About General Liability Insurance
All businesses, regardless of industry, face risks that should be covered by insurance. The most common and comprehensive type of policy business owners invest in is general liability insurance (or CGL).
Some of the risks CGL insurance covers are:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Medical payments
- Legal defense and judgment
- Personal and advertising injury
While businesses aren't legally required to carry general liability insurance, operating without it is extremely risky. If your business is sued, you could end up facing fees totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more). Having a sufficient CGL policy in place to help compensate for these damages is the only way to prevent this type of event from devastating your business.
Learn more about the risks covered by general liability insurance.
COMMON SITUATIONS THAT GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE WOULD COVER FOR A TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER
Example 1: You have rented a special lens for an upcoming project. During your travels, it is damaged beyond repair and the rental company is suing you for a replacement. General liability insurance would help replace the damaged property.
Example 2: A new client brings her daughter to a meeting, where she breaks a framed photo and cuts herself. Her medical bills would be covered under your general liability policy.
Example 3: As a joke, you tweet about another travel photographer. He is suing for defamation, claiming that your tweet has caused his business to lose revenue. General liability insurance would help pay your attorney’s fees, as well as damages if held liable by the courts.
Example 4: You have applied for a loan in hopes of taking your business to the next level. The lender requires evidence of liability insurance before the loan can be approved.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of perils a general liability insurance policy will cover, and some conditions may result in a particular peril not being covered. It's always best to talk to your agent in-depth about the specifics of your policy to avoid blind spots in coverage.
Cost Of General Liability Insurance
On average, travel photographers in America spend between $350 - $700 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.
Check out the chart below for a snapshot of average CGL expenditure across a variety of industries:
Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:
- Number of employees
- Per-occurrence limit
- General aggregate limit
You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner's policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy. A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.
How much will the right insurance cost you?
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Other Types Of Coverage Travel Photographers Need
While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all travel photographers should obtain:
Home-based business insurance
Since a homeowner's policy specifically excludes business property and business-related losses, it is important that those working out of their home purchase the proper coverage. A home-based business insurance policy is there to protect you, ensuring seamless coverage if your business materials are damaged or destroyed inside your home. Some homeowners insurance policies will offer this as an extension of regular coverage.
Inland Marine Insurance
When purchasing your business policy, be sure to discuss coverages and exclusions. Since your work requires frequent travel with your business tools, an inland marine policy may be necessary. Inland marine insurance fills a coverage gap, ensuring business property, equipment, and tools are covered when taken off business premises.
Commercial Auto Insurance
If you travel with your own vehicle, state law requires at least the minimum commercial auto coverages. This policy covers damaged vehicles, liability claims, and lost equipment. Business owners with significant assets are encouraged to protect themselves financially by considering coverage beyond state-mandated limits.
Types Of Coverage Some Travel Photographers May Need
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your travel photographer may require depending on certain aspects of your operations. Some of these might not apply to you, so be sure to ask your agent which policies are right for your business.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance is a state-mandated policy for businesses with both full-time or part-time employees. If an employee is injured while performing business activities, they could be eligible for coverage under this policy. Additional coverages include a percentage of lost wages for the employee and legal representation for the business owner.
Additional Steps To Protect Your Business
Although it’s easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it should not be your frontline defense. Yes, insurance will compensate for your business’ financial losses after an incident occurs, but it’s much better to avoid losses altogether.
With this in mind, here are three things you can do to better protect your business:
- Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
- Set up a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation to protect your personal assets. (Visit our step-by-step guides to learn how to form an LLC or corporation in your state.)
- Stay up to date with business licensing.
- Streamline your business’ internal processes. This will remove unnecessary variables from common tasks and create a safe, consistent environment for conducting business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in a business owner’s policy?
A typical business owner's policy includes general liability, business interruption, and property insurance. However, BOPs are often customizable, so your agent may recommend adding professional liability, commercial auto, or other types of coverage to your package depending on your company's needs.
What is the difference between business insurance and general liability insurance?
"Business insurance" is a generic term used to describe many different types of coverage a business may need. General liability insurance, on the other hand, is a specific type of coverage that business owners need to protect their assets.
Do I need insurance before I start a business?
You should invest in coverage for your business before your first interaction with a customer. Although the cost of insurance may seem high for a brand new business, it's best to be proactive when it comes to protecting your assets. After all, you can't buy insurance to cover a loss that has already occurred.
Will insurance protect my business from everything?
Not necessarily. Certain exceptions may be written directly into your policy, and some perils may be entirely uninsurable. Be sure to discuss the scope of your policy in-depth with your agent to avoid being blindsided by holes in your coverage.