Understanding Public Liability Insurance for Photographers

Most people have a good understanding of motor insurance. It is easy to understand that a car is essential in running a mobile business, and that you need to insure it. If you are involved in an accident, it can be repaired quickly and you can be back on the road promptly. Usually it will only cost you the amount of your excess. Understanding public liability insurance is not as intuitive. I have written this post to help you in understanding public liability insurance for photographers.

What is public liability insurance? Yes, it even sounds scary! But don’t worry, it is not as complex as it sounds. I got the following definition from an Australian government publication. Public liability insurance protects you and your business from the financial risks of being found liable to a third party for death or injury, loss or damage of property or economic loss resulting from your negligence.


Motor Insurance

Public liability insurance is not as intuitive as motor insurance.

When will a photographer need public liability insurance? If you are photographing a wedding and put your bag down, a guest could trip over it and sustain an injury. If you were found to be liable for this because of your negligence, your public liability insurance would protect you from the financial risk of having to cover the injured party’s costs.

You might conclude that this is not very likely to happen. Wedding photographers could have photographed hundreds of weddings over many years without an incident like this happening. While it is not very likely to occur, the potential financial cost of this is very significant – and that’s a good reason to have public liability insurance.

Where do I buy public liability insurance? You can buy public liability insurance from most major insurance companies or through an insurance broker. In many cases the functionality to buy the insurance is available online. I recently changed provider of my insurance, and bought a new policy online in about 10 minutes. Ironically, it took longer to cancel my previous insurance than it did to take out the new policy.

What will it cost? The public liability insurance I purchased cost me a few hundred dollars for 12 months cover. I consider this good value for the peace of mind it provides.

The cost of public liability insurance will vary by country and location. In addition these factors will effect the premium:

  • the turnover of the photography business – higher turnover businesses will have higher premiums
  • the number of employees – the more employees, the higher the premium
  • the type of photography work you are doing – for example, aerial photography will have higher premiums than wedding photography
  • the amount of cover you want – the broker I use had options for $5m, $10m and $20m cover. The more cover the higher the premium.

I hope this post has helped your understanding of public liability insurance for photographers. If you need expert advice, please talk to an insurance broker or representative of an insurance company. Thanks for reading ‘understanding public liability insurance for photographers’.

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