Camera insurance: What types do professional photographers need?
Being a successful professional photographer or videographer entails more than walking around with a camera pressing buttons. To be a quality photographer, one must have an artistic vision and a deep understanding of the creative mechanics that comprise a brilliant shot.
However, when it comes to monetizing your photographic skills, it’s vital to understand the basics of business, including knowing how to protect yourself with the proper camera insurance.
Camera insurance not only protects you from unforeseen accidents that can delay and derail your livelihood. It also provides you with peace of mind so that no matter what gig you work, where you travel, or what camera you use, you’ll have peace of mind that your self-made business will endure.
Business insurance products you’ll need for your photography business
If you run your own landscape, portrait, documentary, or wedding photography business, safeguarding your camera equipment is one of your top priorities. Installing a security system in your studio, locking your doors, and limiting who has access to both your workspace and your resources are just a few of the steps you can take to prevent your gear from falling into the wrong hands. But there’s only so much you can do. You can’t control the actions of others, nor can you control external factors such as inclement weather or malfunctioning microchips, which is why—for all of life’s unanticipated mishaps—insuring your camera equipment and your photography business is essential.
There are many insurance options available to you when it comes to protecting your photography equipment, with a multitude of policies covering you in a variety of different ways. The following are some of the most popular camera equipment insurance coverages for photographers who run their own small businesses:
- Business Property Insurance: This policy covers all of the elements of your photography operation. Camera, lenses, flashes, memory cards—if it’s part of the equipment or gear necessary for running your photography business, business property insurance will have your back should there be any accidents.
- Equipment Breakdown Coverage: Sometimes, bad things happen to you without any fault of your own. With equipment breakdown coverage, you have protection against external factors like mechanical breakdowns, power surges, natural disasters, and other types of accidental damages that may cause property damage or destruction to your photography tools.
- Business Income Insurance: Suppose you encounter a family emergency or another unforeseen disruption to your photography business that forces you to lose revenue. Business income insurance can help mitigate any losses by helping your flow of money avoid interruption.
While the above-mentioned insurance coverages are camera- and equipment-specific, many additional coverage options can help keep your photography business running smoothly. Here are some of the best types of insurance policies for covering your photography business as a whole:
- General Liability Insurance: This policy is great for protecting you when you’re on the job during a photoshoot. If any property is damaged or if there’s an injury on set, general liability insurance will have you covered.
- Professional Liability Insurance: Professional liability insurance helps protect you against lawsuits from clients unhappy with their deliverables. The policy also covers you in the event of a data breach that exposes your client’s material or if the hard drive containing your client’s deliverables is lost or stolen. Bundling professional liability insurance with general liability insurance is what’s known as a Business Owner’s Policy.
- Auto Insurance: If you’re constantly traveling and find yourself on the road for your photography gigs, an auto insurance policy can be a great asset in your small business insurance arsenal. If you or an employee is involved in a car accident while using a company car or your own vehicle, an auto insurance policy will protect you from any damages or losses resulting from the collision if you or your employee is driving for purposes pertaining to your photography work.
- Homeowners Insurance: Similar to equipment breakdown coverage, homeowners insurance protects you against unforeseen circumstances like vandalism, theft, fire, smoke, and other weather-related damages. Homeowners insurance is particularly beneficial if your photography studio operates out of your home office.
Having a thorough understanding of the photography insurance landscape is key to deciphering insurance necessities from “nice-to-haves,” which helps ensure the policies you’re purchasing are limited to covering only the unique aspects of your business. This way, you’re not wasting coverage on areas that aren’t in alignment with your core photographic functionality.
Navigating your first camera insurance policy
You’ve decided to move forward with camera insurance, but you’re unsure what policy to purchase. Fear not! Camera insurance—like all small business insurance—can be flexible in accommodating the specific needs of your photography business. Each business is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all camera insurance policy. The below steps will walk you through the camera insurance purchasing process, so when it comes time to put down your credit card, you’re well versed in what you're buying and how to buy it.
Camera insurance vs. photography insurance
First, it’s important to understand the distinction between insuring your photography business and insuring your camera. While both types of insurance provide you with the necessary protection, one covers your tools, and the other protects your operation as a whole. Depending on how your photography business functions and what type of cameras and equipment you use, your insurance needs and costs will vary.
How much does camera insurance cost?
The cost of your camera insurance policy will depend on the type of camera you’re using and how you’re using it. If you’re rolling with expensive equipment, you’ll most likely pay more for insurance than if you’re utilizing cheaper technology. If you travel regularly and shoot outdoors, your policy will likely be more expensive than for someone who shoots still photos in a studio for families.
When evaluating your insurance options, make sure to pay for only what you need. If you’re not a traveler, you should not pay extra for a policy that contains a travel provision. There’s no reason to pay for coverage add-ons that you’ll never use. Remember, the main reason you’re purchasing camera insurance is to prevent you from incurring massive replacement costs to your camera gear, lenses, tripods, and other equipment should any be lost, stolen, or damaged.
Choosing photographer insurance for your business
When choosing insurance for your photography business, you’ll want to evaluate your company’s unique operational needs to determine what policies best fit your organization. Like camera insurance, it’s unnecessary to purchase a policy that contains elements that are not relevant to your business. Suppose you only use a solitary DSLR camera. In that case, you probably will not need to purchase equipment breakdown insurance, a policy that typically companies using a wide variety of electronic gear and rigs will buy. Whether you’re purchasing camera insurance or general photography insurance, remember to be mindful of the deductible cost. The more you pay for your policy, the lower your deductible will be in the event of a camera accident. Conversely, the less you pay for a policy, the higher your deductible will be.
Taking stock of how you use your camera and other photography equipment and thinking through all of the different aspects of your photography business will help you decide which insurance policies make the most sense for you.
How to get professional photography insurance with Huckleberry
Just as various insurance policies can help protect your photography business, various insurance companies can supply you with those insurance policies. But not all companies are the same, with some overcharging you for policies you don’t need, or—even worse—overcharging you for policies you do need but are policies that do not fully cover you or your company. Like any impactful business decision, it’s essential to evaluate all of your camera insurance options before purchasing policies from a company you trust.
For the best in all things business insurance, check out Huckleberry. Huckleberry is a one-stop-shop for all of your photography and camera insurance needs. In just minutes, get quotes for commercial property insurance, general liability insurance, auto insurance, and more, so you can spend more time growing your photography business.