Most Important Insurance for Photographers

Photography business insurance isn’t the most striking topic on the internet, we’ll admit that. It can be especially un-fun for free-wheeling creative types who would much rather be out in the world working their craft.

Unfortunately, ignoring business insurance can be the death blow for a photography business.


Photographers face unique business risks.

High quality camera equipment is expensive to buy and equally expensive to replace if it’s damaged. Many photographers take their art from the studio out into the world, and place their expensive equipment at the mercy of the elements.

If you’re working with clients, you’ve got a whole other set of potential risks to worry about. People are notoriously fickle, and have been known to cause trouble when their special event isn’t photographed exactly as they’d have imagined it should be.

Since there are so many types of insurance, and so many types of photographers, we’ve made it simple to figure out what you’ll need to worry about with this list of insurance types most important for any photographer.

If you’re concerned with your own specific specialty, check out our 60-second photography business insurance wizard to see where your photography business faces the most risk.

Otherwise, here’s a list of the most important lines of insurance any photographer will want to consider:

Business Owner's Policy (BOP) for Photographers

The simplest way to get broad coverage for your photography business is to buy a Business Owner’s Policy. It’s also called a BOP. A BOP combines three common insurance coverages most important to protect nearly all small businesses. It usually includes:

  • General Liability – this would come in handy if your business is sued as a result of property damage or injury that occurred as a result of your photography work. Imagine a client came to your studio and tripped over a light cord, fell and broke her arm. Or if you’ve got employees, general liability would cover any damage they caused while they were representing your business. And if you ever get sued for copyright infringement of someone else’s work, there’s coverage to have your back.
  • Commercial Property – all that expensive photo equipment you use to take photos edit your work is protected in your BOP under commercial property. Whether your own or lease a studio, the building and the items, your lights, props, cameras, computers, and other necessary equipment is covered.
  • Business Interruption – what would happen if your studio burned down, or flooded. Your equipment would be covered under your commercial property policy, but you’d have a hard time making a living while you waited for new equipment to arrive, or repairs to be made. Business income insurance covers the income you’d lose if you couldn’t operate your photography business because of some type of damage to your studio.

Extra Photography Insurance Options for Add Protection

With the basics covered, you might want to look at a few extra layers of protection that are particularly helpful in the photography industry.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

If you have even one employee working for your business, you’ll need to know if your state requires you to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Most states require this, and it helps cover the cost of injury or illness for employees, including medical care, lost wages, and more.

It also covers the legal fees if you’re sued by an employee or their family for a work related issue.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Chances are you or your employees occasionally need to transport equipment to or from a photo shoot or consult with a potential new client. Did you know your personal vehicle probably isn’t covered if you’re using it for work purposes?

If you own a vehicle that you use (even occasionally) for the purposes of running your photography business, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a business auto policy to cover you in the event of an accident.  

If all this seems confusing, you can easily get some quick answers by using our 60-second photography business insurance wizard to see which insurance lines you need most, and which you can probably worry about some other time.

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