Check your photography insurance for these 9 loopholes

If you run a business or have a substantial amount of gear, I’m sure you have photographic insurance. Right? Right? *wink wink*. If not, go and get it right NOW! And then come back and read this.

So now that you’re insured, don’t just put the paperwork in your filing cabinet and plop down infront of the computer for a rousing game of Words with Friends. You must, I repeat, MUST read through your policy. It’s not just a piece of paper so you can sleep at night. What things might you be missing? What things might you be doing {or not doing} to cause your policy to become void? Take a look at the following areas and see if you’re in breech of your contract.

1.} Travel. Think you can go gallivanting around the world with your camera? Think again! It might not be covered.

2.} Policy Location. Think you have to travel outside the country to make your policy void? Maybe not! If the insured location of your property is listed as your storage unit, and that if the theft or breakage takes place outside of the insured address, then you may only receive a fraction of the cover you thought you were paying for.

3.} Added Security. If your equipment exceeds a certain value then you may be liable to have added security in the area where it’s being kept. For example with my policy, if the gear exceeds the value of £15,000, then there are certain door and window requirements for the insured address.

4.} Out and about. There may be security requirements when you’re out and about. My policy says that equipment must not be left unattended.

5.} On the road. What happens if you get rear-ended on the road and your gear is in the trunk? Well, if you have my insurance policy then it won’t be covered for accidental damage unless it was being kept in a ‘rigid bodied case’. Ouch!

6.} Car theft. Have you read through your policy to find out about theft of your equipment from your car? Well, with my policy, the equipment needs to be stored in a locked luggage compartment and the doors & windows need to be locked, the theft needs to be by ‘forced and violent entry’. And if the item stolen was worth over £3k or the items together total over £10k, then my car needs to be fitted with a Thatcham category 1 or 2 alarm/immobilizer.

7.} Liability. Some policies cover personal accident and public liability cover. Personal accident is in the event that you are injured by your own equipment {like an angry camera that punches you in the eye} and public liability is in the event that your equipment injures someone. Like a falling lighting stand or a concussion from bashing someone in the head with your massive lens. So what happens if you trip someone with your foot and not your camera bag? Well, as I understand if from speaking with my representative, I am covered for liability while I’m on the job. Regardless of whether an actual piece of photographic equipment was involved in the accident or not.

8.} UV markings. Does your policy require you to mark your insured equipment with a UV pen in order to be in good standing? Mine says that where an item doesn’t have a serial number, I must mark it myself.

9.} Others. Are other people you bring in to work with you covered under your policy? For example, if you bring a second shooter in for a wedding, they may need to carry their own insurance.

I sure do wish I could think of another loophole to make this a lovely list of 10, but alas, I cannot. So go dig your policy out and see if you’re doing {or not doing} anything to prevent it from actually working for you.


Watch this vlog from me about the types of insurance you need.


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Elizabeth Halford

Elizabeth Halford


She blogs about photography and business with her unique plain English approach. Elizabeth has been-there-done-that with running a photography business that doesn’t profit a penny and loves teaching photographers how to get away from the starving artist model of running a creative business.
Elizabeth Halford
  • Ian - 10. What’s the full value of equipment you can take on location at any one time. I had to declare the maximum I’d take ‘off site’ with me.

  • Lea Hartman - Wow. Never occurred to me to check into it in that detail. I most certainly don’t keep my gear in a rigid case…although my LowePro can take a beating. 🙂

  • Stephanie - I’m guilty of not having insurance but would like to get it ASAP. I dont want to sound like an idiot when calling an agent though. So my question is, is this general business insurance, personal insurance, some other-named insurance? Thanks much!

  • Mamaduso5 - must get insurance!  Is there a specific company good for this or do you recommend just adding on to your homeowners policy?  I checked into that, and I need to get that set up since I am not into the thousands in equipment.

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