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Why will some insurance carriers not insure me because I do video production?

I get this question a lot. Here we go...

Principle 1 - An insurance company sets the annual premium amount for a policy bases on the risk exposure for the type of business it is insuring. A gas log fireplace installer has a higher risk exposure than a florist, for example. The gas fireplace installer expects to pay more for insurance than the florist.

Principle 2 - An insurance company may choose not to insure some business industries (Business Industry Classification also called "SIC") for one or both of the following reasons. 1) They don't understand the risk exposure they are assuming so they simply choose to say "no". 2) They understand the risk but they don't know how much to charge for the risk exposure. "How could that be?", you ask. Well, it is because they don't have enough claims history data (frequency and severity) for an industry type, so they just say "no" to that industry type.

Principle 3 - In addition to General Liability (Coverage A - bodily insurance and property damage to others) there is a coverage on most liability policies call Personal and Advertising Injury Liability (Coverage B). This coverage can be complicated. I will not try and explain the entire coverage for the very broad insurance industry. You can read about it here ARTICLE. The definition of the Personal and Advertising Injury (Coverage B) is also found in detail in this article. I have extracted this sentence because it focuses on the matter at hand. "...personal and advertising injury claims is (considers) that persons and organizations have legally protected rights that, if violated or infringed, may result in loss to them." The follow is a list of possible damage(s) that a person and/or organization may suffer as the result of an offense a small business owners my commit:

a) False arrest, detention or imprisonment;

b) Malicious prosecution;

c) Wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into or invasion of the right of private occupancy of a room, dwelling or premises that a person occupies, committed by or on behalf of its owner, landlord or lessor;

d) Oral or written publication, in any manner, of material that slanders or libels a person or organization or disparages a person's or organization's goods, products or services;

e) Oral or written publication, in any manner, of material that violates a person's right of privacy;

f) The use of another's advertising idea in your "advertisement"; or

g) Infringing upon another's copyright, trade dress or slogan in your "advertisement".

As a still photographer and/or videographer you can see that that items d, e, f, and g are more likely to occur in the operation of your business than a, b, or c. The insurance carriers believe that the risk exposure for Personal and Advertising Injury is greater in videography production that in still photography. So, they can opt to figure out how much to charge for it, or say "no".

There is a gray area. Some videographers do weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, bar mitzvah, real estate tours, etc. This type of videographer has very low risk of Personal & Advertising Injury liability because either the viewing audience is small and controlled or there is a low risk of item g, e, f, and g (above). Insurance carriers will take these types of videographers into the same industry class as a still photographer. What doesn't fit this gray area? Film making, video production, documentaries, music videos, advertising video's, etc.

My agency currently represents over 20+ carriers. Some only take still photographers and the "gray" are videographers described above. Other carriers, will take the higher risk exposure videographers and film production businesses. They charge more premium because the risk exposure they are assuming is greater.

We are licensed in all 50 states. We can find the best coverage at the lowest price for almost any type of videographer, film-maker, still photographer. Please Request A Quote on this site. We will take your business insurance out to market and find the best solution to managing your business risk exposures.

This article is advisory in nature and not a guarantee of coverage. Please read your specific policy for coverages, exclusions, and limitations.

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