As a photographer, you deal with people and spaces all day, every day. What would happen to your business if someone accused you of damaging their property? Or if your clients are not very happy with the final product you deliver and decide to use you because they believe it is sub-standard due to your being careless or mistakes. It could be a profession-ending claim. That’s why it’s essential to have general and professional liability insurance for your business.
- 5 best photographer general & professional liability insurance companies
- Why do photographers need general liability insurance?
- What does photographer general liability insurance cover?
- How much does photographer general liability insurance cost?
- How to find cheap photographer’s general liability insurance?
6 best photographer general liability insurance companies
Many insurance companies offer either general liability insurance for photographers and photography businesses. We have researched and found the best 6 companies that we recommend as follows:
- Simply Business: Best for comparing several quotes online to find the cheapest coverage
- InsurePro: Best for cheap on-demand short-term coverage
- NEXT: Best for the best digital experience and reasonable rates
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing quotes from top-rated carriers
- Hill & Usher: Best as an insurance specialist for medical professionals
- Full Frame: Best for project-based coverage
Simply Business: Best for comparing several quotes online to find the cheapest coverage
Simply Business is an online insurance broker. They work with several top-notch insurance companies to provide policies for small business owners. The company has a simple application process, and you will receive your quotes quickly.
Simply Business offers a policy combining general and professional liability into a single policy. Limits are variable depending on your business needs. However, your limits will change your premiums.
- Multiple quotes with one application
- No broker’s fees
- Can purchase policies online
- Doesn’t always cover equipment
- Each carrier has its own financial rating and claims process
- Can’t manage accounts online
Here are the quotes that Simply Business found for general liability for a photography business in Decatur, Alabama. As you can see the cheapest quote is just $95 a year or a bit less than $8 a month.
InsurePro: Best for cheap on-demand short-term coverage
InsurePro offers something that is unique in the insurance industry: on-demand business insurance. When you begin the quote process on InsurePro, you can choose whether you need insurance for your business or if you need insurance for an event.
InsurePro isn’t an insurance provider. Rather, InsurePro does the legwork to find you an insurance provider. Much like CoverWallet, you provider your information once, and InsurePro finds multiple providers that fit the criteria you provided.
- Multiple quotes from one source
- Event coverage possible
- Insurance provided by a third-party
- Specialty coverages aren’t offered
We requested a quote for the same photography business in Decatur, Alabama, from InsurePro. As you can see, one application returned multiple quotes. We chose to get a quote for general liability for the business, but we did have the option to request event coverage instead.
NEXT: Best for the best digital experience and reasonable rates
NEXT tailors the insurance it provides to the industry of the business purchasing the policy. The company uses artificial intelligence to process applications in 10 minutes. The company also offers 24/7 access to claims support and certificates of insurance.
The startup company was created in 2016 by Guy Goldstein, Alon Huri, and Nissim Tapiro. It’s headquartered in Palo Alto, California. In 2021, the company tripled its premium revenue from what it was in 2020.
- Online application can be completed in minutes
- You can bundle policies to get a discount
- Access digital certificate of insurance at any time
- Older business owners may prefer paper records
- Only offers basic insurance coverage
We requested a quote from Next for our photography business in Alabama. The following graphic shows the quote we received. The quote from NEXT is the second cheapest in this round of research, just $16.67 a month. The cheapest quote comes from Simply Business, just less than$8 per month.
CoverWallet: Best for comparing quotes from top-rated carriers
When you request a quote from CoverWallet, you will receive up to three quotes. That’s because CoverWallet isn’t an insurance company. It’s an insurance broker. As a broker, CoverWallet sets itself apart from only working with top-rated and reputable carriers.
You’ll answer some basic questions regarding your business, and CoverWallet will shop multiple companies to find the coverage you need. Sometimes, you will have to call to complete your quote.
- Multiple quotes possible from one application
- Many different coverage types available
- Online dashboard for handling payments and claims
- Coverages are provided by a third-party
- Might need to call to complete your quote
We got a quote for general liability for a photography studio in Decatur, Alabama.
Hill & Usher: Best as an insurance specialist for media professionals
Hill & Usher is a company that offers policies tailored to photographers, videographers, and media professionals. One of their coverage options is the Package Choice. This coverage combines property and liability coverages in one program.
The Package Choice is Hill & Usher’s top program. The coverage in this program covers the following:
- Cameras and equipment, even if it’s rented or leased
- The contents of your studio
- Computers, software, and data
- Allegations of property damage or physical injury
- Accusations of professional negligence
The program is a set of policies that are commonly purchased by people who have the same interests, in this case, photography. Sometimes options can be limited in a program, but Hill & Usher offers endorsements and extensions to your coverage.
- Multiple policies combined into a single package
- Online application and quotes available
- File claims online
- No deductible for E&O coverage
- No online policy management
- No mobile app
- No E&O in Hawaii
Full Frame: Best for project-based coverage
Full Frame policies are budget friendly, and they are only available to photographers and videographers. The company sets specific criteria that clients must meet to get a policy. With Full Frame, you can get premiums based on the length of the project.
Criteria that customers must meet to qualify for Full Frame policies:
- No work that is considered adult material
- No paparazzi work
- No complaints, claims, or lawsuits in the last five years
- No other insurance claims greater than $5,000
If you’ve paid your annual premium with Full Frame, you can add other insured to the policy retroactively. If you’ve purchased an event policy, you can get unlimited additional insured for $5. An annual policy allows unlimited additional insureds for $30, or you can add individuals for $15 each additional.
- Insurance policies specifically for photographers
- One-day policies or annual premiums
- Best for those who make less than $200,000 yearly
- Online portal for insurance management
- Only available in 46 states
- Young company that was only established in 2016
Why do photographers need general liability insurance?
The short answer is that general liability insurance protects photographers and photography businesses from financial ruins if and when they get sued. The risk of getting sued may be low, but only one lawsuit will bankrupt your business.
More importantly, many clients require you to have general liability insurance in place before they can hire you. So having a general liability insurance policy in place will actually bring you more business.
What does photographers general liability insurance cover?
General liability insurance protects businesses against claims of property damage or bodily injury from a customer or client. The claim can come from your services, your operations, or even your products. If you don’t have general liability insurance, you could be responsible for paying these claims out of pocket, which can cause you to lose income or possibly go bankrupt.
General liability insurance protects your business from various claims. Those include:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Copyright infringement
- Reputational harm
- Advertising injury
Unfortunately, these types of claims are becoming more common, so you want to protect your business with proper insurance. For example, if someone brings a slip-and-fall claim against you, it could cost you $20,000. Reputational harm suit? That can cost you $50,000.
Would you have that kind of cash if you didn’t have insurance? If not, insurance is not just a good idea. It’s a necessity.
Some companies also offer you a bundled policy, combining general liability and camera and other photography equipment coverage in one policy. If you also want to protect your camera as well, that may be a good option.
Learn more at the best camera and other photography equipment insurance companies.
How much does photographer general liability insurance cost?
The average cost of a $1M general liability insurance policy for photographers is $22 per month. Most photographers pay between $12 to $76 per month for their policies.
Different insurance companies will give you different quotes. You’d want to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you. However, when you compare quotes, make sure to pay attention to every quote attribute, inclusion, and exclusion. A quote at $18 per month may appear to be the best just for you to find out they have several exclusions that don’t pay for your claims when you need it. That may not be worth it. On the other hand, you don’t need a policy costing you $70 a month for $3M coverage limit since you may not ever need that amount.
Photographers may need more than just a general liability insurance policy. The more coverage you have, the more you have to pay. That’s the reason why photographer insurance cost may be more than the average cost we outline here.
What affects the cost of photographer general liability insurance?
The photographer general liability insurance cost may be affected by a variety of factors. Below are some of the most common ones:
Policy’s deductibles and coverage limits
Deductibles Your deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay if an incident occurs. Usually, you have to pay this fee before your insurer can pay your insurance claim. Generally, if you are prepared to pay a bigger deductible, your insurance rate may drop. However, the downside is that you will pay more when an incident happens.
For example, if you have an insurance policy with a deductible of $400 and you accidentally damage a camera lens that costs $1,000. That means your insurer will reimburse you for $600 after you pay the deductible of $400.
Your policy’s coverage limit describes the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a claim. As your coverage limits increase, so with the cost of your premium. Be careful you choose a sufficient amount of coverage since the price of cameras and lenses may soon add up. A smaller limit will likely increase your risk exposure.
Your claim history
If you have a record of making insurance claims in the past, this may result in a higher rate for you.
You may have a more significant premium depending on the type of photographs or videos you take. For instance, if you are a wildlife photographer, you may pay more than a street photographer since the risk is more.
Similarly, if you take aerial photographs with drones, take pictures of models, you may also pay more for your premiums.
Your business location
Similar to other insurance coverages, location is a significant factor in determining the total cost of your annual insurance premiums for your photography company.
The length of your coverage affects the total cost of your insurance policy. Because photography is often a freelance sector, you may have the option to obtain insurance coverage for just the projects and shoots that you are doing rather than for the entire year. This may be an option offered by certain insurance companies.
Of course, paying per job means you only get to spend when you have jobs. It might be cheaper, depending on how you look at it.
How to find cheap photographers’ general liability insurance?
Here are a few tips to find cheap photographers’ general liability insurance:
Compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you
Be sure to always get quotes from a few companies, brokers, or agents and compare them to find the right coverage for you at a reasonable cost. Different companies will give you different quotes. A company offers the cheapest quote for your friend may not have the cheapest rate for you. Insurance companies assess risks differently. The only way for you to know how much they will charge you is to get a quote from them. Working with a broker like Simply Business or CoverWallet or Smart Financial is a good way to get and compare several quotes in one place
Take advantage of discounts and offers
If they’re not offered when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent. Insurance companies always have several discount programs and offers in place. Even if you are not qualified for these discounts today, you’ll know what you need to do to get these discounts in the future.
Only get the coverage you need
You don’t need to buy all policies, only get the coverage that you need for your photography business. If you are not sure which coverage you need, be sure to work with and consult with an insurance agent or broker.
Manage your policy details
Reducing the coverage limits and increasing deductibles can help reduce the policy’s premiums. Be sure to manage these details that work for your financial situation. There isn’t a perfect formula that works for everyone.
Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your photography coverage.
Do photographers also need professional liability insurance?
Professional liability insurance also called errors and omissions insurance, shields companies from the financial burden of customer claims that assert the company’s work was substandard, careless, incomplete, or delivered late.
For instance, your contract guarantees that you will record a baby shower flawlessly. However, when the parents-to-be got the photographs, they weren’t so happy that you did not cover some important family members or left out some happy moments. This insurance policy may cover any resulting claims or lawsuits.
It also covers you when your clients, a newly-wed couple, decide to sue you because they are not very happy with the pictures you took for their wedding and they believe that you are arriving late at the wedding and your being careless were the main reasons for sub-standard pictures of their happiest moment.
One of these lawsuits can easily bankrupt you and your photography career. A professional liability insurance policy would protect you in these cases. Professional liability insurance will pay for the following:
- Legal expenses to defend you, including attorney and any court fees
- Any judgment or settlements of the lawsuits
How much does photographer professional liability insurance cost?
The average cost of a $1M professional liability insurance for photographers is $25 per month, or $420 per year. Most photographers pay between $180 to $830 a year for their professional liability coverage.
Again, this is just the average rate. Your rate will be different. Different companies will give you different quotes. Be sure to shop around or work with a broker like Simply Business or InsurePro to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you. Pay attention to the quote details when you compare several ones to make sure you are comparing apples-to-apples.
Wedding photographer insurance
If you are a photographer specializing in weddings, you definitely need both general and professional liability insurance coverages since your work are prone to risks related to both coverages. The good news is that they are also relatively cheaper compared to other specializations.
Learn more at the best wedding photographer insurance companies
One-day photographer insurance
One-day photography insurance is a type of insurance that is designed to protect photographers from potential financial losses that may occur as the result of a photography-related incident. Typically, one-day photographer insurance policy provides general and professional liability coverage. This type of coverage can be helpful for photographers who are working on a one-time project and do not have regular business insurance. One-day photography insurance can help protect photographers in the event that their equipment is damaged or stolen, or if they are sued as a result of their work.
Learn more at the best one-day photographer insurance companies
If you own a photography business, one of the policies you must have is a general liability policy. There are various options available to photographers, from event policies to annual premiums. Shop around and find the best options available to fit your needs.
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