Photography and Videography Business Insurance
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Photographer and videographer insurance in California

Learn about business insurance requirements and the most common policies for photographers and videographers in California.

Which policies are required for photographers and videographers in California?

If you have a commercial lease, your property manager may require you to purchase general liability insurance. It's a common policy for photographers and videographers in California that can protect your business from expenses associated with common mishaps, such as client property damage and injuries.

Your clients may require professional liability insurance in a contract. This policy provides financial protection if a client files a lawsuit claiming your work caused financial harm because it was late, erroneous, or incomplete.

State law in California requires all businesses with employees to provide workers’ compensation coverage. Failure to comply can result in penalties up to $100,000 and jail time.

Any business that owns a vehicle in California must carry commercial auto insurance. Personal vehicles used for business purposes should also have commercial coverage.

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What are the most common policies for California photographers and videographers?

Photographers and videographers in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and elsewhere in California most often buy the following types of insurance. The exact coverage you need depends on the specifics of your business, such as whether you hire employees or drive for work.

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General liability insurance

General liability insurance is the foundation of a photographer or videographer’s business protection, with coverage that extends to client injuries, client property damage, and advertising injuries. Most commercial leases require you to have this coverage.

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Business owner's policy

Photographers and videographers sometimes qualify for a business owner’s policy, or BOP. This package helps your business save money by bundling commercial property insurance with general liability coverage at an affordable rate.

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Professional liability insurance

Many clients require proof of professional liability insurance before entering into contracts with photographers and other providers of professional services. This policy helps cover legal expenses if you’re sued for unsatisfactory performance or a work mistake. It's sometimes referred to as photographer liability insurance or errors and omissions insurance (E&O).

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Workers' compensation insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance covers the cost of work-related injuries and provides disability benefits to injured workers. If you are a sole proprietor, you aren’t required to purchase workers’ comp coverage, but it’s still a good idea in order to protect your income and avoid paying medical bills if you're injured on the job.

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Commercial auto insurance

Any California business that owns a vehicle must carry commercial auto insurance, which covers expenses in the event of an accident. Photographers and videographers who drive their own vehicle for work, or rent or lease a business vehicle, can opt for hired and non-owned auto insurance instead.

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Inland marine insurance

While property insurance covers equipment that stays at your primary business location, inland marine insurance can cover items you use in the field, such as cameras and lighting equipment you take to photograph a wedding. These items move from location to location, which exposes them to more opportunities for loss, damage, and theft. That’s why they require special coverage.

How much does insurance cost for photographers and videographers in California?

California photographers and videographers pay an average of $425 annually for general liability insurance, according to our customer data. This is the same as the U.S. median cost.

A BOP for California photographers and videographers costs an average of $550 per year, a little higher than the national rate, and errors and omissions (professional liability) policies will likely cost California photo and video professionals $270 each year – about $70 less than the national average.

Workers’ comp is the most expensive form of insurance purchased by photographers in California. It costs an average of $1,232 per year, about $200 more than the national median.

Median business insurance costs for California photographers and videographers.

Save time and money with Insureon

Insureon’s industry-leading technology helps photo and video professionals in California save time and money shopping for insurance by comparing policies from top U.S. carriers. Start a free online application to review quotes for the policies that best fit your business. Our insurance agents are licensed in California and can answer your questions as you consider coverage.

To make the application go quicker, have this information ready:

  • Workforce details, such as the number and types of employees
  • Current and projected revenue
  • Business partnerships
  • Insurance history and prior claims
  • Commercial lease insurance requirements

Apply for free photographer or videographer insurance quotes today.

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Updated: February 27, 2024
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