What Insurance Do Professional Photographers Need?
Do you photograph weddings or take pictures of graduations? Are you a freelance news photographer or do you own a photography studio? As a professional photographer, you need photography insurance to protect your business.
Photographic mistakes can happen and events can get disrupted when you’re taking pictures. A photographer’s insurance package can be customized to your specific needs to protect you from any risks you may face.
Does your photography business serve corporate, commercial, or private clients in Toronto? Are you in the downtown core or are you located in one of Toronto’s many neighbourhoods?
Do you have photography clients in Scarborough, Etobicoke, North York, York, East York or are you in Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Markham, Newmarket, Orangeville, or Milton?
Wherever your photography business is located in Toronto, Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or anywhere in Ontario, your Western business insurance expert will give you top-notch insurance advice and ways to save on your insurance while being properly protected.
How will photography insurance protect my business?
You could be taking pictures at a wedding or a high school graduation, shooting a family portrait or baby photos, or you could be at a news or sports event. These events are not without potential problems or risks.
A photography insurance package can help protect you from these 3 common claims:
1. You’ve taken pictures at a client’s wedding and key photos don’t have all family members included. Your client is suing you for failure to deliver services.
Professional Liability insurance policy may help cover the lawsuit.
2. A thief breaks into your photography studio, stealing all of your equipment. Your Equipment insurance would help cover the costs to replace your photography equipment.
3. A client who came to your photography studio tripped over an electrical cord to one of your lights and broke her wrist. Your Commercial General Liability coverage could help any uninsured costs to treat her injury.
Showing proof of insurance will give your photo customers confidence that you are a true professional.
Who should get photography insurance?
- Corporate and commercial photographers
- Event/Wedding photographers
- Freelance photographers
- Videographers: You may need a customized policy to insure video cameras
- Food photographers
- Travel photographers
- Drone photographers
- Baby/maternity photographers
How much does photography insurance cost?
The cost of photography insurance will depend on what types of coverage you need based on the type of photography that you do. Not all professional photographers would pay the same monthly or annual rates for insurance coverage.
It’s important to have enough coverage for the type of photography that you do to protect yourself.
The cost also depends on:
- The size of your photography business and number of employees
- Do you have any past claims?
- How long have you been in business
- How much revenue you expect to make in the upcoming year
- What is the value of your equipment
- Where is your photo studio located
- Do you work full-time or part-time as a photographer?
- Do you travel for your photography work?
Here’s an insurance checklist for professional photographers:
- Do you have the best business insurance rate that suits your photography?
- Do you have the right amount for your deductible and regularly review it to make sure it’s the right amount for your photo business?
- Do you know the value of your equipment and is it all properly insured?
- Are you or your employees using personal vehicles for your work?
At Western, we are business insurance experts. We will save you time and money by doing the insurance shopping for you to find the right package at the right value for your photo business.
What do I need in my photography insurance package?
Professional liability insurance
You might also hear this type of insurance called errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.
Professional liability insurance is essential for you as a photographer. A client might not be satisfied with your work and sues you. Could you afford to defend yourself and pay any settlement out of your own pocket?
This type of insurance helps protect you against claims that could involve breach of contract, misconduct, negligence, failure to deliver a promised service, and bad advice.
It will help cover the costs of your legal fees and any settlements that might be reached against you.
Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance
Without commercial general liability insurance (CGL), you would be responsible for paying any liability costs out of your own pocket if a client were to get injured or her property damaged at your photo studio. CGL insurance is also known as “slip-and-fall” insurance.
This type of coverage can also help protect your photography business against allegations of false advertising, libel, or slander.
You need at least $1 million in CGL coverage and it would not be unusual to have $2 million or more in coverage, depending on the type and size of your photo business.
Commercial property insurance
This type of insurance protects your photo studio and helps with the cost of repairing or replacing your commercial property in the event of an accident or natural disaster.
Typically, commercial property insurance covers theft, vandalism, and fire.
You can also add earthquake insurance, sewer backup or flood coverage extensions to protect your business.
Property you may need to insure:
- Buildings and other structures
- Furniture, equipment, supplies
- Documents such as payroll, accounts receivable
Commercial Auto Insurance
If you drive to photo jobs, your photo business needs commercial auto coverage as part of your insurance package. Personal car policies will not cover you or any employees driving to this kind of work.
Cyber Liability Insurance: If your photo business stores your customers’ names, addresses and credit card information digitally and your computer system is hacked, cybercriminals can sell this information on the dark web.
Without cyber insurance, you will have to pay out of your pocket for the cost of restoring your system. You may also be liable for damages to third parties whose information has been stolen and you may have to pay for notification expenses to inform customers affected by a breach.
Do you use a drone in your photography work to take aerial photos?
Drone insurance helps cover you financially if you need to repair or replace any drones you use for your work, or if your drone is stolen.
It can also protect you from third-party property damage or third-party injury while the drone is in use.
Media liability insurance
Media liability insurance provides coverage against allegations of copyright infringement, disparagement, libel, slander, and advertising injury due to errors, omissions, and negligence while gathering, creating, and sharing your photographs.
This coverage could be included in a broader errors and omissions policy. Ask your Western business insurance expert if it does.
This type of insurance is needed to protect you against copyright infringement.
Business interruption insurance
Business interruption insurance can mean the difference between closing and not reopening.
If there is an insured loss at your photo business that’s severe enough to prevent it from being reopened, the expenses associated with getting your business running again will be covered.
This type of policy usually covers vandalism, fire, wind, flooding, and other insured risks.
Your policy will help compensate you for lost income and expenses that you will need to continue paying even while you are unable to work.
Do you work at home as a photographer?
If you operate your photo business/studio from your home, you need to let your insurance provider know.
Some homeowners’ insurance policies will not provide coverage for your home-based business.
Usually, you will need a separate add-on to protect your studio or any equipment you use. You should also have commercial general liability (CGL) coverage if you are seeing your clients at your home for your photo business.
What do I do if my photo business has an insurance claim?
- Contact your broker immediately after any business-related mishap. Waiting to file a claim can confuse insurers about the severity of the damages to your business.
- Know your policy so that when you contact your broker you are familiar with what will be covered or not.
- Document the damage. Take photos right away and write down what happened.
- Do not throw away damaged goods after taking photos. Keep the physical evidence so that your adjustor can see it.
- Do not invite lawsuits. Don’t say anything that could be used against you, especially if you aren’t sure what happened.
- Be honest about what your damaged property is worth. Damaged commercial property is generally valued according to its actual cash value or replacement value.
Western Insurance has licensed BUSINESS INSURANCE EXPERTS to get your photography business the right insurance package. Our experts are available now to help you navigate the business insurance journey to protect your photo business.
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