A Guide To Market Traders' Insurance

Posted on: 31 July 2015


The current trend for farmers' markets and craft fairs is attracting more and more aspiring entrepreneurs.  If you're working as a market trader, you'll need to have the right kind of business insurance in place to protect your business, even if you only trade part-time and on a small scale. 

To help you to make sure you're fully covered, here's a guide to market traders' insurance.

What is covered by market trader's insurance?

There are number of different components in a market traders' insurance policy:

  • public liability cover
  • employer's liability cover
  • product liability cover
  • property
  • commercial vehicle/goods in transit

Public liability cover

Although public liability cover is not legally required for market traders, it's highly recommended that you include it in your policy.  Public liability cover protects you if a member of the public or neighbouring stallholder is injured or has their property damaged whilst in the immediate vicinity of your stall. 

For example, if a customer tripped over a loose piece of electric cabling or if part of your stall collapsed on them on a windy day, they could try to make a claim against you for injury as a result of your negligence.  Negligence would of course have to be proven in court, but in today's litigious society, it's really not worth taking the risk.  A hefty claim for legal costs and damages could easily bankrupt your business if you weren't insured against such eventualities.

It's should also be noted that many market organisers insist that all their traders hold public liability insurance cover before they are allowed to take up a pitch.

Employer's liability cover

You must have employer's liability cover if you employ staff.  This applies to workers on your stall, people transporting products to and from your production premises or working for you in the process of making those products.

Employer's liability cover protects you in the event that a member of your staff injures themselves during the course of their work.  For example, someone could strain their back whilst lifting a heavy box of stock while helping to set out your stall.  They may then claim against you for that injury and for any subsequent loss of earnings if they were unable to work for a long period of time as a result.

If you already hold employer's liability insurance to cover your main business premises, your market stall may already be covered, so it's worth checking this with your insurer so that you don't end up paying twice for the same thing.

Product liability

Product liability cover is essential if you sell food or drink on your stall.  This applies both to home-made products and to those supplied by a third party.

If a customer was to allege that they had contracted food poisoning after consuming a product that had been purchased from your stall, you could face costly legal action.

Property cover

Property cover is essential for market traders.  Markets are often outside, meaning that both the stalls and their contents are vulnerable to damage by water and even by fire.

Property cover will protect you against damage to your stock as well as to the stall itself.  It's worth noting that most property cover components don't insure you against theft.  Sometimes you can get cover against theft of cash as long as you store it securely.  Ask your insurer for further information if you want cover for theft of your stock or takings.

Commercial vehicle and goods in transit cover

This element of policy cover insures your business transport and any goods that you are moving from your storage premises to your market stall.  Always double-check with your insurer that this is not already covered by an existing motor policy before you opt for this element of cover to avoid duplication and unnecessary expense on additional premiums.

In conclusion

If you are a market stall holder, it's important that you have the appropriate market traders' insurance cover in place.  Without it, your business is at risk of financial catastrophe in the event of a claim against you.  Have a chat with an insurance broker or agent from a company like Elders Insurance for more information and advice on the cover that would be most appropriate for your business.