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Does a Real Estate Photographer Need Business Insurance?

Published: 10/04/2010

A reader recently asked the question, "is it recommended or mandatory to have insurance? " And he pointed out that he couldn't find the answer on here on the blog.

This is an over sight on my part. I have a section in my book The Business of Real Estate Photography on insurance but I need to address the subject here too.

The answer is "yes, real estate photographers should carry general business liability insurance." It is generally good business practice to have you and your employees covered by insurance that will cover any thing you may damage in a property you are shooting.

Along with general business liability insurance you need to have  your equipment insured. You should be able to get a general business insurance policy that covers your business for liability and for loss of your equipment for somewhere between $500 to $1,200 a year depending on the details and extent of your coverage.

Here are some contacts for business insurance brokers that specialize in coverage for Photographers:

Check out what works best for you, you'll be glad you did.

Larry Lohrman

8 comments on “Does a Real Estate Photographer Need Business Insurance?”

  1. I'd like to point out that if you are alone on a shoot at someone's property, you will need extra coverage. In other words, if you're shooting "unsupervised," your basic photographer policy will not cover you.

  2. Professional Photographers of America and National Press Photographers Association also offer insurance for photographers at group rates.

  3. We have a policy from Professional Photographers of America, covers all our gear anywhere in the world. I do travel with gear and there are not many companies who will cover cameras & gear out of the USA, plus all our office desks, equipment, computers and most important for liability. Marsh is the insurance company from PPA, goods reduced rates too.

    I have tried both Hill & Usher and Hoffberger [who issues photo insurance from Travelers] for a normal policy, both are more than double what Mash from the PPA charges, quote based upon March 2010.

    Anyone looking for RC Aircraft insurance, the only place is Hill & Usher in the USA, as no one seems to have a policy for us that fly RC Helicopters for a business. The policy is expensive but necessary. The other normal photography policy they were more than double that of PPA. Quote from one week ago, March 2010.

    The three more companies whom, now over a month and can not seem to get a policy, my local Farmers agent, Allstate & the commercial side of Mercury where I have my car insurance, all can not get an underwriter for RC or Photography.

    Rusty @ MLS Photo Pros dot com

  4. A real estate office told me that I must be bonded and insured to do work for them. I haven't heard of bonding being necessary for photographers and I'm wondering if anyone else has run across this. Any information on this would be very helpful. Thanks much, Charlotte

  5. Hi guys I know this thread is getting old but I hope I can get some additional info. There seems to be several types of business insurance. From the list below (which does not include the obligatory insurance for the equipment etc) I assume its just Public liability insurance that’s required, right?

    Public Liability - protects against risk of being found liable to a third party for death or injury, loss or damage of property or economic loss resulting from your negligence.

    Professional Indemnity - protects advice-based businesses from legal action taken for losses incurred as a result of professional negligence. It provides indemnity cover if your client suffers a loss - material, financial or physical - directly attributed to negligent acts, errors or omissions.

    Product Liability - cover against claims of goods or services causing injury, death or damage. Product liability insurance covers you if any of these events happen to another business or person by the failure of your product or the product you are selling.

    Any further guidance would be appreciated.

    Many thanks G

  6. I copied some information on bonds:

    **A janitorial surety bond is generally used as marketing tool for your company. The bond does not protect you. The only way that the bond pays out is if you or one of your employees steal and then are convicted in a court of law for the theft. At that point the surety company will pay out, however, you would have to pay the surety company back.

    The bond amount is the most the surety company is willing to pay out. Most janitorial companies choose a bond amount of $10,000. This bond runs for about $100 for the year and can even be emailed to you.**

    Similar to general commercial liability insurance, there is probably a minimum charge to get a bond. Until I looked up what a bond really was, I didn't know. Years of advertising have put into my head that a company that is "Bonded and Insured" is a better company to do business with. Now I know the bonding part is window dressing. It is great advertising for $100/year.

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