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Russell's Example Of Why Real Estate Photographers Need Liability Insurance

Published: 09/02/2016
By: larry

InsuranceA while back, Russell in Portland, OR gave me this example of why real estate photographers need good insurance:

I know you've done a post on this subject, but I had something unfortunate happen to me last Thursday that makes me wonder if it shouldn't be revisited.
While shooting a single family listing, I had backed myself up into a corner to catch as much of the kitchen as I could. Hearing something fall from the small shelf between the kitchen and the living room (with white carpet), I knew exactly what I had accidentally pushed over... the very same scented liquid wax pot that I had considered moving a few minutes ago!

I won't go into the hindsight thing or how stupid I felt for not moving it when I first considered it (choosing not to because it was so full that I might spill it). Needless to say, the sight of RED wax covering a large part of a white carpet almost brought me to the point of adding another stain (the contents of my stomach)!

Luckily a quick Google search showed that a wet towel and a hot iron was the key to pulling almost every trace of it out.

Wow! Great story! Good thinking. Google saved you the bother of making an insurance claim!

7 comments on “Russell's Example Of Why Real Estate Photographers Need Liability Insurance”

  1. I'm shocked that anyone would consider doing this without insurance. You'll find that it is actually pretty cheap to get insurance.
    Good to hear Russell found a way to get rid of the stain! I count my lucky stars that I haven't had anything happen like that, yet.

  2. In 1989 a friend of mine stopped by my studio looking very glum. Apparently he had gone on a shoot the night before at a very high end property. We used hot lights and view cameras in those days. To check our lighting and compositions we used Polaroids. After a looking at one Polaroid his assistant noticed the light had gone out in an adjacent room. It turned out that a light had fallen over and was burning large hole in a custom leather couch. Damage was severe but he was insured. The bigger problem was everyone remembered this for a long time.

    I NEVER use or even consider hot lights to this day.

  3. Backing up into a corner: the liability bane of the real estate photographer. I've lost track of the number of times I've backed up into a picture, a lamp, a vase, a plant, or a rickety old stand with valuables perched gingerly atop. Luckily I've never broken anything, but it's hard to be vigilant on a RE shoot where time and space are of the essence.

    I've even had light stands randomly fall over in adjacent rooms despite having tightened everything down. Shit happens, and coverage is cheap as long as you include it in your CoDB. What worries me is the number of contracted photographers (for big photog companies) who don't carry insurance because they assume their hiring company carries liability for them. And in about 100% of the cases, the companies do NOT because they aren't legally responsible for contractors and their accidents.

  4. how about reaching for a piece of crystal that was too close to the edge of a heavy wooden fireplace mantle, only to have the entire heavy wooden fireplace mantle rip free of the wall, doing no small amount of damage on the way down?
    Fortunately they did not blame me. Or sue me. Or run me over with the 'benz.

  5. Wow, the pucker factor must have been sky-high, Russell! We only hire licensed, bonded and insured professionals. It's not much money and it definitely sets you apart from the competition.

  6. For this very reason described above I carry liability insurance. As a member of PPA I have access (included in the membership of $27.00 per month) to $15,000 of equipment insurance and the opportunity to purchase liability insurance for $259.00 per year. PPA's liability insurance partner saves me about $500.00 per year compared with a previous policy I had from an independent insurance agent. Just the insurance benefits alone are worth the membership.

  7. Hello, my PPA Membership just came up for renewal and I am shopping around for Liability Insurance to see if I an save some $. It seems like Ron's plan through PPA is the best with the Liability discounted seperately for $259 per year. Does anyone else recommend other Insurance Companies?

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