If you’re a quilter or jewelry maker, insurance may not be at the top of your list of things to worry about, but it’s important nonetheless.

Whether working from home as a self-employed painter or in a studio making ceramics or jewelry, if you're selling products to other people, you’re at risk. Someone could trip while in your booth at an art festival or get a cut from one of your sculptures. Or your tools or raw materials could get stolen or destroyed in a fire.

All small business owners need business insurance

Many craftspeople dismiss the need for insurance based on the mistaken belief that their homeowners insurance will cover their craft business. But homeowners insurance covers your home and isn’t meant to cover your business, even if your business is at home. Most homeowners policies exclude business-related liability and offer little, if any, coverage for business property.

Other people think they don’t need insurance because they’re not really a business — they think of their work as a hobby. But the moment you sell a product, you’re in business.

Fortunately, business insurance is available to protect you.

Diverse handmade artisans and businesses

Because of the diverse nature of craft workers and their associated businesses, many traditional small business insurance packages may not fit your needs. Fortunately, policies are available to cover many types of artisans, including:

  • Artists/painters
  • Glassblowers
  • Jewelry designers
  • Leather, wood and metal crafters
  • Papermakers
  • Potters/ceramic artists
  • Quilters
  • Scrapbookers
  • Sculptors/carvers
  • Weavers

Liability coverage is also available for events such as:

  • Art festivals
  • Craft fairs
  • Farmers markets
  • Seasonal fairs/shows
  • Trade shows

Types of coverage

Insurance companies package business insurance policies for arts and crafts business owners in different ways. Here’s a look at the common policies that can protect you at home, in a studio, at a craft fair and beyond:

General liability

Any time an individual or business makes, manufactures or distributes a tangible good or product, there’s a chance their product could accidentally injure someone or damage property.

A general liability policy for arts and crafts protects against claims your business or products caused injury or property damage to an outside party. For example, general liability may cover your financial responsibility for:

  • Accidental damage to a venue owner's property
  • Physical harm to a customer
  • Copyright infringement on material or brands
  • Damage to someone's reputation through libel or slander

A general liability policy for home-based or manufacturing businesses is often required from outside parties such as suppliers, landlords, vendors or even customers.

Business owners policy

A business owners policy (BOP) bundles general liability insurance and commercial property insurance to give you basic liability protection from client claims and property coverage for your craft business equipment and supplies.

For example, if a delivery person slips and falls while dropping off a shipment of glass, the general liability portion of your BOP may cover the cost of the person’s medical bills. If a fire at your home destroys your jewelry-making supplies and inventory, the commercial property portion of a BOP can help replace the supplies and reimburse you for damaged goods.

Product liability

This type of coverage can help if your product causes injury to someone. It can also pay for damage to property that your product caused.

You can usually add product liability coverage to your general liability policy. If you're concerned the items you make and sell could harm someone, a product liability policy is a smart way to protect yourself and your business against a potentially expensive lawsuit.

In-transit coverage

This type of coverage can be valuable if you don't have commercial insurance on your personal vehicle since your insurer probably won't cover business assets in your car.

Business interruption and other insurance

Insurers offer coverage against lost business income through professional liability insurance (if you teach). They also offer coverage that protects your goods when they're in a third party's hands-on consignment.

Your insurance professional can help

Talk with your insurance professional about your current needs and future goals so they can help you get the right policy. Once that’s taken care of, you’re free to focus on getting back to work. Have questions? Give us a call!

Blue Ridge Risk Partners is a top 75 independent insurance agency in the United States. With 22 offices and counting throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and access to hundreds of carriers, we are able to meet your unique insurance needs.