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Thread: Do photo clubs need insurance, incorporation?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Northern Virginia

    Re: Do photo clubs need insurance, incorporation?

    Bob, I didn't read it all. But most commercial concerns are not member-based corporations, but rather stock corporations. A member of a member-run corporation is suing himself if he sues the corporation--that's the idea as it was presented to me. Cheap insurance won't cover that--people should have their own insurance to cover mishaps against themselves. You might be surprised at what happens if you ever need to test your policy with an injury to one of your own members.

    As to needing to be big to incorporate, nah. I'm president of an arts corporation with a $10K annual budget. We are incorporated, tax-exempt, and insured, and none of that was burdensomely expensive to set up. Some of it required a lot if paperwork, particularly the tax status.

    Rick "you can get insurance for anything if you pay enough" Denney

  2. #32
    Sheldon N's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Portland, OR

    Re: Do photo clubs need insurance, incorporation?

    A couple comments from someone who works in the industry...

    If the current camera club is not a formal organization (ie. no bank account, no charter, no standing as a legal entity) then there is nothing to sue and no assets to protect. You can't name an organization that doesn't formally exist in a lawsuit.

    If the current camera club has no assets, there is not really any incentive to sue it. Buying insurance can sometimes create the financial incentive to sue that would not otherwise exist.

    Incorporation of the club can provide financial insulation for the members from the club's liabilities. However, in any incident a good lawyer will sue both the club and you individually, negating that advantage.

    Individual members who have homeowners insurance are already protected for their personal liabilities, even away from home, as long as the club isn't overly formal or a business.

    The biggest liability risks to a camera club are 1) premises liability, where the club has oversight/responsibility for the general safety of an area or for equipment that could injure someone. 2) Fiduciary liability to their own members for dues/fees/etc. 3) Possibly personal and advertising injury liability, if you got into contests/prizes/publication.

    If there are no assets, no real situations where the club has oversight for premises safety, and no circumstances where you are contractually obligated to obtain insurance in order to use a facility... then I would not incorporate or buy insurance.

  3. #33

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Do photo clubs need insurance, incorporation?

    Since our club is on Meetup, I did a search for "Meetup liability" and found their waiver, I think (at least for now) I'll print it and have attendees sign it.
    Real cameras are measured in inches...
    Not pixels.

  4. #34

    Join Date
    Oct 2019

    Re: Do photo clubs need insurance, incorporation?


    We are a wildlife photography group that needs access to a businesses parking lot to shoot into a wooded area. The owner of the property has asked our members not to enter their property due to liability issues.

    The office did say that if we were to obtain our own insurance to cover our members when on the business property that we could set up in an area and shoot.

    Does anybody have any suggestions on how to go about this? We are a small group of 15 people. We have a club name but our not incorporated. Our dues are handled by one member to cover mailing coasts and food for meetings.

    Thank you

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