Do You Need Insurance for Antique Booth Inventory?

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You worked hard to source your finds and create your displays.  Now your antique booth is stocked with treasures for customers to shop and the fun can start!

You may be wondering though if you need insurance for antique booth inventory– what happens if tragedy hits?

This is an area of your business that may not be fun to think about, but it’s important to consider whether you need this financial protection or not. 

My Own Story with an Antique Booth

I have been selling vintage finds, flipped furniture, and furniture paint out of antique booths for 12 years now with my business, Lost & Found.

I love the antique booth model, especially for busy moms like myself. I can focus on sourcing and staging my finds and then let the antique mall staff receive customers and collect payment.

It’s worked very well for me and my business has prospered.

Recently though, a tornado swept through the area and hit not only the antique mall where I have my current booth, but also two other antique malls in the area. 

3 malls . . . all destroyed in minutes early one Sunday morning.

insurance for antique booth inventory

I was extremely fortunate to find my space without any real damage.  My shelves of Fusion Mineral Paint were intact, and the rest of my vintage and home decor items were all fine. 

However many other vendors were not so lucky.

And that’s what is so tough about events like this–you just never know when or if a tragedy will happen.

In the aftermath of this storm, I got a lot of questions on my Facebook page from booth vendors asking about insurance for their inventory.  Seeing the photos I shared made everyone wonder, “What would happen if my antique mall were damaged?”

Is your Antique Mall Responsible for Damage to Your Booth Inventory?

When you rent a booth space at an antique mall or flea market, you sign a lease. In that lease document are the terms of the agreement between the owners of the lager mall and you, and you need to read over the lease carefully.

Included in every lease I have ever signed is a release of liability for the antique mall owners.

What this means in laymen’s terms is that nobody is responsible to pay you back for any items in your booth that are lost, damaged, or stolen.

Antique mall owners likely carry insurance that covers their own commercial property–the building itself, their computers and other items at the checkout stand, and any inventory they sell.

However the inventory that you own and is in your booth will not be covered by this policy. And the mall owners, according to the terms of your lease, are likely not responsible for anything that may happen to it.

What Type of Insurance Do I Need for My Antique Booth?

If you are concerned about losing the value of your inventory in some sort of tragic event, you should consider a commercial property insurance policy

This type of policy will help provide the money needed to replace your inventory in the event of a covered loss (like a fire, tornado, flood, etc). Of course like all insurance policies, you need to read the fine print to see what types of losses are covered.

The cost of your insurance will depend on the value of what you want covered.  You could expect though to pay anywhere from $25 to $100 a month.

Should I Get Insurance for my Antique Booth Items?

In 12 years of business, I have not ever carried commercial property insurance for my antique booth inventory. However after this experience, I can see how it could be a good idea to consider.

I’ve always heard that if you cannot afford the financial loss of something, then it’s a good idea to insure it.

So this is another reason why it becomes important to track your antique booth inventory–do you know the value of what you actually have in your booth?

Some booth vendors sell inexpensive items purchased at garage sales for a few dollars, and may only have $100-$200 of value in their space. In that case, it’s probably not worth having it insured.

But others may have stocked high-end antique items, expensive furniture or estate jewelry, or large lines of wholesale items (like furniture paint, stencils, decorative transfers, etc).

In my booth at the time of the tornado, I had approxiately $2000 worth of furniture paint on my shelves.  Had my inventory been lost or damaged, that would have been a lot of money gone.

So the answer really comes down to the value of your specific inventory, as well as your own personal peace of mind.

Closing Thoughts on Insurance for Your Antique Booth

We all hope that a tragic event will never happen to our homes or businesses. But if I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that life is unpredictable and sometimes the worst does come.

If your antique booth inventory was damaged, could you recover financially? 

If you have large booth spaces with a lot of higher-end inventory, it could be worth looking into a commercial property insurance policy to cover your items.

Even if you have a small booth space, having insurance coverage on your inventory could offer you peace of mind.

The best place to start though is knowing the actual value of what you have. If you aren’t tracking your inventory costs or what you actually have in stock, you can’t make a good decision about purchasing insurance. 

It’s best to start tracking now so you can decide what sort of protections your business may or may not need.

You may enjoy these other posts about running an antique booth business!

How to Pick the Right Price for Your Antique Booth Items

Ideas for What to Sell Every Month in your Antique Booth

4 Steps to Take your Antique Booth from Hobby to Business

Lost & Found LLC is not an authorized insurance agent or legal expert. Please consult an attorney or insurance agent if you have experienced loss in your business or want more information about commercial insurance coverage. 


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