Life behind the camera can be a personally and financially rewarding one, but it does not come without its own professional risk. Few snappers get through their careers without one or two unhappy customers and the odd mistake, and in today’s more legally-aware society, the chances of facing a legal claim are higher than ever. Photographer professional indemnity insurance aims to cover the risk of such a claim in that it protects the person should they be pursued for damages. Policies are also not always about providing funds for legal representation – when they react quickly and correctly, they can help protect a photographer’s reputation and minimise upheaval.
For example, say a photographer is hired to complete a high-profile job to a tight deadline. He or she completes the job but takes the wrong lens with them and this results in sub-standard digital shots. The client complains furiously and demands a re-shoot, but they refuse to pay for the added equipment costs and re-hiring of any models. Professional indemnity insurance means the photographer can make a claim for the extra costs and takes the right lens on the rescheduled shoot, delivering top standard shots and keeping the client happy.
It is not just this type of situation in which a professional indemnity insurance policy proves helpful. A policy will also often cover against loss or damage of important business documents, the unintentional infringement of any copyright, any case of defamation, libel or slander brought against the company or individual photographer, and will also cover against any dishonest actions of any employees of a company. So, if a member of a photography agency steals something from a client, while out on a job, the policy will cover costs of compensating the client up to a pre-agreed limit.
Policies exist for fully professional and semi-professional photographers and for just about every type of snapper, from a wedding photographer to a press professional, to a paparazzi specialist. It is worth bearing in mind that some clients will actually ask and request that a photographer they use has professional indemnity insurance before even considering whether to hire them or not.
Although professional indemnity insurance might be more commonly associated with management consultants and private doctors, this kind of insurance is actually relevant to hundreds of professions, including photography. A hired professional photographer is likely to be thought of as an expert in the field by the client and therefore can expect ramifications if they make a serious error while on the job. Photographer professional indemnity insurance helps a pro get on with the job in peace, leaving them able to focus on their shots instead of what would happen should they be accused of doing a bad job and costing a client cash.