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Business insurance for photographers – what you need to know

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Have you considered getting a business insurance policy for your photography business? Here’s everything you need to know before you purchase a commercial photographer insurance policy. 

What is business insurance for photographers?

Every industry faces a different set of risk factors that can result in financial trouble – that’s why photographers should consider purchasing professional liability insurance for their practice. Whether you’re shooting family photos on the weekend as a side-hustle or you’ve built a career off of wedding videography, one small mistake can turn into a large lawsuit. 

Business insurance for photographers is a customized package of coverage that suits the specialized risks in the photography industry. For instance, if you misplace the SD card with all your client’s event photos or if a data breach causes a leak in your customer’s personal information, your insurance policy can help protect you from out-of-pocket financial loss.  

Commercial photography insurance coverage

Every photographer also faces a different set of risks, so it’s important to find a business insurance policy that suits the specific needs of your practice. Common coverages for protecting photographers include but are not limited to:

  • Professional liability insurance (E&O) – Also known as errors and omissions insurance or E&O, professional liability insurance protects you against claims of failing to perform a service as promised. Let’s say you agreed to deliver wedding photos for a client, but you lose the memory card with all the files before you have a chance to back it up. Having E&O coverage on your photography insurance policy can cover the cost of legal fees and protect you financially from compensatory damages paid out. 
  • Commercial general liability (CGL) – Commercial general liability or CGL insurance protects you against third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage. This is especially important for photographers that operate in an office or studio space with clients coming in and out. If a model you’re shooting trips on some lighting equipment, CGL can cover the cost of legal fees, compensatory damages, and medical expenses. 
  • Equipment insurance – Having equipment insurance on your photography business’ policy protects you financially in the event your equipment (e.g. cameras, lights) need to be repaired or replaced. If a few expensive cameras are stolen from the back of your car while you’re on the way to meet a client, purchasing this type of coverage ahead of time can save you from splurging in the long run – and it ensures your business can return to operations as soon as possible. 
  • Cybersecurity liability insurance – As a photographer, you’re likely to conduct some form of business digitally. Whether you’re booking clients through a website or sending files through email, as a form of technology insurance, cybersecurity liability insurance can protect you financially in the event something goes wrong. For instance, if your client holds you legally responsible for a cyber-attack or data breach, this coverage can pay for the cost of damages and credit monitoring.

Who needs photography insurance coverage?

Whether you run your business as a full-time job or a side-hustle, you wouldn’t want one small mistake to ruin you financially. Therefore, any professional that offers photo or video services should consider purchasing a comprehensive photography insurance policy, including:

  • Portrait photographers
  • Wedding photographers 
  • Fashion photographers 
  • Sports photographers 
  • Event photographers
  • Freelance photographers 
  • Photojournalists
  • Videographers 
  • Photo/video editors

How much does business insurance for photographers cost?

A policy with $1 million in coverage for professional liability, as well as $1 million in coverage for general liability can cost you upwards of $1,000 annually. Keep in mind that the cost of business insurance for photographers differs greatly, depending on the amount of coverage you opt for and the types of coverage on your policy – you won’t know the exact cost you’ll be paying until you compare business insurance quotes with us.

Factors that impact the cost of your photography insurance

Generally speaking, the more risk you face, the more expensive your insurance will be – so here are some other factors that insurers take into account when calculating your premium: 

  • Type of services – As a full-time wedding photographer, you’ll probably face more risks than a freelance photographer, therefore increasing the cost of your coverage.
  • Industry experience – If you’re a photographer with 10 years of experience under your belt, you probably won’t be as susceptible to mistakes as a brand new photographer, therefore lowering the cost of your insurance. 
  • Business revenue – The more money your photography business brings in, the greater the damages you could face in the event you’re sued for liability, causing the cost of your coverage to increase.
  • Business size – A photography business with a long lineup of clients faces an increased risk of a claim when compared to a smaller business with occasional jobs, resulting in more expensive insurance. 
  • Number of employees – Employing other photographers means you could be held financially and legally responsible for their mistakes; therefore, the more people working under your business, the higher your insurance premium will be. 
  • Insurance history – Having a clean insurance history for your photography business shows insurers you’re less likely to make a mistake in the future, decreasing the cost of your premium.

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Photographer event insurance and photoshoot insurance 

If you’re planning to run or perform your services at an event for your photography business, such as a special photoshoot, you should consider purchasing event insurance on the side. Having this coverage in place provides you with one-time, increased protection so you can ensure you’re adequately insured during the event. 

Let’s say you’re planning a photoshoot that requires you to book a separate location, hire several models, and purchase more equipment. During this event, you would be putting yourself at more risk than your regular day-to-day operations – people could trip and hurt themselves, damage the studio, or even ruin your new camera. Having event insurance, however, keeps you from being underinsured, so you can be properly compensated, in case you’re held financially responsible for a mishap.

But what if you are working at someone else's event? Do wedding photographer's need insurance? The simple answer is yes, as you may have other employees working the event with or for you. Furthermore, you will want your services and equipment insured in the off chance an unexpected event occurs that impacts your ability to fulfill what you’ve contracted for – a business insurance policy is a must for any serious photographer.

The bottom line

Before you schedule your first shoot, consider purchasing the proper business insurance to protect your practice. Businesses are supposed to be a source of income, so you wouldn’t want one mistake to put you in deep financial trouble. With the right coverage in place, you’ll also be able to focus on the work itself, instead of the inherent risks it could bring.