- General liability insurance
- Rented property coverage
- Medical expense coverage
- Option to add additional insureds
- Option to purchase camera gear insurance
- Your gear is stolen in a break-in
- Your gear is damaged during a photoshoot
- Your gear is damaged during transit
- Mysteriously disappeared camera gear, i.e., no evidence of theft
- Anyone, currently, or in the past, who has performed any work that would be deemed adult material
- Anyone, currently, or in the past, who has performed any work that would be considered paparazzi
- Any insured that has had any complaints, claims, or lawsuits in the past 5 years involving matters of privacy breach, identity theft, libel, or other personal or advertising issues
The world of insurance is... confusing.
You’re tasked with figuring out what coverages you need and what limits you should have in place. And because insurance is often required, we tend to buy what’s priced best and then forget about it until it’s time to purchase again.
How great would it be if you could understand every little detail about your insurance? Or if you could just navigate the world of photography insurance without too many questions at the back of your head?
To help you understand more and provide additional insight, we’ll be using Full Frame Insurance as an example to take a deep dive into photography insurance—what it is, how you apply, what’s included, and how it can help you.
What Is Photography Insurance?
Photography insurance helps protect your business from third-party liability claims arising out of your business operations, such as bodily injury or property damage. In the case of a lawsuit against you, it may also help cover the associated medical or legal fees.
Did you know the average cost of a lawyer in the US is $250 to $600 an hour depending on where you live and the size of the law firm? Or that the average payout for a personal injury claim can reach upwards of $50,000?
On top of the cost of your lawyer, you may have to pay additional court fees and litigation expenses. You have to also take into consideration all the time you’d lose going through these proceedings. And that’s not including what damages a claimant is seeking compensation for.
Don’t let these numbers scare you! With photography insurance, you could be covered in similar cases and not have to pay the resulting fees out of pocket.
Now, let’s talk about what your photography insurance policy should include and what those coverages really mean.
What Should My Photography Insurance Policy Include?
The best photography insurance policy will offer you the following:
And, to answer your next question...
What Do Those Coverages Even Mean?
As a photographer, you inherit many risks while on the job. You might not be aware that your day-to-day operations expose you to those risks all the time. Each risk is associated with a different coverage that may protect you in the result of a lawsuit.
To better understand we’ll be using Full Frame’s photography insurance policy and their different coverages as an example. Let’s walk you through their annual policy application, explaining what each coverage means and an example of when it could possibly respond.
Policy Effective Dates
When you begin the annual policy application you must choose when you wish for your policy to take effect. Your policy will be in place for one full year and may protect you if someone sues you within that policy year.
Annual Gross Sales
The amount of coverage you need for photography insurance is dependent on your annual gross sales. The basic annual policy includes sales up to $100k with the option of more coverage if your sales exceed those limits.
Full Frame also offers equipment coverage for annual policyholders at a small additional cost. Their equipment coverage is designed to insure camera gear that is used primarily for your business operations. This can include cameras, lenses, projectors, films, and any related equipment. One benefit of their equipment coverage is a low deductible of $250 no matter the option you select.
If you’re wondering how to determine whether you need insurance, be sure to ask yourself these questions before selecting the right option for you.
Equipment coverage could protect you if any of the following occur:
So, for example, if you were to leave your camera bag with all of your expensive lenses in your car for a couple of days and then came back and saw that someone had busted a window to break in, you could file a claim to have your camera covered by your insurance.
If you were trying to get the best angle at a wedding photoshoot, dropped your camera as a result, and broke the lens, you could also file a claim to possibly have that cost covered as well.
Just check out these photographers who could have benefited from camera gear insurance.
Limits of Insurance
Their application lays out the offered annual policy limits of insurance clearly.
And as we said, each coverage is associated with a different risk. Don’t worry if you don’t understand every single word of your limits, even insurance agents seek to clarify terms sometimes. But to help you understand better, let’s look at what each coverage means and what it does.
General Aggregate Limit
Your general aggregate limit is the maximum amount your insurance will payout within a policy year for general liability claims. This includes property damage and bodily injury to a third party.
Products-Completed Operations Limit
According to IRMI, the International Risk Management Institute, a products-completed aggregate limit encompasses liability arising out of your products or business operations conducted away from your own premises once those operations have been completed or abandoned. This coverage is typically included in your general liability insurance coverage.
Personal and Advertising Injury Limit
The personal and advertising injury limit, which is tied in with your general liability coverage, insures against personal harm not due to bodily injury, protecting you against the following offenses in connection with the advertising of your goods or services: libel, slander, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, and misappropriation of advertising ideas. Read more about it at IRMI.
Damage to Premises Rented to You Coverage
This coverage applies to damage by fire to premises rented to you and to damage regardless of the cause to the premises (including contents) occupied by the insured for 7 days or less.. If you’re curious about more details for this limit, refer to IRMI.
Medical Expense Coverage
Medical expense coverage is designed to pay medical expenses incurred by a third party for an injury sustained in an accident that arises from your business activities. It’s included in your general liability coverage and applies regardless of fault. This coverage would reimburse the injured person for their expenses without a lawsuit up to $5,000 per person.
What Does Photography Insurance Not Cover?
As mentioned, your photography insurance could protect you against general liability or property damage claims. The limits of your insurance are what would pay out for those claims if you were actually sued.
What photography insurance does not cover includes the following:
If you’re wondering if Full Frame can insure your area of photography, which they likely do, check out their qualifying categories before you fill out an application.
How Much Does Photography Insurance Cost?
The cost of photography insurance can vary depending on the type of coverage an insurance company offers. It is important to evaluate not just the price, but the details of the offering too.
The great thing about Full Frame Insurance is that they offer two options for insurance policies. You can either purchase a policy for a full year or you can purchase an event policy that will cover you for any 1-3 day event.
Their event policy starts at just $59 while their annual policy starts at $99 with the option to add camera gear insurance or higher coverage limits. Their prices are affordable and highly competitive, giving you the best coverage at that price.
How Else Can Photography Insurance Help?
Aside from giving you the coverage you need, carrying photography insurance can help…
Fulfill Contractual Requirements
You’ll likely end up shooting in a studio or venue that requires you to show proof of insurance before you can begin the photography session. Look for a provider that makes it easy for you to include a venue as an additional insured on your policy.
With Full Frame’s annual policy, additional insureds cost you nothing and will help you meet the requirement.
Peg You As A Professional
By carrying photography insurance, you show your clients and future clients that you take your profession seriously and that you have the right safeguards in place in case something unfortunate occurs.
Full Frame offers all of our policyholders a digital badge they can post on their website which visitors can clearly see upon clicking on their site. Once you’ve purchased a policy, you’ll have access to a basic HTML code you can paste in yourself.
That was a lot of information.
We hope you got it through okay!
Insurance is tough to navigate, but now that you have the right tools to understand what it means, you can confidently go about finding the right coverage for your business needs.
Full Frame Insurance offers photography insurance that is framed for your business and that may protect you in the case of a lawsuit. Our application is fully online, letting you choose when and where you purchase. Upon purchase, you have 24/7 access to your insurance documents, access to our online badge, and proof that you take your job seriously and are ready to take it to the next level.
Don’t leave your photography business vulnerable, and purchase your photography insurance today.