Whether you run a studio and have employees or work alone as a contracted professional photographer, you’ll want photographers insurance. In most cases that will mean having general liability, professional liability, and equipment coverage. Insurance for photographers may cost $250 to $600 per year, depending on your clientele, venue types, and the equipment you use.
Getting customized insurance for your photography business has never been easier. With a company like Next Insurance you can get a quote and buy the insurance you need in minutes. You’ll even get access to a certificate of insurance in minutes. Quotes are free and plans start at $21 per month.
Who Needs Photographers Insurance
All entrepreneurs or contractors that make a living from photography or videography are wise to have insurance coverage. In fact, some venues and prospective clients may require proof of insurance before you begin shooting. Without photographers insurance, your business may miss out on lucrative jobs and you’ll be exposing your business to significant financial risk.
Photography businesses need insurance to cover their valuable and essential equipment, such as cameras and lenses. They also need it because they’re working with people in public places which can lead to accidents. For example, people can trip over props or cords and get injured. You also run the risk of missing a once-in-a-lifetime moment and having a client pursue legal action against you.
As you can see, while photographers aren’t exposed to the risks of a cardiac surgeon, their profession is full of risks that need to be protected against. Finding the right coverage at the right price then becomes mission critical to your photography business.
Types of Photographers Insurance Coverage
There are several types of coverage that make up photographer and videographer insurance. Knowing what coverage is available and what it covers will help you gain a greater understanding of your insurance needs and the specific coverage types to look for in the right policy for you.
4 Main Types of Insurance for Photographers
|Insurance Coverage Type||What It Covers|
|General Liability Insurance||Bodily injury or property damage to third parties|
|Professional Liability Insurance||Errors and omissions, legal costs from lawsuits|
|Equipment Insurance||Damage, loss or theft of photography gear, such as cameras and lenses|
|Business Owner’s Policy||Combines primary coverages into one policy|
Below are the four main types of photography insurance:
1. General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance coverage protects against any third-party claims for bodily injury or damage to property. This type of coverage is the one that is required by some venues or contracts to do business. Also, since a liability lawsuit can be a photographer’s most significant financial risk, general liability is the top coverage type for most photographers.
2. Professional Liability Insurance
Sometimes referred to as “errors and omissions” coverage, professional liability insurance covers damages due to your failure to provide the services that you were contracted to do or if you make mistakes in providing the contracted services. These mistakes can be technical malfunctions of your equipment or your clients may just be unhappy with your work.
3. Equipment Insurance
Equipment insurance covers damage, loss or theft of your photography gear. When you’re frequently changing lenses and angles, it’s easy to imagine how your expensive equipment can be accidentally damaged and you can’t do business without your equipment. This coverage is a must for both professional photographers and and for enthusiasts with extensive gear.
4. Business Owner’s Policy
A business owner’s policy packages together two or more of the main insurance coverages business owners will need. For professional photographers, a business owner’s policy will likely include general liability, professional liability and possibly one or two other coverage types, such as equipment insurance. For many photographers, a business owner’s policy is all that is needed.
Other Types Insurance for Photographers
Most photographers can get the insurance coverage they need with a combination of general liability and professional liability coverages or both packaged together in a business owners policy. However, there are a few other coverage types that may be needed, depending upon the scope or type of photography business you do.
Here are several types of insurance that photographers may want to get in addition a standard Photographer’s BOP:
UAV Coverage: Insurance for Drones
Many photographers, both professional and amateur, have incorporated the use of drones, or what can be referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), for capturing images or video high above the ground. Operating a drone definitely exposes a photographer or videographer to potential for property damage or bodily injury, making liability coverage crucial for the professional.
Some venues and contracts require insurance coverage from professional photographers and videographers when drones are being used. UAV coverage is usually not included in any of the conventional insurance types, such as general liability. Therefore UAV coverage is typically an add-on policy. A UAV policy can cover bodily injury or property damage to third parties.
This coverage is used when other coverage types exceed their limits. For example, if your professional liability coverage limit is $1,000,000 but a client sues you and wins $1,500,000, the umbrella policy can cover the extra $500,000. Professional photographers that have high relative liability risk may benefit by having umbrella insurance.
Workers compensation insurance is only necessary if you have at least one employee and your state requires workers compensation coverage, which pays for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs if an employee (or covered contractor) is injured on the job. Workers comp coverage can be relatively expensive but can be worth the investment.
Photographers Insurance Cost & Limits
For most photographers, the cost of insurance will average between $250 and $600+ per year. The cost will be driven by a few primary factors, such as the environment in which you work and the equipment you use. Photographers with studios open to the public and business owners with employees are most likely to exceed to $600 annual cost of insurance.
Cost of Professional Photographers Insurance
|Business Owners Policy|
When reviewing all of the different coverage types for photographers insurance, don’t be overwhelmed or too focused on price because it’s likely that you won’t need all of them. Most professional photographers, especially those that work on location and without a studio open to the public, will see premiums within the range of $250 to $600 per year.
Other factors that can affect the cost of photographers insurance are deductibles and the coverage limits. Higher deductibles generally decrease the premium but will mean more out of pocket cost to you when you have claims. Lower coverage limits also place more financial risk on you but can also decrease the cost of your annual premium.
In almost every case with commercial insurance policies, the best way to buy photographers insurance is to combine coverages into a business owners policy. Most professional photographers will need general liability, professional liability and equipment insurance. A business owners policy can combine all three coverage types for a greater value than buying the coverages separately.
For example, Next Insurance can build a custom insurance plan suited to your photography business. You’ll get exactly the coverage and limits your business needs to ensure that the unexpected doesn’t result in financial ruin. Plans start at $21 per month and you can get a free quote online in minutes.
How to Buy Liability Insurance for Photographers
Before you start shopping for the right insurance policy, it’s smart to do a little bit of homework that can get you prepared to find accurate quotes and possibly reduce the cost. The primary steps you’ll need to take before applying for quotes are to gather the appropriate information and look for an agent or broker.
Gather the Information
The more information you can provide about your photography business, the more accurate the quotes for insurance will be when you start shopping. More importantly, given the right information, an agent or broker will be able to completely assess your risk and recommend the best insurance coverage types to suit the needs of your photography business.
Here’s the main information to have ready when applying for photographer and videographer insurance:
- Address and contact information
- Business history and background (e.g. number of years in business)
- Equipment you use and its estimated value
- Products you sell or provide to your clients
- Extent of travel required
- Claims history (at least the past 3 years)
- Business leases, if applicable
Since the application process for almost any business these days is online or over the phone, you’ll be responsible to have this information ready and for entering the data into the digital application if done online. If you need help gathering the right information or in the initial application process, contact the experts at Next Insurance.
Get Multiple Quotes
Once you have the appropriate information ready for your photographers insurance, you can start getting quotes from insurance agents or brokers. Agents typically work for one agency; whereas brokers often work with several different agencies and can help you shop for competitive rates in the marketplace.
Where to Get Photographers Insurance
Like most industry insurance for business owners, there are three primary means of shopping for and buying insurance for photographers: 1) Professional Associations, 2) Insurance Agents, or 3) Insurance Brokers. Any of these three sources can help you get insurance but there may be a greater value among them that applies best to your needs.
1. Professional Trade Associations
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the world’s largest non-profit photography association. The PPA is an advocate for professional photographers and they offer educational resources and professional products and services, including insurance coverage, to their members. Insurance rates can be competitive; however, there is a membership fee that will add to the total cost.
2. Insurance Agents
When buying photographer and videographer insurance through an agent, you are typically dealing directly with one insurance company. This means you’ll need to do some shopping and get quotes through at least three different agents representing different insurance companies to get a good idea of the right coverage at the right price for you and your business.
3. Insurance Brokers
Insurance brokers represent multiple insurance companies, which means they can help you find the best liability insurance for photographers at the right price for you by searching the marketplace for the best value. When selecting a broker, be sure to find one that has experience working with several different insurance companies that have experience working with photographers.
Getting the right insurance for a photographer doesn’t need to be a difficult process. During your search for photographers insurance, be sure to speak to a reputable insurance agency, like the photographer insurance experts at Next Insurance. Their plans start at $21 per month and you can get a free quote in minutes online.
Tips for Buying Photographers Insurance
Understanding the risks to your photography business and how to effectively cover them with the appropriate insurance coverage is the greatest priority and purpose when it comes to buying professional photographers insurance. You don’t have to be an expert in small business insurance as much as you are an expert in your business to understand these needs.
According to Jonathan Treibick, Professional Videographer, CEO of SpeechBooth.com:
“As someone in the wedding videography business, I’ve seen several unusual scenarios where people have gotten injured during a wedding. In these settings, guests are often drinking, dancing, and moving around. I am far more concerned about the cost of a personal injury lawsuit than I am with the cost of replacing damaged equipment. Between their inebriation and the photography and video equipment placed around the venue, it’s hard to guarantee an injury won’t occur. That is what I insure against.”
As with buying insurance for any small business, you don’t want to be over-insured or underinsured. You want to find the best value. Insurance agents and brokers can be valuable tools in selecting the best insurance for your business but it’s up to you to choose the right coverage types that protect against the greatest risks.
Most professional photographers can cover their greatest risk exposures by purchasing general liability, professional liability, and equipment insurance. Look for a business owners policy that can combine these three coverages into one high value, low-cost policy. Make sure that your insurance company enables you to have access to your certificate of insurance whenever you need it, even if you’re on the go or at a job site.
Next Insurance can provide you with a quote for photographers insurance in minutes. Filling out a short online form will get you a free, no obligation quote on a plan that’s affordable and tailored to your business’s needs. Plans start at $21 per month.