25 Aug Dry Cleaners Insurance Guide
Keep your business covered as well as your customers clothes and linens by signing up for dry cleaning business and laundry service insurance. Anything less than high quality care can send your clients down the road to the next launderer and who can blame them when they are entrusting their business clothes, wedding dress, expensive rugs or drapery to your safekeeping. The daily functioning of your laundry or cleaning company hinges on your washing and pressing machines remaining operative.
Do you have coverage if they go down? If a garment is ruined or lost, are you prepared for the potential of litigation? Your business may also include alterations, coin operated laundry, gown preservation, seasonal clothing storage or fur cleaning all of which amount to additional risks.
What is dry cleaning insurance?
Commercial launderer insurance is a combination of property and liability coverage based on the specific needs of your company. Find out from your agent if you can include multiple locations on a single policy. Below are some other coverage options that you will want to discuss.
Pollution Liability – This insurance protects third parties (property and bodily injury) from pollution resulting from the dry-cleaning processes or products. Pollution can occur from solvents being released by machines or from the solvent storage containers and this will not be covered by your standard business owner policy. Your landlord may require this as it covers the cleanup and removal of contaminated soil and property damage. There are several chemical options for drycleaners (perchloroethylene or perc, bleach, silicon or petroleum based solvents, detergents and liquid carbon dioxide cleaning) some are recommended over others by the EPA because of their potential to pollute. Ask your agent if your policy will also defray defense costs in case of legal action.
Bailee Coverage – (unlimited bailee, damage in process, mysterious disappearance) Bailee is derived from the term bailment, referring to any situation in which a business takes a customer’s property in its possession without assuming ownership while its performing a service. In the case of a dry cleaner, this is during the laundering, altering, pressing and storing that occurs while on your location. Bailee coverage extends to circumstances that would not be covered by general liability or property (ex – a wedding dress is dropped off to be preserved and it goes missing).
Data Compromise Coverage – (related: cyber security risk; cyber liability; identity restoration) Data compromise helps protect your business during a data breach of client information or the identity theft of the business owner. If you collect and store customer personal or credit card information, especially card-not-present transactions, your company may be subject to fees and penalties beyond what a credit card company will absorb.
Commercial General Liability – This is one of the primary insurances for any business which encompasses bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD), personal or advertising injury and medical payments. The BI or PD as related to products and completed operations refers to events that occur after the merchandise leaves the premises and injury or damage is incurred. In the case of a laundering facility, the customer may have a reaction to the detergent used on the clothes. Personal or advertising injury refers to protection from defamation or violation of company or personal privacy. Talk to your agent about supplemental extended reporting period (SERP) if there are going to be upcoming changes to your policy.
Contractual Liability – This is an extension of general liability policies which will abate the terms which exclude coverage for not completing a contract – a building lease for example.
Business Property Insurance – Business property insurance covers the equipment your company uses during its normal work day in the case of damage or theft – for example: dry cleaning washer or dryer, steam press, sewing machine or computer being destroyed in a fire. This coverage may help cover repair or replacement costs or even the building that your business is in under certain circumstance. Note that you may need additional coverage for employee dishonesty to include damage or loss at the hands of your staff.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance – (previously referred to as boiler and machinery coverage) Equipment breakdown insurance extends beyond what is covered in business property insurance to problems that are specific to your equipment. This coverage would help offset lost income as well as the costs to replace or repair machinery damaged from power surges, loss of steam/hot water boilers, motor burnout, mechanical failure, etc. Along with covering your cleaning paraphernalia, this protects computers, phone systems, steam pipes, boilers and more.
Water Back Up Coverage – A backup in the sewers or drains could prove to be particularly destructive for a cleaning service. If flood or water overflowing causes sewage to back up into your sinks, you will be responsible to pay for the damage and clean up unless you have water backup insurance or coverage specifically included on your business policy.
Business Auto Insurance – (related: hired & non-owned auto; business vehicles) Business auto insurance is necessary if your dry-cleaning company offers drop-off or pickup services. It also is important if staff is ever does errands (whether in their own car, rented, borrowed or a company car) such as going to the bank, post office or to pick up lunch for the staff. This kind of policy may augment coverage provided by a rental agency or the employee’s personal policy.
Business Interruption Insurance – (related: loss of use business income; loss of income coverage) Business interruption insurance helps cover your company if it is forced to shut down due to an unexpected event (like injury, damage or incapacitation). If your operations are interrupted, this coverage will provide income flow subject to the terms of your policy in regards to length of time and past profits.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance – EPLI protects you during litigation brought on by previous or current employees. Lawsuits can range from allegations of harassment and discrimination to negligent evaluations, management or discipline which affects the employee’s career, benefits or personal well-being.
Workers’ Compensation – According to the EPA, wearing clothes that were cleaned in perc or other chemicals is safe but the exposure from chemicals in the air or on the ground could be dangerous. With that in mind in addition to all other slips, falls and potential hazards – you will need to have workman’s comp to defray medical costs and lost wages resulting from any injury on the job.
Get the coverage you need.
Daigle and Travers is based in beautiful Darien, nestled between Stamford, Norwalk, and New Canaan. We also serve Fairfield County, Greenwich, Weston, Westport, Wilton, Ridgefield, Redding, Easton, Fairfield, Southport, Trumbull and parts of Westchester County and Long Island.
Here at Daigle & Travers Insurance, we will provide you with the right coverage to make sure your investments are safe during a disaster. When partnering with us, we will give you all the necessary information and options you need to make the best choice of insurance company and policy. Give us a call today at (203)-655-6974.