While consumers have largely switched to digital photography in the last decade, photofinishing labs still play an important role for those who want high quality image processing and prints.
Photofinishing labs need tailored business insurance in order to protect their livelihoods as they transform their services according to the latest technological trends.
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Traditional photofinishing labs process and print film for a variety of purposes. With cameras integrated into smartphones and tablets, digital photography now dominates the imaging market. When consumers want prints of their digital photos, they typically order prints online and have them shipped to their homes.
While photofinishing remains an exacting process, photofinishing labs have had to evolve in order to stay afloat. In addition to processing film and creating prints for customers, photofinishing labs must now effectively and efficiently process online orders for digital processing in order to keep up with the times.
Basic Business Insurance for Photofinishing Labs
Photofinishing labs need a variety of business insurance policies in order to protect their livelihood and their employees. The type and amount of coverage that you need will depend upon several factors:
- The size of your business
- Your ownership versus rental status of the building or facility
- The amount of personal property you have, including equipment, office furniture, computers, tools, supplies, inventory etc.
- The number of employees you have
- The ZIP code where your business is located
Working with a local, independent insurance agent, you can determine which policies and coverage will best protect you if you have a loss. Be sure to discuss the following types of basic business insurance.
- Commercial general liability insurance protects your business form claims of third-party bodily injury and property damage. It covers the costs of medical expenses for injured third parties, and certain costs associated with your legal defense if you are sued. It may also provide coverage for claims of advertising liability, slander and libel.
- Commercial property insurance is very important for photofinishing labs. It protects your business property (buildings and their contents) from costs associated with fires, windstorms, hail, smoke, theft and vandalism. Business property insurance helps you pay to repair or replace items like darkroom fixtures and furnishings, film processing equipment, tools, paper, and other supplies, as well as any cameras or other photography equipment that you have on hand or sell to your customers.
- Your commercial property policy should also include business interruption insurance, or business income protection. This coverage helps you pay for ongoing business expenses (rent, employee salaries etc.), lost income, and even relocation expenses if you must temporarily close in order to recover after some type of covered event (e.g., fire).
- You may need professional liability insurance to protect you from claims of negligence, errors or omissions in the professional services (photofinishing) that you provide. If you make a mistake or oversight that leads to a financial loss for a customer, vendor or other third party, you can be sued for negligence. While you likely have some professional liability coverage in your CGL policy, if you and your independent insurance agent feel you have a significant exposure, you can purchase additional professional liability coverage. Like your CGL policy, professional liability coverage pays for your legal defense and any settlements or judgments that you must pay as a result of a lawsuit.
- Many small businesses qualify for a business owners policy (BOP). A BOP combines liability, property and business interruption coverage into one convenient and more affordable package policy. Your independent insurance agent can help you decide if a BOP is right for you. And remember, if you need more coverage than what the BOP provides, it can be customized to your needs and additional coverage can be added with endorsements or other standalone policies.
Additional Business Insurance Options for Photofinishing Labs
After you have taken steps to protect your business from property damage and lawsuits, you want to assess your need for several additional types of business insurance for photofinishing labs.
- Workers’ compensation insurance protects your employees from the costs of work-related illnesses and injuries. Your employees may be at risk from burns, chemical exposure, cuts, slips and falls, and even repetitive motion injuries. If you have employees, your state requires you to have workers’ compensation insurance, which covers medical expenses and lost income for employees who are injured on the job.
- If your CGL policy does not provide sufficient liability protection for your needs, consider excess liability coverage, or commercial umbrella insurance. It adds an extra layer of protection with liability coverage above and beyond the limits of your CGL and certain other liability policies. It kicks in when the limits of your other applicable policies have been exhausted. If a customer or another third party sues you, this coverage can be the difference between financial devastation and complete recovery.
- Flood insurance and earthquake insurance may be necessary if you live in an area that is prone to these natural disasters. Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for this type of coverage.
- Employment practices liability insurance provides coverage if an employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
- Pollution liability insurance might be necessary if you work with and dispose of toxic or dangerous chemicals or other pollutants.
- As photofinishing labs increase their Web presence and online order processing, the costs associated with a single cyber breach can force a business to close its doors very quickly. A cyber liability insurance policy covers everything from legal and forensic services to public relations costs and liability judgments if sensitive customer data is exposed.
- If you have employees, you should consider offering employee benefits – group health insurance, group life insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance, and more – to your employees.
You can customize all of your business insurance policies to address your specific exposures and to ensure that you have appropriate coverage limits.
How to Find the Best Insurance for Photofinishing Labs
Some may see photofinishing as a dying art, but in reality, your business will continue to flourish if it evolves with new technology. As traditional ways of doing things become less prevalent, new processes and new technologies create opportunities for those who can see and embrace the big picture.
If you seize the opportunities available to you, your business insurance needs will continue to evolve as well. Shop for business insurance with the help of a local, experienced independent insurance agent who can work with you – and numerous insurance companies – to make sure that your needs are always being met no matter how your business changes over time.
An independent agent can work with many insurance companies that specialize in small businesses and their unique exposures – your best bet when cookie-cutter coverage just won’t do. Contact an independent agent today.