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How Touchdown Antics Almost Ruined One Photographer’s Game

With more than 15 years of experience in the sports photography business, Matt Zimmerman was considered one of the most well-accomplished photographers in the area. He got his start at the age of 16, taking sports photos for the high school paper. Within a few short years, he went on to work for a weekly newspaper and then started his own sports-centered photography business.

Through the years, Matt’s abilities were always in high demand. There wasn’t a game he couldn’t shoot or any action he couldn’t capture. Though he covered a variety of prep sports, high school football was his favorite. Between the action, the raw emotions, and the fiery crowds, he was sure to always get some good photos.

The touchdown takedown

While working a homecoming football game for the school, the action and the excitement grew as the teams were tied up and the rivalry was high. Sensing a touchdown was near, Matt positioned himself at the edge of the end zone, hoping to catch a shot of the winning touchdown. He had his camera on a monopod and set his bag of extra equipment down next to him in order to free his hands.

Quickly, the home team’s quarterback threw the ball far into the end zone. The receiver had to run deep but snagged the ball for the winning touchdown. In celebration, the receiver spiked the ball onto the ground and proceeded to do an extravagant end zone dance ending with a disastrous back flip.

Matt backed off, but forgot about his bag on the ground. Not aware of Matt or his bag of equipment, the receiver hurled backward through the air. He landed squarely on top of Matt’s bag, crumpling like a ragdoll. Medics swiftly came to the player’s aid, but it quickly became apparent he suffered a potentially serious injury.

Matt felt terrible. The teen might not be able to play the rest of the season, let alone might be permanently injured. All because he left his bag on the ground. Then when he thought of the financial ramifications of the incident, he felt even worse.

The player’s ankle was broken and needed two surgeries to repair the damage. And, his hopes of college recruitment were dashed as this was his final year in high school and could not recover in time.

The player’s family sued Matt for damages in the amount of $1 million. He’d never been sued before and was shocked to discover that the legal defense cost $450 an hour! Luckily, Matt protected his interests with the photography insurance program exclusively available through R.V. Nuccio and Associates, Inc. The insurance company defended Matt, and the court found him liable for just the medical costs associated with the ankle.

Matt learned about the importance of photography-tailored insurance firsthand. If he hadn’t secured the correct coverage, the claim would have wiped out his business and possibly his personal assets too!

Industry-Tailored Protection

Need comprehensive coverage for your business? The RVNA Professional Photographer’s Insurance Program provides everything you need in one convenient place: Property Plus, Liability Plus, and Crime Plus Insurance. This tailored insurance coverage package provides specialized “A” rated protection. Endorsed by the National Alliance of Special Event Planners, R.V. Nuccio and Associates is the only online nationwide insurance source for photographers, offering the most customized protection at the most competitive rates.

Note: This case study is based on real claims scenarios. However, the story has been fictionalized to protect the privacy of those involved.

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School Photo Session Meltdown

Photographer Mike White specialized in school portraits. He traveled to dozens of schools every fall taking student photos. The students and faculty loved working with him because he was positive, professional, and knew how to make even the grumpiest kid smile.

East Ridge Primary was one of his favorite schools to visit every year. He enjoyed working with the kind staff and the gregarious children, who knew how to ham it up for the camera. Mike was especially looking forward to this year’s school picture season. Since business was going well, he reinvested some of his earnings in new camera equipment and lighting. Mike was sure this year’s photos were going to be his best yet.

While the photographer’s away…

As usual, the staff at East Ridge Primary let Mike set up his photography equipment and backdrop in an unused computer lab. This worked for him because he was out of the way and had space to work.

Mike ran his lights, backdrop, and camera equipment across the room, taking care to tape down cords so children wouldn’t trip and fall. He took all the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.

Set-up had gone quickly and smoothly, so Mike had an hour before the first students were scheduled to get their pictures taken. Having forgotten his lunch at home, Mike decided to dash out and grab a bite to eat. He left the room and shut the door, leaving his equipment behind him.

After lunch, as soon as Mike returned to the school parking lot, he knew something was amiss. All the children were lined up outside and there was a fire truck and two police cars in front of the school.

The kids will play

While Mike was gone, three boys had snuck into the classroom where he had all his equipment. They thought it would be funny to take some candid photos of themselves to see what Mike’s reaction would be when he found their pictures on his camera.

One of the boys turned on the special lights Mike uses. And in the process of the pranksters taking pictures of themselves in various silly poses, the lights were knocked over. The heat of the lights quickly melted the carpet and caught fire.

Luckily, the boys escaped uninjured and managed to pull a fire alarm. Firefighters arrived and were able to extinguish the fire before it spread to other classrooms. But the damage to the room was extensive. The computers and equipment in the lab, valued at $150,000, were destroyed. Also, there was extensive smoke and water damage and the room had to be gutted and rebuilt from the ground up, costing another $75,000.

Fortunately, Mike protected his interests with the photography insurance program exclusively available through R.V. Nuccio and Associates. The insurance company defended Mike and paid $225,000 on his behalf. The court found Mike negligent in that the equipment was accessible and not secured.  Mike learned firsthand the importance of photographer-tailored insurance. If he hadn’t secured the proper coverage, the claim would have wiped out his business and possibly his personal assets too.

Industry-Tailored Protection

Mike protected his interests with the photographer insurance program exclusively available through R.V. Nuccio and Associates. Need coverage for your business? The RVNA Professional Photographer’s Insurance Program provides everything you need in one convenient place (Property Plus, Liability Plus, and Crime Plus Insurance). Underwritten by one of the largest, most respected carriers in the country, this tailored coverage package provides specialized “A” rated protection. Endorsed by the National Alliance of Special Event Planners, R.V. Nuccio and Associates is the only online nationwide insurance source for photographers, offering the most customized protection at the most competitive rates.

Note: This case study is based on real claims scenarios. However, the story has been fictionalized to protect the privacy of those involved.

Read More →