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John Hertzfeld

General Liability Insurance

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I am in NW Ohio, and I am not selling my work yet. I am looking into my local farmers market, they require liability insurance "$1,000,000 is generally acceptable".

 

If you are active in selling through shows/fairs/markets what level of coverage do you have?

 

If you are in Ohio, who do you use?

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Sponsors requiring insurance by vendors is not unusual; that amount seems typical. Your life or homeowner insurer (e.g., State Farm) can offer a policy; also check of CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund) http://craftemergency.org/professional_resources/single/business_insurance_can_you_afford_to_be_without_itfor info and, I believe, they also offer coverage.

 

Why bother? Customer cuts their hand on a rough or sharp edge. Kid pulls over display shelf onto him/her self and gets hurt. Customer wants to sue because they burnt themselves on mug handle after heating in the microwave. Etc. We live in a litigious society. A couple hundred per year is cheap compared to some lawyer putting a lien against your house, car, savings, property, your 401K, your pottery collection, etc. Your homeowners insurance does not cover this type of thing. And, the sponsor is going to wash their hands and say, it is your responsibility -- look at the contract you signed.

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I have had a few carriers over the decades

and $1,000,000 is generally acceptable is a true statement-I currently have a 2 million policy as it was same price and I'm right now with state farm..My cost is $350.00

I do not leave home without it as I have assets that I want to keep.

I also have an umbrella policy.

I should mention also I hate insurance.

This country is sue crazy now

Mark

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A million sounds like a lot but the insurance costs will not be that $$$ ... I agree you should go to the CERF site and read up on it. I think Potters Council also offers business insurance for potters.

I have had close calls during sales and was sooooo happy to be calm and insured.

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Not everyone asks for insurance here, and if the organizer doesn't require it they get you to sign something saying they're not held responsible for pretty much anything that happens. The outfits that do require it seem to all want 1,000,000 coverage for the most part.

That's the amount of coverage, not the amount you pay for the coverage.

 

There's stricter rules about what constitutes a valid lawsuit here and there are caps on certain claim amounts, but insurance is a good idea if, say, your pop up tent kites in a windstorm and takes out your neighbour's stand (and stock) or vehicle.

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Guest JBaymore

Potters Council has business insurance tailored to potters.

 

Another tactic to help protect yourself is to go with a LLC........  I believe that Chris can speak to that one.

 

America is the land of the contingency lawsuit...... which helps drive the whole litigation problem here.  It is better than buying a lottery ticket....better odds.  The lawyers get paid only if they win... so no financial risk to the plaintiff....... and hence the awards get jacked up to outrageous levels so that the lawyers % chunk is big.  I'm surprised that we've not seen the ads yet.........  "Call 1-800-SUE- POTS." :rolleyes:  ;)

 

Also note... the insurance is not expensive..... so that says the real issue is small.

 

best,

 

..............john

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I've never done a show that required liability insurance, except for one show that requires us to have insurance on our vehicles (which everyone already has). Most of my shows do require the artists to agree not to hold the show liable for anything, and some "strongly suggest" we carry liability insurance, don't force it upon us.

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I think it should be the responsibility of the Craft Sale to insure their sale. they are once again off-loading onto the artists.

I, like Diesel clay, live in a different country. I have sold at a lot of craft fairs. Never had to buy extra insurance.

I now have two big sales twice a year out of my home studio.[separate from my house]. I can get "special event insurance" for $150.00 a time.

I feel for you guys living in a litigious society.

T.

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One note I should add is as board member who produces a show (we are a non-profit) for the past 43 years. I can say that over the years the city always covered us under thier insurance-then budgets/downsizing/ecomomy issues forced them do drop all city event which where once covered and we have has trouble finding any reasonable liability that included our vendors. We had to pass this on for two years to our vendors but recently found a company that included that as part of the policy. So we got to drop the show fee some (this is arare deal in the crafts fair world-less fees). 

Since we are a non-profit we only charge what we need to carry the show forward.

As I stated earlier I hate insurance and I should add my father was an insurance salesman as well.

Mark

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I'm participating in my first show in October, and was told very clearly that one of the conditions is that I must have my own liability insurance. Well, to add $300,000 liability coverage onto my existing insurance policy is only $25/month. So, not bad at all. I would definitely shop around because the first place I got a quote it was $40/month for $100,000 coverage.

 

Mark, I could state over and over again how much I despise insurance. I think it started as a good thing and now is a thoroughly rotten system. 

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Guest JBaymore

You can usually get something like $2,000,000 of combined product liability, show liability, studio premises liability, and studio equipment and tools loss coverage for less than $900 a year with places like the Potters Council, ACC, and CERF+. Makes the $300,000 for $300 not look so good. 

 

$300 a year for $300,000 is $1 for $1000 of coverage.  $900 a year for $2,000,000 is $1 for $2222 of coverage.

 

If for example (god forbid), a large heavy display of pots at a fair falls on a toddler.......... and the child is severely injured and in the hospital for any amount of time........ $300,000 is not going to go all that far.  Add in a suit for any "pain and suffering", loss of future abilities or whatever, and other such stuff.... and the total can likely go up pretty fast (plus the 'take' for the lawyer's part).  There are lots of other such "accident" scenarios you can come up with. 

 

In this regard... also think about your CAR insurance these days for another place that likely a lot of folks are 'under-insured'.  The typical car insurance policy an awful lot of people take is a coverage of $20,000 / $50,000.  These days....... with many cars costing huge bucks and medical costs astronomical...... that kind of coverage does not go far.  Even $100,000 / $300,000 is not all that much.  (Now if you are driving from or to a craft fair with that car in an accident,...... and the car is not listed for some fraction of business use........ I'm thinking that the insurance company is going to want to 'walk away' from that if they can.)

 

Morality issues aside here... some of this also depends on what exactly you are protecting.  For some potters who have lots of assets from a working spouse, a different job, family money, or an incredibly successful pottery business...... the more you have... the more you are a "target".  And the more you stand to immediately lose.  If you have a big home, lots of cash in the bank, and so on....... unless you are doing business as an LLC... all of that is potentially "at risk" from your pottery business should something BAD happen.

 

Some people argue that having lots of insurance is ALSO making yourself a "target".  But in that case ..... if the arrow happens to hit the bulls-eye........ you do HAVE insurance.

 

If you 'have nothing' then you can say well....... they can't take anything from me because I don't have anything.  But they CAN take stuff.  Your future earnings.  You can be working the rest of your life to pay off that "oops".  So that is not really a valid argument on this subject.  

 

Decent insurance is just a "cost of doing business" these days.  And is deductible on your taxes.

 

best,

 

.....................john

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I have a booth selling my pottery this 3 day weekend and liability insurance was required. I also had to name the organizer as a co-insured party and them send proof before I was accepted. Since this was my first show and I'm only planning to do 2 more fairs this year in the fall I chose to purchase special event insurance just to cover this weekend. It cost $39 for the three days for $1 million worth of coverage.

 

Paul

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I have a booth selling my pottery this 3 day weekend and liability insurance was required. I also had to name the organizer as a co-insured party and them send proof before I was accepted. Since this was my first show and I'm only planning to do 2 more fairs this year in the fall I chose to purchase special event insurance just to cover this weekend. It cost $39 for the three days for $1 million worth of coverage.

 

Paul

Thats great was this from the promoter or your agent as this often is not the case with promoters.

Mark

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Thank you for the info on the insurance company, I have never sold at a booth just in galleries and consignment shops.  I haven't sold anything for a while and was thinking about  taking some pots to a new consignment shop, it's starting to pile up.  The two galleries I use to sell at closed when the economy got bad here aircraft manufacturing companies leaving and closing.  Other companies are moving into the area now because we have a glut of skilled workers.  I have often wondered if I needed extra insurance when I sold in consignment shops.     Denice

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