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If you own a good camera and a range of equipment then it’s essential that you have the correct insurance to protect you in case of accidents, theft or other problems that can arise. This is especially important if you are working with clients or at venues because many of them will not want to work with you unless you are properly insured.
Insurance is not the most exciting thing that you have to worry about as a photographer or videographer but it can save your business or reputation down the line! So taking the time to understand what you really need and why will put you in a position to be able to handle whatever life throws at you and your business.
Getting World Class Insurance For Your Digital Camera and Equipment – Why Do You Need Insurance?
There are three main reasons why you need insurance as a working photographer. It’s critical to cover yourself because if you don’t you could be put out of business and lose everything!
- Equipment Loss or Damage: As a photographer you rely on the tools of your trade to be able to work and create the finished products that you are paid for doing. Insurance can cover the cost of damage or loss of equipment and in some cases it can also provide the funds for you to rent short term replacements which means you can still complete any upcoming work you had scheduled without letting your clients down.
- Medical Costs and Injury Insurance: When you’re on set, in your studio or at an event, accidents can and do happen! If, for instance, a client is injured by falling over one of your tripods then your insurance can cover the costs of their medical care.
- To Cover Lawsuits: Working as a professional photographer means that you may find yourself in a situation where you are being sued, even if it’s not your fault. Professional liability insurance can help to cover the costs of your lawsuit so that you can defend yourself and your professional reputation with proper legal support.
What Types of Insurance Does a Photographer Need?
Professional Liability Insurance:
Also known as Indemnity or Errors and Omissions; Professional Liability Insurance will protect you in the case that your client is unhappy with the work you have done. It can also protect you if your client says that you did not deliver the results that they believe were agreed to. The important thing to realize is that Professional Liability Insurance actually protects you whether or not the client is right; whether the error is only the perception of your client or whether it is true.
Instances when you would be protected by Professional Liability Insurance include any unforeseen events that stop you completing a contract, such as a fire destroying your studio and preventing you delivering the photos on time. It can also protect you if a client wishes to cancel the contract after the event because they claim that you forgot to include a specific detail in a photo shoot. The insurance will allow you to recover lost income that may have occurred as a result of court cases or legal actions.
It’s always a good idea to make sure that you have this type of insurance so that you can work safely without having to worry about misperceptions and lawsuits that could easily put you out of business!
General Liabilities Insurance.
This is a vital insurance to have because it protects you or your company in case of any property damage or physical injuries. It also protects you against libelous slander and defamation so you can protect your reputation. Most venues and many corporate events require you to have General Liabilities Insurance to work with them.
Physical Injuries: If somebody trips over your equipment while you’re at an event, or even in your own studio, they may try to sue you for damages. General liability insurance will pay for their medical costs as well as any associated legal costs that may be incurred.
Slander, Libel and Defamation: Sometimes you may be working with celebrities or high profile individuals and if for any reason they bring a case against you or your business you’ll be protected from the costs of lawsuits, including settlements, that may follow.
Property Damage: This refers to the property of your client, not your own equipment, and will cover you in case there is an accident. For instance, if you were taking photos in a client’s house and accidentally knocked over and broke a vase, you’d be covered for the costs of replacing it!
Business Property Insurance.
If you’re setting up a business then General Liability Insurance will not be enough. You’ll also need to look into the available Business Owner’s Policies which will protect the equipment and property that you own and use in a professional capacity; as opposed to the property that your client’s own (as in the case of General Liability Insurance).
This will cover the costs of damage to your cameras, property and equipment that is used for your business. The insurance is broad and covers most eventualities. If you lose vital data, like stored photos on your external hard drive, then the insurance will cover the costs of data recovery. If you also broke your external hard drive, by dropping it for instance, then you could also claim for that. It also covers the costs of accidents caused by clients, such as a light being knocked over in your studio, to be repaired or replaced.
Electronic Data Loss Insurance.
In the modern world you are bound to be working, at least in part, online. This insurance covers you in case you lose electronic data but it also gives you full E-commerce coverage and can assist you with any costs associated with your computer that prevents you from working. This is vital and will help you get back on your feet and working as fast as possible without having to incur the costs of computer repair, help with sorting out a hack on your E-commerce site or restoring lost data.
As a general rule Electronic Data Loss Insurance is an upgrade from the Business Owner’s Policy which will usually cover you up to about $10,000; but with the upgraded policy you can expect coverage of up to $25,000 or more.
Commercial Automobile Insurance.
If you need to drive a lot for your work, which is likely if you are a photographer, then you will want to have good coverage to pay for any repairs, break down services and other driving related problems that may occur. It should be noted that these policies only protect you for work related driving and not in a personal capacity.
Photography and Videography Insurance for Freelancers and Businesses.
Every professional photographer or videographer has a unique working life and so the correct insurance policy will also need to be tailored to your specific needs. Most insurance companies can offer you a range of pre-packaged options but you can also create a highly personalized policy; which is certainly advisable. This will ensure that you are only paying for services and coverage that you really need and make sure that you are protected in any situation that could conceivable arise in the course of your work.
There are some home insurance policies which may cover some aspects of your photography business, particularly if you work from home, but it’s always worth checking with them to find out the specifics of your current policy. However, you will probably be better served by opting for a specialized Business Insurance plan.
It’s extremely important that you insure your photography and videography equipment because without it you cannot work! You’ve more than likely spent a good deal of money on your camera and equipment, with reasonable cameras starting at $1000 or more, and so it’s unlikely that you will want to pay for it to be replaced should tragedy strike!
Many venues will only work with photographers who have General Liability Insurance to protect themselves, and you, from any accidents that might occur during the event.
Incorporate Insurance Costs into Your Business Pricing Structure.
The cost of insurance is very small when it’s spread out over the year and when compared to the instant costs that an accident, a lawsuit or the loss of data can cause you it’s always going to be prudent to be fully covered.
The costs of insurance should be calculated as part of your pricing structure so that you don’t bear the costs directly and it is taken from the revenue of your business. This will allow you to always keep your business secure and your equipment safe, even if the worst happens.
What types of insurances do you have for your photography business?
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