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19th October 2019 GMT

Shooting and short term contract abroad and the insurance you should carry

aadukiThere are lots of potential dangers when undertaking work abroad depending on what you are doing. Differing rules on liability and indemnity apply across differing countries and although you think you might be covered no matter what you should consider some key points before agreeing to do that commission.

Taking pictures to sell later

If you are travelling away and are going to be taking pictures of landscapes, architectural or resort with a view to selling them when you get back home you shouldn't have a problem. Essentially, you are a "tourist" with a nice camera and are not going to your destination with a view to working. Just be careful what you take pictures of though - for example in Greece if you take pictures of ANYTHING considered military you could be arrested, charged and imprisoned - this can be anything from the airport you got off the plane at. Remember, professional looking cameras will make you look like you are a professional!

Working on a commission

You have met the client, bride and groom or commercial customer and agreed to undertake the work. You have signed contracts and booked your flight tickets and are all ready to go! Did you apply for a Visa? After all, you ARE working and if you are travelling outside of the EEA (European Economic Area which is the EU plus Iceland, Lichtenstein, Switzerland and Norway) then you will need official permission PLUS there may be tax implications in the local country. These rules in certain territories are designed for a reason - to protect local jobs. After all, you wouldn't be pleased if you lost a commission to an American photographer who flew into the country on a tourist visa would you?

Having the right insurance

It is not just about making your equipment, liability and indemnity are insured - remember there is your health too! Make sure your policy has a "working" element in it. If not, you could find should the worse happen, that you are left uninsured and then have to pay potentially thousands of pounds to be brought back to the UK or to be allowed to leave the country! A few extra pounds spent on your travel insurance could solve this. Also, if you buy travel insurance as an individual you have to pay Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) at the rate of 20% - the same as VAT. If however, you buy it for yourself as a business, then generally the cover is better plus the tax is limited to 6% IPT - potentially introducing a saving! You will still be able to use this cover for your holidays too and could have a "Group" policy which covers the whole family individually and altogether too!

Public Liability and Professional Indemnity

This cover on a standard policy SHOULD cover you for work abroad (it does with Aaduki) BUT you need to be aware that either EU or England & Wales law applies - this means if you have a claim in somewhere you like Canada the claimant would need to sue you in the EU - suing you in Canada would be no good as the law applicable there would not count!

If you want cover for these areas you would need to buy a specific policy that covers you for those areas and to be covered under those laws and that can be VERY expensive! It is usually a specialised policy and premiums start at around £700 for individual trips so it is worth being careful if you are away!

I insure on my household - can I buy short term equipment cover?

Yes you can from Aaduki. There are caveats though - you would need to insure your health cover with us for us to provide equipment cover - we would want the whole trip to be insured you see. Further details are available from us on 01737 735050 - this isn't dealt with by our main office. You should also be aware that this isn't a cheap option - sometimes it is worth thinking about insuring for the full 12 months as a better option.

What should I remember?

If you are going to be working away, here are some handy tips to think about. Remember, each situation is different so this won't cover every eventuality but will give you pointers in the right direction...

1) Is my commission from a UK based individual / company?

If not, then think carefully before accepting it. If something goes wrong, they are liable to sue you in their local country and that could be expensive for you to defend!

2) Have I applied for a work Visa?

Check to see if you need one. It could be very embarrassing if you are turned back at the airport as you do not have the correct documentation. Remember, your insurance cover says you have a "duty of care" to make sure everything is ok - no visa when one is required could invalidate your insurance cover!

3) Health Insurance

Make sure you have purchased adequate Travel Insurance and it covers you for working EVEN if you are just taking pictures with the intention of selling them once you get home. Better to be overprotected than not at all...

4) Equipment Insured

Make sure your equipment is covered. What happens if something goes wrong when you are in the middle of your work? Can you hire on your policy to keep going? Have you packed it sufficiently well and not rolled it up in a towel in your suitcase? Do you need to tell your Insurance Provider that you are working abroad?

5) Check local customs and rules

Make sure you are not going to take pictures of things that are forbidden. Is the equipment safe to take? Is there a customs charge from the country if you take the equipment in? Is there anything you should avoid taking pictures of?

As with everything a little time spent on research BEFORE you leave can save heartache later. If in doubt then get professional advice...

Call us on 020 3633 2280 for more advice or if you have a specific question.

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