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Insurance Agents: Know Your Photography & Videography Business Clients

One-Person Photography Shops Ready for Risk Management Guidance

About 60% of photographers were self-employed in 2012

That is a hefty percentage of individuals working for themselves. It means most photo / video professionals don’t have someone to handle financial and risk management matters – they’re flying solo. Translation: there’s big opportunity to provide guidance and insurance for sole proprietors in the photography and videography industries. Because of the increasing availability of high-quality photo / video equipment, professional photographers are seeing demand for their work drop: the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a measly four percent job growth for photographers in the next 10 years. Tell photography clients that they can demonstrate professionalism and stability by purchasing business liability insurance. A Business Owner’s Policy gets a photographer basic commercial coverage for a reasonable price so they can distinguish themselves from their competitors.

Our Happy Agents

I have had fantastic success with the people on the other end of the phone. Melissa Jurcy is one heck of a business partner. Phone calls that begin with ‘Melissa, I need help with …’ usually turn into policies.

- Mike Clauson
Mike Clauson Insurance Agency Agency

Important Insurance Policies for Photographs & Videographers

Photography and videography businesses depend on expensive gear to do their work - from their cameras and office space to their editing software and darkroom equipment. Plus, their projects can take them all over the country - or the world. Considering these unique industry traits, you can start to see the risks your photography or videography client could face. Let's review the insurance policies that can address your client's exposures.

Your client's costly equipment and frequent travel expose them to potential losses. Their interactions with customers and models can be an avenue for liability, too. You can help your client develop a solid risk management plan by suggesting the following policies:

General Liability Insurance

A photo shoot may not seem like the most hazardous of worksites, but accidents can happen anywhere. Your client might scratch a venue's floor while placing a tripod or knock a light stand on a passerby. General Liability Insurance addresses these unavoidable accidents by compensating the injured third party (i.e., anyone that doesn't work for your client) - for damaged property or bodily injuries. Without GL coverage, your client would have to pay out of pocket for property damage, medical expenses, and legal fees if the third party decides to sue.

Property Insurance / Business Owner's Policy

Because your client relies on pricey equipment for their work, Property Insurance is one of the most important policies they can purchase. If your client's gear is stolen or destroyed in a fire at their studio, Property Insurance pays to repair or replace the insured items. It can also cover their business space, furniture, and other supplies. If your client travels quite a bit, they might want to add Inland Marine Insurance to their Property plan. This coverage "floats" with your client's essential assets, protecting them against loss or damage at any location. You might want to check whether your client is eligible for a Business Owner's Policy, or BOP, which bundles together Property and General Liability Insurance. It could save your client some money on their premiums.

Professional Liability / Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance

An unsatisfied customer can make a photographer's life miserable if they decide to sue for negligence. Imagine how angry a bride might be if she requested certain pictures at her wedding but didn't get them. If a customer sues your client, claiming the photographer didn't fulfill contractual obligations, Professional Liability Insurance (aka Errors and Omissions Insurance ) can cover your client's litigation expenses up to their policy limits.

Commercial Auto / Hired & Non-Owned Auto Insurance

Photographers and videographers often drive to different venues for their work. For example, they might travel to a school for picture day, then to a synagogue for a bar mitzvah. If your client drives their personal auto or has vehicles in their business's name, they need Commercial Auto Insurance. Even if they have Personal Auto Insurance, these policies rarely cover business driving. On the other hand, if your client rents or hires vehicles to get around, they'll want Hired & Non-Owned Auto Insurance . This policy also offers your client liability protection if their employees drive personal automobiles for work errands.

Tips for Insuring Photographers & Videographers

One way you can be of service to your clients is to help them lessen their exposure. For example, you might suggest that your clients consider..

Taking proper precautions to protect their equipment.

Using written contracts with every customer.

Investigating photo shoot locations prior to setup.

Backing up memory cards and other digital files.

When you offer advice to your clients, you open their eyes to the exposures they face. Once they know their vulnerabilities, they can make smarter choices about their insurance.

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