How Does Clothing Care Labeling Affect Dry Cleaner Insurance Risks?
As we discussed in an earlier blog post, entitled “Controlling Drycleaners Insurance Loss Due to Clothing Damage”, one of the most common legal disputes that small claims courts face in regards to dry cleaning is legal issues due to clothing damage. As we stated in the earlier blog, accidents do happen and clothing damage will occur on occasion. In addition to being prepared with the right insurance policy though, how can dry cleaner insurance risks be reduced?
As stated in a Drycleaning & Laundry Institute article, most clothing products that are sold in the U.S. are required by the Federal Trade Commission to have a care instruction label permanently attached. For clothing products covered under the care labeling rule, instructions must serve 3 functions:
- They must give a regular care procedure “necessary for the ordinary use and enjoyment of the product.”
- They need to warn when any part of the specified care procedure, which a consumer or professional cleaner could reasonably be expected to use, would harm the product or other items being cleaned with it.
- They must warn of a product cannot be cleaned by any method without being harmed.
It is of course vital for dry cleaning professionals to read the care labeling instructions on any clothing item, so that they make sure they are following the proper instructions or are able to make a recommendation to the customer if dry cleaning is not the right option for their item of clothing. It’s also important to note if the customer has removed the care labeling instructions, as the absence of a permanent care label on a product automatically returns the product to its implied serviceability status based on the fabric.
Dry cleaner insurance risks rise when either the care instructions have not be appropriately followed by the dry cleaner, or when the customer claims there has been clothing damage despite the dry cleaner following the care labeling instructions. Either of these situations can result in a legal claim. However, if all care labeling instructions have been followed by the dry cleaner and damage has still occurred, it may be more appropriate for the consumer to pursue litigation against the clothing manufacturer, rather than the dry cleaner.
At Irving Weber Associates, Inc. (IWA), we offer the FabriCare Advantage insurance program, which provides coverage for a broad range of operations, from mom-and-pop drycleaners to large uniform rental accounts. In addition to policies such as General Liability, Workers’ Compensation, etc., IWA features important customized coverages, such as protecting customer goods on an unlimited basis. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 764-7406.