For professional photographers and shutterbugs aspiring to take their talents to the next level comes the question, “What insurance do I need as a photographer?”

Although it’s not mandatory, it’s wise to consider protecting your career and finances with a customized photographer insurance policy that covers all aspects of your photography services, equipment, studio, and other assets.

Why Do Photographers Need Insurance?

All types of photographers – wedding photographers, travel photographers, nature photographers, freelance photographers, photojournalists, etc. – face significant financial and professional risks.

Photography gear

Whether you’re on the cusp of starting a photography career or small business, or an experienced veteran capturing unforgettable moments in time, the threats to your financial welfare can be considerable.

For example, the equipment you purchase and need to do your job is expensive. Can you comfortably afford to replace your gear if stolen or destroyed by fire or water damage? Or what would you do if a client sues you because they’re dissatisfied with your work? Can you cover a client’s medical costs if they trip over a cable and injure themselves in a studio where you conduct photoshoots?

Photographer insurance exists to deal with instances like these and more. Without a tailored policy serving as the foundation of your risk management strategy, it’s possible one accident, allegation, or lawsuit could ruin your reputation and drive you into bankruptcy.

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What Types of Insurance Do Photographers Need?

The coverages within a photographer’s insurance policy and your policy’s coverage limits should reflect your needs and be customized to ensure you’ve got the right protection. However, a typical photographer insurance policy includes the following coverages:

  • Professional liability insurance

    If one of your clients is unhappy with your work, or if you make mistakes, you might need to do a reshoot. Professional liability insurance (also called errors and omissions insurance) can cover you for those expenses or provide you with funds to defend yourself if sued.

  • Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance

    CGL, or general liability, is a must-have for any photographer. If an accident occurs at your studio or another location and a third party suffers bodily injury or property damage, CGL helps pay those costs. 

For instance, if a wedding photographer is setting up their gear at a banquet hall and a tripod tips over and smashes all the champagne glasses on a table nearby, CGL is designed to pay to replace the glasses.

Additionally, GCL provides you with funds to cover your legal fees if sued for allegations of copyright infringement, defamation, or false advertising.

  • Equipment insurance

    You’ll have difficulty offering photography services without your camera, lights, tripods, and laptop. That’s where equipment insurance comes into focus: it protects your gear by repairing or replacing it following an insurable loss, such as theft, water damage, or fire and smoke damage.

  • Cyber liability insurance

    Cybercrime and data breaches are as much a threat to self-employed, independent photographers as they are to small businesses or large corporations. It’s your responsibility to protect your clients’ confidential data and the photos you take of or for them. Cyber liability insurance is necessary to deal with the fallout of a cyber-attack, data breach, or loss of electronic data.  

There may be additional coverages you need to add to your policy, and make sure you’re not underinsured. For example:

  • You should carry drone liability insurance if you’re licensed to fly a drone.
  • You undoubtedly have a vehicle you use to attend events and transport your equipment. That calls for a commercial auto insurance policy (a personal car insurance policy is unlikely to cover damage claims for a vehicle used for business purposes). 

Speak to one of our insurance experts if you have questions about what your policy should include.

What’s the Best Way to Get Photographer Insurance?

The quickest and easiest way to get the customized photographer insurance policy you need is through Zensurance.

It takes a few minutes to fill out our online application and get a free quote. Let us find the protection you need from one of over 50 insurance providers in our partner network. Plus, our friendly brokers can answer your questions and adjust your policy to reflect your specific needs.

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About the Author: Justin Tisdale

Justin Tisdale is a Team Lead, Professional Lines, at Zensurance.