As a photographer, you know that a lot can go wrong on a shoot. Clients can get injured, the weather can change quickly, or your equipment can break down. It’s fine to leave some things up to chance. But it’s nice to have a backup plan. That’s where photographer insurance comes in. Without it, you could end up paying thousands of dollars when an accident occurs.
But what is photographer insurance? And is it even worth it?
Great question! We teach you everything you need to know about photographer insurance and find out if it’s worth the extra costs to your business.
What Is Photographer Insurance?
Photography sets quickly turn chaotic. And not long after, someone gets hurt, or equipment gets damaged. Photographer insurance helps you pay for hefty expenses like medical bills, legal fees, and repairs that would otherwise set back your business. Photographer insurance can save you stress and money, whether you freelance on the side or run a full-time photography business.
Insurance providers sell photographer insurance as a bundle of popular business insurance. Here are the most common types of protection included in a photographer’s insurance policy.
General liability insurance is a go-to, whether you’re on-site or hosting clients in your studio. It helps you pay if a client claims they were injured or their property was damaged by your business. Photographers bring a lot of equipment to a shoot. So the risk of injury is real. Clients can trip over your lighting chords or fall off a prop stand.
General liability is super important for real estate photographers. If you and your team shoot a luxury property and scratch the floors, general liability pays for the damages.
General liability also covers personal and advertising injury, i.e., if your business commits libel, slander, or copyright infringement. Photographer insurance can cover the cost of legal fees if a client’s images are used without their consent. It also applies if a client can’t use your shots because someone in them didn’t sign a release form.
General liability is third-party insurance. You need additional coverage for damages to your property and your employees.
Professional liability insurance covers the cost of legal fees and settlements if a client claims you made a mistake. It won’t necessarily be your fault. But, if your computer crashes or a memory card backfires and you lose the photos, the client will blame you for negligence.
Art is subjective, so clients won’t always be happy with your work. Or maybe they didn’t understand what to expect as a final product. Professional liability can also step in if a couple claims you forgot to capture the best angle on their wedding day. That’s why it’s good to list shot types in your contracts, so there’s no confusion.
Professional liability is also called errors and omissions insurance. Insurance providers might promote it under other names. For example, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) offers an “indemnification trust” for members to cover data loss, missed shots, or unsatisfied clients. It pays for legal fees and data recovery.
Photography equipment is incredibly valuable. And unfortunately, everyone knows it. So, there’s a high chance of theft. Business property insurance pays for repairs and replacements if your property and equipment are damaged or stolen, including:
- Lighting equipment
- Memory cards
- Laptops and hard drives
- Props and backdrops
Depending on your policy, you can be reimbursed for the full replacement costs (i.e., the value of your property when it was purchased) or actual cash value (the value of your property minus depreciation). Business property insurance is also called commercial property insurance.
Tools and Equipment
Photographer insurance policies can include tools and equipment insurance. It protects your precious camera equipment when you’re on the go. This type of insurance takes the pressure off if you travel with thousands of dollars worth of equipment. It’s sometimes called business equipment insurance or inland marine insurance.
Also, drone photographers should look into “unmanned aircraft” coverage in case of an accident.
Business income covers your lost wages if you couldn’t finish a job because your equipment was damaged or stolen. You can add an “off-premises” extension to your business income coverage if you travel to venues often rather than host clients at a studio.
Your team is so important. They step in to coordinate schedules, pose clients, find props, and fill in for events. They’re in the thick of it. So they’re at risk of getting hurt or sick. Don’t assign team members to clients unless they’re covered. If they sprain their ankle at a rocky venue, workers’ compensation insurance pays for their medical bills, lost wages, and any ongoing care.
How Much Does Photographer Insurance Cost?
According to Thimble, photographer insurance typically costs about $216 a year. The price varies depending on your location, the size of your team, and any special equipment you carry. In general, you have to pay more if your equipment is more expensive.
Photographers can buy short-term coverage, sometimes called event policies, that last 1-3 days. You’re protected only for the days you need it. Thimble offers photographer insurance by the hour or day. A short-term policy will cost around $50 for the time period.
If you buy insurance from a professional organization, like PPA, you also have to pay membership fees. Luckily, membership comes with other cool perks, like educational resources and networking opportunities.
Do You Need Insurance to Start a Photography Business?
Your state might require liability insurance if you rent or own a photography studio. Also, clients will ask for proof of insurance, especially for weddings or large events. Even if it’s not legally required, it’s worth it to have a photographer insurance policy for your peace of mind (and bank account).
Photographers face a unique set of risks. You spend a lot of time, energy, and money on your business. Between camera equipment, rent, software, and travel, your expenses add up quickly. You can protect these investments with a reliable insurance policy.
All professional photographers can reap the benefits, whether you do travel, wedding, or family photography. But photographer insurance isn’t one size fits all. Newborn photographers won’t have the same problems as real estate photographers. So, it’s extra important to find a policy tailored to your business.
The Bottom Line
Photographer insurance takes the pressure off when accidents happen during a shoot. It can cover your property, equipment, employees, and clients. Be sure to shop around for a policy that fits your needs. Photographer insurance is worth it to protect your business finances and reputation.
PocketSuite can help with the rest. We’re an all-in-one app to run your photography business. We offer easy appointment scheduling, simple forms and contracts, and quick payments to help you get more bookings and make money.