Photography insurance coverage is a policy, or combination of policies, that protects your photography or videography business from claims of negligence or damage to your equipment and property. For equipment, inland marine is the most important coverage, and this can cost $200 to $2,500 annually. General liability insurance, the most common insurance policy for a photographer, can range from $200 to $800 annually.
Are you looking for quick and affordable photography liability insurance? The Hartford is our top-recommended photography insurance provider. It offers every type of policy your business needs with customizable limits. Get a quote and be covered in minutes.
Photography Insurance Costs by Policy
Estimated Annual Premium
$1 million per occurrence; $2 million aggregate
$200 to $800
$175 to $700
Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)
$530 to $1,546
$200 to $2,500
$500 to $1,000
$1 million per occurrence; $1 million aggregate
$400 to $1,500
$1 million per occurrence; $1 million aggregate
$500 to $1,800
$2,500 to $5,000
When insurers calculate a photographer’s insurance premium, many factors come into play. The most common are:
- Deductibles: A deductible is like co-insurance—the higher you are willing to pay on a claim, the lower your premium may go.
- Limits: The amount of coverage can raise or lower your premium, but a lower limit can also increase your risk exposure.
- Claims History: If you have a history of filing claims, this may lead to a higher premium.
- Type of Work: What you photograph or record—such as wild animals, models, aerial shots using drones, or anything in the adult film industry—can lead to a higher premium.
- Storage: How you store and maintain your customers’ prints, negatives, and personal identifying information is factored into your premium.
Are you looking to save money? With insurance rates rising year over year, it can be harder to afford quality insurance. We’ve reviewed several carriers and received numerous quotes to find the cheapest general liability insurance providers. You may also be interested in our guide on the ways to save money on business insurance for some tips.
Photography Insurance Coverage: Which Policies Do You Need?
Every photography business is different, so some may need more photographer insurance than others. The core policies to consider are first-party coverage (also called property coverage) to protect your equipment and liability for any potential claims against your business. The other policies are additional layers of protection you may want or need depending on the size of your business.
Liability insurance for photographers, or general liability insurance, is the most common policy—and it is a key policy for every photographer. This protects your business against claims of negligence. There are three areas of coverage, which are property damage, bodily injury, and advertising injury and libel.
For example, you take photos of staged homes for a real estate company, and while working in a home, your tripod falls over and breaks a glass table. This situation would be an example of a property damage claim.
Many event venues may require this coverage and request proof of insurance (also known as a certificate of insurance (COI). Sometimes, the venue will request to be included as an additional insured. Some providers offer this as a free service, but others will charge anywhere from $15 to $30 to your policy to designate an additional insured.
Commercial property is first-party coverage that protects your owned structures and their contents. A studio, showroom, and furniture are all examples of what you would want to cover under this policy—or you can limit it to your equipment. A homeowner’s policy usually will not cover business activities, or if so, will have a limit that is less than your business needs. If your photography business is out of your home, you should still look into this coverage.
Typically, these policies have a blanket limit, which means there is one limit for all of the owned property at the listed location.
A BOP is a package that combines liability and property. Its advantage is that it usually costs less than if you buy standalone policies for liability and commercial property. Carriers will typically let you add equipment coverage for your photography equipment.
Sometimes, it can be confusing to hear all of the different insurance terms. If you’d like to learn more about the difference between a BOP and general liability, read our comparison of BOP vs general liability insurance.
Inland marine insurance is property coverage for your equipment. Unlike commercial property, inland marine follows the equipment and isn’t limited to a specific location. This coverage helps if you accidentally drop and break your camera or someone steals your gear from your car. Discuss whether this is included with a BOP or general liability when shopping for insurance.
Some providers will schedule, or list, your equipment for this coverage. So when calling for a quote, be prepared to go over what type of equipment you have and its approximate value.
Sometimes referred to as errors and omissions (E&O), this is for situations usually not covered by a liability policy. For instance, your contract promises a couple that you will capture their wedding day perfectly. When the newlyweds receive the pictures, they discover you didn’t take any pictures of family members or key ceremony moments and failed to deliver on your promise. This would be a situation where you could file a claim for professional liability.
Photographers do so much work online today that you should consider cyber liability insurance. This protects your business from data breaches and cyberattacks by helping with the cost of notifying the parties involved, handling ransomware attacks, or ensuring your response complies with the related laws.
Workers’ compensation insurance is required in nearly every state, but its threshold for when you have to purchase it changes state by state. That said, if you have employees, then you will need to look into it. This will help your employees if they get injured while on the job by handling medical and rehabilitation expenses and offering wage replacement.
Where To Buy Photographer’s Insurance
Most small business insurance carriers will offer photography insurance, and you can check out our roundup of the best photography insurance companies. Simply visit a company’s website or contact a local agent to get a quote started.
An alternative route to working with a dedicated business insurance provider is using a broker. A broker works on behalf of the customer to help them find the right insurance for their business by gathering quotes from multiple providers simultaneously. This lets you compare the price and coverage and then purchase a policy.
Simply Business is an online small business insurance brokerage that can provide multiple quotes. It allows you to purchase a policy online without speaking to anyone. To compare costs, visit Simply Business and get quotes in 10 minutes.
Whether you go through a provider or a broker, be prepared to answer questions about how many employees you have, your anticipated revenue, the types of work you photograph, and how long you have been in business. For more on this area, read our broker vs carrier comparison to help you decide.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you are a photographer or videographer who charges for your work, you need to consider purchasing insurance. If an event space contracts with you to take pictures, don’t assume its coverage extends to you. In fact, should something go wrong, they may first ask for proof of your insurance. If your office and showroom are in your home, odds are your homeowner’s policy won’t cover your videography equipment or any liability from your business.
If you use your photos of others to advertise your business, or print images, then you should consider using a photography release form. When deciding whether or not you need to use a photography release, consider this question: Will the use of this photo generate revenue for my business? If the answer is yes, then you need to consider utilizing a release. This helps protect your business if, for instance, a past client alleges you profited from their image or likeness using photos you took and then marketed without their permission.
Prices can vary from $200 to $800 annually. Photography liability insurance costs approximately $259 annually from The Hartford—and this quote is for a $1 million limit with $18,000 in equipment coverage. Meanwhile, Next Insurance provided a quote for $16.67 a month for $1 million in coverage, with property coverage being an additional $17 monthly.
Photography insurance can protect your business from various scenarios—depending on the particular policies you include. Here are a few to consider:
- General liability: The officiant trips over your camera tripod and breaks their nose. This is an example of a third-party bodily injury claim.
- Professional liability: Because of the officiant’s broken nose, the wedding is delayed for 3 hours, impacting the couple’s departure for their honeymoon cruise. They decide to sue you. This is an example of a situation where professional liability insurance may step in and help.
- Property: While taking photos at a school dance, a guest knocks the camera out of your hand, causing it to fall and break. This is a claim you could file under your equipment coverage.
As a professional photographer, people let you into their special moments so that you can capture and preserve those memories. To do that well, you have to invest in equipment, which will cost a hefty sum. Photography insurance can bring you peace of mind—protecting your business, equipment, and employees—so that you and your clients can truly focus on the moment.
The Hartford offers coverage for all sizes and types of photographers, including drone insurance. You can get a quote online in minutes, and once you have the policy, you can count on top-quality customer service available 24/7.