Not sure if you’re aware, but I was also a wedding and portrait photographer! Paige Marie Photography has been one of the most amazing journeys I’ve taken. But, in building my photography business, knowing how to protect my brand has been crucial. If you’re like me and want to build a business aligned with your passion, then I have some tips on how to make sure you go about building your business properly. One of the most important things in protecting your brand is to make sure you covered with insurance! Photographers always ask me if insurance are necessary. My answer: YES, absolutely! BTW, some state laws even require you to cover your business with insurance. But even if it’s not required, it is something you should do. There are many reasons why insurance is important, but here are a few:
1. Equipment Insurance. This type of insurance will cover all equipment relating to a loss and/or damage due to a variety of events. At a minimum, photographers need this type of insurance to cover equipment like your camera, lenses and computer. Equipment insurance should also cover the basic losses due to severe weather, damage through dropping, and theft. It is especially important to not assume that your homeowner or renter insurance covers business equipment as many policies exempt equipment used for income purposes (check the “Exclusions” section of your policy).
2. General Liability Insurance. General Liability Insurance is especially critical for photographers working in sensitive specializations (weddings, newborns, extreme sports, etc.) This insurance works as an umbrella to provide a protection against legal actions arising from injuries, accidents and other claims. Liability insurance coverage amounts depend on your specific business goals, circumstances and plans.
3. Commercial Automobile Insurance. This insurance acts to cover the photographer for auto accidents in case the personal automobile insurance does not cover commercial activities (again, check your “Exclusions” section… you don’t want to get stuck without any coverage). It provides financial protection against potential bodily injury and physical damage to the vehicle that results from automobile accidents while working. Some jurisdictions require this insurance under specific circumstances, so always check your local laws. Like I said above, be careful not to reply on your personal automobile insurance to cover business activities. If you’re unsure whether you are currently covered, check with your insurance agent.
4. Disability Insurance. Disability insurance is often a policy that sits on business owner’s to-do list but never really comes to fruition. If you are the bread-winner for your family, then this should be non-negotiable in your business expenses. This insurance is a form that insures the photographer’s earned income against the risk of disability (sickness, accident, etc.) that prevents them to fulfill their work capacity. As a small business owner, planning for potential disability is worth the investment and time especially when it could potentially cut off all your family’s income.
5. Property Insurance (Owner or Renter). If you own or rent your current living space, insurance to protect against damage to the building and the items located within and/or on the premises (YOUR 20K WORTH OF EQUIPMENT!) is crucial. It is also important to consider selecting a policy that includes business loss to protect earnings in the event that the shooting location in your home is damaged or destroyed. BTW, some property insurance policies cover all equipment within the property, and others do not. Make sure to always read your policy.
6. Life Insurance. Life insurance is important for a small business owner’s peace of mind and allows your family covered in the event of your death. Yes, I know, savings helps to provide in the event of death, but life insurance can help supplement settlement of debts and related expenses in closing up your estate. Life insurance is often another overlooked policy, similar to disability insurance. This insurance is particularly important if you’re failing to put away sufficient funds in case of “life altering” situations that may arise. Okay, I'm guessing your getting the gist of my lecture here! Insurance is something you should consider and is SO SO SO helpful for businesses! And, if you’re not wanting to get any insurance and are a pretty risky person, then just make sure you are self-insuring and putting money aside!