Accident or injury on the job to you or someone you might hire can do more than ruin a shoot. It could bankrupt you. Fortunately, photographers can insure themselves against accidents, injuries, theft and others types of loss. We asked Karen Stetz, who brokers insurance for APA members, what coverage she recommends for photographers. (Advice from other brokers may vary; ask your trade association about the insurance packages they offer.)
PDN: What kinds of insurance should photographers have to protect themselves and their businesses?
Karen Stetz: I usually recommend the Business Owners’ Package policy that includes the following:
$2 million to $4 million limit—General Liability coverage that protects them throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Many building landlords, golf courses and even some churches require photographers to carry adequate limits of general liability insurance. Imagine someone tripping over one of your loose electrical cords, or colliding with one of your light stands. Medical expenses for any bodily injury resulting from accidents caused by you (or anyone working under your direction) are your legal responsibility. General liability insurance protects you against those claims, and also pays to replace property that you or someone under your direction might damage, whether the property belongs to a client, a location landlord or other member of the general public.
$1 million limit—Hired/non-owned Auto Coverage. If your business is incorporated and you use your own automobile, you have employees who use their vehicles on your behalf or you frequently rent automobiles, this coverage is vitally important. Your employee’s routine drive to the photo lab or the bank could have serious financial repercussions for you and your business if your employee causes an accident. Hired/Non-owned Automobile Liability is an easy addition to your policy, and with a standard limit of $1,000,000, it will go far in protecting you against accident victims seeking “deeper pockets.” This coverage is in addition to general liability coverage.
By David Walker
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