Insurance at craft/art shows

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 04-27-2011 07:39 PM 4235 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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469 posts in 3303 days

04-27-2011 07:39 PM

What does everyone do for liability insurance at craft or art shows?

14 replies so far

View rance's profile


4267 posts in 3396 days

#1 posted 04-27-2011 09:03 PM

I would be highly surprised if the show did not have ins. itself. I don’t know that I’d worry about it even if I had a lathe running. But I would take some extra safety precautions, but not necessarilly ins. Maybe I’m too trusting.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3488 days

#2 posted 04-27-2011 09:32 PM

I briefly explored the issue of insurance in regards to selling online and had little to no success. I heard so much varied information that I even contacted a few insurance companies out of curiosity and was either told that they do not offer product liability insurance or quoted prices that would surpass even the highest possibilities of profit for me personally. The take-away message from my personal experiences was that the chances for a small-time seller getting sued were slim to none unless you sold high-risk items like candles (fires), bath products (allergic reactions), kid’s toys, etc, but if you do you can lose everything…

Regarding craft shows, I was under the impression that most big shows required proof of insurance, not the other way around. There’s a fellow LJ member that has written extensively on his craft show experiences in a blog, I think he would have amongst the best advice. I will try to track down his name.

I’m curious to hear from others on this.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

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271 posts in 3488 days

#3 posted 04-27-2011 09:41 PM

It’s closetguy –

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

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robert triplett

1566 posts in 3340 days

#4 posted 04-28-2011 02:12 AM

I am finding that the bigger shows, or fancier ones, require insurance. I have been able to buy a part of their group policy for the show-usually $50.00 per show. Usually I just sign a ‘hold harmless agreement’ with the sponsoring group for a show. Many of the county fairs do require insurance so I don’t think of doing those. I don’t let customers come to my shop or home. I asked my homeowners/auto/life insurance agent about insurance for selling and he had no idea. He did not seem to concerned as long as I was careful to not let a display fall on someone! Other sellers may want more control over what may happen and who sues them for it. If someone is injured by a cutting board, I am hoping it’s not my fault!

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3506 days

#5 posted 04-28-2011 02:29 AM

Some things to consider – as a builder/designer you have strict liability for your product. This means that if someone is hurt and your product is found to be a cause (does not have to be 100%) you will be liable…this follows through consecutive sellers….for an example – if you sell to a store….and the store sells to a consumer who is injured….they can sue you and the store (and anyone else that had ownership). Now most crafts people do not get sued often on this….but that is what the law says in CA (other states have different consumer laws and protections….but the majority are similar).

I do not know what all the carriers have….but most will only insure you as a business….there are some that offer individual liability insurance….but that would require checking with the company as to limits and liabilities. Insurance for this is called General Liability….(some may call it product liability). Typical GL insurance is sold based on a single occurance and an aggregate limit…i.e. 1 million per occurance and 2 million in aggregate (this means that if your product hurts someone….your limit is 1 million in insurance…..if several persons are hurt and a group sues you…1 million each until the 2 million aggregate is used.

Hope that clears up a bit.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 3180 days

#6 posted 04-28-2011 10:19 PM

Several of the shows I do require insurance. Like stated above, if they do, they have a group policy that you can buy into for the weekend. It is fairly cheap.

I personally carry 2 million of liability and product insurance. I make children’s products and have never been sued.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3310 days

#7 posted 04-29-2011 03:17 PM

FWIW – If you are a member of the American Association of Woodturners you are covered by them when doing woodturning demonstrations, which I do.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View yellowtruck75's profile


469 posts in 3303 days

#8 posted 04-30-2011 03:11 AM

Today I talked to my insurance company and I took a $300,000 coverage plan that can be expanded if needed.

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 3267 days

#9 posted 05-04-2011 05:08 PM

General liability insurance is not product liability insurance. General liability insurance policies cover the named insured against claims for negligence. Product liability insurance covers the named insured against claims for injuries arising from the product. General liability insurance policies almost always specifically disclaim coverage of product liability claims.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4128 days

#10 posted 05-04-2011 06:37 PM

You really need general liability. If you booth blows over and destroys $3000 worth of you neighbor’s products, or you shelves fall over on top of a customer in your booth. You can also insure your inventory for theft or damage. There are a few companies who have policies tailored to arts and craft businesses. Usually your home owner’s insurance will not cover a business at your home. These companies have riders which will also cover your shop when as well as a show. Some will also allow you to cover a specific show. Most shows carry liability insurance, but some of the larger ones require each artist to carry a minimum one million dollar coverage. This can cost $300 – $400 per year.

Check these out:

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3158 days

#11 posted 05-04-2011 10:28 PM

I make and sell wooden toys and other woodcrafting items at street fairs and craft shows. I have a products liability and on site liability insurance plan that costs me $800 a year. It is $500 decuctable plan. I just did a search for insurance and had 4-5 responses. Had this 2 years now.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View DocSavage45's profile


8732 posts in 3078 days

#12 posted 05-08-2011 08:39 PM

Great questions! Great answers! Thank you all.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3340 days

#13 posted 05-09-2011 08:00 AM

I looked at Closet Guys recommendations and I liked what I saw at Since I just witnessed a crafter’s canopy blowing over last weekend, I am rethinking my level of risk. For $265.00 a year, I can insure my product and cover liability in a couple of areas. Thanks for the link.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Wood_smith's profile


261 posts in 3261 days

#14 posted 05-11-2011 09:54 PM

I did my first trade show this year. Some trade shows have a promotion company do all the work, and you can usually piggyback on to their liability insurance for a small premium.
The show I exhibited at did all their own work (to keep costs down) and I had to find my own insurance. It had to be $2 million liability. The best my insurance company would do was $200 for 5 days. I groaned and paid it (they wouldn’t let me in without it). The part that really bugs me is two weeks after the show, I get a statement with a $50 “policy fee”. I bitched at my insurance agent (I’ve known her for 30 years) and finally she said they would pay $25 and I would pay $25. I wonder if she realized, because of that ‘fee’, I’ll be shopping around come October when my house and truck insurance ends…

-- Lloyd Kerry; creator of the Kerry-All Pouch,

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