the hardwood floors are coated in a different resin than they were say twenty or thirty years ago. Cleaning them is easier and doesn’t require waxes and shines that older floors do. If you use a wax on a newer floor, you can ruin the hardwood beyond repair and some of these 3,000-5,000 square foot homes have enormous amounts of hardwood. Replacing them could be $27,000-$63,000. You don’t want that kind of out of pocket expense.
We do offer in-depth training at SavvyCleaner.com where we teach you everything you need to know about every type of surface and what chemicals you can and CANNOT use. And if you decide to go the free route and figure it out yourself, really spend some time and do your homework learning this stuff before you start cleaning.
I would hate it for you if you ruined somebody’s granite counter top, or leather furniture because you just didn’t know any better.
Trust me, I’ve heard all of the stories and they are NOT pretty. VERY expensive to replace and repair and it’s happened to some of the nicest house cleaners I know.