As a photography or videography professional, you know the value of a moment. The golden hour can turn a humdrum shoot into a fairy tale setting. A fleeting expression could be the capture you've been waiting for. A kiss may be the climax of the wedding you were hired to document.
Many of these things you don't have control over — you just have to be ready with your camera in hand so you can use your talents to make the most of it. But there's the reverse to every coin. Just as magic can happen in an instant, so can accidents and disasters. That's why you have to be ready to protect your photography or video production business. The appropriate small business insurance policies can spare you the insurmountable cost of a lawsuit over a missed kiss at the wedding (and no, that's not an invented example).
Solo Work Is Popular for Photographers
Because so many photographers are independent, many of them might not have insurance or be aware of their liabilities. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow only modestly over the next decade as photography technology becomes more widespread and inexpensive. It will become increasingly important to stand out from the competition by offering truly professional work. Carrying business liability coverage is a sign that your business is serious about providing quality work and a good customer experience.
Only the Strong Survive
Intense competition in photography (from both other professionals and amateurs) leads to high turnover rates in the field: as many as 85% of photography businesses don't make it past year three. While this is certainly a daunting figure, the reality is that many photographers and videographers are prepared for the technical side of business but not the business side. Building skills in sales, marketing, and risk management can help boost the long-term survival odds for your business.
Business insurance for a year costs 4% - 17% of the value of the equipment you use for a professional shoot.
Depending on the kind of work you do, experts estimate that you'll use between $3,000 and $12,000 worth of equipment during a single shoot. One accident could leave some or all of that equipment ruined, and if you're uninsured, you might not be able to replace your broken gear easily. Luckily, the cost of a Business Owner's Policy (which covers professional equipment) starts at $500. That cost protects you for an entire year.