Insurance For Photographers

Fireman's Insurance building in Newark
Fireman's Insurance building in Newark - by Jim.henderson

I was on location last week when it dawned me that I was carrying about $2,500 worth of gear, and that’s just what I had hanging around my neck and in my vest.  Most of the expensive stuff was at home.

At home a disaster would likely be covered by our homeowners insurance and, in some cases, if it was taken out of the car.  But if the insurance company gets wind I was on a paying job, they’re not going to pay on a homeowner’s policy, no matter what.

That doesn’t even begin to cover liability.  If you break or damage something while on the job, or, even worse, hurt someone.

Types of Coverage

For photographers you’re looking at three basic types of insurance:

– Equipment

– E&O

– Liability

Equipment coverage replaces your gear if it’s lost or stolen.  E&O is Errors & Omissions and it covers you from being sued for negligence in providing professional services.  Even if the suit is frivolous, unless you have $10,000 or more laying around to pay a legal bill, the cost of defense can be crippling.

Liability is probably the most neglected and the one that can really save your bacon.  Knock over that priceless antique vase in someone’s home, accidentally push another photographer down the stairs outside a courtroom, or have a model trip over the background paper and you could be looking at a staggering bill for damages.  Many localities require liability insurance before they will issue a permit for film or photography sets in urban areas.

Other liability coverage you’ll want is coverage for leased equipment.

Where To Get It

One stop for most of you will be WEVA.  Members have access to their insurance pool where you can obtain all the coverage you need.

PPA offers coverage through third parties and there are companies like the Chubb Group.  Fortunately today there are far more options for photographers to obtain insurance than the days before the internet.