As a professional photographer, there's a lot to consider when running your small business. The last thing you may want to think about is something bad happening to your gear — after all, this equipment is what helps you get the job done. Fortunately, camera equipment insurance coverage can help protect your small business by covering your gear.
In this article, we'll review the types of gear you may consider protecting, how contents coverage insurance can protect that equipment, and other types of insurance you may want to get for your photography business.
Let's get started!
Maybe you're a seasoned photographer, or perhaps you're just getting started. Either way, if you haven't heard about photography equipment insurance, the chances are you may know more about it than you think.
Consider other insurance coverages that you may have, like car insurance, homeowner's insurance, or health insurance. You likely pay a monthly premium that helps protect you from potential risks, like a car accident or hospital visit.
Camera equipment insurance coverage typically works in a similar way — it's a type of business contents coverage that works to protect your valuable gear in case it's damaged, lost, or stolen, up to your policy limit.
Here are some of the items that photographers may choose to insure:
Let's look at a couple examples of how this contents coverage can come into play.
Say you rent studio space and one night a pipe bursts in the building, flooding all the rentals. Unfortunately, your new camera, memory cards, and extra lenses are all damaged by the flood. Altogether, they're valued at $2,000.
Or maybe while traveling to a location for a photo shoot, you store all of your gear at a local storage space while you go to lunch with a client. While you're at lunch, the storage space catches on fire, and your equipment is damaged beyond repair. In this scenario, the damaged gear is worth $700.
Whether it's $50, $700, or $2,000, unexpected costs can take many small business owners by surprise. Every dollar counts, and to risk losing funds could mean putting your company into debt.
If you have a camera equipment insurance policy, however, you could be covered for the cost of your damaged equipment, up to your policy's limit.
If you do photo shoots for larger clients who invite you to photograph in their spaces, you may assume that you don't need business insurance coverage for your gear, but that's not necessarily the case.
Sure, a company may insure their spaces and venues, but it's still your responsibility to protect your photography equipment.
Of course, there are a lot of risks hanging in the balance as a business owner. Beyond your gear being damaged or stolen, you may experience scenarios where other types of insurance coverage could help protect you too.
In the following sections, we'll talk about other types of insurance coverages that can help protect your business, along with business contents coverage.
There are two common types of insurance coverage that can help protect your photography business: general liability insurance and professional liability insurance. Each can support your photography business by helping protect you from certain financial risks.
Let's dig into what these types of policies look like.
The first is general liability insurance, also known as commercial liability insurance. General liability insurance typically protects your business from claims resulting in third-party accidents, third party property damage, bodily injury, and more.
Typically, business contents coverage for your photography gear can be optionally added to a general liability insurance policy. Let's review how general liability coverage could help protect your business by looking at an example.
Say a hotel hires you to do a photo shoot for their new website. While on set in the lobby, a hotel guest trips over one of your tripods. Not only is the tripod damaged, but the guest was carrying a computer, which falls and is damaged beyond repair. The guest sues you for the cost of the computer.
Without a general liability policy that includes the additional gear coverage, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for the guest's computer replacement. If you hire a lawyer to represent you, those costs would also come out of your own pocket.
With a policy that includes general liability and business contents coverage for your gear, though, you could be covered for the cost of the replacement computer, as well as legal fees, up to your policy's limit.
The other type of insurance you may want to consider for your photography business is professional liability insurance.
Professional liability insurance is coverage that helps protect your business from claims of negligence, copyright infringement, libel or slander, or potentially other mistakes related to the work you do for your clients.
Let's look at another example. Say the same hotel client from the previous example receives the photos you took for them and they had positive feedback.
Later, though, they sue you, claiming the website rebrand wasn't as successful as they hoped, and they blame the quality of your photos, claiming that you promised your work would result in an influx of guests.
They're suing you for the cost of the project, as well as for revenue they believe they lost.
You disagree with them and don't recall making that promise, but the claim is still filed, meaning you have to deal with the hassle and cost of a lawsuit.
Without a professional liability policy, you may have to refund the hotel for what they paid you, and pay the extra requested fees out-of-pocket. You also may be responsible for paying legal fees resulting from the lawsuit.
With coverage, though, you could be covered for those costs and associated legal fees, up to your policy's limit.
You may be thinking to yourself, "What are the chances that a client would sue me?" As it turns out, the odds can be pretty significant.
That's a pretty big risk to take.
Ready to protect yourself, your gear, and your business? In the next sections, we'll review how much photography insurance with camera equipment coverage may cost, as well as how to make sure you find the policy that's right for your business.
Every business owner has to be careful about how they spend their money. That includes money spent protecting their business.
We can't give you one answer to the question "How much does photo equipment insurance cost?" because the cost of your overall insurance policy and its coverage depends on a lot of factors, such as:
Because of all these variables, we can't give you an exact cost for how much your camera equipment insurance may cost. But we can help give you an idea by letting you know about our general liability policy costs.
Our general liability policies start as low as *$19.58/month** and have the option of adding affordable contents coverage for your gear on top of your policy.
You can get started exploring your policy options using our free quote comparison tool here.
We'll review how to get photography insurance with gear coverage in the next section.
When it comes to getting photography equipment insurance, there are so many options out there. How do you know what policy is right for you?
That’s where we come in. Here are three steps you can take to find the policy for your business.
Make a list of the equipment you own and how much each item cost when you purchased it. You can check the original price on a receipt or search for the average cost of the item with the retailer you bought it from.
Keeping a record of the items you've purchased for your business, the purchase dates, and the cost is good to have on hand, especially by the time you're ready to get insurance. Having everything organized and documented can help ensure that you're getting enough coverage for all your gear.
Not only is this helpful when it comes to finding the right camera equipment insurance policy, but it could benefit you at income tax season too. You may find that you have items you can possibly deduct.
Talking to other photographers can be very helpful. Research is important and necessary, and includes hearing how other photography business owners use their insurance coverage.
Ask other business owners how they got their photography equipment insurance or business contents coverage for the gear they use; have they ever had to file a claim? If yes, what did that process look like? Why did they choose their specific provider?
Hearing another business owner's experience can help inform your decision of which insurance provider to trust with the protection of your camera gear.
If you’re in the market for a new camera lens, you probably wouldn't purchase one without comparing details and prices of different available options.
The same goes for business insurance. It's important to shop around and understand what policies are out there, what they can cover, and how they can benefit your business.
Here at Simply Business, we make exploring those options easy. You can use our free quote comparison tool here. Answer a few questions about your business and in less than 10 minutes, you can get a quote.
One thing to keep an eye out for when looking for photography insurance coverage providers is customer service. Look for companies that have people available to support you by answering questions and helping you explore your options. Simply Business is one company that offers its customers great support. If customers have questions about their coverage, we're prepared to help.
You can reach licensed Simply Business insurance agents at 844-654-7658 from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET, who will be ready to answer your questions.
Phew! That was a lot of information. We covered what photography equipment insurance is, other types of insurance coverage that could benefit your business, and why certain coverages may be great options for your business.
As we mentioned, one of the best ways you can protect your business is by doing the research and making sure you find the right coverage for your specific needs. You can continue your research on ways to help protect your business as it grows on Simply U, our blog for business owners.
* Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January-December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.
I’ve told stories since I learned to talk and written since I could hold a pen. As a small business owner myself - I'm a freelance writer and yoga teacher - I love contributing to the entrepreneurship community in different ways (including writing for Simply Business!). When I’m not drafting articles for SB, I can be found on my yoga mat, perusing an indie bookstore, and writing (with my cat nearby of course).
Allison writes on a number of topics such as small business leadership, business structures, and employee training.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.