Market stall insurance, or Stallholders Insurance is essential for any market trader, and market stallholder public liability insurance is designed to cover you for any damage or injury to the public or their property.
Markets can be very busy places, with hundreds and even thousands of people milling around the various market stalls. It is not surprising that occasionally accidents happen, but in today's litigious society of 'no win no fee', an increasing number of people will decide to take legal action, even though it may have been their own carelessness that caused the accident, and not necessarily the market organizer or stallholders fault.
The loopholes of industrial law are now filtering through to the consumer, and just as an employee deliberately unscrewing a machine guard and losing a limb because of doing so is regarded as employer negligence in providing a removable guard, so a stallholder will judged negligent by permitting a visitor to fall off the canvas awning over his stall. The fact he had climb up a pole to get there may be of no consequence.
If this sounds like a joke it is not! It is one reason why you may need good market stallholder insurance cover. It is also why most market organizers will insist all stallholders have adequate stallholders insurance by showing their insurance certificate before allowing a stall on the site, which in turn is why you should make sure you have your insurance policy in your hands well before market day.
Market stallholders insurance is the most important form of market stall insurance you must get. As its name implies, this is a form of liability insurance that protects market stallholders in the event of an incident for which they could be found liable.
While examples include damage to property such as clothing, it is personal injury or worse (such as described above) that can be so devastating, not only to the person injured, but also to the stallholder. People sue for the slightest thing these days, so it is essential that you have some form of market insurance in the form of public liability insurance.
Failure to purchase adequate protection could result in you losing your business or even your home and living in debt and bankruptcy for a long period. Many liability claims run into the millions and it makes sense to ensure that you have adequate cover.
There are several possible ways in which you can buy market stallholders insurance. If you regularly sell at markets, you can purchase annual or semi-annual insurance from a number of brokers including AAMI, City Rural Insurance Pty Ltd, Freeman McMurrick, MARSH, NetInsure and Q.U.F.T.A.
If it is more convenient for you to purchase event liability insurance, you may be able to purchase insurance for individual events from the organizer. This will cost around $20, but before paying make sure that the cover meets all your requirements. Ask to see a copy of the policy - what it covers and what the exclusions are, because some liability claims can be for millions and if you aren't fully covered, you may be personally liable for any shortfall.
It is pointless leaving yourself open to bankruptcy just to save a few dollars on your market insurance when around $110 will get you $10 million coverage for three months. That will give you complete peace of mind and you should be fully covered no matter what happens. Remember, in the event of serious injury or more you not only have public liability and hospital expenses to pay but also solicitors' fees - and they can be considerable - so $10 million is a reasonable sum. You will also find that market organizers insist on this level of coverage as a minimum.
Most market insurance will cover you for unintentional personal injury or death, and damage to property. It will also generally offer protection against slander and libel claims, but not if carried out deliberately to slander or for anything started before you took out your cover.
Also check the exclusions: the usual terrorism exclusions apply, and make sure that you check the policy for any others such as pollution, etc. Keep in mind that this is a stallholder's public liability insurance, so will not cover damage to your own goods or to yourself, and you would have to take out a separate employer's liability insurance if you employ others on your stall.
Also check any Territorial Limit. Most public liability insurance will apply to other countries, though the USA or Canada, though single event liability insurance applies only to the one event for which you are insured, and will be event and date restricted.
The internet makes it very easy for you to get the best quote. Make a list of several insurance firms that offer market stall insurance, and then fill in their online forms. If you have options, make sure that you enter the same in each form so that are comparing like for like. Then choose the best three or four.
Phone each of these and ask what discounts they can offer, such as any excess or deductible that could reduce your premium. Maybe you have been with a particular company for some time, or perhaps you also give them your home and contents insurance or even your car insurance. Tell them you are a regular customer so would expect a discount. They can only say no, so you have nothing to lose.
If your market presence is for anything other than a typical sales operation, such as if you operate fairground rides in a market, anything involving fire or perhaps even a 'bouncy castle', them the insurers will judge the possibility of personal injury is higher than normal.
You will therefore be subject to a higher insurance premium, and if you have not declared the nature of your business then you might find that your policy is void. It is extremely important to read all of the exclusions in a market insurance policy, but equally important to state exactly what your business is. Activities such as above will attract a higher premium cost, but unless you pay that they you will effectively be uninsured.
Always be truthful when purchasing insurance because insurers don't just pay out large claims as a matter of course: they carry out their own investigation using highly experienced personnel well acquainted with all the falsehoods and subterfuges, and they will also check your policy application form very careful to make sure that it is 100% in order.
If an insurance firm is faced with $10 million payout, they will do all that they can to legally avoid payment, and if you leave them even the tiniest loophole then they will spot it and your insurance may be legally void.
So tell the truth and check your form very carefully before sending it off, whether that is online or by snail mail.
You have a number of market stall insurance options, but for most it is basically whether to settle for event liability insurance or to take it for a fixed period of say, three months, six months or a year. The only choice you don't have is whether or not to have it, because it is mandatory and $10 million is generally the minimum market stallholder's pubic liability insurance acceptable to market organizers.