Finding the right business insurance for your photography business is an important step in protecting your business and achieving long-term success.
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When you run a photography business, there are many risks that could affect your ability to do business, from crucial equipment being damaged or stolen to accidental injuries that occur as a result of your work. It’s a good idea to consider purchasing a wide range of insurance policies to provide financial assistance that will help your business stay afloat in the face of unforeseen disasters.
What insurance coverage do I need for my photography business?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant to photographers:
General liability insurance covers third-party claims of accidental bodily injury or property damage. If your photography business hosts clients at your office or studio, there is risk that a customer could injure themselves on your property. If you or your employees go on location for photo shoots, there’s risk that you could accidentally damage someone else’s property or cause someone to be injured. General liability insurance can provide financial protection in these cases if a third party sues your business.
General liability insurance also includes coverage for personal and advertising injury, which can protect against lawsuits claiming libel, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, and other forms of non-physical injuries and reputational damage. Photographers may often face copyright claims due to the nature of their work, and, in addition, may face lawsuits when using an image of someone else without their permission.
- Property damage: You visit a client’s home for a photo shoot. While arranging your lighting equipment, you accidentally knock over a light that ends up shattering a glass table. Your insurer would cover the damages.
- Bodily injury: At your photo studio, a client trips over a misplaced power cord and falls, fracturing her ankle. Your general liability insurance would cover medical costs and legal fees if the client sues.
- Personal and advertising injury: Your photography studio website displays your portfolio of work, including photos you’ve taken of some high-profile celebrities. One of the celebrities sues your business for publishing these photos without their explicit permission. Your insurer would cover the lawsuit and any resulting settlement.
Inland marine insurance protects your equipment and property that does not remain at a fixed location and is not covered by a commercial property insurance policy. Photographers commonly work at a variety of locations, which means you may be transporting expensive camera equipment from place to place. Although commercial property insurance policies may provide a small amount of coverage for items that you take with you, coverage is often limited to items under a certain value. Inland marine insurance can step in to protect the value of the equipment that travels with you if it is damaged, lost, or destroyed.
- While you are photographing a wedding, someone breaks into your vehicle and steals cameras, lenses, tripods, and lighting equipment. Your inland marine insurance would reimburse you for the loss.
As a photographer, you may own or rent a photo studio space and likely rely on expensive cameras, lighting, computers, and other equipment. Losing key equipment could have a ruinous effect on a small photography business. Commercial property insurance can step in to help you protect the value of your business property if it is destroyed, damaged, or stolen. Commonly covered perils include fire, storm damage, explosions, and more.
Commercial property insurance covers the following:
- Buildings belonging to or leased by your company
- Contents of the building, including equipment, office furniture, and tools
- Property of others while it is under your care, custody, or control
- A fire breaks out at your photography studio, damaging the building and all of your photo equipment inside. Your commercial property insurance would pay for repairs to the building and provide funds to replace any equipment that was destroyed.
Photographers commonly rely on vehicles to travel to work locations. If your business owns or leases vehicles, or if you drive personal vehicles for business purposes, it’s important to make sure you have the correct insurance coverage. Personal auto insurance may not be sufficient if you are at fault in an accident while driving for work. Hired and non-owned auto insurance can provide coverage in these situations; it can be purchased as an endorsement on a commercial auto policy or obtained separately.
If your company owns or leases vehicles, you will need commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance will pay for damages if you or your employees are at fault in a collision while driving a company-owned vehicle. It will cover medical costs if the other vehicle’s occupants are injured as well as pay for damages to the other vehicle. Commercial auto insurance also covers your company vehicles if they are physically damaged or lost due to theft, vandalism, collisions, or other hazards.
- You provide photography services at a concert. While leaving the concert, you accidentally back your car into another vehicle. Your commercial auto insurance would cover the damages to both vehicles.
Commercial crime insurance provides funds to reimburse you for losses caused by theft, robbery, fraud, forgery, burglary, and other crimes. This coverage applies both to crimes committed by outside parties and crimes committed by your own employees. Since photographers work at various locations and rely on expensive cameras, lighting equipment, and other items, there is a risk of theft. There’s also a possibility that employees may steal equipment or money.
- Your employee steals expensive camera equipment from your photo studio and resells it online. The employee is caught on camera removing the items. Your commercial crime insurance would cover the loss.
Professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions insurance, provides coverage against lawsuits claiming negligence or failures in your professional services. If a client is dissatisfied with your photography services or if you made a costly error or mistake, you could be sued. Even if you did nothing wrong, you could still be sued if a client believes you were negligent. Either way, your business could face steep legal costs. Professional liability can help cover these costs if you are sued.
- You are hired to photograph a business conference. You lose a memory card containing all the photographs for a full day of the conference. The client sues you. Your professional liability insurance would cover the costs of the lawsuit and any resulting settlement.
A business owner’s policy (BOP) can be a good choice for many small and midsize businesses because it combines a number of common insurance types into one convenient package. Purchasing a business owner’s policy is typically more cost-effective than purchasing multiple separate insurance policies. Typically, a BOP includes commercial property, general liability, business income, and extra expense coverage. Depending on the insurer, other coverages, such as inland marine insurance to protect your equipment, may be added by endorsement.
- Workers’ compensation insurance is legally required for companies with employees in most states. Workers’ comp covers employees’ medical expenses and lost income if they are injured or fall ill on the job. It can also cover funeral expenses and death benefits for an employee’s dependents in the case of a work-related employee death.
- Business income coverage will reimburse you for lost income and operating expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered peril, such as fire, storm damage, or other property damage.
- Cyber liability insurance can cover financial losses that result from cyber events such as data breaches, hacking, viruses, denial of service attacks, and more. This is an important coverage to consider if your company relies on electronic data or stores personally identifiable information.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for business insurance will vary based on the type of insurance coverage and the risk profile of your business. Insurers consider factors such as:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Claims history
Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, a photography business with a history of frequent claims will face higher premiums. Premiums also rise as you increase the limits of insurance. Different insurance companies have different models for rating risks, so it is worth comparing pricing across different insurers.
In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer coverage for photographers:
|Provider||Business Interruption||Business Owner's Policy||Commercial Auto||Commercial Crime||Commercial Property||Cyber Liability||Employment Practices Liability||General Liability||Product Liability||Professional Liability||Workers' Compensation|
There are many hazards that could have an impact on photography businesses. Business insurance can help your company cope with unexpected disasters, whether it’s a lawsuit brought by a dissatisfied client, an unexpected disaster that damages your photography studio, or a client injury that happens as a result of your work. Ensuring that your company has a wide range of insurance coverage can give you, your employees, and your clients peace of mind, knowing that if a catastrophe occurs, your company will be financially protected.