Whether you’re a freelance photographer or own a large photography studio, protect yourself from potential risks with photography liability insurance.
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Insurance for photographers
What does it cover?
A comprehensive insurance policy for photographers typically includes:
- Professional Liability Insurance: As a photographer, you may have only one opportunity to capture that special moment, like a wedding, and if your clients are not satisfied with the results, you may be held liable. Professional liability, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, provides financial coverage against financial losses due to negligence, errors, or failure to deliver a service as promised. Essentially, it protects against costs associated with claims or lawsuits that may threaten the survival of your business.
- Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance: CGL insurance is vital for any business that has customers or partners visiting an office or workspace. For photographers, that includes the studio where you work. Also known as slip-and-fall insurance, it covers you from third-party bodily injuries or property damage should a customer visit your location and injure themselves. For instance, a customer trips on a lighting cable, fall, are hurt, and require medical attention. If they sue you for damages, the cost of a lawsuit could put you out of business. CGL provides you with coverage to defend yourself in court, and it pays for your injured customer’s medical expenses.
- Equipment Insurance: You need to protect your gear. You know better than anyone that your cameras and associated photography equipment are not cheap. Equipment insurance covers the cost to repair or replace your equipment due to an insurable event. For example, if it is damaged by a fire or stolen from your studio or offsite at a photo shoot.
- Drone Liability Insurance: Drone liability coverage provides you with financial protection to repair or replace any business-owned drones you use for your work. It protects drone operators from third-party property damage or bodily injury liabilities, as well as coverage for the drone if it is damaged or stolen.
- Cyber Liability Insurance: We live in a digital age, and no doubt you communicate and share files with your customers electronically. It is your legal responsibility to protect your customers’ personal information, the photos you take of them, and their financial data. If your computer server or systems if an accidental data breach occurs, you could be sued for damages by your customers. A cyber liability policy covers the cost to repair your computing systems, any losses you suffer because of a computing systems outage, legal advice, notifying your customers of a cyber-attack or data breach, and providing them with credit monitoring.
Do photographers need insurance?
All professional photographers should consider getting the right insurance program to protect themselves from potential lawsuits against their business.
We’ve insured more than 1,000 professionals. Some of our clients include:
- Commercial Photographer
- Drone Photography
- Event / Wedding Photographer
Each profession is unique, and coverage requirements may vary. Please speak with our brokers about customizing your policy to suit your specific business insurance needs.
How much does it cost?
The average cost of insurance for photographers starts at around $565 per year for a CGL and PLI policy with a $1.5M combined coverage limit.
The exact cost of your policy may vary depending on several factors, such as:
- Training and Experience
- Annual and Projected Revenue
- Services Provided
- Number of Employees
Common claims scenarios
Problem: After a photo shoot for a client’s wedding, your developer mismanaged the file, damaging all the photos from the event.
Outcome: Your Professional Liability Insurance policy could cover the $20,000 lawsuit due to failure to deliver services.
Problem: A client who came into your photography studio for professional headshot trips on your lighting stand and injures their knee.
Outcome: Your General Liability Insurance policy could cover the $35,000 cost to pay for the medical bills.
Problem: On the way to a client’s office, you get into a car accident and damage your camera equipment.
Outcome: Your Equipment Coverage policy could cover the $10,000 cost to replace the damaged equipment.
Frequently asked questions
Is professional liability insurance important for a photographer?
Yes, it is. Think of professional liability as a type of malpractice insurance for shutterbugs. Suppose you’re hired to do a wedding photo shoot. Your camera could break, or a memory card may fail. Or maybe, despite your best effort, the shots you take don’t turn out the way you planned, and your customer is angry about it and sues you. That’s why you need professional liability coverage. It also protects you from allegations of negligence if a customer claims you failed to do your job.
Does photographer insurance include coverage for video gear?
You may need a customized policy to insure film equipment such as video cameras. Speak to a licensed broker about your needs and outline what type of equipment it is. They can guide you on what your coverage options are and get you a customized policy to protect your video equipment.
Do I need photography insurance even if I’m not a professional photographer?
Yes. Both professional and amateur photographers should purchase a policy to protect their equipment and themselves from third-party liability lawsuits. If you’re taking photos of people, and those people get injured because of your work, you could be held legally liable for their injuries.
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