Photographers use their talents to turn photographs into works of art that we often cherish for years to come. However, there's a lot more that goes into the business end of photography outside of snapping a few photos. Photographers need to have comprehensive photography insurance that protects their property, which normally includes pricey cameras and other equipment. Yet, they also need liability coverage in case of accident or injury, as well as auto insurance and professional liability insurance that protects against negligence or faulty advice.
Photographers who have employees may also need workers’ compensation coverage and additional photography insurance limits for their business. But, how do you know which types of photography insurance you need the most? And how do you decide where to purchase this important coverage?
Investopedia set out to answer these questions for you by comparing the best photography insurance companies out there based on the policies they offer, their customer reviews, their company reputation, and other factors. As you gear up to protect your photography business from financial losses, here are the top photography insurance companies we recommend.
Best Overall : Progressive
While some companies that made our ranking are newer on the photography insurance scene, Progressive has been in business since 1937. Progressive also lets you work directly with an agent to customize your photography business insurance to your needs, although you can also get a quote online. As a full service insurance company with a long history of meeting their obligations, Progressive also boasts an A+ rating for its financial strength from AM Best.
Long history as a reputable insurance agency in the United States
You can get a quote with a Progressive agent or online
Multiple coverage options available
Less flexibility in their policies (one-day or shoot-based coverage not offered)
Need to provide considerable personal and business information in order to get a free quote
Many poor reviews with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Progressive may be mostly known for its auto insurance and homeowners insurance products, yet this top-rated insurance company also offers an array of business and commercial coverage options. Further, Progressive has its own Progressive Advantage Business Program, which helps businesses get the exact coverage they need to protect their equipment and themselves. Ultimately, we chose Progressive as our best overall due to their long company history, excellent ratings, and flexible coverage options.
In terms of their photography insurance coverage, they let you tailor a policy that includes general liability coverage as well as commercial auto insurance that protects you when you drive for business purposes. If you're a photography studio with employees, you can also invest in workers' compensation coverage, as well as a Business Owner's Policy (BOP) that lets you combine general liability coverage with commercial property damage for ultimate protection. You also have the option to tailor your policy and coverage limits to the size of your business or the type of events you oversee the most.
Also be aware that Progressive offers similar coverage types and options for videographers, and that you can tailor your coverage to protect your photography and videography equipment and events.
According to Progressive, the average customer to get coverage through their Progressive Advantage Business Program in 2020 paid $46 per month for professional liability and $86 per month for workers’ compensation coverage. The average cost for general liability worked out to $53 per month, and professional liability coverage worked out to an average of $46 per month.
Best for One-Day Coverage : Thimble
Thimble is unique among photography insurance companies because this provider lets you purchase coverage for a single job or by the month if you prefer. This option lets you pay for photography insurance only when you need it, and you can tailor each coverage period to the details of the job.
Purchase coverage for the job or by the month
Pause or cancel your coverage at any time
Comprehensive protections included in every policy
Highly rated mobile app
Newer company (only founded in 2016)
No coverage available for commercial property
No way to work with an insurance agent in person
Thimble was founded in 2016, yet their business insurance policies are underwritten by third-party insurance agencies that have been in operation for decades with good reviews. Specifically, policies are underwritten by Markel Insurance Company and Global Aerospace, Inc., both of which boast an A or better rating from AM Best. We chose Thimble based on the flexibility of their photography insurance plans, and specifically on the fact you don't have to pay for a year of coverage (or even a month of coverage) at once.
Thimble is unique because this company lets you buy only the coverage you need when you need it. You can buy a monthly policy, but you can also purchase photography insurance by the job.
With each of their policies, you can add extra insureds for free, and there are no extra fees or deposits. Waivers of subrogation are also offered at no extra cost, and you get unlimited Certificates of Insurance. Coverage from Thimble can be tailored to include bodily injury, third-party property damage, medical expenses, defense costs, and errors and omissions (E&O). You can get a free quote online, and coverage can be found for up to $1 million dollars.
Best for Policy Customization : biBERK
We chose biBERK due to the ease with which they let their customers choose policy inclusions based on their needs. While not a household name itself, you should know that biBERK is actually a Berkshire Hathaway Company.
Build a policy with the exact coverage options you want
Part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group
Easy quotes available online
No way to work with an insurance agent in person to build your quote
No way to purchase coverage for individual jobs
As part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group, biBERK comes with the backing of a longstanding player in the insurance industry. Originally established by textile entrepreneur Oliver Chace in 1839, Berkshire Hathaway has the highest rating possible for its financial strength from AM Best, an A++. They also have mostly good or excellent reviews with the Better Business Bureau. We chose this company as best for policy customization based on the fact you can build your own policy with the exact coverage options you need to have.
Because biBERK lets you buy insurance directly, they promise rates that could be as much as 20% lower than their competitors. They also let you customize your policy with the exact coverage details you need.
Types of insurance available for photography businesses include workers' compensation, professional liability (E&O), general liability, property and liability, umbrella insurance coverage. and cyber insurance. Note that biBERK lets you get a free quote over the phone or online. Their online claims process also makes it easy to file a claim or make updates virtually.
Best for Studio Owners : Hill & Usher
Hill & Usher offers photography insurance that is specifically geared to videographers and those in graphic design or web design. Studio contents are covered in their policies, as well as your camera equipment, liability, and more.
Package Choice insurance plan targeted specifically to studio owners
You can begin building a free quote online
Comprehensive coverage options included
Policies are underwritten by third-party insurers
No option to purchase coverage for individual jobs
Hill & Usher is a full-service insurance agency that offers a specific photography insurance plan known as Package Choice. Note that Hill & Usher has their policies underwritten by different insurance providers depending on where you live, which may include The Hartford, CNA, Travelers, Zurich, Firemen's Fund, and more. Also be aware that, while you can begin building a free quote online, you'll need to speak with an agent to find out how much you'll pay for a policy with the coverage and limits you prefer.
Package Choice from Hill & Usher was chosen for our ranking based on the fact they offer specific coverage options for photographers who own their own studio, which adds coverage for the structure. Other types of photography insurance that you can purchase include professional liability, coverage for cameras and professional gear, protection for computers and portable electronics, business income insurance, and general liability.
You can also tailor your coverage with worldwide camera insurance and certificates of insurance for venues and landlords. You can even add identity theft protection to your policy, which could be helpful if a hacker gets their hands on your sensitive personal details like your Social Security number.
Best for Employee Coverage : The Hartford
While The Hartford is a reputable insurance company you should consider regardless of whether you have employees or you're a sole proprietor, we chose them for our ranking based on their comprehensive coverage for photography studio employees who may get injured at work.
Various coverage options available, including professional liability and workers' compensation for employees
Longstanding insurance provider known for quality and financial strength
You can get a quote online or work directly with an agent
No way to purchase coverage for individual jobs
Less-than-stellar customer review with the BBB
Originally founded in 1810, The Hartford currently offers an array of insurance products for your home, your auto, and your business. They also report an A+ rating for financial strength from AM Best, which provides their ability to keep up with claims. Further, The Hartford offers robust coverage options for employees, which is important for photography studios with multiple members on their team.
While The Hartford can be a good option for photography insurance regardless of whether you work on your own or with a team, they stood out in our ranking due to their excellent coverage options for employees, which include professional liability and workers’ compensation. You can get a free quote online, but you can also work with an agent over the phone or in person in order to customize your coverage.
While employee coverage options are offered, The Hartford also offers additional photography insurance inclusions such as a Business Owner's Policy (BOP), general liability insurance, business property insurance, business income insurance, and coverage for interruption of computer operations. You can also buy specific coverage if you run your photography business out of your home.
Best for Drone Operators : BWI Fly
If you take drone photography, you may need a specialized insurance policy that protects drone use for commercial purposes. BWI Fly does exactly that with coverage for physical property and liability with limits up to $25 million.
Buy specialized commercial insurance coverage for your drone
Tailor your policy to your needs
High coverage limits up to $25 million
Cannot get a quote without speaking with an agent
Only for drones; does not cover your other equipment
BWI Fly was founded in 1977 with the goal of expanding insurance options in the aviation industry. They currently offer commercial drone policies that are underwritten by other, highly rated insurance providers such as Global Aerospace, U.S.A.I.G., and Old Republic. Note that you can get started on a free quote online, but you'll need to speak with an agent to work out the specifics of your coverage and costs. We chose BWI Fly for our ranking due to their excellent coverage options for drones, which have unique challenges when it comes to insurance.
BWI Fly offers photography insurance that works specifically for drones and their use, which is widely popular for weddings, surveillance, movie production, and plenty of other industries. While coverage for liability is offered on an annual basis, you can also purchase pay-as-you-go and hourly drone plans that include increased coverage amounts for liability ($500,000 to $25 million), optional physical damage coverage, and coverage for advertising liability. Your coverage also includes protection for legal defense in the event you are sued due to the operation of your drone for commercial purposes.
Best Budget Option : Full Frame Insurance
Full Frame Insurance offers coverage for photographers and videographers that starts at just $59 per event or $129 per year. Your coverage is instant and there is no deductible on liability claims.
Purchase affordable insurance coverage for the job or for the entire year
Tailor your coverage to your exact needs
24/7 access to policy documents
Not available in Iowa, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont
Minimal coverage options offered
Newer company with few published reviews so far
This company is managed by Insurance Canopy, and many of its policies are underwritten by Partner Veracity Insurance Solutions, LLC. Full Frame Insurance does not provide in-depth quotes or the option to tailor your coverage to your needs with multiple add-ons. Instead, they offer very basic event policies and annual policies for photographers and videographers, which start at $59 per event or a minimum of $129 per year. We chose them for our ranking based on the affordability of their policies, although you do only get basic coverage in return.
If you're on a budget and you only want minimum insurance protection for specific events or the year, Full Frame Insurance is worth considering. Their event policies that start at $59 and last for one to three days include general liability and personal and advertising injury, although they do not provide coverage for product liability or equipment. By contrast, their annual coverage provides general liability, product liability, and the option to add coverage for photography equipment or supplies. Since annual policies can be tailored to your needs, they start at $129 per year and go up from there.
Note that coverage for gear and equipment can be worth up to $15,000 per item and $75,000 for the duration of the policy. Liability coverage can be worth up to $1 million per claim and up to $2 million per policy duration. Professional liability coverage can be worth up to $100,000 per claim and $200,000 for the policy term.
Having photography insurance is crucial if you have your own photography business, and that's true whether you mostly need liability coverage or you want protection for your equipment, lost business income, or even your photography studio. If you have employees, then you'll also need protection that limits your liability in the event they are injured or you are subject to a lawsuit based on your actions or negligence.
Either way, it's crucial to compare the best photography insurance companies to see which ones offer policies that make sense for the equipment you have and how your business normally runs. Progressive made our list as the best photography insurance overall, but we have shown that other providers could work better based on the type of coverage you need the most.
|Company||Wins For||Key Benefits|
|Progressive||Best Overall||Long company history and financial strength|
|Thimble||Best for One-Day Coverage||Ability to buy insurance for each individual event|
|biBerk||Best for Policy Customization||Customize your policy with unique add-ons and only pay for what you need|
|Hill & Usher||Best for Studio Owners||Specialized coverage for studio owners|
|The Hartford||Best for Employee Coverage||Robust coverage for employees of your firm as well as your own liability and property|
|BWI Fly||Best for Drone Operators||Buy specific drone coverage for your photography business|
|Full Frame Insurance||Best Budget Option||Buy event coverage starting at $59 or an annual policy starting at $129|
Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
What Does Photography Insurance Cover?
Photography insurance may include various types of protection, yet the most popular types of coverage you can buy include equipment insurance, general liability, commercial auto insurance, property insurance, and professional liability. This coverage also protects against fire, theft, and accidents to third parties. You can also buy photography insurance coverage that protects your studio and all its contents in the event of a total loss.
What Type of Insurance Do Photographers Need?
Photographers may have different insurance needs depending on how they run their business. The most popular types of coverage include:
- General liability: This type of insurance coverage protects against legal actions that might arise from accidents, injuries, and other claims.
- Equipment insurance: Equipment insurance provides protection for cameras, lenses, computers, and other gear photographers use in the course of their business.
- Commercial auto coverage: You will also need commercial auto coverage that provides protection when you drive your car for business purposes, such as to or from a photo shoot.
- Business property insurance: Photography insurance should also cover your photography studio (if you have one) as well as its contents.
You may also have to buy specific coverage for employees, such as workers’ compensation. Some photographers also have to buy drone insurance or specialty coverage for high-value equipment.
How Much Does Photography Insurance Cost?
The cost of photography insurance varies, but you may be able to buy coverage for one event for as little as $59. However, this basic coverage may only include general liability without any protection for your camera and other gear you have.
If you want comprehensive photography insurance that includes liability, equipment insurance, coverage for your photography studio, and commercial auto insurance, you should plan on paying significantly more.
How We Chose the Best Photography Insurance Providers
We researched nine companies that offer photography insurance and evaluated each insurer based on the coverage types offered, the reputation of the company, third-party rankings, customer reviews (when available), and customer service options. We looked for companies that make it easy to get a free quote online, as well as those with robust customer service availability and the option for online claims.