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Should Photographers Bother with Liability Insurance?

Lens caps? Check. Durable camera bag with rain shield? Check. Backup memory card? Check. Photographer liability insurance?

If there's one piece of equipment that can protect you the most in your photography career, it's liability insurance (followed closely by a backup hard drive, but that's just good life advice). Still, many photographers wonder if they need it. After all, photography isn't exactly the most dangerous profession, is it?

Maybe you've got a studio all set up for senior pictures, baby photos, and family portraits. Perhaps you have a mobile setup to capture the most memorable moments at weddings. Or maybe you're itching to get out into the backcountry to document the stunts of adrenaline junkies.

Whatever the case may be, there's always the potential for something to go wrong — and you might have to pay for it. Or, even worse, you may just have a terrible client on your hands! Let's take a look at how insurance helps photographers in these situations.

How General Liability Insurance Protects Photographers

How General Liability Insurance Protects Photographers

General Liability Insurance for photographers is a basic liability policy that addresses several exposures, such as…

  • Accidental injury to clients or third parties. For example, if you take portraits of a kid and the rambunctious little guy hurts himself when he knocks down one of your lights, your insurance can cover medical expenses related to the injury if his parents sue your studio.
  • Accidental property damage. Say you take photos of a house for a real estate agency and you damage a valuable painting on the wall. Your insurance has your back by paying for its replacement or legal expenses if the owner sues your business.
  • Personal and advertising injury. If you're sued for accidentally infringing on someone's copyright or publishing libel about a competing photographer, your GL policy can cover legal expenses (e.g., legal defense fees and settlements or judgments).

If you lease studio space, your landlord may require that you have General Liability Insurance. It's a requirement in many business contracts, too.

How Professional Liability Insurance Protects Photographers

How Professional Liability Insurance Protects Photographers

Professional Liability Insurance (aka Errors and Omissions Insurance) is the other key component of a photographer's liability protection. This policy deals with the actual services and work you provide and helps you out if you make a professional mistake (real or alleged).

Did you miss the cutting of the cake and the bride is furious? Did your assistant edit and send the wrong finished photos? Did the client expect something radically different? Such problems can be the basis of a lawsuit, and insurance can be a lifesaver if you ever face one

Did you miss the cutting of the cake and the bride is furious?

Professional Liability Insurance can cover…

  • Reshoot expenses. If you lose all your photo files before backing them up, or if you somehow miss an important shot that's essential to the project, you may be required to cover the cost of reshooting.
  • Legal fees and court costs. This can include settlements or judgments, witness fees, docket fees, and other expenses.
  • Attorney fees. Professional legal help is essential to navigate a complex lawsuit against your business. E and O Insurance can help cover legal defense fees, which can be staggering.

Even if you never make a mistake, an angry or irrational client can still sue you. Resolving these types of lawsuits costs time and money, which E&O Insurance can address. To see some extreme examples of risks that photographers may face on a daily basis, read the article, "The 6 Most Ridiculous Times Photography Insurance Came in Handy."

Get Photographer Liability Insurance Quotes

Get Photographer Liability Insurance Quotes

Have you ever used an underwater camera? They're housed in a thick, sturdy case that prevents water from getting in, right? Think of the camera as your savings, the underwater plastic housing as the investment in insurance, and the water as all the bad stuff (accidents and lawsuits) that might deplete your finances. Without that protective casing, how long would the camera survive?

With that in mind, it's easy to see why, as a photographer, you definitely should bother with adequate liability coverage. Fill out an online application today or contact one of our photography insurance specialists for free quotes.

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