Insurance Companies - What do I need covered for my Photography Business?
With the wedding season well under way, concentration on other business
needs is usually put to one side whilst the "real work" is undertaken. But
it is important to make sure that everything is in place otherwise a simple
mistake could prove costly.
At the moment there seems to be a plethora of new Insurance Companies coming onto the market but how good are their products? Will they cover you in the event of claim? Is it really better the devil you know?
When you are looking for your insurance there are a few key things you need to make sure are covered:
Theft from unattended vehicles
Is this covered and is there a restriction on hours? If so, can you work within the limits that are being proposed or can the Insurance Company extend the hours? How much more is the excess and what if you're abroad? What are the terms - does the equipment always need to be in the boot and what happens if it doesn't fit?
Does your policy cover "full theft"? If you put your camera bag down and
someone snatches it, will the insurance pay out or is it violent and
forcible entry/exit cover only? What about on location - do you have to
carry everything around with you at a wedding to be insured? Do you have
cover for water damage? Are there any specific exclusions - things that
Make sure this checks out and ask about the excess too! Some companies claim they have no excess but when you read the small print they don't cover any item under £250 so therefore it would seem reasonable to assume they have an excess of £250!
Does your policy cover you adequately? £2 Million is really the minimum needed now and you will sometimes be asked for £5 Million depending on what you are doing. Is there 3rd party property damage? Is there any excess?
Does your insurance provider offer it and what is the level? Do you think that level will cover you in the event of you going to court, losing and having to pay compensation PLUS all the legal costs? Minimum cover should be £50,000 just in case as anything else may be too low and in some instances you may need significantly more...
Have you asked the Bride and Groom if they are covered? What happens if they
cause an accident that hurts you? Have you got the fee in full in case they
don't turn up? Are they insured for any damage they might cause to YOUR
These are questions that need to be asked BEFORE you have a claim. After all, you don't want your Insurance Company to tell you that you have no cover because you forgot to ask and didn't read all the paperwork! As always, get the reply in writing - even if it is just a simple email. That way, there is no backing out if a claim comes in...
How do I lessen the likelihood of a claim?
There are any number of precautions that you could take, but the simple fact
remains if someone is determined to sue you then nothing will stop them! The
only way of making sure you lessen the "impact" and in turn lessen the
likelihood of a claim proceeding is to have such overwhelming supporting
"evidence" that a claim would be thrown out if it ended up in court.
This means that you need to make sure you keep up to date with all the latest things happening in the industry, from updates / upgrades to your equipment, through regular servicing to training courses on offer and recognition by your Association through a Licentiate or Associate membership. This tells anyone wanting to take a "pop" at you that a panel of leading photographic experts have looked at your work and have judged it to reach a more than acceptable standard - which can also be used as a plus side for you in marketing!
Always make sure any complaint is made in writing to you and that you inform your insurance company straight way! A lot of the time, your Insurers will be able to suggest courses of action for you to take to avoid you being splattered all over the local newspaper and having your reputation ruined - something that might happen even if your clients claim is dismissed!
NEVER admit liability - this could cause problems further down the line if the case was to proceed.
Forewarned is Forearmed
Take the time to consider these things now and they should help if a complaint is received later or you need to make a claim for a piece of equipment. After all, when a claim comes in you want it to be as smooth and as simple as possible...
Call us on 020 3633 2280 for more advice or if you have a specific question.