Insurance and Finance

Yard sale or weekend liability?

By Lisa Martin 5.27.15

A simple Saturday yard sale can turn into anything but simple if someone gets injured on your property while shopping. According to attorneys Paul Marable and John Stephens of the Texas Farm Bureau legal department, liability arising from an occasional garage sale would be covered under most homeowners policies. A typical policy provides both liability protection from resulting claims as well as the cost of a legal defense in the event of a lawsuit.

Moreover, most policies also have medical payments coverage to reimburse any visitor for medical bills incurred resulting from injuries on the insured’s premises. While this coverage pays without regard to fault, the limits are typically lower.

Keep visitors safe during your tag or garage sale by taking the following proactive measures:

  • Trim tree branches and other shrubbery.
  • Seal cracks in the driveway with patching materials or fillers.
  • When using ladders to hang items like clothing, make sure to set them on a level surface. Don’t ever use a ladder that’s broken.
  • Arrange toys, books, and other smaller items on tables if possible.
  • Rope off any area of your garden or yard with holes, which are an invitation for a twisted ankle or a tumble.
  • Set up an entertainment area for young children outfitted with blocks, toys, and maybe even a video. Preventing them from getting bored can limit the likelihood of little ones running into the street or inadvertently bumping into older shoppers, causing them to stumble.


Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation.  © 2015 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance