Market Stall Insurance - Is it necessary?


What can possibly go wrong in providing a simple market stall?


Food stall holders and customers at Umina Beach Market, NSW

It’s something you have to have, but are you clear as to what Public and Product Liability Insurance covers you for and why you need it. Here we give you some simple explanations.

Is market stall insurance necessary?

Each weekend towns and cities across Australia set up Markets and Fairs in car parks, school grounds, country fields, town halls and on Council land, bringing people of all walks of life together. Stall Holders attending are usually small or first time entrepreneurs hoping to make a small profit selling their wares.

Most Market Organisers/Owners will ask that stall holders have Public and Product liability before agreeing to them having a stall.Providing a copy of the policy usually forms part of the stallholder application or you will be requested to bring it along on the day of the market.

“More than 20,000 people a year run market stalls, ranging from hobbyists who barely cover their costs, to professional traders who operate one or more market stalls at different markets every weekend. Then there are also the hopeful entrepreneurs and artisans testing the market for their new business” says Lyn Rayner, Editor and Publisher of Australian Markets & Fairs Magazine.

Regardless of whether you have a market once or twice or throughout the year, you’ll need to prove that you’re covered if someone is injured from the products you sell or if your stall in some way injures someone.Market Owners will ask for a $10 million cover and others will ask for a $20 million cover – check with the market before taking out cover to be on the safe side.

Sometimes a Market Organiser will include Public Liability in the cost of the stall – but be careful to check what you are covered for if this is the case.

Generally, market stall insurance has two components – Public Liability insurance and Product Liability insurance.

Public Liability insurance

This covers you when something goes wrong at the market. Public Liability Insurance is your protection against your negligence whilst operating your stall. It may be damage to third party property or personal injury to customers or members of the public.

Just imagine, you have a potential customer walking through your antiques stall and a statue falls from your stand and crashes onto their foot. If you were found to be responsible for their injuries, you may be liable for their medical expenses and even their lost income due to the injury. It’s crazy, but we’ve seen claims for $25,000 and upwards arise from a broken foot.

Another scenario could be that a gust of wind blows your gazebo onto your neighbour’s market stall causing significant damage to their products. If you were found to be liable for the damage because you had not secured the pegs of the gazebo correctly - the costs will mount up.In both instances, your Liability insurance Policy will cover you.

Product liability insurance

This section is not always included automatically when purchasing Public Liability. Check with your Insurer

This insurance covers you for injury and/or sickness or death to a customer or third party due to an incident arising from the products you sell at your stall.

For example a customer has purchased one of your fruit muffins, marked as “nut free” and the customer has an allergic reaction.If it is found that the muffin did in fact contain nuts – therefore you would be deemed negligent.Thankfully your insurance would cover the customer’s medical and/or legal expenses arising from the claim.

It’s one less thing to worry about

Accidents can happen any time and often when we least expect them.If you want to avoid the worry of something going wrong at your stall – it’s simple take out adequate Public and Products Liability insurance cover for peace of mind.

The head’s up – what’s not covered

  • Injury caused to yourself – this would normally be covered by a WorkCover/Personal Accident Policy
  • Theft from your market stall
  • Cancellation of the Market due to weather etc
  • Fire, water or storm causing damage to your own products
  • Costs of recalling or retrieving damaged goods you have on sold.

You should always read the exclusions on your market stall insurance cover carefully prior to taking out cover.

If you have any queries about insuring your market stall, please contact us today.



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