What Is Photographer Liability Insurance?

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Photographers use their creativity and composition skills to take breathtaking photos. Some photographers are hired to document one of the most cherished events in a couple’s history: their wedding. Photographers use expensive equipment which is delicate and can be easily damaged or stolen. Smart photographers know they need insurance, but what kind? And how much? We’ve done the research so you can save time. We’ll tell you what kind of insurance you need and where to get it. 

What is photographer liability insurance?

Photographers need liability insurance to protect themselves from potential lawsuits. Photographers can be held liable for any damages their photos may cause. For example, if someone trips over a tripod in your studio and gets hurt, you could be held liable. Liability insurance can also protect you if someone sues you for copyright infringement. There are a few different types of liability insurance photographers should consider: general liability and professional liability.

What does general liability insurance for photographers cover?

First, consider general liability insurance. General liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury, third-party property damage, and advertising injury. If a client or a vendor injures themselves on your property, general liability insurance would cover you for their medical bills and your legal fees. 

If you travel to different venues, including clients’ homes, third-party property damage is a must. If you are photographing a wedding in someone’s backyard and you trip and fall into the client’s fence, breaking several sections, general liability insurance would cover your for the cost of replacing the fence sections. 

Advertising injury is important because it will cover you for slander, defamation, libel, and copyright infringement. If you take a photograph and use it in your advertising without the subject’s permission, they could sue you. 

Learn more at the best general liability insurance companies for photographers

Professional photography equipment is expensive. If you rent or lease a space for your photography studio, you could consider a business owner’s policy (BOP). This combines general liability insurance with commercial property insurance. If your studio is damaged by a fire or is vandalized, commercial property insurance will cover your losses. Don’t assume that your landlord’s insurance will cover the cost of your equipment because it might not. And if you work from home, your homeowners’ insurance may not cover those costs, either. 

Learn more at the best camera and photography equipment insurance companies

What does professional liability insurance for photographers cover?

Professional liability insurance is also important. Clients can be wonderful. They can also be irrational, emotional, and unhinged. If clients decide that you can’t take a decent picture and are completely dissatisfied with your work, they could sue you, even if your photos were faultless. Professional liability insurance will also cover you if you fail to meet a deadline due to some unforeseen circumstance. 

Learn more at the best professional liability insurance companies for photographers

Why do photographers need liability insurance?

Every business needs insurance these days, and photographers are no exception. You want to protect yourself, your assets, and your business in case something happens and a client sues you. Without liability insurance, you would be on the hook for any lawsuits. What if you walk away from your tripod for just a second, and some wedding guest trips over it? They break a wrist and your camera. Now you have to figure out how to pay for their medical bills and replace your camera at the same time. If you had insurance, you’d be covered. 

In addition to liability insurance, photographers also need another insurance coverage such as commercial auto insurance if they drive a vehicle for work or commercial property insurance if they rent a studio or camera and photography equipment insurance. Learn more at the best photographer insurance companies and how much different photographer insurance coverage costs

How much does photographer general liability insurance cost?

The average cost of a $1M general liability insurance policy for photographers is $32 per month. Most photographers pay between $18 and $76 per month for their policies.

The general liability insurance cost depends on several factors. We collected some quotes, but your quotes may vary. Things like the size of your business, the amount of revenue, how your business is structured, and if you work from home or rent a space, are just some of the reasons why your quote may be very different from ours. 

These are just the average rates. Your rates will be different. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or work with a broker like Simply Business, InsurePro, or CoverWallet to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you. Below is a quote sample we got from Simply Business for your reference.

Where to get photographer general liability insurance quotes?

We got some quotes from Simply Business and NEXT for your reference. It is super easy and fast to get quotes on Simply Business website. It took us less than 10 minutes.

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We also got a quote from NEXT. Here is their quote sample for your reference:

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How much does photographer professional liability insurance cost?

The average cost of a $1M professional liability insurance for photographers is $35 per month, or $420 per year. Most photographers pay between $250 to $830 a year for their professional liability coverage.

Professional liability coverage is very critical for any photographer. However, you don’t need to overpay for the coverage. Be sure to shop around with a few companies to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you.

Where to get photographer professional liability insurance quotes?

We got a quote from Simply Business for your reference. Simply Business is a broker specializing in small business insurance. They work with more than 20 carriers and help small businesses get and compare several quotes to find the cheapest one.

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How to find cheap photographer liability insurance?

Photographer liability insurance isn’t too expensive. But you don’t need to pay too much unnecessarily. Below are a few tips to save on your premiums:

  • Shop around to compare several quotes for the best value. Get quotes from a few companies, brokers, or agents and compare them to find the right coverage for you at a reasonable cost.
  • Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.
  • 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
  • Manage your policy details: Reducing the coverage limits and increasing deductibles can help reduce the policy’s premiums

Do I need liability insurance as a freelance photographer?

If you only work weekends or during certain seasons as a freelance photographer, consider one-day photographer insurance. That can save you money by ensuring you either by the week or by the job. InsurePro is a good place to look for one-day coverage. They are specializing in on-demand short-term insurance coverage for micro and small businesses. InsurePro also helps you compare several quotes to find the cheapest one.

Do wedding photographers need liability insurance?

One of the most important reasons wedding photographers need liability insurance is to protect themselves in the event that a client files a lawsuit against them. Liability insurance can help cover the cost of any legal fees and damages that may be awarded to the client in a civil suit. This type of insurance can also help protect photographers from any accidents or injuries that may occur during a shoot. For example, if a photographer were to drop a camera and injure someone, general liability insurance will help cover it.

Professional liability insurance will help protect photographers if they are sued because their clients are not happy with the pictures they took and believe that it was because they are careless or negligible.

Learn more at the best wedding photographer insurance companies.

Does one-day photographer insurance include liability coverage?

Yes, a one-day photographer insurance policy should include liability coverage. One-day photographer insurance is a type of insurance policy that is designed to provide coverage for photographers in the event that their work causes bodily injury or property damage to third-party people while working. This coverage is similar to what a general liability insurance policy should cover. This type of policy can be helpful for photographers who may not work full-time or may not need a long-term annual policy. One-day photographer insurance can also provide coverage for photographers’ equipment theft or damage.

Learn more at the best one-day photographer insurance companies and the best camera and other photography equipment insurance companies

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at realtor.com, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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