Today I closed my on-line basket selling business at Etsy.com. It is a sad day but I had to make that decision.
Last week, I bought a new car and phoned my insurance broker at the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) to advise them of this. During the conversation, I was asked if there were any other insurance issues I wanted to talk about. I mentioned I was looking for General Liability Insurance for when I sell baskets at trade shows for anywhere from 12 to 20 days a year. I also mentioned that I also sold on-line. This was the straw that was to break the camels back. OTIP stated the insurance company I was with would no longer be able to continue to offer me house insurance because of that on-line business! Though I explained that my sales were not huge by any means, perhaps 40 sales to US customers in the main since the date I opened the on-line store in March 2009, my exposure to potential liability issues was too much for the broker and the insurance company.
After a night of reflection and an assessment of the pros and cons of continuing to put in a lot of time and effort into the Etsy store, and an evaluation of the returns made through the one, two or three sales of baskets per month on Etsy, I decided the cost, of losing my house insurance, was too high. I called OTIP and told them I would close my on-line store if it resulted in the re-instatement of my house insurance. I was asssured this would happen.
I am still waiting for confirmation of this. I am also waiting for information about adding "event insurance" to cover me when I take part in craft shows. One craft show requires me to have $2 million in general liability insurance for the six days of the show.