I have a quarterly get together with some photographer friends of mine and we met up the other day. This is something we have been doing for the last seven or eight years. We have a few drinks, a meal and discuss everything and anything to do with photography. Our wives get together at the same time, but we have no idea what they talk about.
Hot topic was insurance for professional photogs. Three of the eight there had experienced problems in 2004 that involved insurance (I was not one, thank goodness).
One may sound amusing, but wasn't at the time or later. A light head exploded and set fire to a suspended ceiling during a wedding reception shoot. Non of us could work out how it could happen, but it did. The fire was tiny and easily put out, with the damage limited to a couple of ceiling tiles. However, the bill from the organisation that owned the hall for the repairs and loss of earnings while it was being done was huge (a few thousand dollars). As the photog in question was insured for all liabilities the insurance company took over the whole thing and he had no further involvement, other than supply details of the incident.
Another 'hardware' problem. Again at a wedding (Bloo Dog, you reading this?) he had his tripod mounted 1Ds with 16-35L knocked over onto a hardwood floor by some kids running around. The drop was too much for the lens which snapped into two parts and the mirror box contents of the 1Ds rattled a lot, so he didn't even look inside. The insurance replaced the lens and paid for the 1Ds repair.
The point of this is, when I read posts from people starting up a part-time business to photograph anything from weddings to pets, I would like to ask if they are considering their insurance position. They could be on the receiving end of a claim for damages, or have their camera/lens do a nose dive into oblivion just as easily as the people above, who have more experience and expertise than most of us here. If you are being paid for your work then you must be insured accordingly.
I think the US and UK have similar conditions for their homeowner's policies where you are not covered for losses as a result of doing your paid business, even if it is part-time. You must insure your equipment separately and be covered for liabilities, especially when we seem to have lawyers under every stone ready to leap out and sue.
All my equipment is insured, including allowances for loans and I have £5m ($10m -ish) of liability cover. Mine is due for renewal in a couple of weeks and I will have to review the current costs of replacing any items that get damaged/stolen, plus check the policy has all the models and serial numbers correct. This is as much of a 'must have' as the latest camera or lens.