INSURANCE FOR THE STILL PHOTOGRAPHER
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE
ASMP PROSURANCE PROGRAM
UNDERWRITTEN BY FIREMAN’S FUND INSURANCE COMPANY
- OCTOBER 2007 -
If you are a member of ASMP and you would like to apply for the Prosurance coverage or should you have any questions please contact one of the following:
OLGA MEDINA RICHARD ELEUTERIO (IN CALIFORNIA)
Phone: (212) 490-8511 extension 614 Phone: (310) 826-7200 extension 222
Fax: (212) 490-7236 Fax: (310) 826-9300
NORMA SAFFARALLY LESLIE RODRIGUEZ
Phone: (212) 490-8511 extension 314 Phone: (212) 490-8511 extension 527
Fax: (212) 490-7236 Fax: (212) 490-7236
BETH CARULLI – COMMERCIAL LINES MANAGER
Phone: (212) 490-8511 extension 517
Fax: (212) 490-7236
CRAIG BOSWELL – COMMERCIAL LINES ASSISTANT MANAGER
Phone: (212) 490-8511 extension 511
Fax: (212) 490-7236
To obtain a premium quotation or to apply for coverage, please call one of the contacts listed above or download, complete and e-mail / fax the required application from our website at:
Arranging insurance protection for a still photo shoot is as essential as organizing the proper crew, securing adequate locations and renting equipment. A well thought out insurance program will help to protect your shoot from the financial consequences of damage to or destruction of raw film, exposed film or digital imagery; damages as a result of faulty stock, faulty cameras, faulty lenses or faulty processing; replacing stolen or damaged property as well as defending covered lawsuits.
Purchasing insurance is similar in theory to purchasing a car. You start out with a very basic stripped down model to which various options can be added such as a navigation system, dvd car theater system, sun roof, etc. The added options improve the quality of the car you end up buying. Insurance is similar in that you start out with a very basic policy that excludes many types of losses. A variety of endorsements can be purchased that can improve upon the protection that you are ultimately afforded.
This article provides a brief overview of the various types of insurance coverage available under the ASMP Prosurance program.
OFFICE CONTENTS: Covers business personal property that is situated within your office such as furniture, computer equipment, copy machines, fax machines and improvements & betterments.
MISCELLANEOUS EQUIPMENT: Protects your cameras, lighting, computer equipment outside of your office and darkroom equipment against fire, theft, water damage, breakage, earthquake and much more. Coverage is worldwide and on a replacement cost basis for owned equipment. This differs from some policies that exclude coverage for theft from unattended vehicles, earthquake, that are limited to the United States and Canada or only provide coverage on a depreciated basis.
The ASMP Prosurance policy automatically includes a $35,000 limit for rented equipment including Hired Automobile Physical Damage (See Below). This limit recognizes the growing trend to rent versus own equipment and the high cost of digital systems. The valuation for rented equipment is legal liability and actual cash value for hired vehicles. The standard deductible is $500 but a $1,000 option is available.
HIRED AUTOMOBILE PHYSICAL DAMAGE: Protects against physical damage to rental cars with a limit of $35,000 for any one vehicle subject to a $500 deductible. Coverage is Worldwide. (This coverage is included as part of rented camera equipment section of the policy. One limit applies for both vehicle physical damage &/or rented camera equipment.)
NEGATIVE FILM & FAULTY STOCK, CAMERA & PROCESSING - $15,000 LIMIT: This coverage pays for expenses to re-shoot the job due to lost, stolen, damaged film or digital imagery &/or film rendered unusable as a result of laboratory processing errors and/or camera malfunction. Coverage is designed to cover a current job and you must actually re-shoot the job in order to collect under this policy section. This important coverage is provided on a worldwide basis. Losses resulting from operator error are not covered. The standard deductible is $500.
Imagine that your camera bag were to be stolen after a shoot. The loss suffered would be greater than just the value of your actual camera equipment as you may have also lost exposed film and/or a digital storage device. If your camera were to malfunction, you might lose some or all of the images from the shoot or they may be unusable. These are a couple examples of claims that would be covered under this section of the policy. Please note, this coverage section does not cover stock photography or the liquidated damage amount of $1,500 per image.
PROPS, SETS & WARDROBE - $25,000 LIMIT: Protects you for damage to or theft of other people’s property that is in your care, custody or control and is a part of your photographic set. There is a $10,000 Sublimit for Jewelry, Furs, Fine Arts, Antiques, Precious Metals and Objects of Art. The standard deductible is $500.
EXTRA EXPENSE - $10,000 LIMIT: Covers the additional expense incurred to complete your photo shoot should your cameras, props, sets & wardrobe and/or location sustain direct damage from a covered loss. Coverage has been extended to include mechanical breakdown of cameras, generators and computerized systems to control cameras. The standard deductible is $500.
THIRD PARTY PROPERTY DAMAGE - $1,000,000 LIMIT: Protects against unforeseeable damage to a location in your care, custody & control while the location is being used temporarily as part of a photographic set. The standard limit is $1,000,000 and the standard deductible is $500.
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION: Covers the actual loss sustained for up to twelve (12) months as a result of direct damage to the premises listed in your policy by a loss from an insured peril.
PORTFOLIO AND CASE - $2,000 LIMIT: This coverage protects the cost to reproduce prints, slides, chromes, tear sheets, etc. The basic policy provides up to $40 per image if your portfolio were to be destroyed, lost or stolen. Coverage is worldwide. Note, this coverage section does not include stock photography. The standard deductible is $500.
MONEY & SECURITIES - $10,000 LIMIT ON PREMISES / $2,500 LIMIT OFF PREMISES: Covers loss of money & securities resulting directly from theft, disappearance or destruction.
GENERAL LIABILITY - $1,000,000 LIMIT: Protects you for your legal liability against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that occurs within the United States and Canada. (Note: There is limited worldwide liability coverage.) One of the important aspects of this coverage is that it affords coverage both on your premises and locations within the policy territory. Listed below are some of the important coverage exclusions.
a. Injury to people deemed to be covered by a Workers Compensation Statute.
b. Benefits payable under a statutory disability statute.
c. Anything having to do with the use, loading or unloading of an automobile, watercraft, or aircraft.
d. Damage to other people’s property in your care, custody or control.
e. Claims resulting from an improper model release, invasion of privacy, infringement of copyright or trademark, infringement of patents, or libel or slander if you are in the business of advertising, publishing, broadcasting or telecasting.
f. Claims arising outside of the United States or Canada.
g. Anything having to do with pollution.
h. Any intentional act.
i. Wrongful termination, discrimination, or sexual harassment.
AN IMPORTANT BENEFIT OF THE ASMP PROSURANCE PROGRAM IS THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR STANDARD CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE.
NON-OWNED & HIRED AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY - $1,000,000 LIMIT: Protects an employer for bodily injury or property damage claims that arise from use of a hired, borrowed, or rented vehicle. This coverage will respond only after the policy insuring the vehicle involved in the accident has paid its limit. Please note there is no coverage for a person who drives their own vehicle on your behalf. Coverage is limited to the United States and Canada.
ERRORS & OMISSIONS LIABILITY - $1,000,000 LIMIT: For those members who meet the eligibility guidelines and complete an application, coverage can be extended to include copyright infringement claims as a result of errors and omissions. An important policy enhancement for this type of coverage is that the defense costs are in addition to the policy limit. (This is an optional coverage and subject to an additional premium.)
LOSS PAYEE & ADDITIONAL INSURED: A Loss Payee is a person or organization that has a financial interest in the property given or leased to you and for which you have agreed to provide the insurance. By adding a Loss Payee endorsement, both signatures are needed on a claim check in order to cash the check. The loss payee thereby maintains control of the insurance claim proceeds.
An Additional Insured endorsement extends your liability policy to cover another person or organization for bodily injury and/or property damage claims resulting from your negligence. Since the insurance carrier is now protecting more than one business or individual, there may be an added premium for this coverage.
OPTIONAL COVERAGE AVAILABLE:
1. Workers Compensation & Employers Liability
2. Statutory Disability Benefits
Statutory States: New York, New Jersey, California, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii
3. Foreign Commercial General Liability, Foreign Non-owned & Hired Automobile Liability, Foreign Voluntary Workers Compensation
4. Employee Dishonesty
5. Employment Practices Liability
6. Business Automobile for owned vehicles
7. Umbrella Liability
8. Non-owned & Hired Watercraft Liability and/or Physical Damage
9. Non-owned & Hired Aviation Liability and/or Physical Damage
10. Animal Mortality
11. Pollution Liability
12. Cast Coverage- for key models
13. Plate Glass
14. Pension Plan Liability
15. Boiler & Machinery
16. Disability Income
17. Health Insurance & Dental Insurance
18. Accidental Death & Dismemberment
19. Life Insurance
20. Long Term Care Coverage
WORKERS COMPENSATION: There is a general misconception that Workers Compensation would not be required when hiring a ‘freelancer’ or ‘independent contractor’ to assist on a photo shoot because these individuals only work for you once in a while and taxes are not being withheld. I suggest the following is the truth:
a. You are not withholding taxes because you believe these people to be ‘freelance.’
b. The Internal Revenue Service and the Workers Compensation Board are two different administrative agencies.
c. You can legally have an employee for a day.
d. The courts will go to great lengths to protect an employee’s Workers Compensation benefits. For example, a written agreement between an employer and employee where the employee signs away his rights to Workers Compensation benefits will not be upheld.
e. Workers Compensation benefits are generally determined by the state in which an employee is hired. The state legislature sets the structure of these benefits and there is no jury to award damages for pain and suffering. Therefore, it is far cheaper for an insurance company to pay the state mandated Workers Compensation benefits than to pay the same claim under the Commercial General Liability coverage which could include an amount for pain and suffering. This is one reason why a Commercial General Liability insurance carrier will determine if they are able to categorize a claimant as an employee.
It is our recommendation that every photographer that hires an employee, freelancer or independent contractor should carry Workers Compensation including Employers Liability. It does not matter whether the person you hire works for one day or for a full year. A Workers Compensation policy will protect you for the state mandated benefits in the event this individual were to be injured while working for you.
Each state has statutes that define the mandatory benefits available to an injured worker and generally this will include medical expenses and a portion of income lost as a result of injuries suffered while working for you. The Employers Liability coverage will protect you for claims brought by someone other than an employee to recover for damages paid or sought from a former or existing employee. If an injury were to occur and you did not purchase Workers Compensation coverage, you would become personally responsible for this benefit and you would subject your business to potential state fines. Failure to provide Workers Compensation is one instance in which the courts will pierce the corporate veil (shield) and the shareholders will remain personally liable.
Workers Compensation coverage is made available in many states by means of State Insurance Funds. Policies provided through these Funds might include a premium discount for favorable loss (claims) experience, however a major disadvantage is that they only provide benefits of the state in which they are located. In contrast, policies offered by the private insurance carriers will usually provide benefits for all states except those in which they are not licensed as well as the five monopolistic states of Ohio, West Virginia, North Dakota, Wyoming and Washington. Therefore, coverage would not apply for employees hired in these states. Workers Compensation coverage in the five monopolistic states may only be purchased from the sponsored plans in each state.
It is also important to note that you should not hire children in violation of the conditions of their working papers. When a child is hired in violation of their working papers and becomes injured on the job, the standard policy will only pay a single Workers Compensation benefit. Some states will require that a multiple benefit be paid. The difference between the standard compensation benefit and the penalized benefit is the responsibility of the employer.
THIS HANDOUT IS MERELY A HIGHLIGHT OF THE ASMP PROSURANCE POLICY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE OR SUPERSEDE ANY OF THE TERMS AND/OR CONDITIONS OF THE POLICY. PLEASE REFER TO THE ACTUAL POLICY FOR AN EXACT DETERMINATION OF COVERAGE.