Sponsored by The PackageChoice Team at Hill & Usher
If you’re like most photographers, you prefer to spend most of your time promoting your work, chasing new leads for assignments or just creating beautiful imagery. But the fact is almost any type of photography project you work on could potentially end up in a lawsuit. It’s why insurance tailored to your career as a photographer is so important.
We spoke with Hill & Usher, who offers a specialty Package Choice plan to photographers and videographers, about the most common mistakes in insuring an imaging business.
1) You own your own home and have homeowners insurance to cover your business.
This is a common misconception—sometimes furthered by uninformed insurance agents who make promises your insurance carrier may not keep. Just because you work from home does not mean you are insured. If you use your camera equipment in a business, chances are your homeowners policy won't cover that equipment. And even if it did, the cost of professional equipment often exceeds the limit of your homeowners insurance. While the cost of adequately covering camera equipment alone is a great reason for owning a policy geared for pro photographers, homeowners insurance will not cover common situations faced by small business owners: no coverage for a structured used for business detached from the main home; liability for invited guests visiting for business; computer data or image loss; lost income if you cannot operate after a major weather event or fire damages your property; and Errors & Omissions.
2) You don’t think you need additional coverage because your gear is always well protected and never out of sight.
While it’s true that equipment claims may exceed the number of General Liability claims, insurers are seeing more photography-related accidents, where customers are hurt or property is damaged. So, it’s not just about protecting your equipment. It’s also about protecting yourself from accidents that occur on the job. That’s when you need commercial General Liability insurance. It provides extensive protection that covers premises-operations, products-completed operations, personal injury and advertising liability. Keep in mind that when you hire an assistant for a shoot, you should carefully consider coverage for injuries he or she sustains while on the job. Workers Compensation may be warranted.
3) You are personally insured, but you work with a team and assume you are covered for errors caused others.
If you’re this type of photographer, you’ll want to consider an Errors & Omissions (E&O) plan through PackageChoice. If you hire staff members or assistants who make an error while on a shoot, you’ll be covered with most PackageChoice Errors & Omissions plans. If a customer challenges the quality of your work or your overall professional performance, you’ll be covered for this, which is great “sleep insurance.”
Additionally, if you’re a wedding photographer and you’re working at a large venue, the bride and groom or facility owner may ask you for "proof of insurance." What they’re requesting is something called a Certificate of Insurance, which proves you have an insurance policy. But Certificates of Insurance aren’t always simple and straightforward. Venues today require more than a simple proof of insurance. They want to be named on your policy as Additional Insureds; sometimes they require $2,000,000 or more in Liability limits; other times they require a Waiver of Subrogation. What’s important about being insured by an insurance agency that has a tailored plan for photographers, like Hill & Usher, is that they can accommodate your special needs. They will typically turn around such a proposal request in about 24 hours. And, with Hill & Usher, you will have selections of policies to address your greatest insurance concerns; in fact, you can move from one policy to another as your business grows or changes. Not all plans allow such quick turnaround or flexibility.
For more detailed information on insurance for photographers, videographers and media professional, go to www.packagechoice.com.