Photographer Insurance Tips: Winter Safety Edition
In our northern climate, we have two seasons: winter and second winter. This extreme in temperature can make photography a very seasonal occupation. If you are brave enough to head outside in our winter landscape, we want you to be safe and warm when you tackle the winter blues with fantastic photography. There are three areas of concern for a photographer when the weather gets cold and snowy, and they are:
Keeping yourself and your clients safe has overlapping concerns, but there are effective ways to protect yourself physically and financially from these threats. For example:
- Be prepared by wearing appropriate clothing. If you are uncomfortable using your gear with gloves, look for fingerless gloves that will keep you warm while allowing the tactile feel of using your hands.
- Any time it is colder than -20 C, frostbite is a concern. Cover any exposed skin and take breaks in a warm room frequently.
- Wear shoes that have enough grip or avoid icy locations. No one likes to fall, especially onto freezing ground or into the snow.
- Be aware of potential hazards from above and below. Avoid areas where icicles, avalanches, washouts, thin ice, and abominable snow people are a concern.
As you are probably already aware, in the insurance industry, the most common source of losses is the result of the weather. Weather-related losses cost insurance companies billions of dollars each year and cost clients deductible fees or a change in claims rating on your overall premium. Your insurance protects you when you need it most, but that doesn’t mean the claims process is enjoyable. Taking preventive measures to help avoid claims and adhering to safety practices will ensure your next adventure with landscape photography is fun and safe. Here are some tips to help you protect your gear:
- Cold conditions make plastic brittle and prone to cracking. Using a bag with a zipper or Velcro closure instead of clips can help reduce the chance of breaking a buckle on your bag and accidentally having your camera slip out.
- When not in use, keep your camera and lenses inside your camera bag with the zippers closed. Once you remove the gear from the pack, keep it shut to prevent snow or other elements from damaging the inside equipment.
- A lens hood will decrease snow landing on the lens and create water spots in your photos. Keep a towel nearby to wipe the lens free of moisture throughout the shoot; before placing gear back into the camera bag while damp or with snow on it, throw in a few silica packs to absorb some moisture that may have seeped in.
- Place your gear into an airtight plastic bag before bringing it into a warm room. Allow your equipment to warm up to room temperature; the plastic will prevent condensation from forming.
Some estimates show nearly a third of people will suffer a disability lasting 90 days or longer during their working career. Injuries or illnesses can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, causing an inability to work and earn income. Rehabilitation can take months in some cases. In other situations, a disability can be permanent. Unfortunately, most photographers are self-employed, meaning they don’t have a workplace benefits plan to rely on if the worst should happen. Discuss your coverage options with one of our life & living benefits advisors during a free no-obligation consultation. In many cases, you can personalize your protection through policy add-ons, making your policy a custom fit to your unique needs.
Before you set out on your next winter adventure, review your insurance coverage to see what coverage limits you have for your gear, medical expenses and liability.
Take reasonable precautions to avoid damage to your gear and protect yourself. By purchasing a photography insurance policy, explore the winter with confidence.