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Photographers & Videographers

 

Business Contents

This is called a lot of different things by Insurance people, but we’re talking about your stuff, your gear… All of the things you use to run your business. Cameras, computers, desks, lighting equipment, stock, it can also include leasehold improvements – changes or alterations you’ve made to a space. It’s sometimes phrased as contents of every description.

This type of coverage is usually subject to a deductible, commonly $1000. The deductible is the amount of the claim the you agree to pay first. It helps ensure that frivolous claims aren’t put through and keeps premiums low. So if someone steals your $1000 dollar laptop, you’d have to pay $1000 to file the claim, which you of course wouldn’t do. However, if someone stole you’re $5000 lens, you’d pay the first $1000, and the insurance company would pay $4000. You’d probably want to claim that.

Again, we’re mainly concerned with fire, theft. Importantly this isn’t a warranty plan, it doesn’t cover “at-fault damage”, or damage resulting from the actions of you or your employees. If you drop a camera, or if you leave a window open and it rains…. soaking a bunch of your gear, that’s not covered.

This coverage can be a requirement if you’re renting gear. And your personal policy isn’t sufficient. Personal insurance won’t respond to commercial claims. SO you go into your local rental shop, and they make you sign a rental agreement. Part of that agreement is that you have liability insurance and enough property insurance for whatever you’re renting. You say great! I have condo insurance which will cover this. NO, not great. Your condo insurance won’t cover claims from business use.

Theft is the biggie here obviously. It can take seconds for someone to grab and expensive camera or lens. They can also be stolen out of a car or if you’re loading your gear into a venue. Delany wife story.

So it’s important to keep that car locked…. but it’s also important to have theft coverage just in case.

 

Liability

There are two main types of liability insurance photographers and videographers should have; commercial general liability (CGL) and Tenants legal liability (TLL).

CGL protects you if you’re found legally liable for property damage or bodily injury. These incidents can occur on your premises, or off-site on a customer’s premises or event venue for example.

One of the most common hazards we see that leads to claims are trips and slip and falls. So easy for someone to trip over a cord or slip on some ice / water. These types of injuries can add up to big costs if you’re not covered.

Property damage is also worth talking about. What if you’re shooting in a corporate venue or high end space and someone knocks a painting off the wall causing damage. Or  maybe a tripod gets knocked over and beaks a marble floor.

Every business and everyone who’s being paid for their photography should at a minimum carry CGL. We recommend $1 or $2 million, but $5 million is also common. Even if your customers are your friends. We sometimes hear “I only work with friends and family, they’d never sue me”, but in reality once someone is injured, all bets are off.

Importantly property you rent, or that is in your care, custody and control is excluded from CGL which brings us to

Tenants legal liability (TLL) – Covers damage to a premises that you’re renting or occupying. This could be a studio space, or and exhibition hall for example. It is often required as part of a lease or exhibitor agreement.

 

Data & Media

Data and media are often excluded. Some policies will cover the cost to recover data if the loss is caused by an insured peril. For example, if your hard drive is smoke damaged from a fire, the data may be recoverable by and expert, and there may be coverage available

There’s another part of media that photographers should consider, and that’s media liability and advertising injury. If you’re publicly posting a lot of your work, especially if you’re working with corporate clients, media liability coverage is a must.

Covers libel, slander and copyright infringement .  If you post a picture that contains another’s copyrighted material… you could be sued, and your CGL policy wouldn’t respond.

For example, if you’re giving a presentation on insurance, and you use a LaCie harddrive picture without permission, you could be in trouble. Not really…. but let’s say this was a more high profile presentation, and I defamed LaCie…. then they might sue me. Good thing I have insurance.

Legal Expense – Can cover a range of legal costs that CGL might not respond to like: criminal charges, contract disputes, a police investigation, or an occupational health and safety investigation, CASL or CRTC proceedings and fines. Claims made… which means it could even be from an incident stemming from before insurance was in place.

Cyber is a relatively new coverage which can address data and media as well.

Can coverage a range of cyber exposures:

-privacy breech and notification, mandated by gov’t

-legal IT services

-PR response

-hacking and cyber extortion – ransomware

-Regulatory defence