Outfitting a new photo studio of any size can be costly. The initial startup period for any photographer comes with investments in cameras, lenses, lighting, backdrops, props and more. When you add in the cost of computer equipment and software licenses for post-processing, you're talking about a lot of money tied up in that space. It's important that your commercial insurance policies go beyond just the basic liability coverage. Here's a look at a few things to keep in mind as you shop for insurance for your new business.
Protect The Gear
One of the first things you should look for is a policy that protects your equipment. While most commercial insurance property policies will cover the items inside the building, that coverage is typically limited by a maximum payout limit. If your gear is worth more than that payout limit set by the policy, you'll want to invest in a rider that offers more coverage for the items you have.
Keep in mind that you'd need enough money to replace the gear if something happens and everything is destroyed. Talk with your insurance agent about how to do an equipment inventory so that you can determine how much everything is worth. That way, you can purchase a policy that will cover everything.
When you buy a policy for your photo gear, make sure that the rider extends coverage even when the gear isn't in the studio. Remember that you'll travel a lot for on-site shoots, and you may even need coverage for international travel. Ask about these things specifically to be sure that you have the coverage you need.
Protect Your Business
While some property policies include a limited coverage option for liability, photographers need more than just basic liability coverage. Since you'll likely have clients, models and items in your studio and on shoot sites, you need to be sure that you're protected if something happens to one of them or to a client's property. Liability umbrellas offer you a larger banner of protection in case of an injury, accident or other issue.
In addition to business liability coverage, you should also talk with your agent about professional liability protection. Professional liability policies protect you from liability for things that occur as part of your industry. For example, when you shoot a wedding, it's a one-time thing. You can't go back and get the pictures right later if they're out of focus or you lose a memory card. Instead, the bride and groom may sue you for failure to live up to the terms of the agreement. Professional liability coverage will help you if you're found liable for the damaged photos.
Photography is a rewarding, creative pursuit. However, it isn't without its risks. Work with a commercial insurance agent like Mariano Agency to help you secure the policies that you need based on your business.