Things to Consider when Buying Professional Photographer’s Insurance

  • By Abraham L. Braden
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If you’re just starting your photography business, there’s a lot you need to consider. Naturally, you need to be concerned with having the knowledge base, skills, and photography know-how to create images that people want to buy. You also need the right gear, a place to work, a website and social media presence, contracts, and model release forms. And that’s just the beginning! When building a business that has the potential to be successful in the long-term, you need to be sure that you’re covered if and when something goes wrong, which is why we’ve come to really like the photographer insurance provided by Next Insurance.

They are founded by three guys who had a terrible experience getting basic business insurance for their previous startup. The plans were confusing, the premiums were high, and they couldn’t even buy a policy online! They felt like they were getting hosed. They agreed that if they founded another company together, they’d take on the insurance industry, specifically focusing on the needs of small business owners. What we’ve been most impressed by is the flexible coverage they have developed to meet the unique needs of a professional photography business.

Once you’ve decided you’re ready to buy insurance, the question becomes, “what does my insurance policy cover?”

What Does It Cover?

When looking for a professional photography insurance policy, the first thing to consider is what’s covered. That means you need to confirm that it actually covers you and doesn’t have crazy exemptions. For example, an ideal choice is General Liability (GL) coverage, which covers you for bodily injury or property damage to a shoot location. For example, GL covers you if your light stand falls and injures your client during a photoshoot and they sue you for $200,000. Or, you scratch the hardwood floor on location and the owner sues you for a $5,000 reflooring bill. In other words, GL coverage protects you in the event that there’s an accident and you get sued.

Having all your expensive gear covered is a must as well. That’s where Equipment Protection coverage comes in. Like General Liability, it comes with its own set of considerations. Next Insurance’s GL plans offer $1 million of coverage per occurrence with a $2 million aggregate limit (that is the maximum amount Next will pay over the course of a year) . What’s more, should your equipment suffer damage or theft, they offer Replacement Cost Coverage, which means you will either be reimbursed for the damaged gear or you’ll get a new gear (as opposed to many insurance companies that will repay you for the used value of your equipment).

Additionally, there’s no location-based limits on your equipment coverage with Next Insurance. What’s not to like about that?!

How Affordable Is It?

You don’t want to skimp on your professional photography insurance, but at the same time, when you’re just starting out, money will be tight. That means you need to keep an eye on how much insurance policies cost and how much bang you get for your buck. Specifically, check to see if you can pay on a month-by-month basis. That gives you a little more flexibility with your budget than having to pay a big lump sum once or twice a year. Likewise, be sure that you can cancel the policy without being charged a fee. That protects you in the event that you won’t be working for awhile.

Again, for that kind of flexibility, Next’s insurance for photographers is the way to go. With plans starting at just $21/month that can be paid on a month-by-month basis, it’s the ideal partner to help you get your business off the ground without spending a ton of money.

How Easy is It to Use?

Let’s face it – insurance jargon is complicated, and you don’t have time to learn all those complex terms and conditions. That means that you need an insurance company that makes the process of getting affordable coverage streamlined, simple, and easy to understand. To begin, you want to work with a company that treats you like an individual with your own unique needs, not as just another transaction. You also want to be sure that when you speak with your insurance broker that they actually help you understand your policy, instead of throwing complicated legal jargon at you.

Really, what it comes down to is working with a company that offers simple policies that have the coverage you need at an affordable price. Next Insurance does just that. What’s more, insurance is about building a relationship with clients. Too many insurance companies suck the life out of their clients with inflexibility and impersonal interactions. But Next Insurance is the polar opposite, which brings me to my final point.

What is the Customer Service Experience Like?

At Next Insurance, there’s a customer service team that you can easily connect with if something comes up. In fact, their licensed insurance advisors are on-call 11-hours a day to assist you with any problems or questions that arise. Beyond that, Next Insurance is focused on streamlining the process of getting insurance by getting you what you need digitally. That means you don’t have to chase down your insurance broker on the phone to get a policy or change your coverage. With Next Insurance, you can get a policy online in just a few minutes and have an immediate Proof of Insurance to show to your client. In other words, Next Insurance ticks all the boxes – they offer the right plans for photographers at an affordable price, it’s easy to use, and the customer service experience is second-to-none.

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