Whether you’re setting up a business selling handmade jewellery online or you want to sell your greeting cards at a Christmas market, you’ll have to consider whether you need insurance. The legal requirements for insurance are different depending on whether you’re selling online or in person, and understanding which type of insurance you need can be confusing at first.
In this article we’ll explain everything you need to know, from insurance at craft fairs to types of crafters insurance and more.
Do I need insurance to sell at a craft fair in the UK?
If you’re selling your products at a physical location – whether it’s a craft fair, a Christmas market or similar – the organisers of the event will need confirmation that you have insurance. You’ll be required to have a policy that covers Public and Product Liability risks, with a minimum cover limit of either £5,000,000 or £10,000,000.
If you plan to hire employees to work at your stall, you’ll also need to purchase Employer’s Liability Insurance.
If you only sell your products online on a marketplace like Etsy, there are no legal requirements for insurance. However, it’s important to recognise that these websites are just selling platforms. If you don’t have your own insurance policy, you will not be covered if any issues arise with your products – for example, a customer developing a rash after using your body lotion.
Do I need a licence to sell handmade crafts in the UK?
In most cases, you won’t need a licence to sell your handmade crafts. If you’re selling at an organised craft fair, its likely that the organisers will have a licence that covers the event itself.
If you are selling via an online marketplace like Etsy, you won’t require a licence either. However, if you’re setting up a market stall or using signage on the pavement (such as sandwich boards) to advertise your business, you will need to apply for a licence from the council.
Selling food and drink products may also require a licence, but for most craft businesses this will not apply.
Types of insurance for craft businesses
Although you’re unlikely to need a licence to sell your crafts, if you’re selling them in person you will need Public and Product Liability Insurance. If you hire employees to work at your stall (other than family members), you will need Employer’s Liability Insurance too.
Let’s take a look at each of these types of insurance in a little more detail.
Craft Business Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability insurance for crafters gives you financial protection against third-party injury and property damage claims caused by your business activities, including market-stall selling and attending craft fairs or exhibitions. For example, if a customer was injured after tripping over a box at your craft stall, Public Liability insurance would protect you.
Craft Business Products Liability Insurance
Products Liability insurance for crafters provides financial protection against third-party injury or property damage claims caused by products you have manufactured or sold. This type of insurance would protect you if a customer injured themselves on a sharp piece of jewellery you sold them, for example.
At CMTIA, we offer Public and Products Liability as a combined package.
Craft Business Employer’s Liability Insurance
If anyone who is not a family member works at your craft stall, you will need Employer’s Liability insurance. This includes employees, casual workers, work experience, temporary staff and volunteers. This type of insurance covers you if any of these people suffer injury (or death) while they are working for you.