Public Liability Insurance

We have been asked for advice about public liability insurance on multiple occasions. So we thought it would be a good idea to put together a helpful guide.

It is often known as General Liability Insurance. It covers claims made against you by a third party for personal injury or property damage arising from an accident.

If you were found to be at fault in a claim then the insurance may cover the legal costs and the compensation payout.

Public liability insurance is a business insurance. So you may not be able to get it, from your current household insurer.

Insurers offer a range of packages for exhibitors, organisers and groups. You can get a quote for Public Liability, Employers Liability Cover, Property Cover and Cancellation Cover without the need to give personal details.

Not all insurers will cover a craft business. Not even the ones that sell business insurance. So we have added an ad unit above for the organisations promoting their insurance products:

Insurance for artists and crafts people does need a little thought. You could contact an insurance broker, who specialises in your particular area, whether your an individual craftsmen, artists, artisans, craft groups or craft clubs.

Hiscox do exhibition insurance packages like exhibitor insurance, fair, fete and carnival insurance, business event insurance, firework display insurance, wedding and private party insurance and general event insurance.

Although your craft business may have a relatively low turnover you may need the standard business insurances of public liability insurance, employers liability insurance and product liability insurance. You could also look at small van insurance and working from home insurance.

If you are a crafter confirming a table at one of our events, it is a condition of the booking that you have purchased public liability insurance. Many other fair organisers listing fairs on the site, will have the same condition. If you are the fair organiser, you will also need to look into your insurance needs, most likely it will be a condition of the venue that you are covered. In addition, the venue will also need to be covered for public liability.

If an accident should happen and a claim is made and you are found to be liable, it is good to know you are covered. It is a legal requirement in most cases.

That is the two or five million pound question. It sounds like a lot but it would cover you if the hall burned down because of your faulty lighting, for example. For crafters, it is up to you. Organisers, perhaps would be advised to go for a higher amount, depending on your activities.

In the case of a crafter, selling handmade goods at a craft fair or other event, the insurance is not too high. For a yearly insurance you will most likely be paying over £100, depending on the insurer you go with, the number of events you are attending and the level of cover you would like. You may also be buying a bundle of other business insurances at the same time.

Insurance for the organiser will be considerably higher. As in this case you are insuring based on the number of people attending the fair. Running a craft fair is luckily not as dangerous as a fireworks display and therefore about five times cheaper. Still, it is not cheap.

Insurance is all about risk. You can do a lot to mitigate any risk. The more you do to mitigate risk, the less chance anyone will be able to say that it was your fault.

You should do a risk assessment. This is your plan to work from. So that you can be aware of and reduce potential risks.

There are rules and regulations around everything. They can at times be obstructive but they are often in the best interests of the public - your customer.

One of your jobs as a fair organiser will be to assess the risk associated with running your fair. It may well be a condition of your policy to have a written risk assessment. If you do not do this the insurer may not pay out if an accident occurs.

There are a number of terms you may hear when discussing public liability insurance:

  • the applicant and the respondent
    The applicant is the injured party the respondent is the owner or occupier, the person being sued.
  • the duty of care
    the term sort of speaks for itself but it can be a complicated issue, it is the standard that is expected. In order of extreme:
    • 1. Invitees
      In the case of an event for example, the venue may invite an organiser to run a fair, an organiser may invite stall holders to exhibit at their fair, the stall holder and the organiser may invite attendees to visit the fair. Each person/group has a duty of care to people where they make a financial benefit.
    • 2. Licensees
      These are people that are trying to sell to you rather than by from you. A commercial traveller or salesperson.
    • 3. Trespassers
      You still have a duty of care that the area is reasonably safe.
  • some of the things people claim for
    • falls, slips and trips. stress or anxiety (delaying or getting stuck), being stuck by or striking objects falling or otherwise