Why does my business need insurance?
What if your camera fall into a lake during a photo shoot? What if one of your clients slips on one of your props and sprains their wrist? What if you fall on one of your props and break your wrist?? Do you know if you are sufficiently covered and protected from situations like this? I hate to sound like an insurance salesman, but these are valid reasons why a photographer would purchase insurance.
What kinds of insurance will I need when I have my business?
I recommended four types of insurance that you should consider. Two I deem as necessary, and the other two are optional depending on your current situation.
In a previous blog post, I discussed how much personal liability you are subjected to based on what business entity you decide on. Even if you register as a limited liability company (LLC), you should still obtain liability insurance for your business just in case. If someone tripped over one of your flash cords and broke an arm, your business would be liable for that injury. Even if your personal assets are protected under the LLC, it will be safer to have the necessary liability insurance. If you are a sole proprietor, this type of insurance is a must. If you do not have the appropriate insurance to cover someone suing you (for whatever reason), you will be responsible for paying that money out of your pocket, from whatever assets you have, personal and business. It’s very cheap to insure your business up to 1 million dollars (around $100 annually), which is why I strongly recommend this as a necessary insurance purchase.
Business Personal Property Insurance (Equipment Insurance)
You would think that your business property and equipment would be covered under your homeowners policy, right? Not necessarily. Every insurance policy is different, but typically, business property in your home is only covered for a few thousand dollars or potentially nothing at all! A professional SLR camera body costs more than that! In addition, if you were to take your property anywhere else other than your home, it may not be covered at all. This is the other type of insurance I strongly recommend, especially for photographers. Your equipment is expensive, and it has the potential to break easy or be stolen. Just like Liability Insurance, it is a reasonable expense to undertake, since the benefits definitely outweigh the costs.
If you are self-employed and something happens to you, in most cases, you cannot work and therefore, are not making money. This can put you and/or your family in tough financial situation. If you are planning on having children while running your business, this insurance coverage is necessary. You can get policies to pay for your time in the hospital, recovery time, and if you need a C-Section, the surgery. Depending on how much you want to be insured for, this can get expensive. If, however, you just want to be covered for the basics, your policy has the potential to be much cheaper. I use AFLAC, and they have been wonderful. But, it is always worth it to shop around for the best quotes.
Those of you that are lucky enough to have a significant other who has health insurance will not need to worry about obtaining health insurance. With the Affordable Care Act rolling out in 2014, the whole health care landscape will be changing. Visit Healthcare.gov’s link on how this change impacts the self-employed. The decision to purchase this type of insurance will vary from person to person given their specific circumstances.