Photography is an art form, but making a career of it depends on a series of business decisions. As a photographer, your primary goal is to deliver high-quality products to your clients every time. But taking pictures, meeting with clients, planning shoots, and storing your equipment comes with many variables that aren’t easy to control. Photography business insurance can help protect you against financial damages from lawsuits involving injury, destruction of property, or professional negligence. Before you point and shoot, be sure to brush up on these four reasons why photographers need business insurance from CoverHound.
Protecting Your Property
You’ve undoubtedly invested a lot of your hard-earned money back into your business by purchasing the gear you need to do the job. Commercial property insurance covers loss and damage related to disasters ranging from fires to wind storms, vandalism and theft, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. It would be very difficult to continue doing your job if your equipment or premises were to sustain significant damage, so property insurance offers business interruption coverage to keep you afloat financially during the resulting downtime. In a similar vein, photographers who store client data online or depend on the Internet to do business should consider taking out a cyber policy to cover business interruption in the face of a data breach.
Many small business owners choose to take out a business Owners Policy that bundles property insurance with general liability insurance, which we will discuss next.
In Case of Accident or Injury
General liability insurance pays for damages (up to your policy’s limits) if your photography business is found liable for injury that occurs on your premises. It also covers damages if someone sues you for property damage or data loss. The third area it covers is advertising injury, like libel, slander, and copyright infringement. What starts out as a routine photo shoot in your studio can quickly become a lawsuit if a client sustains an injury. You may need to purchase an excess policy for additional protection, per the Insurance Information Institute (III).
In Case You Make a Mistake
If a client feels that you have not delivered to the terms of your contract, they can sue. Say you’re halfway through a wedding when your memory card malfunctions, or a misunderstanding with the client leads to you arriving to the event at the wrong time and missing the crucial shots. Professional liability insurance covers covers claims pertaining to negligence, faulty advice, and misrepresentation. The III asks: “Could your counsel or service lead to losses by your client for which you could be held responsible?” If the answer is yes, you’ll need to purchase professional liability coverage (also called errors and emissions or E&O).
Consider this recent case near Los Angeles that resulted in a lawsuit against one wedding photographer. My News LA reports that a married couple is suing the owner of the photography studio they hired to shoot their wedding, claiming she delivered the images months late and in poor condition. Their lawsuit alleges breach of contract, negligence, fraud, and misrepresentation on the part of the photographer.
For Driving on the Job
You might assume your personal car insurance policy has you covered, but that’s not always the case. If you drive to off-site shoots or client meetings, commercial auto insurance can help cover damaged property costs and medical bills relating to an unfortunate auto accident. As the Law Tog advises, check local, state, and federal laws to see if and how much liability auto insurance is required where you live, and consider exceeding the minimum to protect yourself on the road.