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From weddings and live events to commercials and documentaries, videographers work hard to capture the perfect moment for their clients. However, with such varied and often physical work, videographers are also prone to a number of risks, including dissatisfied clients, injuries at work, and damage to essential equipment. Protect your videography business by making sure you have a wide range of business insurance coverage.
What insurance coverage do I need as a videographer?
The following policies are particularly important for videography businesses to consider:
Because videographers may work with clients and other third parties in their studio or on location, general liability exposure may be high. In the studio, clients could trip and fall over equipment or wiring, and video shoots taking place in public places could put members of the public in harm’s way. It is vital to protect yourself from any unexpected catastrophes that may occur both on and off of your business premises.
General liability insurance provides your business with financial protection against claims of accidental third-party bodily injury and property damage, as well as personal and advertising injury. With this policy, your insurer will cover the costs to repair or replace damaged third-party property, third-party medical expenses, legal fees to defend your business in the event of a lawsuit, and any settlements from the lawsuit. Additionally, the personal and advertising injury component of general liability insurance protects your business from non-physical injuries, such as libel, slander, and copyright infringement.
- Bodily injury: During the filming of a live event, your client trips on your tripod that was not safely stored away. The client sprains her wrist and requires medical treatment. Your insurer would cover the medical fees associated with this incident and any legal fees should the client decide to sue your business.
- Property damage: While filming a commercial at a hotel, one of your employees knocks into an antique vase and breaks it. Your general liability insurance would cover the damages.
- Personal and advertising injury: A celebrity is on the guestlist to a wedding you are filming. You decide to use your footage of the celebrity for an ad campaign. The celebrity sues your business for using his image without permission.
Inland marine insurance is essential for videographers because you may be transporting expensive business equipment to various client locations. A standard commercial property policy often has limited coverage for property that is not fixed in place at your business location. In some cases, business property that is damaged outside of your business premises is not covered at all.
Inland marine insurance is necessary for videographers because it protects your property regardless of where that property is located. For instance, in the event that your equipment is damaged during transit, damaged at the filming location, or even stolen, your insurer will financially cover repairs or replacements.
- After filming a fashion show, you discover that some of your most expensive camera lenses were stolen by a guest at the venue. Your inland marine insurance would pay for you to replace the stolen equipment.
Professional liability insurance can protect your videography business against lawsuits for any damages your client experiences due to mistakes, negligence, or perceived failures in your work. It is important to consider this form of coverage in the videography industry because of the risk that an unsatisfied client will sue your business for a mistake you make or even if your overall performance is deemed unsatisfactory.
If you lose your client’s footage, fail to show up to a shoot, or or accidentally delete a client’s memory card, you could face a lawsuit against your business for the mistake. Professional liability insurance can cover the cost of the damages, as well as the legal fees if you are sued.
- You are hired to shoot a commercial for a local pet food store. On the day of the shoot, your team fails to show up because you had mistakenly written down the date of the shoot incorrectly. As a result, the pet store incurs a number of costs to reschedule the shoot, and they sue your business for damages. Professional liability insurance would cover the costs of the lawsuit.
Workers’ compensation insurance covers the medical expenses and lost income of employees who are injured or fall ill while working. Additionally, this coverage provides funds for funeral expenses and death benefits for an employee’s surviving dependents in the event of a work-related death. In almost every state, workers’ compensation coverage is legally required for businesses that employ others.
In the videography industry, the physical demands of carrying heavy equipment for long hours or navigating unfamiliar terrain for an on-location shoot can result in accidents and employee injuries. It is crucial to prepare your business for these potential accidents, especially since injured employees may need medical care and rehabilitation, as well as time off of work to recover.
- During a shoot, one of your employees trips over the cord used to power your lightbox and injures her hip. The injury requires medical treatment and physical therapy. Your insurer will provide funds for her medical expenses and a portion of her lost income while she is in physical therapy and unable to work.
Videographers are often on the move traveling to film sets, event venues, and other client locations, increasing the risk of injury or damage from car accidents. Commercial auto insurance covers damages if you or one of your employees are at fault for an auto collision while driving a company vehicle. This coverage includes third-party bodily injury and property damage. Commercial auto insurance also covers your company vehicles if they are damaged or lost due to theft, vandalism, collisions, or other covered hazards.
- While driving to a film location, your employee becomes distracted with his phone and crashes into an oncoming vehicle. The other driver is severely injured and requires medical attention. Your commercial auto insurance would provide funds to cover the damages to the vehicles and medical costs for the injured driver.
Commercial property insurance provides financial protection for your business property, including buildings, equipment, furniture, and inventory. If your videography business has a studio or office space to edit videos or store equipment, commercial property insurance can provide funds to repair or replace property that is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril. Commonly covered perils include fire, windstorm, hail, vandalism, and explosion.
Your business relies heavily on functioning equipment, such as cameras, lights, lenses, mics, computers, and editing equipment. Any damage to this property directly affects your ability to conduct business, and it can be difficult to recoup your losses. Obtaining commercial property insurance is important to protect the value of your business’s property.
- Overnight, someone smashes a window to your office and breaks in, stealing expensive film equipment from the premises. Your commercial property insurance policy will pay for the replacement of the stolen equipment, as well as repairs to your window.
A business owner’s policy (BOP) conveniently packages common property and liability insurance coverages for small businesses, such as general liability, commercial property, and business income insurance. Insurers can typically customize a BOP to fit the specific needs of your small business, making it an ideal consideration for videography businesses. Additional endorsements such as professional liability, employment practices liability, and commercial crime insurance can often be added to your policy. BOPs can be a cost-effective option for small businesses, as these bundled insurance policies often cost less than purchasing each individual policy separately.
- Although commercial auto insurance covers auto accidents caused while driving company-owned or leased vehicles, hired and non-owned auto insurance is important to consider if your business often rents or uses personal vehicles for business purposes. This coverage provides financial protection for third-party bodily injury and property damage, as well as any legal costs associated with the accident.
- Equipment breakdown insurance provides funds for the repair or replacement of malfunctioned or damaged equipment, as well as losses to business income due to the breakdown of equipment. Because a standard commercial property insurance policy does not cover the breakdown of equipment, this coverage can be added as an endorsement to your policy.
- With expensive videography and editing equipment, it would be wise to consider obtaining commercial crime insurance to protect your business from damages and losses from crimes such as theft, burglary, robbery, forgery, and fraud. Most notably, this coverage applies to both third-party crimes and employee crimes.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for business insurance will vary based on the type of insurance coverage and the risk profile of your business. Insurers consider factors such as:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Claims history
Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, a videography business with a history of frequent claims will face higher premiums. Premiums also rise as you increase the limits of insurance. Different insurance companies have different models for rating risks, so it is worth comparing pricing across different insurers.
In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer coverage for videographers:
|Provider||General Liability||Professional Liability||Business Owner's Policy|
As a videographer, it is rewarding to capture important moments in a client’s life, but the job does not come without its share of risks and potential hazards. While steps can be taken to mitigate your risk, accidents and unexpected disasters are impossible to completely avoid. These accidents can cause considerable damage to people and property, which is why it is vital to obtain adequate insurance coverage for your videography business.