​It’s time for the UK’s window cleaners to shine

Window Cleaning

By Mitul Malkan, Product Manager for Commercial at ERS

If you’ve been back to a city centre recently, you’ve probably noticed that hibernation is over – our cities are whirring into life once more. 

And, hopefully, the sight of so many shoppers and café dwellers was enough to distract you from the rather reprehensible state of some of our office buildings following 12 months without a good clean. 

Since the start of the pandemic, we have certainly seen a drop-off in commercial cleaning activity, with many cleaners switching to residential work to make up for the shortfall in demand. As a consequence, our household windows have never been cleaner!

However, as commercial contracts are often more lucrative, it’s a safe bet that these window cleaners are eagerly awaiting the summer, when more businesses will formally reopen and encourage their employees back into the office. 

Cleaning the exterior of a large office block is tiring, time-consuming work that requires a lot of specialist knowledge. In fact, even in the residential domain, you’ve probably noticed from your own experiences that today’s professional cleaners no longer use water buckets and ladders. Improved equipment such as reach and wash pole systems has upped the quality of the cleaning and made it a safer trade for all concerned. 

But this equipment has also required cleaners to make essential modifications to their vans and vehicles, giving many of them a bit of an insurance headache once it becomes clear that standard motor and van policies no longer meet their needs.

Inside the majority of commercial window cleaning vans, you’ll find the all-important ‘reach and wash’ system and a pressurised tank containing an awful lot of water. This miniature swimming pool will travel around the community day-in, day-out, covering hundreds of miles every single week as cleaners go from job to job. It’s a risk far beyond the comfort zone of a mainstream motor insurer, which is why it can be challenging for professional cleaners to get a policy that’s fit for purpose and fairly priced. 

In contrast, we’ve built a specialist product designed to cater for a vast range of modified vehicles, and we’ve amassed a wealth of experience supporting window cleaners specifically. We understand how to underwrite the vehicle risks properly – assessing the road risk involved, the modified nature of the vehicle, and the need to cover any damage sustained while the vehicle is in use as a professional tool.  

We can even cover the cherry pickers and cranes used to clean office blocks and skyscrapers, not to mention creating policies for vehicles registered to companies rather than individual cleaners, so that it’s easier for firms to manage their work schedules. 

As UK life resumes some semblance of normality, an army of window cleaning professionals will be needed to restore our office exteriors to pristine condition. At the same time, we don’t anticipate residential demand dropping off any time soon. After all, once you get used to sparkling clean windows letting the light radiate into your home, why would you ever go back to the world of muck and grime?

If you have a window cleaning client that has just entered the trade or used lockdown to upgrade their equipment and modify their van, sign up and sign in to ERS eTrade get a quote for our SCV product or contact a member of our commercial team today: commercialquotes@ers.com 

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