Most Common Laundromat Business Insurance Claims

From slip and falls to property damage, almost all businesses have some area (or multiple areas) of their business that pose potential risks. It is absolutely critical to take steps to ensure that every aspect of your business is covered. 

While the laundromat may not seem like the place where excessive amounts of “bad” things can happen, they have the same common business risks that need to be identified and managed. Putting intentional, protective measures in place is not only meant to protect the business, but also the owner, the employees, and the consumers that utilize the laundromat or their services. 

Laundromat insurance is the most viable protective buffer, but the information below is meant to provide insight into several of the most common laundromat insurance claims that business owners will want to be aware of. 

Property Damage Claims

Property damage is one of the most common insurance claims for laundromat owners. This can take several different forms. To start, there are washers and dryers that are bound to fail at some point (considering age, user error, and other contributing factors). Next, there are often additional properties that are often overlooked like televisions, coin machines, computers, cameras that can be costly to repair if damaged. There is also the unfortunate reality of vandalism, especially since laundromats are not often staffed 24/7. Lastly, there is the potential for freak accidents like a car crashing into your laundromat that may seem unrealistic, but this occurred in the last year to an Oakland County Laundromat.

It is important to make sure that your property — both the building and the items inside the building are protected. There are some things that you can do to attempt to protect your property, but the most viable method is making sure your insurance covers it. Keep in mind that the most likely of the above mentions to occur is equipment failure. Make sure to value your equipment and do research to make sure that you are valuing them at what it would cost for replacement so that you are not left paying hefty out-of-pocket replacement costs.

Customer Bodily Injury Claims

Customer bodily injuries are always a possibility. Slip and falls claims are likely the most common risk for laundromats and it is important to put preventive measures in place since CDC data shows that one out of five falls causes a serious injury like broken bones or a head injury. These types of hospitalizations can be costly for a laundromat owner if it is proven that they are at fault for the injury. 

There is always the potential for wet floors or soap spills at the laundromat, so it is important to go through from time to time and make sure that these are cleaned up. Something as simple as putting up signage to indicate the potential for slippery floors could also help protect you against slip and fall or other customer bodily injury claims. 

Burglary Claims

Burglary is one of the unfortunate realities for laundromat owners. As mentioned above, this is likely due to the fact that many laundromats do not have staff at locations all the time. Many may assume this is simply nickels and dimes, but a Danville man stole over $2,500 in coins and cash from a laundromat. This can be detrimental to a business. 

Be sure to talk with your insurance rep about theft coverage. It can also be a good idea to invest in cameras, alarms, or even having an employee on site. A 24/7 laundromat may seem like a good idea, but you may want to also consider having set operating hours as a deterrent as well (example: 5 AM to 10 PM).

Workman’s Compensation Claims

If you employ laundromat workers, you may face a workman’s compensation claim at some point. Workman’s compensation claims can be costly for laundromat owners. 2019 National Safety Council statistics show that the average cost of workman’s compensation claims came out to $42,008. This number is highly reflective of the nature and necessary treatment of the injury or illness. Some of the different types of injuries could include slip and fall, repetitive motion injuries, or even chemical-related burns or illnesses. 

Workman’s compensation insurance coverage is the best way to mitigate this risk. The coverage helps protect both the owner/business and the employee from costly medical bills, rehabilitative services, lost wages, or any other possible expenses resulting from the injury/illness.

Professional Liability Claims

More and more laundromats are offering specialty laundering services such as dry cleaning, laundry delivery, ironing, repair, etc. Expanding your offerings is often necessary for remaining competitive within your industry, but these changes can bring on additional risks like professional liability claims. There is always the potential that a customer will claim you or your employees didn’t perform a service “as advertised”. These can end up being very costly lawsuits.

Additionally, it isn’t unheard of for customers to make claims that their clothing was damaged as a result of a laundromat’s washer or dryer. While this may not seem very costly, if you are dry cleaning someone’s designer, one-of-one clothing, the replacement could be extremely costly.

Be sure that you avoid bold guarantees in your paperwork fine print. Consider documenting all work to make sure that you are not being blamed for damage that didn’t occur as a result of your services. Naturally, you will also want to be sure that your insurance protects you from professional liability claims as well. 

Auto Claims

Auto claims are also fairly common for laundromats to experience. Aside from a car potentially driving into your building, if you offer laundry delivery services, there is always the possibility of an accident occurring while you or an employee is on a route. 

You can’t control the weather or poor driving, but you can make sure that your insurance includes auto coverage to reduce any potential collision repair, rental reimbursement, and medical care costs.

Business Income Claims

Repairs, injuries, weather, outages, and other factors can potentially cease your laundromats operations — either short or long-term. This can result in decreased or no profits entirely. Laundromat owners have little to no control over most of these occurrences, so it is important to have business income coverage as a part of your insurance plan. This supplemental buffer can help carry you through these unfortunate and often unpredictable events. 

In the case of an outage, it may be a good idea to consider some form of backup power like a generator for your laundromat. 

Product Liability Claims

If you sell any sort of laundry product at your establishment, there is the possibility for product liability claims to follow. Users can claim that the product you sold caused a reaction or injury, or that it was the result of damage to their laundry. 

Aside from product liability insurance, it is a good idea to issue any warnings to cover yourself (e.g. warning labels on products). While it may seem like a good idea to create your own line of laundry products, they come with their own risk potentials.

Final Thoughts

By and large, businesses have risks associated with each respective industry. The best thing you can do is try to layer as many preventative and protective measures throughout your business — the most important being adequate insurance coverage. 

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