A Photographers Worst Nightmare

January 15, 2015

Why is insurance so important? This is a question that I (Erika) overlooked and shrugged off for many years before I started working for Pearl Insurance. Working in the marketing department means I touch a lot of the content that is sent out to our insureds, including risk management material. Reading over a lot of the misfortunate events that take place to far too many people without insurance really made me rethink the way I look at it. The answer is simple: for anyone interested in starting your own photography business—or any business for that matter—your equipment is one of the most important assets associated with your business because without it, you don’t have much of a business. This is especially true for photographers because our equipment is everything. Without our equipment, we can’t capture those remarkable moments.

It’s important to note that Kayla and I have obtained several types of insurance to help protect Now and Then Photography. Our first type of insurance covers lost or stolen equipment, along with liability insurance. So if someone were to trip over our camera bag and break a leg at an event we were photographing, we would be protected from being held liable in the event of a claim.  The other type of insurance we have purchased is for our equipment. This coverage was acquired through the camera company that we purchased our equipment from. It was bought at the time of our transaction for our lens, flash, etc.  The equipment insurance covers accidental drops or spills. Which leads me onto telling you about my real life risk management story…

I have to say, I am really pretty ashamed at what I’m about to tell you because it’s not pretty, but I sincerely hope this helps anyone out there running their own business to realize the importance placed on insurance.

Kayla and I recently purchased a beautiful Canon 5D Mark III camera and this baby was going to be all mine! Kayla got a brand new Nikon D800 camera not too long ago, so needless to say, I was anticipating this day. When we purchased the camera Kayla asked if we needed to buy the equipment insurance and I answered, “YES!” without hesitation. We went back and forth on the lower end insurance and the higher end insurance and ended up settling on the higher end insurance. And thank the Lord that we did!

For those of you who don’t know me very well, I tend to have bad luck with shiny new toys. Well, we were hired to photograph an event and it was going to be the very first time I got to put my Canon camera to the test. I used it the whole night and was so pleased with the way my images were turning out. The end of the night rolled around when I bent down to help Kayla put something away in her bag and my BRAND NEW (four day old) camera slips off of my shoulder and nicks the hard tile floor beneath me. I quickly turned the camera around to assess the damage, and to my dismay, a big ole crack was displayed right through the middle of the lens filter and the filter was bent on to where we couldn’t remove it to check out the actual lens. Thankfully, Kayla and I always bring a backup camera so we didn’t miss any important moments but man did I feel like crawling into a deep, dark hole and never coming out.

But wait! There is a bright side to the story, as there always is. We had insurance for the lens!! And it just so happened that the insurance had gone into effect several days prior to the incident. I felt like an idiot calling to submit a claim for a new camera, only used once, but I took comfort in convincing myself that this happens all the time, right?! (Or maybe that’s wishful thinking.)

So two lessons were learned out of this bad baaaaad situation:

#1: NEVER wear your camera strap around one shoulder. I got into a bad habit of doing this because the camera gets heavy and it starts to irritate my neck after awhile of shooting. But no matter how much it annoys you, ALWAYS keep the strap around your neck or across your body.

#2: Buy insurance for those assets that help make your business successful.

After sending the lens in to be fixed, we were informed that the lens wasn’t harmed and that only the filter cracked, which only costs around $15 to fix. Talk about a happy ending to a not-so-fairytale story. I’m sharing this extremely embarrassing moment with you all to show you the importance in insuring your valuables. Don’t risk it, no one is perfect (especially me!) and mistakes happen. We are flawed as humans and the only way to attain some peace of mind, and to stop walking on eggshells, is to purchase coverage. Believe me, you won’t regret it!

Take a look at the gnarly crack in my lens filter below and pray that your luck isn’t as bad as mine. 🙂

IMG_4198

(iPhone photo pictured above)

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