This month's Peer2Peer addresses a critical business subject: how you shield your business against liability and property risks. While insurance can't prevent losses from occurring, it is a critical layer of protection for your business, your equipment, and your peace of mind. The survey went out September 20 and results were pulled September 24. With 400 respondents, 74% answered that they carry general business liability insurance, 66% are covered by professional liability insurance, and 81% by property and equipment. But 9% with property insurance aren't sure or don not know if their digital files, negatives, and prints are covered. From this sampling, it appears insurance coverage is top of mind for most respondents, but not even on the radar screen for a significant portion of our readers. Here's what else the results show...
• Of our 400 respondents, 65% are structured as sole proprietorships.
• Of those photographers responding, 25% do not carry general business liability insurance and 33% are not covered by professional liability insurance.
• 81% of those who responded to our survey are covered by property and equipment insurance.
• Of those who carry property insurance, 80% of respondents are covered for equipment stolen, broken, or lost while on assignment away from their studio or office.
• Of respondents who carry property insurance, 51% answered that their digital image files, negatives, and hard-copy prints are not insured, 24% are covered, and almost all of the 9% who answered "other" are not sure if their files, negatives, and prints are insured.
• More than half of our respondents, 56%, receive most of their business liability and insurance information from local insurance brokers.
• Respondents named the following insurance agencies, brokers, and associations most frequently when asked from whom they buy their insurance: State Farm, Professional Photographers Association, The Hartford, Hill & Usher, CSI Insurance Agency, Inc., Crane Insurance, Zurich, Marsh Affinity Group, Milliken Agency, Marsh/Seabury & Smith, Safeco, Parsons Brown, Allstate, Farmers Insurance, and Oshkosh Insurance.
"The insurable risks I fear most are catastrophic events, such as fire, flood, or tornado, but the real risk is theft by clients who ignore copyright laws and illegally copy my work without compensating me for my efforts."
Don Barnes, The Photographers (www.thephotographers.com), Denton, TX
"The loss of images is the horror story of any digital shooter. I back up all files as soon as possible on DVD and CD for safety. One set of backups is stored in a safe, and one set in a file cabinet in another building."
Bud Smith, Bud Smith Photography (www.bud-smith.com), Louisville, KY
"Since most of our business requires location work, we are always exposed to the possibility of having equipment and other valuables stolen."
Jose Urdaneta, Urdaneta Photography (www.urdaneta.net), Lancaster, PA