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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?


Views: 2440

Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on July 7, 2012 at 12:42pm

Sue, the liability insurance is to protect the show?  Do I have that correct?  How much insurance do they want you to get and what are they worried about losing? 

Comment by pamela bronk on July 7, 2012 at 6:55pm

I've had liability insurance for 30+ yrs.   Ever since a glass booth was destroyed in a storm by another booth close to me.  Now a days with the amount of storms, tornadoes, and what not, Your protecting yourself and others.  

Comment by geri a. wegner on July 7, 2012 at 10:38pm

Pamela, that makes perfect sense but why is the city the beneficiary and does that mean the beneficiary has to be changed for every show?  

Comment by Carol Larsen on July 9, 2012 at 9:07am

Perhaps the wording is incorrect? You should have liability insurance to cover losses, damages, people possibly getting hurt, in essence your complete physical presence as a business in that location.

Some locations require you have a policy specific to that show/locale but it sounds like there is some misinformation regarding the beneficiary, etc. It could be someone not understanding the nuances of liability insurance. Check with your carrier, and question the show if that is in fact the wording. There are a lot of people with a tiny bit of information and misinformation.

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.

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 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 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 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 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)?


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