Photographer Insurance Massachusetts Policy Information
Photographer Insurance Massachusetts. In today's litigious society, no one is safe from lawsuits and claims against them, even photographers. If you are a photographer working in a freelance capacity or operating your own studio, then protecting yourself against claims from dissatisfied customers can be resource consumptive, and in worse-case scenarios, lead to financial ruin. Liability insurance is a must for photographers.
Photographers take still and video pictures for clients, either at their own studios or off premises at the customer's home or business, or at a third party site such as a hall rented for a wedding reception or school event. Some photographers specialize in a single field, such as advertising, aviation, fashion, graduations, landscapes, news, portraits, sporting events, weddings, or wildlife photography. Some photographers do not work directly for clients, but take pictures and then find interested buyers. The use of digital cameras and computer-generated images has changed the profession greatly as processing and retouching involve only the use of computer software.
Photographers who continue to use film arrange for developing, printing and mounting of photographs, often with an outside service. They may store archival photographs for a fee. Other services offered may include touching up photographs by making corrections for poor lighting or color balance, updating eye, hair, and complexion coloring, or restoring old or damaged prints. When a photographer develops and prints photographs, the film is placed in chemical baths in a darkroom. The final photographs are printed by projecting light through the film and onto specially treated paper, which is then bathed in a stopping solution and hung up to dry.
Oftentimes, photographic contracts don't contain specific enough language, so they leave photographers with an elevated level of liability. For instance, in some cases, a bystander has been caught on film unsuspectingly, and then files suit because they did not give the photographer their permission to photograph them or publish their likeness. Some photographers learn about potential liability the difficult way - and usually they find that their lack of knowledge does not hold up in court and provides no legal 'out' for them when it comes to litigation. Photographer insurance Massachusetts, however, affords some protection for photographers when it comes to claims and liabilities.
Photographer insurance Massachusetts protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Lawsuits in the Photography Industry
Videographers and photographers are professionals who have very specific needs when it comes to insurance. The equipment that they use is expensive and highly specialized. Many face differing legal requirements when it comes to their crafts, and a seasoned insurance agent can help them determine the right levels of coverage for their own unique needs. In 2011, a photography studio in Massachusetts was sued by a groom who was unhappy with the photographer's work on his wedding photos. The man sued for more than $50,000, and the photographer was out more than that in legal fees to defend the company in court.
In another case, Jason Lee Parry, a photographer who took a photo deemed suggestive by a teenager's parents was sued by the parents when the photo ended up on a national chain catalog cover. Similarly, a photographer who shot and sold photos of a sculpture without the artist's permission was sued for unspecified damages in 2010. These are just a few examples of scenarios that might lead to a claim against your photography business.
Insurance for Photography Equipment
One good reason for photographers to purchase photographer insurance Massachusetts is that they usually own expensive equipment - and replacing it can be quite pricey. A good insurance policy protects this equipment, including lenses, cameras, and storage equipment, while also guarding against financial loss from the interruption of business. Other damages that MA photographers must consider are weather losses from sudden storms and high winds, damage to equipment from accidents, and theft of equipment.
MA homeowner's insurance usually affords little or no protection for photographers, even for businesses run from the home. This type of policy does not cover equipment used for income generation unless the homeowner purchases a special rider specifically stating that the items are covered.
If you work from home or from a MA home office, you may be able to turn to your homeowner's policy for some types of coverage, but that depends on your policy and its specific limitations. Moreover, if your business is running at a profit, then your homeowner's coverage may exclude the business from being covered under its terms.
A more reliable type of protection is MA business insurance that includes the necessary inclusions needed to protect your business completely from liability and financial loss. Discussing your needs with a trusted and seasoned agent can help you find the right solution for insuring your production, your employees, your equipment, and more with film production insurance Massachusetts.
Photographer Insurance Considerations
In addition to protection for equipment and potential liabilities, MA photographers must also consider other types of coverage. This depends on the type of photographer, since the standard liability may not be extensive enough for his or her needs. For instance, if you are a MA photographer covering extreme sports competitions, then you m ay need more exhaustive coverage than a photographer who shoots weddings and babies.
Photographers rarely earn their living working behind a desk, so you may also have a need for purchasing disability insurance. This type of coverage protects your income stream if you are ill or become severely injured and require a long recuperative period.
MA Photographer's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures can be moderate to high. At the studio, client areas must be well lighted with floor covering in good condition. Exits must be sufficient in number, be well marked, and have backup lighting in case of power failure. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. Lights, equipment, and wiring can cause trips and falls both at the studio and off-premises.
Off-site shoots present the highest exposure for injury as the photography has little or no control over hazards. Photographing animals can result in bites, kicks, and scratches. If outdoor shoots are carried out in remote and wilderness areas, injuries may result from slips, trips, falls, falling objects, drowning, or attacks by insects or wild animals. Drivers may be injured in automobile accidents.
A photographer's efforts on location to "get the shot" can result in injury to members of the public who may be in the way. Advertising and personal injury losses may result from violations of copyright or trade dress, invasion of privacy, and similar allegations.
Environmental liability exposure exists only if dark room processing is part of the operation. In that case, it can be high due to the potential for air, surface, or ground water, or soil contamination from chemicals used in developing solutions which may be toxic. Disposal of waste must be in compliance with state and federal standards.
Workers compensation exposure is low for studio photographers, who work on site, do not develop their own film, and use digital cameras. If the photographers develop their own photos, exposures increase due to the potential for skin, eye, and lung injury arising from cumulative exposure to developing solutions, which may be toxic. Employees must be fully informed as to the potential effects of any chemicals, including long-term occupational disease hazards so that they can take action as quickly as possible.
Property exposures may include an office, studio, and incidental storage. Ignition sources include electrical wiring and lighting, heating, and air conditioning systems. Combustibles include large amounts of paper and props used in the studio. Cameras and electronic equipment used in digital photography are high in value and are highly susceptible to damage from fire, smoke, water, breakage, and theft.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Hazards increase without proper background checks and separation of duties. If employees deliver photographs off-site, such as to schools and other organizations, there should be a written procedure for tracking orders and receipts.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the photographer offers credit, commercial articles floater for cameras and other photographic equipment, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Cameras and other equipment may be transported and used at off-site locations.
The equipment is sensitive and susceptible to damage from breakage, theft, fire, and water damage. Equipment may be a target for theft and must be kept in a locked compartment during transport. There may be a bailees' customers' exposure if the photographer develops film or repairs photos for others.
Commercial auto exposure depends on the frequency of off-premises shoots and the radius of operation. Drivers must have appropriate licenses for the exposure and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained, and records kept in a central location.
Choosing Photographer Insurance
When buying your photographer insurance Massachusetts, be sure to shop around, and work with an MA licensed agent who can access quotes from multiple insurers at once. This ensures that you get the best possible quote for the level of coverage required by your business. Moreover, working with an MA agent who is adept at helping photo business customers can be a smart move, since the agent will likely understand the nuances involves in your specific niche and the perils and risks that are unique to your trade. This knowledge can be paramount in helping you find the right coverage at the right price that meets your budget while keeping you protected from unforeseen circumstances.
Massachusetts Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you are thinking about starting a business in the Massachusetts, it's important that you have an understanding of the economic trends and commercial insurance requirements in the state before you set up shop.
Economic trends are important, as they indicate whether or not the area offers a strong economy that will be able to support your business. You also need to know what type of commercial insurance you'll need to carry so that you can plan accordingly and ensure that you are complaint with the law.
To help you determine if the Bay State is the right location for the business you are thinking about opening, below, you'll find an overview of MA's current economic trends, as well as the types of insurance policies you'll need to carry.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Massachusetts
Unemployment rate is a good indicator of a state's economy. The lower the rate, the more job opportunities there are, which is direct reflection of the health of businesses.
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts was 2.8% in December, 2019. That's 0.7% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% in December, 2019. This indicates that the state offers a strong workforce and that there are enough jobs to support the residents of the state.
While regions throughout the area are seeing business growth, there are certain areas in particular that are seeing more growth than others. This includes large metropolitan areas and the regions that surround them, including:
- New Bedford
Several industries are doing very well in the state of Massachusetts; however, there are particular sectors that are seeing more growth than others and are truly thriving in this part of the country. These industries include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Commercial fishing
- Financial services
- Hospitality tourism
- Information technology
- Medicine and life sciences
If you are thinking about starting a business in any of these industries, chances are good that you will find the success you are looking for in the state of Massachusetts.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Division of Insurance regulates insurance in MA. Massachusetts mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Massachusetts requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors, but employees in domestic service must be covered if they work at least 16 hours a week.
Massachusetts also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Arts & Recreation Insurance
Read up on small business arts and recreation commercial insurance.
- Disc Jockey DJ
- Entertainers And Performers
- Event Planning
- Film Production
- Interior Decorator
- Interior Design
- Photo Booth
- Wedding And Special Event
Commercial insurance policies for arts, entertainment and recreation are specialized policies that protect against the unique risks that arts and recreation businesses face.
Performing artists and companies, entertainers including musical groups, theatre groups, comedians and more, writers, performers, photographers, videographers, DJ's and so many other types.
Professional liability coverage (errors and omissions) is needed in these cases to protect their financial interests due to mistakes, errors or omissions by these professionals in doing their jobs. Fr example - a bride and groom did not like the way their wedding photos turned out.
Or a wedding planner might plan a lavish wedding, but the bride's parents who are paying for it did not like the way it went. There is a lot of gray areas with arts, and you need to be protected if your clients don't agree with you that your work was what the agreed to.
If your business is involved with children, you need to review your coverages very carefully so certain important protections are not excluded. Abuse and molestation insurance might be needed to fully protect yourself in this instance.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Income with Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Commercial Articles Floater, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Bailees Customers Floater, Money and Securities, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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