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What Insurance Should You Have As A Photographer? | Candid Chats

By Shivani Reddy on May 31st 2019

Photography gear theft is a real and prominent threat that exists in even the most secure locations. With the rise and accessibility of photography, gear has never been easier to steal with so much of it in a concentrated area. While tourist destinations serve as a flocking ground for entry-level cameras, wedding venues, studio setups, and on-location filming are highly targeted areas for gear to be stolen.

For this Candid Chat we asked our community of 22,000 photographers:

Share an experience of WHY you need insurance for our gear. What company do you recommend?

We received numerous informative responses to the question and decided to create a resource article for those looking to buy insurance before they need it or it’s too late.

Do Photographers Need Insurance For Their Gear?

We sent out a survey to get a better understanding of where photographers in our community stand on gear insurance. Although our pool of 40 participants does not represent the 22,000 in our community, the results are still shocking.

On both Instagram and Twitter, users displayed the same skew, with a majority of responses claiming they don’t have insurance or weren’t even aware that it existed:

So what exactly is holding photographers back from purchasing insurance for their gear? Here are the reasons we’ve boiled it down to:

  • Another added business cost – they don’t want to spend the extra couple hundred bucks to protect thousands of dollars worth of gear
  • Which insurance company is the best? – they don’t know which company or program is the right choice for them
  • Ignorance is bliss – they haven’t been stolen from yet and therefore don’t feel like they need it. They might not have insurance coverage for equipment in their country.

With so many companies and packages available, it can be tough to navigate and find the right solution for your photography business, so let’s narrow it down. Let’s tackle these issues head-on with some solutions and options from our community members that have tried and tested multiple insurance companies. Please note that these answers may apply to photographers in the US and not other regions or countries. 

Homeowners/Renters Insurance

Depending on what company you have your homeowners or renters insurance with, you may be eligible for equipment coverage through them.

PPA

Easily one of the most used in our industry because it is photographer specific is PPA, with more than 30,000 photographers signed up. With the most expensive plan costing you about $28 a month with $15,000 equipment coverage, this seemed like one of the more popular and simplest solutions for gear insurance for photographers.

Insurance Companies for Photo Equipment Coverage

While many listed PPA and homeowners insurance as the most common choices for coverage we had a plethora of responses to choose from which means there is a solution & price point out there for everyone. We narrowed it down to these options based on responses:

Here’s Why Photographers Need Insurance

There are so many cautionary tales out there and the stories only get worse as time goes on. Our jobs often take place in busy and popular locations that are known for photoshoots or set locations which Get ready to read some of the unfortunate horror stories that might persuade you to finally get on the phone or hop online to get insured.

 

How Much Does Your Insurance Cover?

Another topic of discussion that came about when figuring out the pain points of insurance coverage for photographers is finding the right dollar amount of coverage within your policy. From our survey, we found that it ranged from $25,000 to $1,000,000:

Most venues require vendors to have at least $1,000,000 of liability coverage but this may differ depending on state and venue. Here is the main difference between these three:

  • Equipment Coverage: pretty straightforward, coverage for your gear.
  • General Liability Coverage:  injuries or property damage occurring as the result of your business operations, i.e: if a customer trips over the legs of your Light stand or if you accidentally damage property that you are shooting on.
  • Errors & Omissions Coverage: claims of inadequate work or negligent actions. It protects your business from professional errors, whether they are real or perceived

We chose not to cover one-day insurance policies because the goal is to strongly urge photographers to go with a secure insurance package. If you have any other companies that you’ve found useful or other horror stories you would like to share, please leave them in the comments below. The price you pay for insurance may seem like an option but we hope that these cautionary tales urge photographers to make it a necessity.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Shivani wants to live in a world where laughter is the cure to pretty much everything. Since she can’t claim “Serial Bingewatcher” as an occupation, she’ll settle for wedding/portrait photographer at Lin and Jirsa & marketing coordinator here at SLR Lounge. For those rare moments when you won’t find a camera in her hand, she will be dancing, eating a donut, or most likely watching Seinfeld.

Follow her on Instagram: @shivalry_inc

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Matthew Saville

    It just makes business sense to have gear insurance as a professional photographer. Just ask any other working professional if they have insurance for essentially all of their assets/equipment, and the answer is likely yes, yes, yes.

    As a hobbyist, usually you can get your equipment included on renters or homeowners insurance, I believe…

    To anyone who says, “but I can’t afford ~$300 a year!” …well, if your business can’t afford such a small yet critical expense, then your business is not nearly profitable enough to also support you with a good retirement and other things like healthcare or a growing family. TLDR, get insurance!

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