If you’re new to markets and craft fairs, the chances are you were surprised to learn that you need Public Liability Insurance (PLI) to take part in many of them. It might seem like a bit of a big commitment, specially if your handmade work is a hobby but once you have this insurance you can trade at any market in the country.
What is Public Liability Insurance?
Public and products liability insurance covers you against claims of injury that may have been caused by your being at the market. In short it protects you from the costs of accidental injury to the public. Pretty useful really. Not only does it protect you against liability for those accidents but it shows the market organisers that you are serious about your work, safe and trustworthy. Even craft fairs that don’t require this insurance will consider it a bonus if you have it.
Who needs PLI?
If you sell your work to the public then you will benefit from public liability insurance, this includes at markets, exhibitions, specialist fairs and conventions – though the amount of cover varies £5,000,000 tends to be the most common amount of cover required. Make & Mend Market events in the Grainger Market are a good example of this, our stallholders need to have public liability cover for up to £5,000,000.
How can I get it?
You can get public and products liability insurance from most known insurers. It’s worth checking with your existing insurer as they can sometimes offer very good deals. If you have any kind of business insurance you may already have public liability included, check with your insurer.
The Combined Market Traders Insurance Association offers affordable public and products liability for £57 per annum. It’s suitable for market traders of all kinds and is easy to apply for, just fill in the short form and send it off. They also offer employers liability cover, useful if you’re employing someone to help out behind your stall.
If you’re an individual artist then I would recommend membership with A-N, this membership includes public and products liability insurance and is only £38 per year. Their definition of artist includes but isn’t limited to traditional art, photography, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, mixed media, interactive arts, crafts and even performance art. If you’re not sure this includes you then you can easily contact them, their staff are very friendly and happy to help with queries.
Update 19/07/2019: Another useful resource and public liability insurance provider for artists is the Artists’ Union England. Membership with the Artists’ Union England includes a lot of benefits along with their Public and Products Liability insurance including legal advice, free training and study opportunities, resources for pricing your time, mental health and plenty more. You also get the support of being part of a union plus they have regular meetings in the North East.
Questions or suggestions?
This post was originally written in 2013. It is updated regularly with recommendations and current prices for public and products liability insurance for artists, crafters and market traders. Most recent update 19/07/2019.
Get involved in the conversation and leave a comment below. What’s your experience of public and products liability? Have you had to claim? Is there such a thing as too much cover? Can you recommend a provider for our list?
Would you like to write for the Make & Mend Market blog? We’re looking for artists, crafters and makers to contribute demonstrations, tutorials and showcases of work to our blog. If you’ve got an idea, big or small, just get in touch. The more the merrier.
The Make & Mend Market hold regular handmade markets in the Grainger Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, why not get involved?