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Pro insurance recommendations

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by sprocket87, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. sprocket87

    sprocket87 Mu-43 Veteran

    306
    Jun 29, 2011
    I need to pick up liability and equipment insurance coverage now that I am pursuing the pro angle. I was hoping to hop on with Photo.net's policy (Willis Insurance), but it looks like that was recently discontinued. The next best option looks to be the PPA policy, but I was wondering if anyone had good experience or suggestions for another option.

    Note: Since this is for pro work a simple rider on my homeowner's policy will not be an option. I don't need a lot of coverage since I'm not using $20k of equipment or anything, but some equipment coverage would be nice. The liability coverage is the bigger thing.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Evan614

    Evan614 Mu-43 Regular

    109
    May 6, 2014
    BuckeyeState
    In general if you lack liability insurance.. once a lawyer find this out (who is suing you on behalf of their client) they will tell their client there is no money to pursue. No lawyer will spin all those wheels to get a jury verdict - only to have you file bankruptcy the next day.
    If you did a poll on this site I would be surprised if you find one person that has gotten sued for error and omission (which I assume is the liability insurance you are seeking.)
     
  3. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Travelers and through the PPA.

    Have I been sued, no. But I have worked places that require an insurance rider for all vendors. Errors and omissions is not the issue, liability for damage or injury are another matter. Besides equipment that's why I have insurance.

    Jesse, based on what you have in your equipment list I would add an f/2.8 longer zooms or another longer prime, Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8 or even the Sigma 60 f/2.8 would be fine. You have a Zoom and primes 12-40/45, so coverage twice over in that range. But over 45mm you only have the 75mm You need a back up in that range. For my event work I 24-200mm twice over, f/2.8 and f/4. I've dropped a body and lens during an event and a backup save me (actually I dropped and the camera was in hand at the time).
     
  4. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I've had professional photographer's insurance for years, including public liability. But now that I don't do paid professional work, I've just continued with my equipment insurance. Public liability is something that you need to consider carefully, as it's not just about someone getting hurt, but damaging property. If you go to some venue to take photographs, say of a wedding and you or your equipment causes injury to anyone or damage to the venue's or anyone else's property (you cause the wedding cake to fall on the floor), you will be liable and things can become very expensive. I used to have something like $10-20 million in public liability insurance, as that was what was needed nowadays.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. sprocket87

    sprocket87 Mu-43 Veteran

    306
    Jun 29, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions. My work will be more commercial oriented (product and venue), and telephoto is not a major need for what I'm shooting. However, I am likely going to be picking up the 60mm macro to provide an alternate to my 75mm for product photography. I also have the slow 40-150mm f/4-5.6 which does okay for a really long shot in a pinch, but I so seldom need that range that the f/2.8 Pro version is not really on my wish list right now.

    Yep, that's what I'm worried about. Some of the places I'll be shooting could definitely involve potential liability issues, so I want to be covered.

    So PPA is about all anybody can recommend so far?
     
  6. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    And Travelers
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. JBoot

    JBoot Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Dec 4, 2012
    Scotch Plains, NJ
    Jerry
    As already stated, you won't be able to walk into most venues as a pro without at least $1 million in liability. Equipment insurance is critical as well. Critically important is to also have coverage for data loss, in case you lose images, drive crashes, NAS crashes, etc.

    I use Hill and Usher via The Hartford.

    I shoot Bar/Bat Mitzvahs as well as family portraits and regularly need to provide proof of insurance and sign releases ahead of engaging at those locations.

    All of the above insurance can be had through PPA as well. PPA membership provides equipment insurance up to $15K (I believe) plus you get many other benefits (including copyright protection/support as well as studio management consulting/information and much more).

    I would also recommend that if you are going to go pro in any way that you create an LLC (you can create a single member LLC). This will effectively incorporate you and separate personal from business assets ... at least to a much better degree than not incorporating.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. sprocket87

    sprocket87 Mu-43 Veteran

    306
    Jun 29, 2011
    Thanks, I saw that name come up a couple other places with positive notes. I'll give them a call.

    Already done :)
     
  9. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    If you want, IM me sometime. I've had my LLC going since 2008.

    I've switched to PPA coverage. Used to have it with Nationwide, but they were not competitive in price with what I could get with PPA.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  10. JBoot

    JBoot Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Dec 4, 2012
    Scotch Plains, NJ
    Jerry
    Jesse, great to hear that you are protecting yourself first and now taking care of the rest!

    As gryphon1911 offered, please feel free to reach out to me as well anytime if want to talk through anything directly.

    I find it very enjoyable to be able to share my love of photography with others while helping pay for my childrens college and my photography habit!
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  11. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Just FYI - I know a few others who use Hill and Usher and like them.
     
  12. sprocket87

    sprocket87 Mu-43 Veteran

    306
    Jun 29, 2011
    Thanks to both of you for the kind offer. You will likely be hearing from me!! I'm trying to get this going slowly while working a full time job and raising 3 kids (age 5 and under :coffee-30:) so my head feels like it's spinning a bit. But I'm trying to take it slow and steady. There are so many resources available between websites and books and podcasts and forums and so on... I've got a lot of information to parse, but the hard part is just putting it into practice. Keeping a well-organized task list and knowing my next priorities seems to be a huge help.
     
  13. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I did/am doing the same. I work a full time IT job as well as run a photography business. I'll speak for JBoot here as wel las me, "we got your back"!! :D