Public liability insurance will protect your business if a member of the public is injured or falls ill as a result of your business and seeks compensation
1Accurate as of November 2023
Market traders’ insurance is an umbrella term for the several different types of cover needed by people who sell goods at markets, craft fairs, festivals, exhibitions, and other indoor or outdoor events.
These products can protect you from all sorts of problems that can happen while carrying out your business. For example, if a customer trips over your equipment, your insurance can help you cover your legal costs if they claim you are liable. Your insurance can also kick in to help you cover the cost of replacing stock if it's stolen.
If you have one or more employees, employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement. This will help you cover legal fees if anyone that works for you is injured or falls ill while working. And even though public liability insurance for market traders is not obligatory, it is widely accepted as essential for any trader who comes into contact with members of the public. Some market organisers require it if you want to set up a stall.
Other types of insurance that apply to market traders can all come in handy under certain circumstances. It's up to you to decide which types of cover you need and which are worth the cost.
Here are some situations where insurance can help:
A customer trips over equipment that's placed in the walkway
A customer purchases an item that breaks upon use and causes injury
Your stock is stolen from storage overnight
An employee using a ladder falls and is injured
You are hospitalised after an accident and unable to work
Public liability: covers your legal costs if a member of the public or another stallholder is injured or suffers damage to their property due to your actions – for example because they tripped over a cable you left in the walkway
Product liability: pays out if a customer falls ill or is injured by one of your products and is important if, for example, you sell homemade food. You should check with your insurer if you are selling products manufactured by another business
Employers’ liability : pays out if an employee is injured or becomes ill due to the work they do for you. It’s obligatory if you have people working for you on your stall or in a support capacity. However, if you run another business for which you already have employers’ liability insurance, they may be covered by your existing policy. You can find out more about your legal obligations on the Health and Safety Executive website
Business vehicle insurance : covers the car or van you use for your business transport and can also be modified to include goods in transit. Just remember to check whether this cover is provided by your stock insurance to avoid paying twice for the same protection
Stock insurance: protects you against damage to your goods or to your stall in a fire or through water damage. Cover against theft may not be available unless you can show the items were stored securely, while loss or damage caused by water leaks or theft while you are trading may also be excluded
Damage that you are at fault for: insurance won't cover you for any damage that is caused intentionally. Most types of cover for stock and business contents also won't cover items that aren't stored safely and securely
Unlicenced sellers: insurance providers won't cover you if you do not have a market stall licence or don't follow the legal guidelines to run a market stall as a trader. To keep your insurance coverage, you need to make sure you renew your licence when it expires
Excess: an excess is an amount you agree to contribute when you make a claim on your insurance. Unless you choose a policy with zero excess, you will be expected to pay part of the costs each time you make an insurance claim
Theft without forcible entry: insurance won't cover you for theft unless your items were stored safely and there are signs of forced or violent entry or exit from the location
Stolen money: market seller insurance won't cover you for stolen takings. To get cover for theft of takings, you will need to take out extra cover
If you have anybody that works for you, it is a legal requirement that you have employers' liability insurance. This will cover you for employees that may be harmed while performing their work. This is the only insurance that you legally need to do your job.
Public liability insurance isn't a legal requirement, but in some settings it may be a requirement to do your business. Some market organisers require market sellers to have some level of public liability insurance to set up a stall. If you don't have a fixed patch, you may find your business opportunities limited without this insurance coverage.
No. You will need to inform your provider if you change from a sole trader to a limited company. You will need to cancel your policy and take out a new one that will cover you as a limited company.
Your premiums will probably go up when you take out this new policy, so it's worthwhile to use this change as an opportunity to shop around and browse the market for a better deal.
Yes. There are several insurance products that can protect you if you sell products that are handmade. Stock insurance can be used to cover your handmade stock if it is stolen or damaged, although some providers may not cover any events that happen while your products are stored at your stall.
Craft insurance for crafting businesses can also cover important equipment that you use to make your products. Tool insurance, for example, can cover your valuable tools of they are damaged or stolen. If you sell products online from home, you may also need separate insurance to cover items like computers or office equipment because standard home insurance won't always cover items that are used for business. You can find out more about this in our guide to working from home.
Insurance won't always cover items that are stored in your van. Most providers of stock insurance require your stock to be securely stored, which means they may not cover items that are stolen from a van or vehicle. Other limitations also include stock that is stolen from your stall while you're actively selling.
These are details to look out for in your policy documents.
Yes. There personal accident cover you can take out with market trader insurance can cover multiple people at the same time. You can cover up to ten people, although these people must be employees.
Along with personal accident insurance, you can also add a hospital benefit to your policy. With this cover, you will receive a daily cash amount during extended hospital stays.
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