Videographer & Photographer General Liability
There are three primary reasons for a videographer or photographer to purchase General Liability insurance:
1. You might damage someone else’s property.
2. You might hurt someone.
You will get sued if 1 or 2 happens.
The videographer profession may seem quite innocuous on the surface. What could possibly go wrong with a wedding video gig? The truth of the matter is that if a person is in business, especially a professional business, the minute you open the door or answer the phone for business, you are at risk.
Things go wrong sometime; and if that sometime happens to be during a wedding or any other special event, your client is going to want a refund plus damages. As a business owner, the videographer or photographer needs to protect themselves from financial devastation that typically follows every lawsuit. The most effective and economical way to mitigate the risk is with a commercial insurance policy.
The Commercial General Liability policy offers a package of coverages that offer protection for the business owner and employees. The typical coverage provided automatically is:
Bodily Injury Liability – this coverage will pay on the insured’s behalf if someone is hurt on location or in the studio and you are liable. The insurance company will pay for your defense, settlement costs or judgments. This coverage protects you whether your client brings an action or if one of the 500 guests at the event brings the action.
Property Damage Liability – this coverage will pay on the insured’s behalf if you cause damage to someone’s property on location or in the studio. It works similar to Bodily Injury Liability in that the company will pay for defense costs, settlement costs or judgments awarded by the court.
Personal Injury (not physical) – A typical personal injury claim that’s covered is for libel or slander
Advertising Injury – this coverage will pay if an action is brought against your company for copyright infringement or violating a person’s privacy. You will also be covered if you unintentionally copy a slogan or a business model that is protected by trademark or patent.
Medical Payments – medical payments coverage is typically purchased in small amounts of $5,000 to $10,000 dollars. This coverage is available if a third party is injured on your property and suffers only a minor injury. The policy will pay up to the limit you purchase without requiring proof of liability. It’s almost like a gift that covers a visit to the ER or other minor health care resulting from the injury.
Rental Damages (Fire Damage) – this coverage pays in the event that you cause damage to any facility you may be renting, such as your studio.
I just do small jobs for people I know so what could go wrong?
Let’s say for example, a small advertising agency hires you to provide some footage for some campaigns. You sell them a photo you took of a man in the public, and then when the man eventually sees the advertisement, he believes it damages his character and he brings an action for personal injury. His brother in law who is his attorney names the agency and you in the action. Do you have the money to hire an attorney to respond?
You have a small studio in space you rented in a small shopping plaza. You are hired by a couple planning to marry and you invite them to your studio for some preliminary shots and the opportunity to discuss the wedding. When the bride to- be walks in the studio, she trips over a toy that your little boy left on the floor when he was visiting earlier in the day and throws her back out causing a delay in the marriage ceremony. The bride to-be sues you and your landlord for an injury she received in your unsafe studio. Now you need an attorney to respond to the action and represent you. Do you have the retainer fee in the bank?
Are you seeing the picture here? It’s not always about the guilty verdict. The cost for just responding to an action can be significant. By having a general liability policy in place, you and your business are protected from actions and you can depend on the insurance company’s staff of lawyers to respond for you without cost to you.