Whether it’s a full time career or a fun way to generate extra income during the weekends, if you are taking photographs professionally then you will need insurance. In fact, many venues (including wedding venues) require proof of liability insurance before they allow you to photograph on their property.
First you will need to analyse your photography business and weigh up the risks of what it is that you actually do. Every photography business is different (you of all people should know this) and you need to think about the sort of professional photography that you shoot. Every photographer, from aerial photographers to underwater photographers, needs to consider what sort of cover they need. If you have an insurance broker, they will be able to discuss in detail with you the specifics of your photography business so that they are able to tailor a bespoke photography insurance package to suit you.
Insurance for Wedding Photographers
If you shoot a lot of weddings, you want to be able to shoot at any possible location that your client may pull out of the hat. Imagine how embarrassing it would be, and how much business you could lose, if you had to tell your client that you have to turn away their business as you don’t have the insurance required to shoot at their chosen wedding venue.
When you shoot on location at large events such as weddings or festivals, you cannot maintain a controlled environment as you could in a photo studio. There’s going to be children running around, people drinking and generally just a lot of excitement. Due to this, public liability insurance for photographers is a must – regardless of whether the venue requires it or not. This will cover you if someone trips over your camera bag or you accidentally hit someone with your camera bag (those things can be heavy!), causing injury. It can also cover any accidental damage that you may cause to the venue, such as knocking over an expensive vase.
If you experience some sort of glitch with your digital camera resulting in the loss of a whole day’s wedding photography, you could be in serious trouble with your client. You won’t be able to get back any of those photos, nor can you recreate them. Professional liability insurance, also known as professional indemnity insurance (or errors and omissions liability in the US), will protect you against any incidents where you may have made an accidental mistake. For example:
- You realise afterwards that your memory card has corrupted.
- You’ve forgotten to bring important camera equipment to the location.
- You’ve wrongly scheduled the photo shoot in your calendar.
While these simple mistakes are easily made and not always your fault, your clients may demand compensation for your error. After all, you may have ruined their special day! You can’t afford to make mistakes when you’re a wedding photographer. It’s not like you can just re-stage that first kiss as a married couple. If you miss it, you miss it. If you lose all of the photos from the day, or you’ve left equipment at your studio and don’t have time to go retrieve it before the wedding, or if you’ve turned up late to the wedding, your clients are not only going to be heartbroken; they’re probably going to be quite angry. Professional indemnity insurance for photographers will also protect you against other unlikely incidents, such as accidentally capturing on camera something that you shouldn’t, like copyrighted images.
Insurance for Photo Studios
If you have your own photo studio where you photograph clients and customers, you may want to take out photo studio insurance – or shop insurance. This can cover photography equipment left in the photo studio overnight too.
If you have employees at your photo studio, employers liability insurance is a legal requirement. Maybe your photo studio has a receptionist, or you have a camera assistant. Even any make-up artists or stylists that you have on hand under your employment. They will need to be covered.
As a professional photographer, you are probably going to want photographic equipment insurance too. By ensuring that you have the correct camera insurance and photographic equipment insurance, your tools cover can cover all of your photography equipment including your computer, iPad, lenses, lighting and, of course, your camera. Protect against theft of equipment or damage from dropping. Insure your camera equipment as an extension of your business insurance!