Photography or videography can be extremely expensive. Most photographers, professionals and hobbyists alike, are always upgrading their gear to keep up with the ever improving technology and looking for ways that will improve the quality of their images. This can lead to a vast collection of cameras, lenses, flashes, tripods, filters, camera bags, memory cards, and other gear. Together, they can make for a shocking sum of value, which is why it is important to make sure you have the right insurance coverage (and a high enough coverage limit) to protect you against theft or damage.
If a pipe bursts in your home and destroys your gear, or someone steals your camera bag, you want to know that your insurance is capable of covering all of your losses. If you’re a professional photographer, there are additional insurance coverage options to help protect you against any liability claims. Photographers are highly sought after to capture once in a lifetime moments, so if something goes wrong, you might end up with a lawsuit filed against you.
Here are some insurance coverages that are available for professional and hobbyist photographers and videographers alike.
Professional Liability Insurance
This type of coverage is available for businesses that provide a professional service or advice to their clients, which includes photographers and videographers. This type of insurance is commonly referred to as “Errors and Omissions” coverage. In the event that you are accused of failing to complete services agreed upon between you and your client, liability insurance can protect you against the claims made. This includes acts of negligence and acts out of your control. For example, if you forgot to take specific photos required by the bride in your contract, or your memory card became corrupted during the ceremony and important moments were missed while you swapped memory cards – then professional liability would help cover the costs of your legal fess and any money that may be awarded to the aggrieved.
General Liability Insurance
Unlike professional liability insurance, general liability insurance protects you from liability claims outside of your scope of services rendered or expected. This type of insurance covers against bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury sustained by a third party, such as a client, caused by you, your business, or an employee.
This can include scenarios such as:
- A client tripping over your your camera bag and brakes an arm.
- Your flash causes someone with epilepsy to have a seizure.
- Your employee trips and knocks into the bride, running her dress.
- You post anonymously online, bad-mouthing a competitor – which can leave you open to claims of libel.
Business Owner Policy
Business owner insurance is a package of two types of insurances that are commonly purchased by multiple types of businesses: General Liability Insurance and Property Insurance. Property Insurance is coverage for your office (including a home office) and contents owned by the company – like your camera equipment.
Business Vehicle Insurance
Most types of car insurance exclude the use of your vehicle for commercial or business use outside of commuting to and from work. . However, photographers commonly have to drive to their clients or non-owned locations for a photo shoot. With Business Vehicle Insurance you can opt for the same types of coverages as your personal auto insurance policy. If you have any employees, including an assistant, don’t forget to add them to the business auto policy; if you send them on a work errand (like to pick up a spare memory card) and they get in an accident, then the business vehicle insurance will protect you and your employee from damages and liability while also providing coverage for the damage they cause to others.
Homeowner or Renter’s Insurance
This coverage is ideal if you store your professional gear at home or persue photography as a hobby. You can list your equipment under your homeowner insurance policy (or if you rent, your renter’s insurance policy). If you operate your photography business out of your home, you will need Business Property Insurance as homeowner/renter’s insurance excludes claims made for business property.