As photographers and business owners, insurance is a MUST. Between our equipment, liability, renter’s insurance for your studio… there’s a lot of checkmarks you want to make sure you get covered! Don’t worry, there’s no need to get overwhelmed. Our friends at Next Insurance have just the tips you need when looking for photographer’s insurance.
We know that as a professional photographer, you might be expected to go to great lengths to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments that pass in the blink of an eye. When you’re shooting, insurance should be the last thing on your mind. So how do you choose an insurance plan that will let you do your job, without the fear of being hit by a lawsuit or breaking an expensive piece of equipment? Do you need photographer’s insurance?
The array of policies out there can be dizzying. Before I became an Insurance Advisor at Next Insurance – a Silicon Valley insurance technology company dedicated to building easy to use, affordable, and transparent insurance policies – I couldn’t have told you which way was up after reading 50+ pages of legal jargon…..and that’s just a basic “General Liability” policy!
After working in the industry though, I’ve helped hundreds of customers figure out the right coverage for their business, and I’m here to let you know that it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. Depending on your provider, insurance can be faster, fairer, and more reliable than ever before – here are a few things to keep in mind so you get the best coverage for your business at a price that won’t break the bank.
Start with the basics
At Next, we believe that “General Liability” (GL) coverage is the bread-and-butter policy that keeps your business thriving. It’s the core component of most commercial insurance policies, offering coverage for bodily injury and property damage. This is what will protect you from potentially catastrophic claims and lawsuits – the events that you can’t predict or foresee but that have the potential to cost you thousands in medical fees, legal expenses, damage repair, etc. This coverage isn’t just for your benefit, either. The venues and clients that ask for Proof of Insurance usually want to see this kind of coverage before they hire you or allow you to work on their premises.
With even the most basic forms of GL insurance policies, you have options! GL packages often come with different limits of coverage and varying deductibles, and some are even issued on a per-project or short term basis. We offer a General Liability package for our photographers that provides a $1M limit of coverage per occurrence (or for each claim), and a $2M aggregate limit of coverage (or for the entire lifetime of the policy). Ours are annual, since we believe that holding on to insurance long term is best for your business.
Another basic insurance component for Photographers is “Equipment Protection” coverage, also known as “Inland Marine”. While there’s a chance your homeowner’s policy covers your business equipment, it’s important to check if that coverage applies when you’re out on the field. A few things to consider when you are buying “Equipment Protection” coverage are:
- Valuation: does the insurance company replace your equipment with new or used equipment of the same kind? If they cover the cost instead, “Replacement Cost Coverage” will reimburse you or will purchase a new camera to replace the damaged one; “Actual Cash Value” coverage will pay for what the camera was worth (may not be much if it was old).
- At Next Insurance, our policies offer “Replacement Cost Coverage”, which we think is a better bang for your buck.
- Exclusions: what doesn’t the policy cover? Are theft and water damage covered (these are common exclusions, but also common causes of damage – therefore things you might want to have coverage for). What if your laptop is damaged – is there coverage for hardware?
- Our policies cover all causes of equipment damage – including theft and water damage at Next covers ANY accidental damage, theft, and loss worldwide.
- Territory: Where does coverage apply? Some policies will only cover your equipment in your home and/or studio, others will stop coverage if you travel out of state, and most won’t cover losses that happen outside the US.
- The “Equipment Protection” coverage that Next provides is worldwide.
Find an ally
Finally, it’s a myth that insurance is only useful if you have a claim. Find a company that has your best interests at heart as the insured, and you’ll have a powerful ally at your back that can help you win new jobs while pouring your energy where it really matters: building your business.
As a photographer, you probably contract with multiple clients or venues, and you potentially rent equipment from time to time. You’re going to need insurance documents, and you want to make sure you choose a company that can get you those in a timely fashion, without any hidden fees! Next Insurance is the first company to allow you to generate Proofs and Certificates of Insurance all by yourself, in seconds, on our website, even adding venues or clients to your policy without the help of an agent. Some companies will charge you hidden fees to add parties to your policy – Next never will!
Moreover, especially if you’re running a small 1-4 person operation, putting down a lump sum payment for an insurance policy can be tough on the pocketbook. Find a company that has flexible payment options. Here’s a dirty secret about insurance, though: some companies charge a premium if you want to pay in installments. They do this because they can’t invest the money and gain interest on it at the same rate if you do. At Next, you can pay monthly, and there are no added fees – you pay the same as someone who pays the entire amount upfront.
Ready to arm your business and get photographer’s insurance? Get your first quote at Next-Insurance.com, or give us a call at 855-222-5919 to ask about our policies – we’re here and happy to help! Want to learn more about insurance? Check out this blog.
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