How much does public liability insurance for photographers cost?

Whether you’re a keen amateur or a busy professional photographer, spending money on photography insurance can be a seriously good investment. There’s more to it than simply insuring your cameras against getting damaged or stolen, however.

There are other elements to photography insurance you should consider – and one of them is public liability insurance.

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is coverage specifically designed to cover costs associated with legal cases and compensation arising from an injury to, or even death of, another person as a result of your actions.

What kind of things will it cover?

For photographers, public liability insurance claims are primarily called on cover for legal costs and compensation claims. 

In an increasingly litigious world, if you cause an accident that results in injury to another person, they may seek compensation and damages. They may also seek to have the costs of their treatment, rehabilitation, and necessary counselling covered by you as well. 

Naturally, these costs can rapidly escalate beyond what you could comfortably afford to pay out of your own pocket, which is why proper insurance cover becomes so essential. In many cases, having public liability insurance is a contractual requirement for working for certain clients, or photographing in certain places.

Say, for example, you’re a wedding photographer. While photographing the happy couple’s first dance, you accidentally leave your camera bag sticking out in a walkway. The bride’s mother doesn’t see it, and while walking, she catches her foot in the shoulder strap of your bag and falls to the floor, breaking her leg. She needs time off work and physiotherapy as a result. 

Obviously, you didn’t leave your bag there with the intention of having someone injure themselves because of it, but it was still your actions that caused the accident and her injury. As a result, you would be liable for compensation. In this instance, it would be your public liability insurance that would help to cover the compensation and treatment costs.

How much is coverage going to cost?

There’s no simple answer to this question. Just like any other type of insurance coverage, public liability insurance premiums depend on a variety of factors. 

If, for example, you choose a limited amount of coverage with a higher voluntary excess, you will find your premiums can drop considerably. The issue here is that you could find you’re not covered in a lot of circumstances where you might need to make a claim.

Similarly, simply going for the most expensive option possible isn’t wise either. There will be lots of elements to the policy that don’t necessarily apply to the circumstances you work in. That means you could be paying too much for coverage that you don’t really need.

Many venues will stipulate the level of cover you should have in place in order to photograph there – perhaps £3m or £5m. The best thing to do when looking for public liability insurance coverage is to think of it not in terms of outright cost, but more in terms of value for money. 

That means thinking about the level of coverage you’re getting relative to how much the premiums are going to cost you. 

Talking to an experienced insurance adviser will help you work through the angles to achieve a much more appropriate public liability insurance package for your needs.

Other things that can affect the cost include your likelihood to claim. For example, if you mainly work in remote areas, such as doing nature photography, your likelihood of claiming is quite low. This is because you’re usually not around other people. 

Conversely, if you regularly photograph busy events and celebrations, the odds of an accident happening that results in injury to someone else increase. This means your premiums are likely to go up, but it also means it’s even more important you have proper public liability coverage.

Making an investment in yourself

Public liability insurance is also a clear investment in your own business if you make a living from photography. 

Many employers, clients and locations will require some degree of public liability cover. Having the right insurance in place is a mark of professionalism and can make it easier for you to win the confidence of clients, therefore allowing your business to grow.

It’s important to remember that accidents do happen, and everyone makes mistakes. We can never guarantee that our mistakes won’t negatively impact someone else’s life, either through physical or mental trauma. Though not malicious, all the goodwill in the world won’t compensate for a debilitating injury. 

If you have to field the legal fees, compensation, and other associated costs yourself, you may find it financially crippling. Public liability cover gives both you and your clients peace of mind.

Choosing the right coverage for you

If you’re thinking about taking out public liability insurance cover as a part of your photography insurance package, it’s important you choose the right cover for you and your activities. 

You need to understand the most likely scenarios that could cause you to have to claim and be positive that these are covered in your policy. That’s why it’s important to speak to a dedicated professional adviser who understands photography and the level of risk involved in your work.

At Aaduki, we’re highly experienced in providing all manner of photography insurance coverage. To talk through your needs and to get a quote for the right public liability cover for you, contact Aaduki today.

Paul Newberry Cert CII

Lead Client Adviser