Market trader insurance

Markets can be hectic environments. Find out what type of market trader insurance you need to protect yourself, your customers and your stock, and what's included in the cover.


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What is market trader insurance?

Market trader insurance is business insurance for market stallholders. It might also be called market stall insurance.

Cover varies by provider and personal requirements, but usually includes public liability, product liability and cover for goods.

What insurance does a market trader need?

Markets can get pretty hectic, and so public liability cover is very important for market traders to have. It covers you in case a member of the public is injured or their property is damaged and your business is responsible. For example, if someone trips over your stall or some of your stock.

Another important bit of cover for market traders is product liability cover. This type of insurance helps with legal costs and compensation payments if a product you’ve sold to a customer causes them harm in some way. It doesn’t matter whether you manufactured the product or not – you might still be liable for damages.

If you employ staff, even unpaid help, you are legally required to take out employers’ liability insurance.

Other policies you’d want to consider include van insurance, goods in transit cover, stock insurance and business interruption cover in case something happens that means you cannot work for a period of time.

Why do market traders need insurance?

As a market trader, you come into regular contact with members of the public in a busy environment. This can lead to accidents, which can lead to legal action against you. These types of claims can run to millions of pounds, so you want to be protected in case this happens.

Product liability claims can also be financially devastating and you don’t need to have made the product to be liable – it’s enough that someone bought it from your stall.

Employers’ liability cover is a legal requirement, so if you employ staff you have to take at least this out.

Lastly, you’d want to protect your stall, your stock and yourself in case something happens, so that you can get back to work asap. This is where goods in transit, stock insurance and personal accident cover come in.

What does market trader insurance cover?

The exact specification of the policy will depend on the insurer you choose and your own personal requirements, but market traders insurance usually includes the following:

  • Stock cover. This type of cover protects your stock from damage or theft. Some insurers might require you to keep your stock stored in a certain way, to reduce its risk of being damaged or stolen, in order to qualify for cover. If you keep your stock in your house, your regular home insurance is unlikely to cover it. Check with your insurer if you have any doubts.
  • Public liability. Public liability insurance covers the cost of legal fees and compensation if a member of the public is injured or their property is damaged and your business is liable. These types of settlements can reach millions of pounds, so having this cover in place is extremely important to any business that frequently interacts with the general public, especially in an environment as busy as a market.
  • Product liability. If a product you sell to a customer causes illness or injury to a member of the public, having product liability can cover you for legal fees and compensation owed. Even if you didn’t manufacture the product, you might still have to pay compensation, so this type of cover can be invaluable for market stall owners.
  • Employers’ liability. Having employers’ liability cover is a legal requirement if you employ staff. It’ll cover you if one of your employees gets ill or is injured as a result of the work they do for you. Depending on the policy specifications, this can include injuries sustained away from your stall, as long as the employee was doing work relating to your business at the time.
  • Business interruption. Business interruption cover can help protect you against loss of income if the running of your stall is disrupted. Covered events will vary by provider, but can include an injury, illness or natural disaster.

Other types of cover you might wish to take out include:

  • Van cover. Many market stall holders use a van to get their stock to and from the market. Commercial van insurance can include cover for equipment and stock, as well as other benefits found in regular car insurance. It’s important to note that most car insurance policies don’t include business use, so it’s worth checking the details of your policy if you use your car as part of your business activities.
  • Legal expenses. While liability compensation payouts can run into millions of pounds, other costs involved in a court case can also be a serious burden. Legal expenses cover can help you in case action is taken against you.
  • Personal accident. Your wellbeing matters too. This type of insurance covers you in case you suffer an injury that means you cannot work.
  • Goods in transit insurance. If your car or van insurance doesn’t include cover for your stock while you are transporting it between your storage facility and your stall, you’d want to take out goods in transit cover. This will protect your stock against damage, loss and theft while you are transporting it between locations.
  • Cover for tools and equipment. If you own any tools or equipment you use as part of your business (for example, the materials you use to put your stall together), this type of cover protects these items against damage, loss and theft.

Common claims examples

  • Dodgy lotion. You trust your suppliers to provide you with good stock, but you can’t test out every single product yourself. You might sell a bottle of body lotion, for example, that is later revealed to be harmful. Even if you didn’t manufacture the product, you may still be liable for any damage caused to the customers who bought it from you, so having product liability cover in place is highly recommended. It helps to cover legal fees and compensation payments you might have to pay.
  • Accident at work. Running a market stall can be a physically demanding job. You might drop a heavy item on your foot or injure your back while packing up or setting up your stall and may not be able to work for a while. Personal accident cover provides support in case this happens and can help you keep your business going while you are out of action.
  • Fire damage. No one wants to think about this sort of thing happening, but fires can sometimes start in a building or spread from others in the immediate area. Should this happen where you keep your stock, stock insurance can cover the damage and help you replace the lost items.

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