Thimble Insurance customer Mike Masin for photography insurance

Customer Name:
Mike Masin

Fine Art Photographer

Cape Coral, Florida

Policies to Date:
20 and counting!

Thimble: Could you tell me a bit about how you got into the photography business?

Mike Masin: I’m a fine art insurance for photography, which means I don’t take photos under contract; I produce my own art for sale. I first got into photography when I was around 9 years old and a neighbor gave me a little Brownie knock-off. I shot hundreds of snapshots with it, which probably drove my parents crazy because it was expensive to process film.

I became more serious about photography in the 70s when I bought my first SLR, and I started doing it commercially about three years ago.

insurance coverage

Copyright © 2018 Michael Masin. All rights reserved.

T: What drew you to photography as a career, and what are your favorite aspects of the job?

MM: I love to go out for a walk. It helps me clear my mind and focus (or not focus!). When I go shooting, I make a decision as to where I want to go, I grab my kit, and I just head out. The only time I truly have a plan in advance is when I’m on a wildlife shoot, so I know I’ll be going to a particular rookery for a couple of days. That’s a seasonal activity because I shoot during nesting season for wading birds.

The joy for me comes from a couple of fulfilling aspects of the job: first, I get to walk on the beach and be around wildlife. I also do some cityscape work in downtown Fort Myers and other locations that interest me.

On the other side of the equation, I have to sell my art. My photographs are in a few galleries, but I also set up at local farmer’s markets and art walks, so I get to talk to people. People ask me about my art, they ask me about photography. It’s almost a tripleheader in terms of getting fulfillment from what I do, because I not only get to pursue my passion, I get to talk about it.

T: Why did you choose Thimble for your business insurance needs?

MM: When I’m working in an area around other people—setting up a tripod on a shoot, at a market in a state park, or in the middle of the street for an art walk—there’s always the risk that someone could be injured or some damage could occur.

The thing that really attracted me to Thimble was the ability to whip out my cell phone and purchase $1 million in coverage for a set period. I also love that I can add Additional Insureds on the fly. One event that I participate in regularly requires three different Additional Insureds. With the Thimble app, it’s a breeze to add them, print out the certificate of liability insurance, and be covered, all while fulfilling my legal requirements.

insurance coverage

Copyright © 2018 Michael Masin. All rights reserved.

T: Do the organizations you work with at events generally require you to have an insurance policy in place?

MM: The state park where I show my art every Sunday asks for a certificate for the park itself, for the Department of Environmental Protection, and another Additional Insured…I don’t even have to remember who it is because the app maintains that for me, so I just need to check them off when I provision the policy.

It’s only recently that I’ve had to provision Additional Insureds, but I just love the idea that wherever I’m shooting, I can set up a policy when I’m on the go. That way I can show someone I’m insured from my phone—it’s a perfect match if you don’t know what you’re going to be doing four hours from now.

T: How long have you been using Thimble?

MM: I have been using Thimble for General Liability insurance since Florida was added to the list of states where coverage is available: I had been on the waiting list, and one day I randomly checked the app and noticed that Florida had been added. I jumped right on it and opened an account.

T: How has Thimble changed your approach to your photography business?

MM: It’s helped me protect the business. Setting up a tripod on a sidewalk is almost like hanging a sign on your back that says, “trip on something here.” No matter how cautious you are, someone could be looking the other way or reading their phone as they’re walking and just run into your equipment. I have peace of mind knowing that if something unfortunate happens, I’m insured for it.