Why You Need Photography Business Insurance

March 18, 2021

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In my post on how to build an elopement photography business I touched on photography business insurance. Whilst it isn’t a glamorous topic, it’s one that is often overlooked.

When photographers are building their businesses, it’s easy to get distracted by all of the exciting things that are involved with building a business, such as choosing your branding, building a website, creating images for your portfolio and of course all that expensive photography gear you’re coveting.

It’s a massive buzz kill to think about the potential of something going wrong and having unhappy clients. But if you want to be a serious business owner, then you need to get yourself photography business insurance as a priority.

Disclaimer
The information below is purely for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact a legal or insurance professional if you want to discuss this topic in further detail.

What Is Photography Business Insurance?

Photography business insurance has different aspects to it, but it’s essentially an insurance designed for professional photographers that covers them across a variety of different situations that they may find themselves in whilst doing their job.

What makes it specific to photographers? There are a couple of insurance companies that specialise in insurance for photographers, and as such their policies are written to cover specific situations that are relevant to the photography industry with an understanding of what cover photographers need. After all, you don’t want to be paying for generic insurance coverage for things that aren’t relevant to you.

What Does Photography Business Insurance Cover?

Companies that offer a dedicated photography business insurance usually cover a couple of key areas, however, it does vary per insurer.

The things you want to make sure they include are:

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance may be called by different names depending on where in the world you live. Generally the following terms all refer to professional liability insurance:

  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Business Liability Insurance
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Errors and Omissions Insurance

Under your professional liability insurance, you want to be covered if you can’t deliver what you have agreed in your contract, or a client claims you were negligent when doing your job.

Some examples where this could happen:

  • A corrupted memory card or hard drive.
  • A client requested specific photos that you didn’t deliver.
  • Your battery ran out which led you to miss capturing a key moment of the day that could not be repeated.

If a client claims you were negligent and this leads to them wanting compensation, or taking the matter to court, whether or not they are justified, you don’t want to be paying these costs out of your own pocket. That’s why you need Professional Liability Insurance.

Photo by Moon Gazey Hare

Public Liability Insurance

In addition to professional liability insurance, your photography business insurance should also cover public liability too. Because while you are out in the world working as a photographer you are also coming into contact with members of the public and their property.

Public liability, or general liability insurance, protects you against claims made by third parties for injury, property damage or medical costs.

Public liability covers instances such as:

  • A hiker trips over your camera bag during an elopement and breaks their ankle. They blame you for leaving you bag on the trail and want you to pay for their ruined holiday as well as their medical bills.
  • You are shooting the couple getting ready at their swanky accommodation and you accidentally break something that you need to pay to replace.
  • You are shooting an elopement and the couple has told you they have permission to visit that location. But then the angry landowner arrives and threatens to fine you for trespassing.

If your goal is to be a destination wedding photographer, it’s not uncommon that wedding venues in Europe will ask to see proof that you have public liability insurance in order to allow you to work there.

winter elopement in the Dolomites

Other Types of Insurance You Might Need As A Photographer

Professional and public liability insurance are absolutely non-negotiable in my view if you want to be a responsible and ethical business owner.

There are also some other insurances that you may want to consider depending on what you needs are:

  • Electronic Equipment Insurance
    Some photography insurances may cover your electronics, but if they don’t you may want to consider insuring it against loss, damage and theft.
  • Business Property Insurance
    If you own or rent an office or studio, you’ll may be required to have insurance for your lease or mortgage to cover damage to the building. Even if it’s not required, it’s advisable. You may find some property insurers also cover the equipment inside too.
  • Commercial Car Insurance
    Your personal car insurance may not cover you if you are using your car for work purposes, including transporting clients. If it doesn’t you’ll need to find a commercial policy to cover you.
  • Employers Liability Insurance
    If you employ associates, assistants or second shooters, you may need additional insurance to cover them working for you.
  • Drone Insurance
    If you are flying a drone, whether it’s for personal or for business, it should be insured. Since January 2021 it’s a legal requirement in Europe that anyone who has a camera drone must register it and show proof of insurance.
All the equipment I use for my elopement photography business laid out on the floor
Is your valuable equipment insured?

I’m Only Shooting For Free – Do I Still Need It?

Even if you are just starting out, you shouldn’t leave it too long before you get insurance sorted. If you have a website and an Instagram, and you are out taking photos and using them to market yourself as a photographer, you are still opening yourself up to some of the risks, especially when it comes to public liability.

Best Photography Business Insurance Coverage?

Hiscox

For photographers in North America and Europe, Hiscox has one of the most comprehensive photography business insurance policies.

I’ve been with them since I started my business in 2015. Thankfully I’ve never needed them, but I’ve slept a lot better on a number of occasions knowing I was protected.

Their policies cover business liability, general/public liability and in some cases also equipment too. What I liked about them was the ability to scale my coverage as my business grew.

Get A Quote From Hiscox

Aaduki

For photographers based in the UK, Aaduki seem to be the number one choice. Not only are their policies extremely comprehensive, they are many photographers first point of call when they need legal advice in sticky situations.

Learn More

Insurance is definitely one of those things that doesn’t usually make a photographer’s most coveted list of things they want for their business, but it’s something you really don’t want to be left without. Nobody likes to think about when something bad might happen, but at least when you are insured, you know you’ve got your back covered.

Related Reading

Adventure Wedding Contracts
How To Build An Elopement Business
How To Prepare For Life After Covid

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