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  • Writer's pictureElegant Empire

My housekeeping service damaged something. Is it covered under company insurance or bond?

​"Effortless Transition: A Step-by-Step Guide to Stress-Free Move-Out Cleaning and Maximizing Your Security Deposit"

 

Table of Contents:

 




1. Introduction: Housekeeping service damage

We have been providing housekeeping cleaning service in Ventura County since 2011 and have dealt with our share of customer service situations that resulted in a breakage or damage refund to the client and others that did not. About once every few months, we have refunded clients for the breakage of small items such as picture frames, dishware, and other small decorative figurines.


In these situations, the damage is indisputable, and a refund that covers a fair market value is provided without question. As a side note, we have a company policy to reimburse clients directly through our business rather than the slow and lengthy process involved with our Surety Service Bond.


Please review this other article for more information about Service Bonds. You may have a different situation with your housekeeper, and it requires something more vague and subtle and may be open for mediation through our management team.


2. Documentation and Evaluation of Damaged Items

As housekeeping service experts in Ventura County, we have identified a few areas of concern that potential clients should pay extra attention to ensure clarity. We take pictures to clarify any possible future claims regarding insurance claims for property damage by housekeeping staff.


Here at Elegant Empire, on the day you first receive a written quote and meet our team, we will carefully document and take pictures of any surfaces or items that are either damaged or show a high level of wear and tear. We will also take a record of any delicate or hard-to-replace items and make our recommendations of whether we should even come near those items. This might be delicate figurines, wall art, vases, or other delicate belongings.


We take pictures so that any existing damage can easily be separated and identified from any possible damage our staff may cause. We take photographs And track delicate or hard-to-replace things so the team can be extra careful when they clean close to or around those items.


3. Areas of Concern in Insurance Claims for Property Damage

Here is a summary of some surface damage and situations where most housekeeping service companies will unlikely offer a refund or replacement. And yes, if we find that our staff caused damage or repair. From our data, over 95% of all requests for damage by the homeowner are paid in-house directly from our company. Filing a claim through a bond or insurance is rather long and may take months to resolve. Other housekeeping service companies may have different statistics. So, in no order of importance, here is a list to be aware of before deciding to file a claim with your housekeeping service for damage, repair, or other compensation:


3.1 Power surge damage

Damage to ANY household or other electronics caused by a vacuum cleaner will not be honored.


3.2 Light fixtures

We are not replacing any light fixtures that may fall with regular dusting. Other than vacancy cleaning, our staff will not offer dusting of lights or other similar items. This delicate task can easily be handled in 10- to 15 minutes. However, some house cleaning companies may offer this as part of a deep cleaning or a vacant job.


3.3 Loose items

We are not replacing loose items such as furniture, door knobs, toilet seats, light bulbs, electronics, etc. Check your homeowner's warranty or notify the landlord if it is a rental.



3.4Dishwasher /Washer/Dryer

Yes, some vacation rentals will require staff to use these household electronics during the regular course of completing a cleaning job request. If any of these items happen to break while the team is providing service, we will not be held responsible. These items have a limited lifespan and will eventually fail with regular use. This falls as an expense for the owners of a property rental and may be covered under your warranty.


3.5 Plumbing issues

Plumbing includes any faucets or pipes that may suddenly break while the staff provides service. Again, during the regular course of providing house cleaning services, a plumbing issue appears and causes water damage to the floor or other surfaces. In that case, our company will not be financially liable for repairs or fixtures. Check your homeowner's warranty or notify the landlord if it is a rental.


3.6 Thermostat

Breakage or malfunction of a thermostat during regular housekeeping service is also not covered by our insurance or bond. Like most other items listed, thermostats have a limited lifespan and will break eventually and need repair or replacement. Check your homeowner's warranty or notify the landlord if it is a rental.


3.7 Alarm system malfunction

Contact the alarm service provider. If activating or de-activating an alarm is part of the cleaning the exact task, please show them.


3.8 Surface Discoloration

We note ANY discoloration of the natural stone surface upon arrival at a walk-thru. Discoloration often results from normal wear and tear, exposure to the elements, and especially sunlight. Poor installation and failure to adequately seal specific natural stones may lead to discoloration over time.


3.9 Grout stains

Changing the grout is recommended if it is either stained or discolored. A cleaning solution can only clean the top layer of a surface. Like natural stone, natural wear, exposure to the elements, and poor sealant application will lead to stains and discoloration.


3.10 Broken Glass

Regular cleaning is VERY unlikely to cause fog and condensation to appear between glass panes. Removal of any fog marks that appear between glass panes on microwaves or oven doors is not part of a cleaning service. Check your homeowner's warranty or notify the landlord if it is a rental.


3.11 Floor Surface scratches

Minor scratches appear on stone surfaces, wood, or other floor surfaces, even when proper cleaning procedures are followed. Even the most common and durable floor surfaces (tile, wood, laminate, stone)used throughout most houses will develop surface scratches and imperfections over time simply by being walked.


3.12 Stainless swirls or scratches

When proper cleaning procedures are followed, Minor scratches still appear on stainless steel surfaces. To minimize the chance of surface scratches, please use a good quality, clean micro-fiber cloth with a safe solution on stainless steel.


3.13 Minor glass or mirror surface scratches

Visible scratches on any glass or mirror surface, even when proper cleaning procedures are followed.


3.14 Rust removal of any surface

The process of removing rust may cause surface scratches.


3.15 Surface discoloration

Stains and discoloration result from regular wear and tear on tile walls, tubs, and counters. Unfortunately, even with proper cleaning procedures and the use of quality surface-specific cleaning solutions, most materials found throughout the kitchen and bathrooms of a typical household will become discolored over time. It is usually a slow and gradual process; uneven surface color will appear before you know it.


3.16 Wood Surface Grease

The removal of grease from kitchen cabinets made of natural wood will often cause damage to the top surface, whether it is covered with varnish. Any use of a grease remover or most other solutions that are strong enough to remove the surface grease may inadvertently also remove the surface varnish.


4. Importance of Reviewing Damaged Items Before Service

Our housekeeping staff needs to clean your home as they would their own. It is also essential to review items that have been damaged BEFORE starting a new housekeeping service and what will and will not be covered if something occurs.


5. Notification and Communication Process for Damages

Any legitimate company should have this listed in a cleaning service agreement. With that in mind, if our house cleaner happens to damage or break something during the cleaning service, we will notify you as soon as possible. If you are home, they will show you what happened. If you are away from home, we will immediately message you with a picture of the breakage. As a reminder, we will reimburse the fair market value of the item or repair as soon as we are notified of the amount. It has been reasonably determined that our house cleaning company staff is responsible for such compensation.


6. Compensation Process for Damages

If you have a PayPal account, it will be sent to you on the same day after we complete our in-house investigation and determine that our cleaning staff did cause the damage. We will send a check via USPS if you still need a PayPal account.


If you have a doubt, any suggestions regarding housekeeping service damage, or a question, feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to hear from you. For your information, we have included some common questions and answers below.


 

"For in-depth information about one-time or recurring cleaning services for your apartment, condo, house, or workplace, don't hesitate to contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation. Remember that the cleaning industry is dynamic, with staffing fluctuations and varying workloads, so availability for your specific request might change over time. "


 

7. Questions & Answers


Q: How do we document and evaluate damaged items during our housekeeping service?

A: When we first meet with our clients and provide a quote, we take great care in documenting and capturing photographs of any existing damages or signs of wear and tear. We also note delicate or valuable items and recommend handling them during cleaning.



Q: What areas of concern should clients be aware of when filing insurance claims for property damage?

A: As experts in housekeeping services, we have identified several areas of concern. These include power surge damage, light fixtures, loose items, dishwasher/washer/dryer, plumbing issues, thermostat, alarm system malfunction, surface discoloration, grout stains, broken glass, floor surface scratches, stainless swirls or scratches, minor glass or mirror surface scratches, rust removal, and wood surface grease.



Q: Will we provide refunds or replacements for electronics damaged by the vacuum cleaner?

A: Unfortunately, we cannot provide refunds or replacements for any household or other electronics that are damaged due to using the vacuum cleaner. All vacuums used by staff are certified to be used inside homes.



Q: What happens if plumbing issues during our housekeeping service cause water damage?

A: If plumbing issues arise during our service and cause water damage, we want to clarify that we are not financially liable for any resulting repairs or fixtures. We recommend checking your homeowner's warranty or notifying the landlord if it is a rental property.



Q: Do we cover the cost of replacing light fixtures that may fall during regular dusting?

A: We want to be transparent that we do not offer dusting of lights or similar items. Our team cannot cover the cost of replacing any light fixtures that may fall during our regular cleaning.



Q: How do we handle surface discoloration on natural stone surfaces?

A: We note any surface discoloration upon our initial walk-through. It's important to understand that surface discoloration on natural stone is often a result of normal wear and tear, exposure to the elements, and sunlight. Therefore, we do not provide refunds or replacements for such discoloration.



Q: Will we reimburse for minor surface scratches on floors or stainless steel surfaces?

A: We regret to inform you that we cannot reimburse for minor surface scratches on floors or stainless steel surfaces unless our housecleaning staff fails to follow proper cleaning procedures.



Q: What should clients do if they have doubts, suggestions, or questions regarding damage caused during our housekeeping service?

A: We encourage our clients to contact us directly if they have any doubts, suggestions, or questions regarding damage caused during our service. We are always here to listen to and address their concerns, striving to keep our housekeeping clients informed. We are here to provide the best possible assistance.

8. About the Author


Besides our research with other industry experts, we at Elegant Empire collectively gather vast knowledge through years of experience and our staff's input. To read more about the Author, please visit our main page here.


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