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I'm looking at applying to a new show in N. Texas.  They (the city) is requiring all applicants to have liability insurance.  They (the city) would be the sole beneficiary of the policy.  I think the limit was 1 million, but I could be off.

The show fee is $250 for a new show and over 2 days -- but is it worth it if I also have to buy liability insurance.  I don't know what the cost might even be.   Sorry haven't looked around because this seems like a lot of hoops to go through for a weekend.

I haven't heard of other shows requiring liability insurance.  Is this the new trend?


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Comment by Sue Foss on July 9, 2012 at 9:45pm

Also, thanks for the resources in getting the insurance.  That is a better rate than what I was originally quoted.  I'll look into it.

Sue F.

Comment by Sue Foss on July 9, 2012 at 9:42pm

All, thanks for your great comments.  Yes I want to go back to the original PDF application for the show.  I've been looking for a copy on my machine - so I can verify what I remember reading.  Once I find it - I'll let you all know it is was correct what I remember reading.

Yes I expect that liability insurance should cover my loss - the city who is putting on the show.

Thanks for asking.


Comment by Lawrence Cimaglio on July 9, 2012 at 12:29pm

I have had several shows that require a certificate of insurance naming them as "additionally insured".  I carry insurance through my car and home provider and I am a corporation.  My premium is $250 a year for $1,000,000 policy.  I have had some breakage in the past, but do not put in a claim as it would substantially raise the rate.  I just consider it a catastrophy policy.  It is also useful if I have a neighbor who ignores recommendations regarding weights etc. as I just advise them that I am fully insured even if they "tumbleweed" into me and that I just let the insurance company nail the offending party.  It usually gets the party to put weights on.  I have also had a couple shows require a fire extinguisher in each tent, so I bought mine at Walmart for under $20.  Being safe is usually very cheap especially when something goes wrong.

Comment by Richard Charron on July 9, 2012 at 12:01pm

My mistake. What I meant to say is that the show promoter etc. is named as a co-insured and not the only insured. It really doesn't cost you anything as I'm sure you will have this insurance for your own protection. It's simply an added insured to your policy for the period of the event. One lawsuit from someone who trips over one of your canopy tie-downs and skins himself or worse yet breaks a limb and you will appreciate having the coverage. The promoter know that in most cases they have the deep pockets and will also be enjoined in a lawsuit so they want to be assured you are covered. Regardless of whether the promoter carries their own insurance I would highly recommend you get your own coverage. You can't be over protected in this litigious environment in which we live.

Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on July 9, 2012 at 11:21am

Richard, I can really see why it is important for you to have that coverage in the light that several people could get food poisoning.  Not that you are careless or anything, but you could order stock that accidently has it.  Large groups of people could be affected.  However, at an art show it is very important for an artist to have their stock and equipment covered and have coverage in case their tent flies into another booth.  But, the weird thing is why does that city expect to be the beneficiary (if Sue read things correctly)?

Comment by Howard Clark on July 9, 2012 at 11:19am

Mark Walden is right on.  I have show insurance from the Act Insurance Program that he mentions.  It is relatively inexpensive.  First, it protects me from damages that my canopy or belongings might cause to others at the fair -- e.g., someone trips over an easel that holds my artwork or wind blowing my canopy onto another and causing property or physical damage.  Second, it gives me an opportunity to add a specific "named insured," such as the organizer of the event.  As you see in Texas, some events require it; others never heard of it.

Comment by Richard Charron on July 9, 2012 at 10:26am

I'm not sure what is required of art vendors at most venues however I can tell you that it is no big deal. As a food vendor we are required to carry 1 million in liability insurance for each even in which we participate. A simple email to our agent results in a return email with a certificate attached naming the event sponsor or venue operator as the loss payee in the event of an accident etc. There is no charge for this service over and above the annual cost of the policy. It is reasonable in my opinion for the event sponsors to protect themselves in the event of a frivolous or not so frivolous lawsuit that is out of there control to prevent.

Comment by Eric Wolff on July 9, 2012 at 10:12am


To chime in with the rest, you may want to clarify what you've read/heard.  For most venues, they carry the general liability coverage for the event.  That's one the administrative costs your booth fee is for.  However, it only really covers damage to the venue premises and injury to participants and attendees.  If you have concerns for the safety and coverage of your merchandise and equipment, then you can get your own separate insurance for that, but it would be for coverage for your stuff, and maybe a little extra coverage for you and your people.  I can see maybe a venue requiring artists to obtain that additional liability.  It might lessen their own insurance premium if they tell their carrier every artists has the added coverage.  But that isn't common as far as I've seen.  (Although my experience is far from extensive and so far only in the mid-Atlantic.)  But for a venue to require you to carry full liability with them as the sole beneficiary?  They're just trying to get away with not having to have any insurance of their own at all.  And you said it's the city doing this.  At least some of that liability is probably automatically covered for them by existing city policies for the venue.  I'd really verify what they are requiring.  If they do want a full liability policy totally payable to the city -- on top of a $250 fee as it is, I'd be skeptical.  You said this is a new show, well, they may just not know how these things are done.

I can also speak from a show organizer perspective.  I run an art show twice a year from my home.  Usually around 20 artist.  I get an event insurance policy with the $1M levels you mentioned that is valid for 60 days, so more than covers my 3-day art sales.  I get this for around $250 a pop.  The cost is one of the expenditures covered by the artist participation fees I collect, so around $12.50 a head.  It'll prorate to even less as we expand.  It is actually cheaper for everyone to have the venue provide the general liability insurance.  One cost that is shared among all the participants as part of the participation fee.  Having everyone supply general liability coverage individually is expensive for the participants.  It's also an added expense and effort on the part of the organizer to gather and confirm that coverage.  Probably cost them more in man-hours and resources to track and manage all that than it would be to get an event policy themselves.  And being a municipality, I assume who owns the venue, my guess is, again if they aren't actually already covered by the general city insurances, they can piggyback on existing insurance and get what they need much cheaper than the average Joe can.

So, final word, read all the fine print over a few more times. If they really want everyone else to pony up for their liability responsibility, be very certain this is an event you want to be in.  If they really do want every exhibitor to add that chunk of administrative expense to the process of participating, I would be curious to know what kind of artist turnout they actually get versus what they hoped to get in terms of numbers and in quality.

Comment by Carol Larsen on July 9, 2012 at 9:33am

I just checked out that site - that is a wonderful offering for those needing it. I have mine as part of home owners/vehicles/etc to cover my business no matter where it is = in transit, at home, during a show for about $250 a year. I periodically have it reviewed as my stock changes out, larger inventory, etc.

Comment by mark walden on July 9, 2012 at 9:29am

I believe most insurance will allow you to add someone as an additional insured. One option for this particular show coverage is

Most likely what they are worried about is losing money by being sued by anyone for pretty much anything. Remember, you can be sued if your hot coffee is hot.

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