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Often a form of insurance is needed to cover any liability. This varies within and between countries considerably.

Often a liability release form is needed, which someone must sign before entering an area or using tools that are a safety concern. Feel free to use this Release of Liability form.

North America[edit]

United States[edit]

Based on mailing list discussions (see below), hackerspaces have purchased insurance as low as $324/year (MakersLocal, Alabama[1]) to $2500+/year [2].


Indianapolis, IN "Club Cyberia" hackerspace obtained Liability and Property insurance though Insurance Associates. $1,000,000 liability and $10,000 property for around $540/yr.

Contact information:
Christopher G. Conley, CPA
Phone: 317-596-2761
7255 North Shadeland Ave, Suite B
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Note: He can only quote insurance for people and companies in the state of Indiana.

Defining Yourself[edit]

  • Use common sense and google to check out the category agents use to define your hackerspace. They will often take shortcuts and pick the first description which almost matches. Dump any agents who want to do this, they just want to make a quick sale. It will only cause you pain in the long run. Dallas Makerspace had their policy cancelled because of this.
    • It's best if the agent completely understands your business, then calls the underwriter to verify they are classifying correctly.
  • One of the big problems Makers Local 256 had when looking for insurance was explaining what we are to the insurance provider. Insurance companies seemed only comfortable with something that already had a template in their computer system. Explaining that we were a non-profit that made things but did not sell things really threw them for a loop. Eventually Maker's Local found an insurance agency that classified it as a Hobby Shop, which the insurance agents are used to. --Omegix 14:43, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Dallas Makerspace was told the following: "That isn’t correct... A “hobby shop” isn’t a makerspace it is a retail store that sells supplies to make hobbies. See definition of hobby shop from Hartford’s class guide: This classification applies to risks engaged in the sale of scale-model kits, craft kits, science kits, craft tools, art tools, and finishing materials. Publications related to these items are also sold. Baseball card shops are not eligible. Risks that sell toys and games with incidental sales of hobby & models are classed as 59511 - Toy Store."
  • Arclight Hackerspace
  • Dallas Makerspace was categorized: "Clubs-Civic, service or social" class code #41668

Types of Insurance[edit]

General Liability - Covers accidents resulting in bodily injury or property damage, which in turn led to demands for compensation by the victims. A scenario I repeatedly got from insurance agents was: If a visitor slips and falls, this insurance will pay the costs of defending yourself and paying settlements.

  • This type of insurance was required by our lease.
  • It probably would not cover someone cutting off their arm while using a saw at your hackerspace. You may need operations liability insurance for that. Operations liability will cover: accidents "arising out of an organization’s ongoing or current operations or work (in a plant, at a jobsite, etc)"

Commercial Property - This type of insurance covers your belongings in case of theft, fire, and vandalism.

  • It may not cover theft by members.
  • Dallas Makerspace was required to have a burglar alarm for theft coverage (or reasonably priced theft coverage).



United Kingdom[edit]


Mailing List Links[edit]

This is pretty much everything discussed on the mailing lists about insurance, and it only applies to the United States, and to some extent, Canada.

Make sure you click "Previous/Next Message", because not all messages are captured in the same threads for some reason.

  • Hackerspace legal formation and insurance [3]
  • US liability insurance recommendations?[4]
  • May 2010 Hackerspace legal formation and insurance (two separate threads). Several discussions, with several messages missing from the cumulative threads: [5]
  • Insurance Recommendations for a US-based space?[7]

Other Links[edit]

Personal tools