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Crafters and makers are akin to artists who design and create a broad range of organic, original handmade items that delight us. Their designs can be ornate and decorative or intended to serve a specific purpose. Either way, it takes skill, dexterity, vision and talent to produce and create something that appeals to others.

Furthermore, for these artisans, a tremendous amount of pride and effort goes into each creation, be it handmade jewellery, clothing, food items, household decor, paper crafts, woodwork or ceramics.

That suggests every crafter or maker is not only an artist but also an entrepreneur who revels in the joy of their creations from conception to completion. And what often begins as a hobby can soon become a profitable commercial enterprise. Even if you start gradually by selling your goods at local markets or online through a third-party marketplace like Amazon or Etsy, once you take the step to sell your work to the general public, it’s vital to protect your finances and reputation from the liabilities you face as an independent producer.

What is makers and crafters insurance?

Think of a makers and crafters liability insurance policy as your financial backstop for when things go wrong (and the list of possible risks that can hurt you financially is significant). It’s a comprehensive policy customized to suit your unique needs and can cover financial damages and losses to ensure you can continue creating and avoid being driven into bankruptcy.

For example, a tailored insurance policy can help protect you from:

  • Damages to your workshop, business contents and inventory if affected by fire, water, theft or vandalism.
  • Physical injuries or property damage to one of your customers caused by one of your products or if they are injured while visiting your storefront or studio.
  • The fallout of a cyberattack or data breach exposing your customers’ confidential information, damaging your software systems and compromising your digital security.
  • Expensive legal bills if you are sued or need legal advice from an experienced attorney.
  • Allegations of professional negligence if you provide craft-related workshops and classes that offer advice or guidance to students of the sessions you host.

What other insurance do makers and crafters need?

Ultimately, what insurance coverage you need depends on what you do, where you do it and the products and services you offer and sell.

Beyond covering yourself against risks to your workshop, website and electronic communications, professional reputation and potential injuries to your customers, other types of business insurance protection are worth considering.

For instance, that may involve coverage for a vehicle used for business purposes, contract disputes related to collaborations, consignments or payments, or protection from copyright infringement allegations.

While it may be unpleasant to ponder, it’s critical for every maker or crafter to have a risk management and business continuity plan founded on adequate insurance protection. After all, no independent artisan, crafter, maker or small business owner is immune to accidents, unexpected incidents or the threat of lawsuits.

How to get low-cost makers and crafters insurance

Here’s some good news: getting an affordable makers and crafters liability insurance policy that adequately covers the risks you face does not need to be complicated or time-consuming.

Partnering with an experienced, licensed business insurance broker can simplify the process. A broker can advise you on what coverages your policy should contain and the coverage limits you ought to have, explain in plain language the policy details, and offer risk mitigation tips to help you avoid filing a claim and thereby keep your annual premium low.

Brandon Bowie is a licensed broker and Team Lead, Property and Hospitality at Zensurance, Canada’s leading source for small business insurance.