What Camera Insurance Do Professional Photographers Need?

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Camera Lens Insurance Is Essential for Professional Photographers

As a professional photographer, you have a great deal to protect. If anything happens to your equipment or something goes wrong on a job, you need to make sure it won’t destroy your reputation or your business and ruin all that you’ve worked so hard for.

The proper insurance gives you that protection. For professional photographers, that comprises a number of critical policies to own, including general policies professionals in every industry require as well as policies specific to professional photographers’ needs.

Insurance Policies All Professionals Need

As a professional in any field, there are certain insurance policies you’ll need to protect your business from unexpected, and potentially devastating, events.

What is professional photography insurance for liability?

At a bare minimum, every professional requires professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, as coverage for claims made against your company for the services it provides.

For instance, as a photographer, professional liability insurance can cover claims a dissatisfied client makes against your business. It can also cover you in cases of a faulty memory card that causes you to lose a client’s work.

Limitations of professional liability insurance

Professional liability insurance does have its limits, however. For instance, it may not cover claims of property damage or bodily injury. To ensure you’re covered for all potential claims, general liability insurance covers the same events as professional liability insurance as well as other events.

What is general liability insurance?

In addition to the coverage professional liability insurance provides, general liability insurance also protects your company against lawsuits from accidents that result in property damage or bodily injury and related medical expenses.

If a model injures herself slipping on a lighting cord, for instance, and then sues you for her medical expenses, general liability insurance would cover those costs. If one of your staff breaks a valuable item while shooting pictures in a client’s home, general liability insurance will cover you as well.

General liability insurance can also cover you against claims of defamation or libel, such as if your computer gets hacked leading to a compromising photo you took of a celebrity client getting leaked to the press.

What is commercial auto insurance?

If you have a vehicle that you use for business purposes, like transporting your photography equipment to and from locations, a personal auto insurance policy is unlikely to cover it for accidents or maintenance and repairs. Instead, you’ll require a commercial auto policy to cover it.

What is workers’ compensation insurance?

If your photography business has any employees, you’ll need workers’ compensation coverage in case one of them is injured while on the job. This will pay any employees who are injured on the job and typically covers their medical expenses while they are unable to work.

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Additional Insurance Professional Photographers Need

Whether you’re a freelance photographer working out of your home or you own a full photography business with employees and a commercial studio, there are certain additional insurance policies for professional photographers to consider beyond those all businesses require.

What is commercial property insurance and what property does it cover?

Most businesses have a physical space where they conduct business, as well as special equipment they use to conduct their business. As a photography business owner in particular, you may have a physical space where you conduct business, such as an office where you meet with clients or a studio where you shoot pictures or process digital photos. Commercial property insurance can cover this space from damages.

What is camera insurance?

Even if you don’t have a commercial space, however, you most certainly have camera equipment you use to perform your work. Chances are, this equipment cost your business thousands of dollars to purchase. Every time you perform a job, this precious investment is at risk.

Unforeseen circumstances could cause the damage or loss of precious photography equipment and prevent you from performing your work, thus putting your entire livelihood in jeopardy. Camera insurance as it applies to a professional photographer, will cover the damage or loss from theft of:

  • Cameras and lenses
  • Lighting
  • Tripods and other grip equipment
  • Computers and digital storage devices

What does camera insurance cover?

Depending on the damage or loss sustained, camera insurance can cover the costs to repair or replace your photography equipment. It can cover this property whether you own it or rent it. Some insurance providers even package camera insurance as a separate, add-on policy specifically for professional photographers.

Camera insurance and commercial property insurance alike may also cover damage or loss of real or personal property sustained from certain weather events.

What is a business owners’ policy (BOP)?

One way you may be able to cut costs on some of these policies is to bundle them together into a single policy. A business owners’ policy, or BOP, combines general liability insurance and commercial property insurance into one policy.

How to Choose the Right Insurance on Photography Equipment

When shopping for professional photographers' insurance, there are several key considerations to keep in mind, the first and foremost being that not all photographers' insurance policies are built alike.

What's the difference between replacement value and cash value when you buy camera insurance?

When paying out on a property claim, different insurance policies will determine how much to pay. Those that cover the replacement value will pay to replace an irreparably damaged or stolen item with an equivalent item in brand-new condition.

Those that cover cash value only will base the amount paid out on the claim on the current value of the item.

Why consult an insurance agent before you buy camera lens insurance?

Performing your own preliminary research into your photography equipment insurance needs and options is undoubtedly a wise move. Use this information to help you get a general idea of what you’re looking for in a camera insurance policy.

Avoid committing to purchase a policy until you’ve first spoken with a licensed insurance agent with knowledge of camera insurance and previous experience working with professional photographers.

A licensed insurance agent can help you properly navigate the nuances of the different policies you’re considering, even if you already know what types of camera insurance you probably need and the level of premiums you’re willing to pay.

With the aid of an insurance agent, you can adequately assess the unique benefits and drawbacks of each specific policy.

How do you estimate the costs of insurance on photography equipment?

If you’re like most professional photographers, the key question on your mind when shopping for camera insurance is how much the premiums will cost. Several factors may influence this figure, depending on the particular type of camera insurance policy, including:

  • Business size
  • Number of employees
  • Risk factors
  • Declared value of photography equipment or other commercial property

The cost of photography insurance is around $64 per month, or $779 per year.

Photography Tips for Protecting Your Equipment

While insurance policies help give you the peace of mind of knowing that an unforeseen event will not ruin your business, you no doubt hope never to need to use it. Here some handy freelance photography tips to help you keep your professional photography equipment safe from harm or loss:

  • Always lock the doors and windows of your vehicle and places of business before exiting, and keep all expenses equipment out of plain sight.

  • Install security systems on your vehicle and places of business, including motion-sensor lights around any physical spaces you own or lease.

  • Keep close track of all keys to your vehicle and places of business, including all people who have access to them.

In addition, keep records of all your equipment, including photos of each item and their serial numbers. Keep these records in a safe and secure place, even making copies to store in separate locations for extra protection.

Without the proper insurance, you leave your photography business with the responsibility of covering all unforeseen circumstances, any one of which could shutter your business for good. To buy camera insurance that protects your photography business without overly denting your wallet, contact us today for more information and to get a free quote.

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