Ask the Expert: Advice from an Insurance Broker for Designers

In this edition of our Ask the Expert series, Ryan Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer at Mitchell Sandham Inc., explains the importance of insurance for designers and design firms. 


How did you get involved with the RGD?
Back in 2005 I provided an insurance solution to a graphic design firm. They thought the insurance program I provided was great and asked if I could assist other similar studios. One of the owners of the company was then the President of the RGD and that's how I got involved.
Do all designers need insurance or only businesses with employees?
If you are offering professional services then you should definitely consider insurance to cover any claims made against you or your business. We offer insurance solutions for sole proprietors in addition to businesses with employees.  
How long does the process take to identify what coverage a business would need and get it in place?
Since we have been working with graphic designers for so long we know exactly the insurance coverages required and have developed an online self-serve quoting tool that designers can use to get insurance price indications. The key coverages that designers should consider are Professional Liability, Cyber Liability, General Liability and Equipment coverage.   
Do you have any resources you could share for folks looking to learn more about their options before speaking to a broker?
Our website has a section dedicated to graphic designers along with a link to our self-serve quoting tool.
What are some common liability exposures business owners might not be aware of?
Cyber liability is one that has received a lot of attention in the last 12 months especially due to the pandemic. When customers provide us with sensitive information it is our duty to keep that private and confidential. If this data is compromised, stolen or lost, it can cause significant damages.
What elements, aside from price, are most important when comparing insurance quotes?
Coverage is the most important. Price is certainly a factor although you wouldn’t want to find the least expensive option only to find out later it doesn’t provide the coverage you require. Not all policies for graphic designers include cyber liability insurance, claims against phishing, ransomware and various other types of hacks. Our program for designers includes both professional and cyber liability. Given the shift to digital and online and a decrease in print, there is a need to ensure both coverages are in place. 
Can business owners do anything to optimize their premiums in the current environment?
Yes, insurance is largely based on revenue. Updating your revenue each year with the insurance company, especially if your revenues have decreased in the last year can ensure that you’re paying the right premium.  
What is the benefit of working with a broker instead of directly with an insurance company?
Brokers provide choice. We work for our clients, not the insurance company. An independent broker provides a selection of insurance companies, not just one option. Also, we are experts in each industry we serve.  
One last fun question, if you were a designer what industry would you want to design for?
Insurance! Only because I know the industry well and there are so many insurance companies that could use an update to their brand!  
Ryan has been working in insurance for nearly 20 years. As Chief Operating Officer of Mitchell Sandham Inc., he supports clients including graphic designers, restaurateurs and knowledge based companies with custom designed insurance products for their businesses. They also provide specialized personal insurance for these individuals including home, auto and excess liability insurance.




Mitchell Sandham offers enhanced insurance packages in terms of coverage and price to the RGD Members across Canada.


Interested in learning more?

Click here to receive an online quote or contact Ryan Mitchell directly via email at .