Insurance for Vendors + Exhibitors: Which Policy Is Right For You?

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Insurance for Vendors + Exhibitors: Which Policy Is Right For You?

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Why Do You Need Vendor Liability Insurance?

Trade shows, conferences, festivals, sports venues, markets, and pop-ups are just a few of the places a vendor may sell their wares—and most of them require you to provide proof of insurance for your business. Other venues may even require you to add them as an additional insured on your policy. Whether you operate a booth or a concession stand, you need the right coverage for your business. Vendor insurance protects you from liability for customer injury or illness, property damage, and even advertising injury. 

What Vendors Need Insurance?

This is just a short list of some of the vendors/exhibitors:

  • Farmers market stands
  • Food vendors (concession stands, food trucks, etc.)
  • Artists/crafters
  • Jewelry makers
  • Apparel vendors
  • Souvenir vendors
  • Candlemakers

Vendors or exhibitors who sell firearms, fireworks, alcoholic beverages, or are tattoo artists may be excluded from most vendor insurance policies. If you fall into one of those categories, be sure to speak to an agent to learn what your options are.

What Should Vendor Insurance Include?

When most insurance companies refer to “vendor insurance” they’re referring to general liability. But there are a few other policies vendors need, too. 

General Liability Insurance

A general liability insurance policy (also known as “Slip & Fall” insurance) protects your business from:

  • Third-party bodily injury
  • Third-party property damage
  • Personal and advertising injury

What does all of that mean? Here are some examples: 

Example #1: You’re working at your vegetable stand at a local farmers' market. A customer walking through the market stumbles over part of your display. Unfortunately, they break a glass jar and end up with multiple cuts. They end up needing emergency medical care. A week later, their lawyer contacts you. The event-attendee claims you were negligent and they present you with the bill for their medical expenses. Luckily, your general liability policy covers costs associated with bodily injury.

Example #2: You're one of the newest exhibitors selling product at a local craft show. Unfortunately, you're running behind for the event and hastily set up your booth. One of your first customers excitedly approaches and promptly trips over one of the tent pegs. They go careening into your table—smashing some of your products—and damage their phone in the process. This attendee claims you didn't properly mark the hazard and they demand you pay to replace your phone. Luckily this policy covers these types of claims as well.

Example #3: You sell homemade candles at local craft markets and trade shows and claim that they’re “better than (insert leading retail brand here).” This company catches wind of your claims and—because they have the means—sue you for slander. While you didn’t intend to slander their business, you’re held liable for damages. Your general liability policy will cover the cost of a legal defense and potential settlement. If you didn't have coverage, this could bankrupt your small business. 

You also want to make sure your vendors insurance coverage includes Product Liability Insurance. If it’s not included as part of your general liability coverage, make sure you add it as an endorsement. Why? If you’re a food vendor, a product liability insurance policy ensures that you’re protected if accused of food poisoning. It also comes in handy if you sell other goods or products that may be faulty and cause harm to someone. 

You also want your liability insurance to provide coverage for damage to premises rented to you. You can check with your agent to see if that is included in the policy you're considering.

Commercial Property Insurance

Do you store your goods and products at home? Do you prepare food in a home or commercial kitchen? In either of these instances, you may want to consider commercial property insurance. It protects your building and all of its contents if they’re damaged by a fire, storm, vandalism, or theft. It’s often excluded from a homeowners policy but check with your agent to see if that will provide you some coverage. 

If you are purchasing general liability and commercial property coverage, you should consider getting a business owners' policy (BOP). An insurance company will often bundle these insurance coverages at a more affordable price. Check with an agent to see if your small business qualifies for a BOP. It can be a great way to save money on vendor insurance.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If you run a small stand at local farmers' markets, you may not pay part-time or full-time employees. However, if you run a large concession stand and hire multiple employees to operate your business, you have to get workers' compensation insurance. Why? It provides coverage to your employees if they’re injured at work or become ill due to a job-related exposure. It can pay for their medical expenses and lost wages. 

There are other coverage options you can consider for your business. If you have questions, feel free to reach out and one of our agents will gladly assist you.

How Much Does Insurance for Vendors Cost?

FLIP offers comprehensive annual general liability policies starting at $299. Act insurance allows you to purchase 90-day policies starting at $49. How do you know which insurance policy is right to protect your business?

Should You Get a Short-Term Policy or Annual Policy?

There are a couple of insurance companies that offer one-day event insurance, short-term insurance policies, and annual insurance policies. To determine which coverage is right for your business, consider these questions:

  • Do you run a booth or exhibit at multiple events or venues?
  • Do you go to more than 3 events per year?
  • Do you make the food or product that you're selling?
  • Do you need to add additional insureds on the policy (such as a venue)?
  • Does the venue you're operating at require more than general liability coverage?

If you're an exhibitor at more than one show, go to more than three events a year, and need robust coverage, event insurance coverage may not be right for you. Instead, your business could consider an annual vendor liability insurance policy to protect your business.

Get a Free Insurance Quote for Vendors Insurance

Our goal at CommercialInsurance.Net is to make this process fast and easy. If you're ready to get the ball rolling and would like more information about vendor insurance, feel free to contact us at 877-907-5267. One of our agents will gladly help you get a free quote for coverage. If you prefer to get started online, complete the form at the top of the page. Someone will contact you to gather more information and get you a quote.


Related Articles: Event Insurance, Food Truck Insurance, Concessionaire Insurance

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