A Cleaning/Restoration Contractor’s Insurance Needs: Debunking the Urban Myths

By: David Dybdahl

The coverage provided in the standard insurance policies carried by you, any subcontractor working on your behalf and the insurance your customer has in place is highly suspect in its obligation to pay a claim. If your operations involve potential exposures to fungus, mold, water-damaged drywall, bacteria, Category 3 water, black water, asbestos, lead, silica, pollution, odor, irritants and contaminates, you clearly need CPL insurance on your firm. If you are in the drying or mold remediation business, or even if you sub out your mold work, you need professional liability insurance.


In the restoration business, the value of the viable business is the biggest asset in the retirement portfolio of the owner. This article is focused on preserving the assets of the business owner and anyone who has an interest in keeping the business going.

After ten years of selling business liability insurance policies to cleaning and restoration firms, I have figured out what the average American firm looks like. I also know from reading hundreds of actual insurance policies there are coverage gaps in liability insurance policies created by newly introduced exclusions for pollution that apply to losses in any way related to the likes of fungus, mold, bacteria, Category 3 water, pollutants, contaminants, irritants, lead, asbestos, silica and professional services. Without a specially modified liability insurance program designed specifically from the ground up to deal with the newly uninsured loss exposures, the firm is at risk any time there is a job or a loss associated with these materials or services.