Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, you really need to read this guide to the best camera insurance in 2021.
I doubt you need reminding, but photography is an expensive hobby! Camera equipment insurance is a must, whether you’re running a business or just shooting casually.
If you’ve ever wondered how much it costs to insure a camera or whether cameras are covered by home insurance, we’ll be answering all these common questions and more in this guide.
First, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best photographers’ insurance options in the UK, US and Canada for camera equipment and liabilities.
After that, we’ll tackle some FAQs on camera insurance, in general, to make sure you’re well-informed to make the right decision.
Let’s dive into the recommendations.
6 Best Camera Insurance Providers in 2021
Photographic gear can be expensive regardless of your field or your level of expertise. Whether your camera falls and breaks in the middle of a photo shoot, or you get robbed on your holiday trip – you’d want to have your equipment covered with an adequate camera insurance policy.
Eversure is an excellency-awarded insurance company that offers customizable coverage for amateur and professionals alike from as little as £19.99. (At this time, their services are available only for UK residents.)
The photography insurance protects all your equipment if it’s stolen, lost or sufferers any accidental damage. To offer better coverage, you can customize the benefits of your policy to fit your needs – and of course, your budget.
If you often travel with your gear – regardless if it’s for a job or pleasure – you can opt for worldwide coverage. You can choose the maximum duration of the trip from 30, 60, 90 or 120 days. Then, you’ll have unlimited trips included in your photography insurance plan.
You can also opt-in or out on accidental loss and theft from the vehicle. Depending on what type of gear you work with, you can include hired equipment, drones, mobiles and tablets.
However, not all unfortunate incidents happen while you’re on the go, that’s why you can also include studio coverage in your policy.
If you’re a professional photographer, you’ll need to protect other aspects of your business. Eversure has your back with this too – as you can also buy insurance that covers public liability, professional indemnity, employer’s liability and legal expenses.
Last but not least, you can get coverage for your portfolio, which covers the cost of any prints, canvases, laminates and bindings with your work. This is not a small matter if you consider the costs of the fine art printing.
Keep in mind that policies are issued on an annual basis – they don’t offer short-term policies. If you wish to cancel your premium before its due date, you’ll be charged a £10.00 fee. There’s also a £10.00 fee if you want to add or remove equipment from your policy.
If the worst were to happen, all you need to do is fill in the online claim form with all the details of the incident and what got lost, robbed or damaged.
Aaduki is an insurance broker with over 20 years of experience that specializes in photographers and videomakers. As such, they offer expert advice as to what you need to cover and why.
This comes in especially handy if you’re starting in the business and you are unsure about your liabilities.
They offer premiums for amateurs and professionals, starting at £65. If you are an SWPP member or a trade association looking for additional benefits for your members – you can get exclusive terms.
The photography insurance covers all of your equipment (owned and hired), portfolio, props, sets, stock materials, business property and money, etc. The camera insurance doesn’t cover mobile phones or drones, though.
The international cover is optional and can be customizable. To limit the premium cost, you can ensure only certain parts of your photography gear or hire it just for a specific location.
It also covers your gross income for business interruption and offers risk management and legal advice from Stallard Kane. If you also hire public liability insurance, you can opt-in for employers’ liability and products liability.
If you’re a professional photographer, you can also benefit from professional indemnity to cover you from claims that come from mistakes or negligence in your work.
The customer service promises no call centres – you can talk directly to a representative from their photography team. This human approach is certainly appreciated when you have a complaint or need expert advice.
Keep in mind that they only offer annual policies, so you can’t hire temporary insurance unless it’s for equipment you hire temporarily – then you can get insurance for the period of hire.
This insurance is only available for UK-based photographers.
3. The Insurance Emporium
The Insurance Emporium is a UK-based award-winning company that takes care of all your passions and adventures with specialized insurances. Amongst these, you’ll find camera insurance that covers well beyond your camera.
You’ll start by choosing your category: amateur & semi-professional, or professional. From there, you can add and tweak the policies to better fit your needs.
The amateur photography insurance policy covers up to £25,000 of equipment. It includes coverage for loss or theft – even from unattended vehicles, accidental damages, worldwide cover, data recovery, replacement hire, public liability and personal accidents.
The professional photography insurance policy covers up to £50,000 and includes coverage for props, portfolio damage, professional indemnity and business interruption – on top of the benefits listed in the amateur policy.
You can further customize your premium by including elective benefits for gear that otherwise wouldn’t be included. For example, you can choose to ensure gadgets and smartphones, helmet and action cameras or waterproof photographic equipment.
You can also extend some of the basic coverage. This is an option for the new for old, worldwide coverage, public liability and professional indemnity benefits.
Finally, you can add portfolio damages to your amateur policy or associates liability to the professional policy. Also, you can opt-in for a premium waiver and legal helpline with both amateur and professional policies.
The prices start from £1.46 per lunar month (28 days). There is an introductory discount of 25% that applies for the first year of premium – regardless of whether you pay monthly or yearly.
They also plan to introduce a Loyalty Scheme to reward long-term customers, but that’s not yet active when this article is written.
To make a claim, you simply fill an online form to provide the details and required documentation. If your claim is successful, the payment is made via BACS transfer or cheque.
4. Hill & Usher
Hill & Usher is an insurance company based in the US. They offer Package Choice (TM) a policy designed specifically for professional photographers that bundle property and liability coverage in one premium to protect your business comprehensively.
The premium protects your equipment even in transit or on location within the US and Canada. If you’re travelling to other locations, you can extend your premium for international coverage. The deductible fee ranges from $250 to $1000 according to the specific policy. You can also ensure rented or leased equipment.
The inside of your studio is also covered. This includes computers, printers, furniture, dark-room equipment, supplies, etc. And tenant improvements if the studio is a rental.
In case of property loss, the Business Income Interruption & Extra Expense insurance will reimburse you for the income lost for up to 12 months and pay for any extra expenses made to get your business back to running as usual.
Also included in the package is the Errors and Omissions insurance which covers you in the event of any lawsuit or challenge to your professionalism. This means that you’ll get financial support from lawyers, expert witnesses, court fees, etc., with no deductible. The coverage extends even if you close your business and cancel your insurance policy at no extra costs.
This standard policy starts from $500 per year – it can be paid in instalments. If you don’t need the standard package, you can buy one for ‘equipment only’ policies for $300.
You can further customize your package by adding coverage extensions such as insurance for personal effects or money & security.
You have to be a US-based professional photographer or videographer to hire this service. However, there are no restrictions regarding your field of expertise – including remotely operated aerial photography.
For further transparency, they have a Claim Overview with some real-life cases. For example, for images lost due to the hard drive crashing, they paid the policyholder $6,688 in 2005.
For equipment lost in a fire in 2006, they paid $43,751. You can find a broader list (although not very updated) on their website.
5. Front Row Insurance
Front Row is an entertainment insurance broker that operates in Canada and the US. As such, it negotiates the best deals for you with different insurance companies.
The Photography Insurance is an online service and therefore is only available for photographers based in Canada -except for Quebec residents who have to apply with a different form.
The insurance is aimed at any photographer from amateur to professional without category distinctions and is customizable with the automated online service.
The Front Row program offers automatic $10,000 office content insurance plus $5000 for laptops; $15,000 for money and securities; $7500 for portfolio coverage; $10,000 for newly acquired gear (up to 30 days); and full coverage in case of earthquake and flood.
The deductible is $350 on most equipment (typical for standard camera insurance), and you can opt-in for worldwide coverage. Keep in mind that the policies have an annual duration, and they must be paid in one instalment.
You can make any policy changes via an online form. However, if the changes result in a different cost of your premium, you’ll have to pay a $25 change fee.
As your broker, Front Row is also in charge of handling your claim – they function as a link between you and the insurance company.
Their services start from prepping and reviewing loss run and provide reporting, monitoring of claims together with advocacy support to make sure the insurance company pays what you’re entiltled to get.
6. Professional Photographers of America
Professional Photographers of America is a non-profit trade association. With your membership, you become eligible to get their insurance. The partner insurance company is Lockton Affinity.
With your membership, you get the Photography Equipment Insurance and Indemnity Insurance Trust are included with your membership. Instead, General Liability insurance is available to buy at extra cost.
The membership cost ranges from $15.17 to $27.92, depending on the level of benefits and your location. Despite the name – which might cause you to think it’s available for US-based photographers – it’s possible to join from anywhere in the world.
The basic Camera Equipment Insurance included in the membership covers up to $15,000 worth of gear. If you need extra coverage, you can buy a more comprehensive policy from Lockton Affinity at a discounted rate.
Another difference between the included premium and the upgraded one is the deductible fee. The upgraded version has a fixed fee of $250 while the regular one increases with every claim within a 12 month period.
Both of them protect your photography gear on location and worldwide including computer hardware. As for the cases covered for theft – the basic premium doesn’t comprise theft from an unlocked vehicle nor mysterious disappearances. Keep in mind that the insurance covers only the PPA member and not their studios.
As for the Indemnity Insurance Trust, you’ll get assistance in case of customer’s complaints. It covers general customer’s discontent, missed shots or data loss.
The General Liability Insurance – whether you choose to buy it – covers you from damages caused to clients and properties from which you can be held responsible. If you’re a PPA member, it costs $225 per year.
Insurance for Professional Photographers – What you Need
If you’re becoming a professional photographer, it’s important to insure your photography equipment, but more importantly, you also need business insurance.
Make sure you consult with an insurance agent to ensure you have all the protection necessary to operate as a professional in your region. You should also be sure that any photography contract you use is checked over by a lawyer.
Here are some of the main things you to consider as part of your photography insurance protection in 2021:
This covers all of your property – the studio set and props, camera and lighting gear, etc. It usually refers to accidental damage, loss or theft. You should also check if it covers you locally or worldwide.
- General Liability Insurance
You need general liability insurance in case you’re responsible if a third person gets hurt or you damage public or private property.
This is what you need if you (or your business) get sued. Indemnity insurance will cover the legal expenses for your defence.
Photography is often a team effort. If you have an assistant or any other employees on your payroll, you need the employer’s insurance if they get hurt on the job.
- Income Protection Insurance
Most photographers work freelance, which means that they don’t have an employer to offer welfare benefits. Having income protection insurance can protect a percentage of your gross salary in case of illness or injury.
Camera Equipment Insurance FAQs
How much does it cost to insure a camera?
It depends on where you live, the type and value of your camera, and the level of insurance protection. It can range from $150 to $450.
Are cameras covered by home insurance?
Most home insurances do cover cameras up to a certain amount. However, cameras are often excluded if they are used for business and professional activities. You should check your policy or ask your broker for more information.
What does USAA VPP cover?
It covers items valued at $100 or more. Amongst this Valuable Personal Property (VPP) there’s jewellery, guns, cameras, fine art, musical instruments, furs and silverware.
All photography lovers and beginner photographers like to think about the beauty of making a living from your passion.
Unfortunately, not everything is fun and creative, and it’s important to be prepared so that you don’t lose what you work so hard to build – that’s what insurances are for.
Hopefully, this guide gave you enough information to get the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to list all the best camera insurance options for every country in this article, so if you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments section below.