Photography Insurance: Coverage For The Creative
What is Photography Insurance?
While photography is fun, it is by no means a risk-free endeavor. The risks associated with professional photography can come in the form of your camera and other equipment getting damaged, and lawsuits from unhappy customers. Photography insurance covers such future uncertainties.
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Why is Photography Insurance Important?
According to IBIS World, the photography industry employed around 229,405 people in the US. Photography insurance helps protect you and your business from third-party claims of property damage or bodily injury, in addition to other types of lawsuits. Wedding photographers especially get slammed with lawsuits on the grounds of not taking quality pictures or failing to capture the perfect moment.
If you or your business uses a copyrighted image or video without proper permission, you could face expensive lawsuits for copyright infringement. As per Copyright Alliance, a point often overlooked is that the owners of the copyrighted media are entitled to statutory damages, which can easily add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Since copyright infringement is a serious and expensive claim, many business insurance carriers provide coverage for such situations. While photography insurance may not directly assist in claims of copyright infringement, policies included in a photography insurance package — such as commercial general liability and errors & omissions — do provide coverage. These policies can cover ‘advertisement injury’ claims, which can include copyright infringement if you accidentally use copyrighted images/videos in your advertisements.
Who Needs Photography Insurance?
- Professional photographers
- Professional videographers
- Photo studios
What Policies Are Included?
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
A business owners policy is a suitable insurance policy for small to medium-sized businesses. It is important to realize that, it is a bundle insurance policy that includes commercial property insurance, general liability insurance, and business interruption insurance. If you own a photo studio, you will need a BOP since it covers your business’s property and liability risks.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance covers losses that arise from property damage, whether caused by a natural disaster or covered perils such as theft or vandalism. Generally, this policy is bundled with a BOP. So, if you don’t have a BOP, you will need commercial property insurance for your photography business.
Business Interruption (BI) Insurance
Business interruption insurance will safeguard you from losing income if your business is forced to shut down temporarily. For example, if your studio catches fire, you will have to shut down for the studio repairs. A BI insurance policy will cover the loss of income faced due to the fire damage.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance is a must-have if you own and use vehicles for business purposes such as traveling to outdoor work locations. The policy provides coverages against losses caused by vehicle-related accident damages, injuries, theft, and vandalism.
Professional Liability Insurance
A professional liability insurance policy protects professionals from losses that arise due to negligence or inaccurate advice. It is specifically necessary for photojournalists or photography institutes to protect them against malpractice.
Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O)
E&O insurance is an add-on to professional liability coverage. E&O protects you from losses that stem from mistakes in official documents. Photographers who frequently work on a contract basis will need this policy. E&O insurance can protect them from potential lawsuits due to errors or omissions. Furthermore, clients are well within their right to sue you if your services are inadequate or not up to the promised standards. In such cases, E&O insurance will protect you and your business.
Cyber Liability Insurance
Commercial cyber liability insurance protects your business from losses caused by digital threats arising from cyberattacks. This insurance is a part of photography insurance that protects your digital assets such as image files, video footage, and related documents in case of a data breach or loss. A majority of photography and videography businesses store their work data on their computers, in the cloud, and on servers. In order to protect this important data, having a cyber liability insurance policy is necessary.
Inland Marine Insurance
Professional photography and videography setups require expensive equipment such as cameras, lights, stands, harnesses, and more. Inland marine insurance will cover these assets during the transportation from one location to another.
For example, this policy will pay to repair or replace your camera equipment if it gets damaged in a car accident. In most cases, a specialized version of inland marine insurance, known as camera equipment insurance, is used for the photography industry.
Standard Exclusions You Need to Consider
- Hazardous location exclusions: If you provide your services in dangerous locations and scenarios, such as the wilderness or war-torn states, your standard insurance might not provide enough coverage. Therefore, you need to have more coverage for such scenarios.
- Third-party property exclusions: Photography insurance does not cover third-party equipment that you have rented or taken in for repairs. In these cases, you will need to get the appropriate third-party coverages.
- Wear-and-tear exclusions: Your photography insurance policy will cover the damages to your equipment. However, it might not provide coverage for standard wear-and-tear of equipment due to prolonged use. Personal expenses or product warranty covers such damages.
How Much Does Photography Insurance Cost?
There is no standard rate for photography insurance. Thus, every policy is dependent upon specific factors. Some of the factors are as follows:
- The equipment you operate
- The number of employees
- The business model
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