Photographer’s Insurance – What Cover do I need?

When considering what insurance cover you need as a professional or semi-professional photographer, it is important to consider more than just damage or loss of expensive cameras, lenses and other essential kit – your business and livelihood is far more exposed to other risks than just this.

The financial repercussions from a customer having an accident at your studio or a fire or flood at your studio that forces you to close the studio could have a grave impact on your business and therefore your livelihood. It is important that you understand these risks and the impact that they can have, should the worst happen.

Table of Contents

Public Liability Insurance

Why do you need public liability insurance?

Accidents do happen. When you are working out on location or at a client’s business premises or their home, if someone is injured or their property is damaged, you may be held responsible. A client may trip over your tripod or a cable, you may drop a client’s item that they have asked you to photograph. In these circumstances, it is possible that the client will make a compensation claim against you.

Where you operate from a studio – the same risks apply.

Even small claims can be expensive. More serious injuries, such as broken bones with their possible long term effects can lead to claims for many thousands of pounds plus significant legal fees.

What does it cover?

Public liability insurance covers your legal costs in defending a claim, and any compensation or costs that may subsequently be awarded, following:

  • Injury you cause to a third party during your business activities
  • Damage you cause to third party property during your business activities
  • Personal injury or damage to property arising from any product you have supplied

Employers Liability Insurance

Why do I need employer’s liability insurance?

If you always work alone, and are effectively the only employee of your business, you will not need employer’s liability insurance. However, as soon as you employ just one person – even if they are working for you as an assistant to gain experience – the law states that you must have employer’s liability insurance in place. This ensures that everyone you employ is covered in the event that they are injured or become ill in the course of their work; protecting you against claims for everything from illness to injuries – such as an assistant carrying your equipment or perhaps simply moving furniture at your request. Employer’s liability insurance is underwritten on what is known as a ‘claims occurring’ basis. This means that your policy provides cover for claims brought by an employee for injuries and/or illness which occurred during that period of insurance, even if the policy is no longer in force.

What does it cover?

Employer’s liability insurance covers your legal costs in defending a claim, and any compensation or costs that may subsequently be awarded, following:

  • Allegations of injury suffered by your staff arising from their employment with you
  • Allegations of illness suffered by your staff arising from their employment with you

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Why is professional indemnity insurance important?

The fact is that not every shoot will go well. On rare occasions, bad luck or equipment failure will lead to the need for a re-shoot. That is fine if you can simply ask the subject to come back to your studio the next day. However, what happens when this is not possible, such as a wedding? If the shots are unusable, or are perhaps deleted by accident from a memory card, you can easily find yourself being sued for substantial damages. Whatever the reasons behind a claim of this kind, they can be extremely expensive to defend, making professional indemnity insurance an essential cover for professional photographers. Just as importantly, professional indemnity insurance also covers you against civil liability claims such as alleged slander, libel or even breach of confidentiality and/or copyright.

What does it cover?

Professional indemnity insurance covers your legal costs in defending a claim, and any compensation or costs that may subsequently be awarded, following:

  • Professional negligence, such as giving incorrect instruction or poor advice to a client
  • Unintentional breach of confidentiality and/or copyright
  • Defamation and libel
  • Loss of documents or data
  • Loss of money or goods (for which you are responsible)

Buildings and Contents Insurance

Why should I consider this?

In most cases, where you rent a studio space, the owner’s Buildings Insurance will cover the building itself (although you should check your tenancy agreement to make sure). However, Contents Insurance is a must-have for photographers, as even a small studio is likely to contain thousands of pounds worth of lighting and equipment, which, added to the cost of your cameras, lenses, computers and printers would prove expensive to replace in the event of a fire, flood or burglary.

Contents insurance for professional photographers can be provided where your equipment is kept in the confines of your office or, for extra peace of mind, if you take it with you anywhere in the world.

What does it cover?

Buildings and contents insurance covers your property against damage or loss arising from a range of incidents including fire, theft, flood, explosion, storm, escape of water. Cover can be extended to include accidental damage, if required.

Business Interruption Insurance

Why is business interruption insurance important?

In the event of an insured loss, for example a fire, at your business premises, while a good contents insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing or repairing damaged items, you may be forced to close your business whilst the repairs are carried out or items are replaced – this can have a dramatic effect on your ability to earn a living.

Business interruption insurance can provide a lifeline. It can cover loss of income you might suffer while you were unable to use your studio, or alternatively, it would pay for temporary premises to help you keep working while your own studio was being made fit for use again.

What does it cover?

Business interruption insurance covers:

  • Loss of income (or increased costs of working) if you are unable to work from your usual business premises.

How much does professional photographers insurance cost?

The cost of insurance will depend on a number of factors including:

  • What level of cover is required?
  • Do you have any employees – if yes, you will need employers liability insurance
  • What is the value of your equipment?
  • How much equipment do you take out of the studio or away from your home on location?
  • What is your annual turnover or income?

Premiums can start from as little as £17.00*per month based on Professional Indemnity Limit of £50,000, Public Liability of £1m and Equipment at £5,000. Employers liability can be added for an extra £3.00* per month. The premium will increase if wider cover or higher limits are required.

*premiums include insurance premium tax at 12%

You can get a simple quote online using our Multimedia portal or to discuss your particular requirements, contact a member of the team on 0333 577 8232 or email