I’m just starting out in my photography business; do I need insurance?

Posted by David McLeish on Feb 27, 2020 11:57:51 AM

I’M JUST STARTING OUT IN MY PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS; DO I NEED INSURANCE?

PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS INSURANCEShutterstock Royalty-free stock photo ID: 445094317

You might not expect to hear this from an insurance broker, but if you’re wondering whether you need insurance – maybe you don’t!

Many photographers, and most professional photographers, don’t need to wonder: they know, because they are told they must carry insurance. If you apply for a permit to shoot at a Provincial Park or rent gear from a rental house, they won’t issue your permit or release the gear until you provide proof of insurance. In these instances, insurance is a necessity.

If no one is requiring you to carry insurance, but you still think it would be prudent to have, below are some things to consider when deciding whether you need insurance.

What are your total assets?

Insurance is intended to protect you from catastrophic losses. A catastrophic loss is one that you couldn’t possibly recover from without insurance. If your total assets are a camera body and two lenses that altogether cost about $3,000 CAD, replacing them after a theft might be difficult, even painful, but not impossible—not catastrophic. You wouldn’t have to declare bankruptcy, for instance. If you can’t pay for their replacement out of pocket, maybe you put the purchase on a credit card and pay it off over the course of a few months. The interest payments would likely still be less than what you would pay in insurance premiums.

Once you start amassing some serious gear, however, you’ll need to start thinking about insurance. You probably don’t want to carry a $10K balance on a credit card. Perhaps you don’t have a credit card with a $10K limit. At a certain point, the cost of replacing all your assets becomes “catastrophic”. Knowing the replacement cost value of your total assets – and the impact that a worst-case-scenario would have on you or your business – will help you decide when (or at what point) you need insurance.

What are your liability exposures?

The idea of a “catastrophic loss” comes into sharper focus when talking about liability. Here, the values are not in the thousands but in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Very few people can put a million dollars on a credit card.

If you injure someone with your car, your car insurance pays the damages. If you injure someone as a private citizen and they sue you for negligence, your home insurance may cover damages the courts award against you. But, what if you injure someone while you’re working? You’re not in a car, and your home insurance likely excludes claims arising from “business activities” (note: home insurance policies don’t distinguish between fledgling businesses vs. established businesses—if you’re getting paid to be there, you’re a business).

Liability coverage for your business activities may be obtained through Commercial General Liability (CGL).  If you work in or with the public, or in places where you could conceivably cause bodily injury or property damage to third parties, you have a liability exposure and should consider getting CGL.

What are the deductibles?

Almost every insurance policy has a deductible. A typical commercial property deductible is around $500 to $1,000. A deductible is an amount you’re responsible for paying (for repairs or replacements) before the insurance policy will respond.

Maybe your worst-case-scenario is having your gear stolen while you’re backpacking in Thailand, and you’d be out $5,000. The insurance policy initially costs $500, and the deductible is $1,000. In the event of a total loss, the insurance policy would only save you out-of-pocket costs of $3,500 ($5,000 less the $1,000 deductible, less the $500 premium). Maybe you’d still consider that “catastrophic” and worthwhile insuring. At least: if you know going in what the deductibles are, you won’t be surprised by the actual expense of replacing your gear.

Remember that insurance is intended to cover catastrophic losses. Deductibles are related to this original intent. An insurance company is not a maintenance service you hire to fix every little dent and scratch. Insurance companies do not want to be involved in thousands of small claims, so they impose deductibles to limit the number of claims they have to handle. Check the deductibles before you buy a policy, and think about the deductibles when you are deciding whether or not you need insurance.

What do you expect to get from your insurance?

The biggest misconception people have about insurance comes from the idea of “getting your money’s worth”.  If you think insurance is something that will save you money, or that you should come out ahead of the insurance company, you’re treating insurance like a coupon or a slot machine. Insurance is neither a coupon nor a slot machine!

Don’t pay for insurance expecting huge savings and big winnings. That’s not the point. Insurance is about transferring risk. If a risk to you is so great that it would prevent you from doing what you need to do to grow your business, then you should transfer that risk to an insurance company. Insurance is, essentially, a facilitator of business. It enables people to take certain business risks that – if left to their own devices – they would likely not take, for fear of the consequences.

There are many reasons to get insurance. “Buy as much insurance as you can afford!” is the common refrain from insurance brokerages. But it is also important to understand what insurance is for and how it can work for you, at whatever stage in your career you happen to be.

Consider photography insurance | photography equipment insurance | photography business insurance | photographer liability insurance

So, is insurance right for you? After reading this post, if you think the answer is yes, Front Row’s photography insurance policy is certainly a good option. Many Canadian photographers have come to recognize Front Row as the industry’s best coverage – and rely upon us to protect their valuable camera gear. In case a claim does occur, you can work with your broker to resolve the claim and get compensated for covered losses as quickly as possible.

REFER A FRIEND TO FRONT ROW INSURANCE

Based on customer demand, we’ve setup our referral marketing program and if you refer a friend to Front Row, you could win a $15 Amazon eGift Card OR be entered into a random draw to win a $99 Amazon eGift Card! (depending on your province)

DISCLAIMER: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

 

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Topics: photography insurance

I am renting a car (in Canada) for my production – what do I need?

Posted by Diane Konecny on Feb 20, 2020 9:03:02 AM

I am renting a car (in canada) for my production – what do I need?

Car in film production

Some of the most common questions we get from clients are about vehicles:

  • What coverage do I need? 
  • Do I need to buy anything from the rental company?
  • Can a 20-year-old production assistant (PA) drive the car(s)?

Well, here is what you need to know about renting vehicles when shooting a production in Canada. We will break it down into two sections to explain the basics.

1. DAMAGE to a car you are renting or are contractually required to provide coverage for while being used on production: 

The production policies we provide include coverage if you damage a vehicle while contracted by production. With most insurers, it is called Commercial Vehicle Physical Damage (CVPD)The coverage will have a limit per vehicle, so make sure that if you are renting expensive cars, your limit is high enough to cover any damage that can occur. You will also have to check the Aggregate, which is the most the policy will pay for any one occurrence (in case you damage multiple cars in one accident) and your deductible (the amount you need to pay for the damage before the insurance kicks in). Most policies will set the deductible as a percentage of the damage; for example, 10% with a minimum and maximum amount.

Your rental company will offer you a Collision or Loss Damage Waiver (CDW/ LDW) when renting a vehicle. Typically, these are about $20-$30 per vehicle/day. The CDW/LDW provides coverage for damage to the vehicle. There is no need to purchase this if you have our policies, which include the CVPD coverage. A bit of savings for your budget! However, if you are renting a couple of vehicles for a short period of time and you aren’t so sure about your crew’s driving skills, you may choose to get this coverage from the rental company because the deductible is usually a lower amount. 

NOTE: NOT ALL POLICIES PROVIDED BY OTHER BROKERS WILL INCLUDE THIS COVERAGE. YOU NEED TO CHECK YOUR POLICY TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED, OR CONTACT FRONT ROW AND WE CAN OBTAIN PROPER COVERAGE FOR YOU.

2. AUTO LIABILITY covers damage to property or injury to other parties:

Auto liability is the portion of the policy which is regulated by the government and, to make it more complicated, it is individually regulated by each province/territory. Below is a basic breakdown by province.

Will I need to budget for an Auto Liability policy for MY production?

Province:

Coverage provided by:

Do I need to buy Auto Liability?

Newfoundland

Private insurers

Yes, if contracting a vehicle for more than 30 consecutive days.

Nova Scotia

Private insurers

Yes, if contracting a vehicle for more than 30 consecutive days.

PEI

Private insurers

Yes, if contracting a vehicle for more than 30 consecutive days.

New Brunswick

Private insurers

Yes, if contracting a vehicle for more than 30 consecutive days.

Quebec

Private insurers

Yes, if contracting a vehicle for more than 30 consecutive days.

Ontario

Private insurers

Yes, if contracting a vehicle for more than 30 consecutive days.

Manitoba

Government

No, unless you wish to increase the limit provided by the rental company. Coverage is provided for a vehicle when purchasing / renewing the license plate.

Saskatchewan

Government

No, unless you wish to increase the limit provided by the rental company. Coverage is provided for a vehicle when purchasing / renewing the license plate.

Alberta

Private insurers

Yes, if contracting a vehicle for more than 30 consecutive days.

BC

Government

No, unless you wish to increase the limit provided by the rental company. Coverage is provided for a vehicle when purchasing / renewing the license plate.

NWT

Private insurers

Yes, if contracting a vehicle for more than 30 consecutive days.

Yukon

Private insurers

Yes, if contracting a vehicle for more than 30 consecutive days.

Nunavut

Private insurers

Yes, if contracting a vehicle for more than 30 consecutive days.

The above-mentioned coverage outline is meant for informational purposes only and does not represent advice on coverages required. Contact us if you have a specific need or question.

Auto liability is not an option; it needs to be in place for every car driven on public roads. Make sure you have the right coverage for your location and situation so production doesn’t get a ticket, or worse, be held responsible for injury to someone or damage to property.

Hired an intern or co-op student and want them to run errands in your rental car? Is that allowed?

Well, for once it’s not us being the careful ones! You will need to contact your rental company as many will have an age restriction on drivers. Some will restrict it to 21 or 25 years old, so make sure whoever is driving is actually allowed to, as it can nullify your coverage if they aren’t.

Have more questions about auto coverage? Feel free to give any of our Front Row offices a call!

REFER A FRIEND TO FRONT ROW INSURANCE

Based on customer demand, we’ve setup our referral marketing program and if you refer a friend to Front Row, you could win a $15 Amazon eGift Card OR be entered into a random draw to win a $99 Amazon eGift Card! (depending on your province)

RELATED POSTS:

FILM PRODUCTION COMPANIES AND CAMERA CARS: REDUCING THE RISK

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Topics: Entertainment Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Vehicle Insurance, non-owned auto insurance, automobile insurance for films, Intern Rights

Announcement on New Hire Leanne Savoie – David Hamilton CEO

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 19, 2020 6:30:31 AM

Announcement – David Hamilton CEO

LEANNE SAVOIE

Leanne Savoie

Front Row is pleased to announce Leanne Hussey Savoie has joined the Vancouver office as a Vice President effective February 18, 2020.

Leanne obtained her license as a Registered Insurance Broker in Ontario in 1990, attained her Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker designation in 1995 and her Chartered Insurance Professional designation in 2006. Before joining Front Row, she worked at HUB International for ~2 years as an Entertainment Account Manager focusing on Film, TV & Multimedia insurance risks.

Leanne also worked at Aon/Ruben-Winkler for 10 years, alongside Darlene, specializing in Entertainment Insurance and at First Durham Insurance & Financial for 4 years as a Commercial Lines Account Executive.

Leanne’s staff page

Leanne will report to Meghan Stickney. She can be reached at: Leanne@frontrowinsurance.com
Please join me in welcoming Leanne to the Front Row crew!

David Hamilton
CEO

Announcement on New Hire Alyson Forster – David Hamilton CEO

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 14, 2020 6:14:22 AM

Announcement – David Hamilton CEO

Alyson Forster

Alyson Forster

Front Row is pleased to announce Alyson Forster has joined our LA office as an account executive.

Alyson is an experienced broker (California property & casualty license). She worked at American Entertainment Insurance Services for ~2 years before joining Front Row. She specialized in: short shoots, events and DICE clients.

Alyson is gifted at connecting with entertainment clients: she is knowledgeable about production and passionate about film and TV. She is service-oriented and quality-focused with a demonstrated history of success.

Alyson’s staff page

We’re confident that Alyson will add a lot of value to the Front Row Insurance team and we look forward to her contributions. Please join me in welcoming her to our crew!

How does an E&O clearance process protect against plagiarism claims?

Posted by Remy Khouzam on Feb 3, 2020 8:25:33 AM

How does an E&O clearance process protect against plagiarism claims?

E&O insurance film | errors and omissions insurance film:


Remy Khouzam (Lawyer)
: When discussing a project, a lawyer and his client (the producer) will have to look at various things regarding the nature of the project itself; for example:

  • Is it an original project?
  • Is it a project adapted from previous work?
  • Who collaborated on these projects?

The idea is: you can work on these things based on warranties and representations that are in the contract(s) of your various project contributors that will basically represent that their contribution is original and wasn’t taken from a third-party source. So, there’s no consent necessary and they own all the rights to grant them to the producer. So, that’s basically the work that is done and the sort of guarantees you need in order to obtain E&O coverage.

Related:

About: Lussier & Khouzam is a Canadian law firm specialized in Arts and Entertainment law. Visit their website at https://lussierkhouzam.com/.

Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance