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Robbie Hoye

By: Robbie Hoye on September 9th, 2022

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Are Yard Sales Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

Individuals & Families | Home Insurance

Whether you are moving or simply trying to get rid of some clutter around the house, yard sales are great ways for homeowners to make some room around the house and hopefully a little money as well!

If you’re planning on holding a yard sale soon, you may be wondering how your homeowners insurance policy would cover such an event. 

Berry Insurance is experienced in providing our clients with the right insurance coverage for any event held at home. In this article we’ll review how your homeowners insurance would cover yard sales and the best ways to limit any potential claims. 

How yard sale insurance risks are covered

Any yard or garage sales being held on your property would usually be covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy, in the case of any potential claims. As the restrictions between carriers can vary, it is best to check with your insurance agent or provider about any restrictions regarding holding a yard sale on your property. 

Most carriers will allow coverage on any claims arising from yard sales that are one-time events, but could treat any frequently held sales at a different standard. If a homeowner is consistently holding sales on their property, they may need to look into purchasing a separate home-based business or commercial policy, depending on foot traffic, to receive proper coverage. 

If you’re looking to set up shop at home, make sure you’re protected the right way. Check out this article for everything you need to know about home-based business coverage: Are Home-Based Businesses Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Yard sale insurance risks:

Beyond no customers wanting to purchase your complete VHS collection, other yard sale issues could make a fun weekend activity into a risky insurance nightmare. 

Liability concerns: 

Any event where you are willingly inviting strangers onto your property will open you up to potential liability risks. Homeowners who are not acting responsibly or making sure the sale area is safe for customers, could cause claims if anyone is injured on their property while trying to shop. Anything from tripping over merchandise and hurting themselves to getting bit by your dog could lead to liability claims on your policy. 

Theft: 

While you’re likely looking to get rid of most of the sale items anyway, potential theft or vandalism at a yard sale could limit your product and end up costing you more. Being vigilant and having everything you’re selling and money collected within eyeshot can hopefully limit any would-be thieves from ruining your sale and making you file a theft claim. 

Storm damage: 

Holding a yard sale on the wrong day could leave you scrambling to protect your items for sale from any freak storms. Keeping track of weather conditions on the day of the yard sale or purchasing tents or covers can be the best way to protect your products. This is especially important if you are selling any electrical equipment. 

Tips to limit claims:

While your homeowners insurance policy is designed to cover you in the event of having to file a claim, it’s best to limit the risks at your next yard sale. Follow these tips to help you put together a safer sale for you and your customers. 

  • Set-up merchandise in an organized manner on sturdy tables, making sure to eliminate any potential tripping hazards. 
  • Keep all dogs and pets indoors during the yard sale, as even the friendliest dogs can become territorial with multiple strangers on your property.
  • Repair any loose railings or cracked concrete that could be a possible hazard for customers
  • Never be the only one selling, having a friend or family member with you to keep track of items and help customers. 
  • Do not sell any dangerous items. 
  • Help customers carry or move any larger items purchased to their car. 
  • Hold yard sales on weekends with nice weather, making sure to have sale times clearly listed. 
  • If it is a hot day, try to set up under a shaded area or have water available for customers. 

Being prepared for a yard sale

Being organized and responsible when setting up products for a yard sale can help to create a safer environment for customers, and hopefully drum up more business for your sale. 

If you are instead not ready to let go of some items but still need to make some room in your home, we recommend looking into storage units to store any extra belongings. Check out this article to know more about how your homeowners policy covers storage units: How Insure Property in Storage/a Temporary Location with Home Insurance.