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Advice needed - candle insurance

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  • Advice needed - candle insurance

    Hey guys! New to this forum so apologies if this question has already been answered - I looked around and couldn't find a direct answer / advice to my question below.

    I'm about to start selling scented candles online (I've been making them for years for my own use / gifts for family & friends and only just got around to making a small business out of it) - I have a full-time job, this is just a 'bit on the side' and I don't anticipate selling more than a few dozen annually, for a turnover of no more than £1-2k / year (and profit of considerably less ).

    I've set up as a sole trader, and accepted that I definitely need craft insurance (for public & product liability) in the event that someone accuses me / my product of causing e.g. a house fire, injury (or worse) to someone. I have 2 main questions here:
    • Am I being foolish in not setting up as a limited company to protect myself in the scenario highlighted above, or is craft insurance enough of a solution here?
    • I've read that you remain liable for products you've sold for 10 years after the purchase date. Let's say I trade for 2 years then stop - but someone has an accident with a candle I sold 5 years from now - I probably won't have insurance at that point, and certainly don't want to be liable for hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage. I can't be the first to have thought about this - is there a more elegant solution than losing sleep for years after you've sold your last candle?
    Thanks in advance all - any advice or insights appreciated!

    Ben

  • #2
    Hi Ben and welcome to the crafts Forum.

    I would have a word with your insurance company if you have any doubts, but almost every craft maker I know trade as Sole Traders not limited companies. I can't imagine that once you stopped trading you would be liable for your product, Obviously you need to ensure that every candle you sell has the legal warnings printed on a securely attached label. Most candle fires are down to misuse and not following the guidelines set down by law and printed on your product. Allergens should be covered by the ingredients on the label as some may be allergic to EO's for example. I think the law is ware you can't be covered for stupidity by the end user.

    Good luck with your mall business, look forward to seeing some of your creations.

    Mo.XX
    Mo. Bodrighy Wood.
    Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage..Lao Tzu.
    www.bodrighy.co.uk
    https://twitter.com/#!/AuntieMornie

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    • #3
      Hi Ben, can’t see why you would need to be a limited company especially if you don’t intend to sell very many. Your craft insurance would be £1M indemnity at least, mine is £5M, most are.
      As long as you have followed the requirements set out by Trading Standards ( first port of call regardless, they may be able to clarify the 10 year claim question or your insurers will) then there shouldn’t be any question if there was an incident as long as you have met your insurers requirements too.
      Like Mo said, you can’t insure against stupidity...If there was a claim made against you and you were insured, I definitely would reinsure if the case was still pending after your insurance expired although the incident happened during you insured period.

      Dave

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      • #4
        Hey guys,

        This is so helpful, thanks so much

        I called my insurer and they confirmed that, provided I was insured on the date the candle was sold, any accidents or claims arising after my policy end date would still be covered (they said that's simply how Product Insurance works...otherwise businesses across all industries would need to be insured for life). Common sense when you think about it, but something I'd rather be sure of before selling anything.

        As an aside, I called my local Trading Standards office and they weren't able to give me any advice...whatsoever. The agent didn't seem to know any specifics around candle making, sort of confirmed I wouldn't need a license of any sort, and then put me through to Planning for some reason(). So, I'm assuming there's nothing else I need to do there - but do let me know if your local Trading Standards told you anything different?

        So, with my products made, insurance covered, and knowing where online I want to sell my creations - is there anything I'm missing? Mo talked about the labels - I found this super useful resource:

        https://www.craftovator.co.uk/candle...-for-candles-/

        You guys obviously know your stuff, so if it sounds like I'm missing anything let me know. Thanks again for all your help

        Best,
        Ben

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