Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

Market Stall Insurance

Don’t let an accident leave you millions of dollars out of pocket. Compare public liability insurance cover for market stalls.


Running a market stall brings a lot of hidden responsibility along with it. Whether you’re selling hot chocolate, hats or hand cream, the fact remains that you’re in charge of your own little corner empire. While some markets offer public liability for an additional cost, the excess (your out of pocket cost if you need to claim) can be huge – often more than $5,000.

Market stall insurance quick tips

Insurance requirements

public liability insurance

Public liability insurance

  • Required

This covers your stall for things like someone getting injured at your stall and third-party property damage e.g. your gazebo knocking down the neighbouring stall.

theft insurance

Portable stock cover

  • Recommended

If you have a market stall, portable stock (or contents) insurance will cover your items or food when they are being transported to the market.

Cost of public liability insurance for market stalls

Here’s a sample quote to give you a rough idea of how much cover costs:

Insurance type Public liability insurance
Quote details 3 people, $1000 in revenue and $10,000,000 in public liability cover.
Cost estimate $48.50

Your cost will vary depending on your business. It’s a good idea to get a quote online.

What could go wrong at a market stall?

Let’s say that you leave a piece of art in the main walkway for a moment and someone trips over it and breaks their ankle. You could be held responsible for the incident due to negligence, and have to pay for their medical costs, and/or the cost of replacing their income while they are unable to work. It may seem unfair, but you still have the responsibility to deal with the consequences if something goes wrong. Most festivals and events won’t even allow you to register without first obtaining public liability insurance for your market stall.

What’s next

Get quotes online | Speak to a broker

Do I need insurance for my stall?

Market stalls insurance

Regardless of whether you’re running a regular stall at your local market or travelling to several markets across the region to build a bigger customer base, you’ll still be exposing yourself to a wide range of potential risks.

Markets can be busy, unpredictable and hazardous places, and unexpected accidents can happen at any time. If something goes wrong and a claim is made against you, the financial consequences of paying any compensation or damages could be substantial.

This is why it’s essential to make sure you have the right market stall insurance cover in place before you open for business.

What types of risks to I need to account for with a market stall?

Below are some of the key risks you could face and tips to keep them under control.

If you are selling products at a market:

  • Licences and permits – Like any business that sells goods to New Zealand consumers, it’s important that you get the correct form of licence or permit to run your stall. These help protect you and the investments you’ve made.
  • Ensuring product safety – Whether there’s an allergy issue with your newest batch of cupcakes, or safety concerns over your collection of children’s toys, it’s important that you respond to allegations quickly. You should provide clear instructions for use and include warnings against possible misuse or allergy concerns. It’s also necessary for you to be aware of and meet industry and mandatory standards.
  • Obstructing a footpath – You might need to obtain a footpath usage or obstruction permit from your local council. This permit is designed to protect public safety, so it’s essential you have one in case someone gets hurt or injured.
  • Missing or stolen products – Markets are busy places, and transporting your goods introduces another element of risk. That’s why it’s worth considering portable stock cover. It covers your items of food when they are in transport to the market.

Food stalls

  • Temporary food stall licence – Before setting up your stall, make sure you have a temporary food stall licence. It’s important you get one, especially if you sell potentially hazardous food like meat or dairy, or you risk being shut down.
  • Food poisoning/allergies – The food you sell at a market must comply with New Zealand Food Safety Act. From rules on cleanliness to labelling, the act makes sure that the food you supply is safe and suitable for consumption. Yet, no matter how much you label your food, accidents can happen, especially at a market, so make sure you get professional indemnity insurance.

Insurance helps with these risks

You need to get the right market stall insurance cover in place before you open for business. Indeed, many market organisers require you to get insurance for your stall. It’s likely you’ll need both public liability and product liability insurance. Market Stall Insurance is a great way to ensure that your stall is covered properly with both.

Although many market organisers offer insurance as part of the registration fee, you should look into what’s covered; it is often very basic and fails to adequately cover you should something go wrong.

What types of insurance do market stalls need?

There are a few key types of insurance that every market stall owner should consider:

Most market organisers make it a mandatory requirement for all stall owners to have public liability insurance in place before they’ll even be allowed to set up a stall.

What’s covered?

This type of insurance covers your legal liability if a member of the public or maybe another stallholder is injured, killed, or suffers property damage due to your negligence.

For example, if a customer trips over a piece of art at your stall and breaks an ankle, if you’re deemed responsible for the accident you could be held liable for the customer’s medical costs and lost income until they recover. In this scenario, public liability insurance provides crucial financial protection.

This type of cover is also usually a mandatory requirement at many markets.

What’s covered?

It provides protection against claims for injury or damage caused by a product you sell at your market stall. As an example, a customer could make a claim against you if they suffered severe food poisoning from the food you sold them.

Products liability insurance is particularly important for any market stall owner who manufactures and sells food or drink products because, under the Consumer Guarantees Act, people who suffer loss or damage due to safety defects in goods they buy are entitled to seek compensation.

Most business insurance providers won’t cover theft or damage of your stock while it’s actually at your market stall.

What’s covered?

If you regularly operate a market stall it’s still a good idea to consider portable stock cover, which covers stock while in storage and while in transit to and from the market.

Available as part of a business insurance policy, portable stock insurance provides cover for fire, theft and a range of other risks. It’s also possible to cover the loss, theft or damage of business money to provide added peace of mind.

What is the difference between public and product liability?

When looking for insurance cover for your business, chances are you’ll come across two different types of policies: public liability insurance and products liability insurance. While these types of insurance are quite similar to one another, there are some key differences you should be aware of.

  • Public Liability: As touched on above, public liability insurance provides cover if a negligent act results in a third party suffering a personal injury or property damage. If that third party decides to launch legal action against you, your public liability insurance policy will provide cover for legal costs, fees and expenses that may result.
  • Product Liability Insurance: Is designed to offer a different kind of protection. Under New Zealand consumer law, retailers and distributors of products have a duty of care to their customers. For example, if you sell a product that has been poorly designed, has various defects or improperly labelled, it could cause harm to one of your customers. As a result of this, that customer could then choose to launch legal action against you to seek damages. Product liability insurance protects you against this risk, providing cover for any claims relating to third-party injury or property damage.

Depending on the type of business you run, one or both of these forms of cover might be necessary for you.

Back to top

What is covered under a public liability insurance policy?

Public liability insurance offers a range of important cover features to market traders. Though cover can differ from one insurance provider to the next, benefits of these types of policies typically include some common features.

If you are found to be legally liable for personal injury or property damage suffered by a third party, your policy will provide cover up to an agreed-upon limit. Typical indemnity limits on policies include $5 million, $10 million or $20 million.

Under this type of cover, the definition of personal injury covers a range of incidents, events and conditions. This includes:

  • Death or bodily injury
  • Sickness or disease
  • Mental anguish
  • Shock and fright
  • False arrest
  • Wrongful detention or imprisonment
  • Assault or battery
  • Libel, slander or defamation
  • Wrongful eviction
  • Invasion of privacy

In terms of property damage to a third party, public liability policies provide cover for the physical loss or destruction of tangible property. It also covers the loss of use of other tangible property, even if it hasn’t actually been damaged, but if it can’t be used because of damage to other property.

Many insurance providers will also offer both public liability and products liability cover under the umbrella of one policy.

Find out more about Public Liability Insurance in New Zealand

Back to top

What are some public liability exclusions facing market traders?

Just like with any other type of insurance policy, a number of exclusions apply to public liability cover. These may differ from one insurance provider to the next, but cover will generally not be provided for:

  • Fines and penalties that are punitive or exemplary
  • Any loss, damage or liability resulting from acts of war, terrorism, rebellion, revolution or insurrection
  • Anything to do with radioactive contamination or nuclear material
  • Any liability you assume under a contract that would otherwise not have applied
  • Situations where you have waived your rights to recourse without the underwriter’s prior consent
  • Liability related to the possession or use of a motor vehicle or trailer
  • Liability relating to the use of aircraft or watercraft
  • Liability for damage to property you own or are leasing
  • Any deliberate acts of disregard by you or your employees
  • Liability for injury to any of your contracted employees
  • Where your policy includes products liability, your insurer may refuse to pay any claims relating to the sale of things like toys, electronics, medicine or beauty products.

How much does market traders public liability insurance cost?

When shopping around for public liability insurance, it pays to compare multiple quotes. However, keep in mind that there are a number of factors that can influence how much your insurance will cost. These include:

  • The size of your stall/business
  • What products you sell
  • Where and when you operate your stall
  • Your business turnover
  • How much coverage you take out.

If you regularly run stalls in high-risk locations, you can obviously expect to pay more for cover. In order to work out exactly how much cover your business needs, you’ll need to take the time to consider the risks you face on a regular basis and what the consequences would be if those risks were to become reality.

FAQs about market traders insurance

Public liability cover is something you must consider if you run a market stall. Compare a range of policies, seek multiple quotes and obtain expert advice to ensure you end up with the right public liability policy for your needs.

Back to top

More guides on Finder

Go to site