Business insurance for photographers
Business insurance for photographers
If you’re a photographer, then chances are you’re artistic and have a flair for being creative. And when you’re busy in the midst of an important visual composition, worrying about your insurance is probably the last thing on your mind. But when you’re working with the public and recording precious memories, it’s worthwhile to have that extra level peace of mind that your business is protected just in case something goes wrong.
Do I need insurance as a photographer?
Firstly, whether you personally need insurance will depend if you are self-employed or employed by a company. If you’re employed by someone it’s worth reviewing the cover that they have in place first to see if it provides enough protection.
If you work for yourself, it’s not only the equipment you should think about. There are two types of liability insurance that may be important to you.
Public liability insurance for photographers
This covers you for claims brought against your business by a member of the public if they suffer an injury or damage to their property as a result of your work. As a professional (or even semi-pro or amateur) if you’ve been given the task of photographing treasured events such as a wedding, christening or graduation ceremony, then you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a safety net.
It’s not great to think of all the things that could go wrong – but what about if someone trips over your tripod and breaks an ankle, or you walk backwards into the wedding cake or damage the marquee because your lighting equipment fused the electrics? Not only will you be dealing with some irate clients but you’ll probably be facing a hefty bill too. With public liability insurance in place, you can be confident that someone’s got your back.
Public liability limits start from £1 million, but you can typically increase your cover to £2m, £3m, £5m or even more. Your premiums will reflect this rise but usually only a little bit.
Employers’ liability insurance
If you employ any staff, you’ll need employers’ liability insurance. It’s a legal requirement and it’s there to pay out compensation to employees if they become ill or injured through their work. You are required by law to display a copy of your Employer’s Liability Certificate of Insurance where your employees can easily read it. Failure to display the certificate can result a fine of £1000 from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Failure to have Employer’s Liability insurance could lead to a fine of up to £2,500 for every day you don't have this insurance in place.
Professional indemnity insurance
It’s also worth considering professional indemnity insurance – this provides cover if clients make a claim against you for loss or damage because of professional negligence. Even the most diligent of photographers can’t predict their camera or memory card failing to download images properly; so to know you’re protected for nightmare incidents like this can be a huge relief.
What else should I consider?
If you drive a van in connection to your work, make sure you’ve got suitable van insurance to protect you when you’re on the road. Most van cover doesn’t typically include the equipment you transport in your vehicle, so you may want to look for a tools policy as well. Be mindful though about any circumstances that may be excluded, like storing equipment in a van overnight.
And if you’ve got a studio where you print your work and store your kit, then make sure your business premises and contents are adequately insured too.
How much will public liability insurance cost me?
Factors such as the type of your business (if you work on various locations, in a studio or combine both), how many people you employ, your claims history and of course how much cover you want, will all contribute to your premium. It’s important to be completely honest – being less than truthful could invalidate your policy. And just remember that ‘cheap’ and ‘best’ aren’t synonymous.