Insurance, Insurance, Insurance, love it or hate it this is now becoming an absolute requirement for the working photographer. It comes in all different shapes and sizes, from equipment cover right through public liability and professional indemnity to legal expenses and business interruption. But how much do you need? What do you need? And where is the best place to get it from?
As you wander around the Societies of Photographes Convention looking at all the trade stands and listening to the speakers, maybe getting a shot or two of the models on display, it is worth noting that it is not always going to be this good. There will be disappointments when you don't get that job you spent so much time on, when a wedding turns out to be a washout and when that new camera you saved for turns out to be not quite as good as you thought.
There is one thing that you can do to take your mind off some of these woes though, that is to make sure you are adequately covered in the event of something going wrong for you. Insurance isn't going to be the answer to all of your business problems, but it may just assist you when things go horribly wrong, allowing you to get back on your feet and continuing with the job you love. There are a number of different covers and different insurers on the market, so which are right for you?
Firstly, always check with your professional body if possible. A good way to look at what you may or may not need is to visit the Society's website: www.swpp.co.uk/insurance.htm .This will outline some of the covers available and you will be able to make an informed decision and decide if you think you need them or not.
Public Liability and Professional Indemnity
DO NOT work without public liability (PL). You can never be sure what will happen and although you may feel that you won't cause any accidents, what if it is out of your hands? Someone moves your camera bag and then a member of the public falls over it? In the very worse cases, PL can literally be a lifesaver. I believe there was a case not so long ago that demonstrated this, where a photographer was undertaking work for a local authority - luckily he had £5 million PL cover.
As he was taking pictures of the mayor shaking hands at a civic ceremony, he stepped back and knocked an old lady who was behind him on the pavement. She wobbled and fell, hitting her head on the corner of the paving stone separating the pavement and road. The accident left her severely brain damaged and she required constant care 24 hours a day as she was unable to look after herself. The photographer was taken to court and the family won £3.1 million in damages to ensure her care for the remainder of her life. This was a case in the UK!
Courts take a dim view of some accidents now, and with the growth of the 'where there is blame there is a claim' culture, it is very important that you arrange suitable cover.
Whilst these things do happen, it should be pointed out that an incident like this is very rare, in reality you have probably better odds winning the lottery, but they do happen and therefore it is important that you are covered when your numbers come up...
There are 171 days to get ready for The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
which starts on Wednesday 15th March 2023