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FOCUS: Williamson Carson - Protecting yourself in a digital world

7 January 2021

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Our good friends Williamson & Carson have been looking after AOP Member's for many years! They talk to us about what sets them apart from other insurers along with how you can prepare and protect yourself in this increasingly digital world.

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© John Lamb from Find a Photographer

Who are your services aimed at and how are you different to other insurance companies?

Although we are largely known for insuring photographers, we insure all types of creatives, from DOPs to stylists, graphic designers and illustrators at all stages in their careers. Our packages are always bespoke so you’ll get exactly what you need. We’ll never sell you anything that you don’t need, and we also have exclusivity with our insurers. This means that we have unique policies specifically designed for those in the creative industries that are only sold through us. We also handle everything for you. This is a key part of our service, and what sets us apart from other insurance companies. It’s simple to get a quote or make a claim. Just contact us and we'll help arrange everything, quickly and without fuss, so you can carry on working.

The photography industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. How have you helped clients navigate this difficult time?

We’ve all been affected by this pandemic, and our clients come first in everything we do. With some of our clients we have arranged for certain covers to be put on hold. We’ve also advised on what covers to keep, such as Professional Indemnity insurance which provides protection for claims against you relating to completed projects or historic work. If you are experiencing any issues due to the pandemic, just get in touch with us and we can go through your options. We’re always here to help!

What trends should the creative industry be aware of and prepared for?

The pandemic has accelerated our move towards a more digital world, which provides both opportunities as well as risk. In lieu of face to face meetings we have all adapted and changed how we work. As we’ve moved online, cyber criminals have been taking advantage of this, using phishing and malware. While the methods and threats aren't new, they have been amplified by the shift to remote working. Simple actions like investing in your software and regularly testing your systems, as well as taking out Cyber Insurance, helps to protect your business. One of the easiest, and most overlooked ways, is making sure your passwords are strong and not sharing them with others. We have also seen significant growth in the coaching and teaching market. If you have started to teach other people online, contact us to check that you have the right cover.

Clients taking out an insurance policy need assurance that they are going to be looked after. Can you share a client’s horror story?

We’ve helped out so many clients over the years. The one thing that always comes up is something going horribly wrong in the early years. We recently interviewed our client Melinda Ashton Turner an Interior Stylist and Creative Director with more than 20 years experience for leading UK and Australian interior design magazines. This is what Melinda told us: “I’d only been freelance for about a month when I loaded the car the night before for an early start the following day. I blocked the car in the driveway, thinking it would be fine. By morning, the 5K of props had gone. Thankfully all the suppliers were understanding and kindly let me repay a nominal fee if anything at all. Ever since then I’ve taken out insurance and never leave anything in the car and I ensure my assistants do the same.”

What's next for Williamson Carson?

We’ll continue to serve the creative industries, and weather this storm together. We’ve been helping photographers since 1986 and are grateful to be able to continue to serve our friends in the industry. A recent, positive change for us was bringing our partner brand Whinney Insurance into the Williamson Carson family. When Matt joined the team as a Director, he brought with him Whinney Insurance, which services the financial, technology and media sectors. The new design, which you may occasionally see, signifies how we see ourselves, as a family, interlocking and supporting each other.

Williamson Carson is a family run insurance broker, passionate about supporting the creative industries since 1986. We understand business and being prepared for the unpredictable, taking the worry out of getting the right cover. Contact us to discuss your needs.

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