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Business Insurance Needs for Photographers

As an independent photographer, you’re a trusted professional at key customer events. Whether you’re photographing a family wedding or working as a freelancer for a media outlet, your clients rely on you to document important occasions and safeguard often-irreplaceable images. An important part of protecting your clients’ photos — as well as your company’s assets and reputation — is choosing the right business insurance for your photography company.

Photographer looking at pictures in his camera.

A well-thought-out combination of insurance coverages can help protect your business in case of an unexpected event like theft, an accident or a fire. Here are a few coverages to research when insuring your photography business.

Business property coverage: You’ve invested heavily in your photography business, from specialized cameras and lenses to the computer you use to edit and store images. If any of these key pieces of equipment were damaged or stolen, your business could be seriously affected. This coverage would help pay to replace or repair your technical equipment and studio furnishings like desks, tables and file cabinets if they’re damaged or destroyed by certain covered losses, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). You’ll need to check your insurance to determine what is considered a covered loss, but common ones include vandalism, fire, and severe wind storms. This insurance may also pay for covered damages to your studio building or office’s physical structure, up to the limits of your policy

General liability coverage: Every small business should consider this key coverage, according to the SBA. If a piece of your lighting equipment fell and injured someone, this coverage could help pay for medical costs and (if necessary) legal expenses. If your camera and tripod toppled against an expensive stained-glass window during a wedding, this insurance could cover damage or replacement costs for the claimant’s window and any damaged nearby furnishings. The maximum amount your insurance company will pay for damages (your “policy limits”) and the amount of your deductible will vary, depending on the coverage you buy.

Business interruption coverage: Could your photography business survive if a fire destroyed your photography studio? Business interruption coverage can help you get back on your feet by helping to replace your business income after you suffer a major covered loss, such as damage from a fire. According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), you provide proof of past profits to help determine your insurance payouts.

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In addition, you may also want to look into these coverages for your photography business:

  • Professional liability coverage: This insurance, also called Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance, could pay for damages related to professional mistakes you make during your work.
  • Data compromise coverage: If you store private customer data on your business computer, this coverage could help pay for information recovery and related services if your computer is stolen or you lose data.
  • Employment practices liability coverage: Unless you’re a sole proprietor with no employees, you may want to consider this coverage. If a current or past photographer’s assistant were to sue you for discrimination or wrongful termination, for example, this coverage may pay for your legal costs and any damages for which you’re held liable, according to the Insurance Risk Management Institute (IRMI).

For details on how to choose the right insurance coverages for your photography business, contact an experienced business insurance agent.

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Published: August 2014

ECC Monitor: OK