Ask an Agent / What If I Injure Myself And Can’t Work?

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly feature answering your questions about the business of photography – the photography industry’s first Agony Aunt!

If you have any questions you’d like to ask a photographers agent please send them to Questions can be on anything to do with the photography business, such as photoshoots, marketing, professional practice, pricing, contracts, legal stuff – anything.

For this month’s Ask an Agent, we have a very interesting question from one of our own guys - the wonderfully talented photographer (and skater!) Will Hartley.

Hi Lisa,

I have a question! Is there a type of insurance for freelancers in case an accident puts them out of work?

I recently sprained my wrist skating and it was out of use. Although it’s not broken and it wasn't that serious, it scared me a bit as I wouldn't have been able to work if a job came up over those days, either that or I would have really struggled on a shoot on the day which wouldn’t look great. If I had broken my arm or my leg and I was out of work for 12 weeks or longer, I’m not sure what I would have done. Is there insurance for this kind of thing? Or do we just save and have emergency money?!

Will Hartley

Thanks Will, good to have a question for Ask an Agent from one of our own photographers. I’m sure a lot of people out there would be very keen to know the answer to this too!

Now I do know that here at LPA, we have very comprehensive shoot production insurance. Part of that insurance is called ‘Reshoot’ insurance, so if a shoot has to be cancelled due to something on our side of things going awry - like the photographer or another integral part of the crew not being able to make it, then that is what we would claim on if we had to reorganise the whole thing. Obviously all shoots are different, so I guess in some cases a client might simply replace the photographer or they might be understanding and in a position where they can postpone the shoot until the photographer is ok to work. And in some cases it’s possible to reorganise a shoot at little or no cost, although not all!

I also know as a self - employed person there is something called critical illness insurance which would cover you if say, god forbid, you couldn’t work for ages. What I’ve done though is ask insurance guru, Tom Carson from Williamson Carson what he thinks. This is what Tom has to say…

‘’If a photographers is concerned about Accident/Injury there are a number of ways they can cover this:

1. Production/Reshoot cover.

You can cover individual shoots in the way you do. This means if the photographer could not carry out a shoot due to accident or sickness the policy would pay for the shoot to be reshot at a later date when the photographer has recovered.

2. Personal Accident Policy:

The Photographer could take out a Personal Accident policy to cover him for loss of income following an accident (can also be extended to include sickness.) Can cover two elements:

- Lump some for Death, loss of limb/eye, permanent disablement.

- A weekly benefit to cover temporary total disablement or temporary partial disablement (or both if required)

These type of policies normally cover an indemnity period of 104 weeks and usually would have an excess period of 2 or 4 weeks before benefits would start to be paid.

- Loss of Income/Critical Illness policy.

You can take out this policy for more serious/chronic accidents/illnesses. Benefits are normally paid up to retirement age. You can sometimes take a policy to start paying benefit after a Personal Accident policy indemnity period has passed. So the Personal Accident would pay for the first 104 weeks and the Loss of Income would pay from 104 weeks to retirement. It can be done in this way to reduce the cost of the Loss of Income policy as it would take a pretty serious accident/illness to go beyond 104 weeks.

Those are some of the ways a photographer can cover themselves. ‘’

Thanks Tom, that is very helpful! And please be careful out there on your skateboard Will!!

Whether you’re a creative director or a student, a photographer or a designer, an art buyer or an assistant, if you have any questions you’d like to ask a photographers agent please send them to and we’ll answer as many as we can!

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This advice should be taken as a guide only.

Lisa Pritchard, LPA and guest bloggers take no responsibility for any omissions or errors.

The images used in this article are for illustrative purposes only and do not necessarily correlate with specific facts or examples cited in the text.

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