Do I Need To Be Insured as a Photographer?

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Photographer insurance policies offer crucial financial security for businesses within the photography sector, covering liability and property damage risks. Many policies include general liability, commercial property, professional liability and other coverage types, providing photographers with a comprehensive range of business protection.

With the market value of the photography industry looking to hit $47.89 billion by 2030, this boom points to the importance of having proper coverage for when things go wrong.[1] Join the 46,931 photography businesses and explore the different types of insurance, coupled with insights on seeking out insurance for photographers.

Key Takeaways

  • Additional insurance photographers should consider cyber liability, disability insurance, short-term liability and hired/non-owned automobile liability.
  • Most types of photographer insurance are not legally required for running your business but having coverage is highly recommended.
  • A small photography business may typically spend between $1,100 and $5,000 annually on an insurance policy that includes a business owners policy and commercial auto coverage.

What Is Photographer Insurance?

Photographers insurance coverage is a collection of policies tailored to protect photographers and their businesses from various risks. These risks include liability claims made by disgruntled clients, damages to your equipment and more.

When you know you’re financially covered in the event of an accident, you can focus on what you love most — capturing unforgettable moments for your clients.

Are Photographers Required To Have Insurance?

Any business with company vehicles will likely need to purchase commercial auto coverage. This insurance is not required to operate your business but is required to drive for business purposes. In addition, workers' compensation is necessary if you employ the minimum number of workers in your state.

While other types of business insurance are not legally mandated, having the extra protection can be useful for your photography business. The unpredictability of events — an accidental injury on set, equipment damage during transit or even a lawsuit from a dissatisfied client – can lead to financial strain on a photographer. Insurance coverage provides a safety net, ensuring that these unexpected costs don't cause irreparable damage to your business finances.

What Types of Business Insurance Do Photographers Need?

Several types of insurance should be considered for your photography business. SmartFinancial has done all the legwork, providing breakdowns for every kind of insurance you want to smoothly operate your photography business.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance for photographers protects them against claims of bodily injury, property damage and personal injury like copyright infringement resulting from their business operations. For instance, imagine you're conducting a photo shoot at a client's home and they trip over your equipment, injuring themself. Or suppose you accidentally knock over an expensive vase during the shoot. In both scenarios, general liability insurance will cover the associated medical costs, property replacement expenses and any legal fees if the client decides to sue.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance provides coverage for the physical assets of your business while on company property if they are stolen or damaged by a covered peril such as fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism, windstorm, theft or hail. In general, photographers will want this policy to protect their photography tools and equipment, such as their cameras, tripods, backdrops, etc.

As an example, let's say your studio suffers damage from a fire. Commercial property insurance will help pay for repairing your studio and replacing the photography equipment that were lost in the fire.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance, or business income insurance, is a lifesaver if a disaster temporarily forces you to pause your operations. Continuing our earlier example of your studio having burned down, you may not be able to accept new business while your studio is undergoing repairs. Business interruption insurance would cover the loss of income during this period, as well as any rental payments and temporary relocation costs, helping you stay afloat until you can resume normal operations.

Business Owners Policy (BOP)

A BOP bundle includes general liability, commercial property and business interruption insurance. It offers a comprehensive coverage solution at a more affordable rate than buying each policy separately. BOPs are perfect for small and new businesses, even if you’re a freelancer just starting out.

business owners policy insurance coverage for photographers infographic

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, covers you if a client sues for unsatisfactory work or failure to deliver services as promised. For example, if you lose the photos from a wedding event due to a technical glitch, E&O insurance would cover the legal costs, any settlements and potential damages if the client sues you. Similarly, if a client were to make a claim against you simply because they felt the product you delivered didn’t meet their expectations, you should be covered.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance coverage is a must-have if you use a vehicle for your business, such as for transporting your photography equipment to different shoot locations. If, for instance, you get into an accident while driving to a client's location, commercial auto insurance can cover the costs of vehicle repair, medical expenses if you or others are injured and any liability costs if you're at fault for the accident.

Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance is increasingly important given the digital nature of modern photography. This policy protects against data breaches and cyberattacks. For example, if your computer system is hacked and your client's personal data or photos are stolen, cyber insurance will cover the costs associated with the breach. This can include notification expenses and credit monitoring services for affected clients.

Additional Coverages Photographers Should Consider

Beyond these essential coverages, photographers may want to consider adding the following to their policy:

  • Cyber liability insurance: As an extension of cyber insurance, this covers the costs of lawsuits resulting from data breaches.
  • Disability insurance: If you get injured and cannot work, this insurance replaces a portion of your lost income.
  • Short-term liability insurance: These policies provide basic liability coverage for a short period, typically used when shooting at a location requiring proof of insurance. Coverage can be used to bolster existing insurance plans or cover specific risks associated with a particular job.
  • Hired/non-owned automobile liability insurance: Protects you from liability during the use of a rented or personal vehicle for business purposes, such as accidents while transporting equipment to a photoshoot location
  • Tools and equipment insurance: This type of insurance covers the cost of repair or replacement if your cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, drones and other tools are lost, damaged, or stolen while in use at a shoot location.

How Much Does Photography Insurance Cost?

The cost of photography business insurance can vary widely based on the size of your business, the extent of your coverage, your geographic location and the perceived risk of your operations, among other factors. In general, a small photography business might expect to pay anywhere from $350 to $2,500 per year for a business owners policy.[2] Commercial auto would cost another $750 to $2,500 yearly, bringing your total yearly insurance cost up to between $1,100 to $5,000 per year.

Where Do I Buy Photography Insurance?

There are several carriers that can give you great coverage for your photography business, including:

How To Get Photography Insurance for Your Small Business

Navigating the process of obtaining photographer insurance for your small business can seem overwhelming, but following these steps can simplify the process:

  1. Evaluate your risk: Consider the various scenarios that could lead to financial loss. This could include damage to your equipment (and its value), a client lawsuit because they were dissatisfied with your services or a data breach. Understanding these risks will help you determine what types of insurance coverage you need.
  2. Research different types of insurance: Once you've identified potential risks, familiarize yourself with the various insurance coverage available to photographers. These can include general liability coverage, commercial property coverage and professional liability coverage.
  3. Shop around for coverage: Look for insurance companies or brokers that specialize in small business insurance or even better, photography insurance. Research their reputation, customer service and financial stability.
  4. Compare quotes: After narrowing down a list of potential insurers, obtain quotes from each carrier. Alternatively, you can use an insurance marketplace like SmartFinancial to get matched with a business insurance policy based on your answers to a questionnaire about your business.
  5. Review policies carefully: Make sure you fully understand how you would be covered and any exclusions your policy would carry. If you need help understanding anything, ask the insurer for clarification.
  6. Purchase your chosen policy: You should receive a certificate of insurance once your coverage is active.
  7. Regularly review your insurance needs: If necessary, update your policy or consider purchasing additional coverage as your business insurance needs change.
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Do I need photography insurance if my business is an LLC?

Even if your business is an LLC, having insurance is essential. The LLC structure protects your personal assets but does not shield the business assets like business photography insurance does.

Why should photographers get professional liability insurance?

Business insurance for photographers should include professional liability insurance to protect against lawsuits alleging unsatisfactory work or failure to deliver promised services. It can cover legal fees, court costs and any settlements or judgments.

What risks does my photography business face?

Photography businesses face several risks, including equipment damage, legal action from unsatisfied clients, data breaches, and even motor vehicle accidents while traveling to photoshoot locations.

Do I need insurance as a photographer?

If you drive a company vehicle and employ workers, you will likely need to buy commercial auto insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. In addition, you may want to buy general liability and professional liability insurance to insure yourself against accidents and claims made based on the quality of your services.

Do wedding photographers need insurance?

Wedding photographers should purchase some type of liability coverage. The alternative is paying through the nose on your own if you accidentally knock the bride over into her cake and break her arm in the process.


  1. Gitnux. “The Most Surprising Photography Industry Statistics and Trends in 2023.” Accessed July 26, 2023.
  2. AdvisorSmith. “Small Business Insurance Costs.” Accessed July 26, 2023.

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