One of the critical differences between amateur and professional photography is an artist’s preparation for the unexpected. While it might sound trivial, many photographers learn the hard way that things can quickly go wrong on many photo assignments.
Whether you are hurt on the job or accused of not working hard enough, there is any number of things that can cause an appointment to go south. That is why photography insurance is vital for any professional that knows to prepare for the worst.
Sports, animal wildlife, travel, and journalistic photographic professions all require some form of insurance due to the dangerous nature inherent in each job.
On the soccer field, someone could trip over your tripod. A stampede of animals could smash your equipment. Rough luggage handlers could accidentally destroy your delicate equipment. Or protesters might unintentionally knock your camera from your hands.
Whether it is equipment, medical bills, or court costs, you will need to pay something.
WHAT DIFFERENT TYPES OF PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE CAN YOU GET?
If you are a professional photographer, several types of insurance should consider — especially for jobs that take place within the public sphere. It is easy to take out a policy claim on an item you added to your home insurance, but there other plans that are also available.
Some types of protection on this list are more specialized than others toward specific event planning. We also included some extraordinary insurance claims you can take on photography equipment for both professional and amateur use.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE
Whether you travel for work or pleasure, there is no denying that it is easy for camera equipment to get stolen in a foreign country. As such, it is important to get travel photography insurance.
If you have add-on equipment for your home insurance, then you can likely add on a travel policy. Unfortunately, this will probably raise the price of your home insurance while you are abroad.
If you are working professionally, you will need to buy a specific add-on for traveling abroad to cover potential damages or issues.
EQUIPMENT PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE
Photography equipment is breakable. When professionals take their stuff into public, they always risk damaging it or losing it. You may drop your camera, or unexpected weather might destroy your equipment.
If you have a photography shoot in a public place, there is a high chance someone might bump into you, especially in crowded, crazed settings.
When filling out an equipment policy make sure to price everything fairly — not too high and not too low — and list each item separately. Photography equipment insurance not only pays for damages, misplaced, or stolen camera equipment, but it also provides you with replacement equipment in case you need to finish a job before your new camera arrives.
Most of the time they trade the old models for new models. Again, this difference is what separates the amateurs from the professionals: being able to keep on working even when disaster strikes.
Now you do not need to worry about your camera when trying to get that perfect shot.
While gadget insurance policies are more in the realm of amateur insurance policies, they can still be helpful for personal cameras and devices. One problem with taking out an insurance policy on an item with your traditional home insurance is the price limit.
Some things will not go past $2000 for their claims. If you have a much more expensive camera, then we recommend taking out a gadget insurance claim. The policies allow for more flexibility with price, as well as replacement and repair features.
INDEMNITY PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE
Everyone makes mistakes, but for photographers, it can often be much worse. Photos are hard to recreate; in fact, they are often irreplaceable. If you lose the images to an expensive shoot, it will be up to you to recreate the entire shoot.
And if you do not have indemnity photography insurance, then the money will come out of your pocket. This type of insurance covers extra studio time in case of emergencies.
You can also use it to protect yourself against slander charges.
PUBLIC LIABILITY PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE
Sometimes accidents happen with models, or other unpredictable photoshoot accidents occur. If someone gets hurt during your photoshoot, — whether by you, someone else, or your equipment — then you will have to answer.
When this person sues you, your public liability insurance policy covers most of the legal costs. While this type of insurance might not be essential for solo individuals, it can never hurt in case something comes out of left field.
EMPLOYER’S LIABILITY PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE
If you are an employer that has a staff photographer, — not freelance, but the staff — then you will need an employer liability insurance policy. These types of systems are in case your employees are hurt or become ill while on an assignment.
Since you are the employer, the employees expect you to keep them safe in their workplace environment. This type of insurance policy is not optional; it is mandatory.
You can be fined up to $2500 per day for each day you do not have employer liability insurance.
PHOTOGRAPHY WEDDING INSURANCE
This type of photography insurance is one of the more specific plans relating to particular events. Whether you are a regular wedding photographer, or if it is your first time, it can never hurt to be too careful.
Since families can be a bit emotionally distraught on their wedding day, it never helps to have an insurance policy if they decide to blame you for the flaws of the wedding.
Wedding photography insurance policies are kind of like umbrella statements that contain similar protections as other photo contracts listed. Specifically, most wedding insurance policies offer public liability for third-party in case of injuries, indemnity against potential negligence claims, equipment insurance for cameras, and interruption service in case some sickness or event prevent you from attending the event.
Weddings can often be the perfect storm of dangerous situations for professional photography — high emotions, drunk patrons, and crowded dance floors. Make sure you protect your livelihood before taking on a job.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE PLANS?
If you are interested in professional photography insurance but do not know where to begin, then we compiled some useful websites for you. In our opinion, these companies offer some of the best insurance plans available for photographers.
However, they each offer something different for potential customers. Take a closer look.
Next Insurance offers general coverage plans for their professional photographers starting at $21 per month. For this price, you get an equipment protection policy for your camera, public liability coverage, property damage coverage, and advertising claims.
While these claims might be a little narrow, they do cover most of the issues that arise within professional photography. And you can customize your policy options for more or less coverage. For the price, you cannot beat this value.
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OF AMERICA
The Professional Photographers of America offer mainly equipment-based insurance policies for their photographers. If someone steals your equipment, or it breaks for whatever reason, the Professional Photographers of America will replace your camera or studio equipment.
This type of photography insurance is much more customizable than Next Insurance and can cover up to $15,000 worth of material. It is unfortunate that they do not offer any other professional plans.
Believe it or not, Allstate is one of the best insurance companies for photography-related business policies. The insurance company offers plans that cover your equipment in case of a natural disaster, robbery, or accident.
They also provide third-party liability coverage in case someone gets hurt, and Allstate will help cover the medical bills. And, if your work equipment or space is damaged, Allstate will provide you with a temporary replacement while it files your claim.
Hiscox is a photography insurance company that deals primarily in liability policies. Like Allstate, they are flexible with the size and scale of their systems. If you have a broken memory card on one job, then Hiscox will play to re-do the shoot.
Or, if someone gets hurt while shooting, then Hilcox will help with the medical bills.
The pricing for this option depends on where you live and what type of professional photographer you are. Sometimes when shooting assignments, the most unexpected things go wrong. Someone might trip on your tripod, or you might spill juice on someone’s rug.
All of a sudden, a routine job has turned into a dangerous lawsuit situation.
Photography insurance provides some peace of mind for this problem. We hope this article convinced you that photography insurance is a worthwhile investment if you are a professional photographer.