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A Guide to Photographer Insurance

2 June 2015

Many semi-professional photographers wonder whether they need insurance cover for their equipment.  Firstly, we ask them to tot up how much they think their equipment is worth (remembering to include your props and any other accessories). Regular home contents policies may or may not cover your equipment’s value and the replacement of your equipment in the event it gets stolen or accidentally broken.

If you own a good collection of cameras, lenses, tripods and other photographic equipment, it is definitely time to start looking into specialist Photographer Insurance cover, especially if you own a Compact System Camera or DSLR.

If you are thinking about taking out insurance for your photography equipment, our Guide to Photographer Insurance should point you in the right direction:


Keep it safe

Keeping your equipment safe is first on our list of hints and tips.  Keep it locked away somewhere private when its not in use and use a protective case when transporting between jobs.   Safe transportation and keeping your equipment secure is even more important if you travel abroad.

Home contents insurance

As we’ve already touched upon, you should check if your photographic equipment is covered by your home contents policy.  For example, you may be covered through your home insurance for accidental damage, loss, theft and you may even be covered for when you take your equipment abroad e.g. holiday or business travel.  Check this early on as there is little point in insuring your equipment twice.   If your home insurance contents policy requires you to individually itemise your items, make sure you continue to keep this list up to date.

Similarly to the above, if you are going away on holiday and plan to take some of your equipment, your travel insurance may cover your photographic equipment.  Make sure you check what you’re covered early on so you can take out additional cover if required.

Manufacturer’s warranty

All newly purchased cameras and lenses and some refurbished and second-hand models are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.  This warranty usually covers the year or two after the equipment was purchased and covers faulty equipment for which the manufacturer is responsible for.  Please see your item’s warranty terms and conditions for examples of this.

You may have the option of purchasing an additional warranty or add-on when investing in new equipment, which sometimes covers you against accidental damage.  Despite this being an additional expense, this provides the additional cover that some people want.

Basic and professional cover

When looking to take out a Photographer Insurance Policy you will find that insurance brokers generally provide two types of policy:

  1. A basic level of cover for those whom photography is a hobby and who own a collection of equipment
  2. Cover for working professionals who use their skills and equipment to make a return.

Both types of policy tend to include professional indemnity and public liability cover.  This insures you against damage to any person/s or property which was your own fault.  Policies for working professional photographers can have the added extra of, for example, legal expenses and higher maximum insured values.  Policies at the top end of the scale include, for example, worldwide equipment, business interruption and laptop/s cover.

Daniel Hobson, Account Executive at PhotoShield said:

“PhotoShield provides four cover options for the semi-professional and professional photographer, starting from as little as £99 per annum.  We provide three set levels of cover, which have been formulated through extensive research and a clear understanding of the market.  Our additional ‘Bespoke’ option allows customers to pick and choose a policy to suit their specific requirements.”

When gathering online quotes, be prepared for the following questions:

  1. How much is your equipment worth?
  2. Do you require in-vehicle cover to protect against thefts from your vehicle?
  3. Do you require EU-wide or overseas cover?
  4. Do you wish to take out a voluntary excess charge (this will reduce your overall quote)?

The answers to the above questions will enable the provision of a quotation that fully meets your needs (and a cost which reflects this).

Replacing equipment

A key factor for photographers when taking out camera insurance is what will happen if they cannot use their equipment, for example it has been stolen or it is not functioning properly.  Some policies include temporarily hiring equipment until yours is repaired or replaced.  Insurance companies will usually specify how long you can expect to wait for your replacement equipment e.g. 48 hours.

If your photography equipment needs replacing, the amount you can claim will depend upon your insurance policy.  For example, if your policy states that you can claim a ‘new-for-old’ replacement, this means that the value of your equipment will be taken into account when looking at replacements.  If your camera is not a current model, your insurer should provide you with a new one which holds an equivalent specification.

Another type of policy is called an ‘indemnity policy.’  This is based on the ongoing depreciation in value and the wear and tear of your equipment.  This means that what you will get if your equipment needs replacing will not be the new equivalent model.  Obviously the premiums for these types of cover are lower than ‘new-for-old.’

Bespoke photographer insurance

If you run a studio or you hire one out to someone, you will require a policy which covers any injuries or breakages which may be incurred on the premises.  You may also need to cover your Photo Library against loss or damage and this is something which you may need to include on a bespoke photographer insurance policy.

Get a competitive online quotation

Click here to take a look at PhotoShield’s insurance cover options today.  Simply select your cover level, get a quote and pay online.  If you’d prefer to speak to us you can request a call back and we’ll do just that.