Learn about business insurance requirements and the most common policies for photographers and videographers in California.
Which policies are required for a photographer or videographer 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. Also called errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance 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 every small business with employees to provide workers’ compensation coverage, and business-owned vehicles must be covered by commercial auto insurance. Personal vehicles used for business purposes should also have commercial coverage.
What are the most common policies for a California photographer or videographer?
The most common policies for photographers and videographers in California vary depending on revenue, client contracts, partnerships, and other factors.
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.
Professional liability insurance
Many clients require proof of professional liability insurance before entering into contracts for professional services. This policy, also called photographer liability insurance or errors and omissions insurance, can help cover legal expenses if you’re sued for unsatisfactory performance or a work mistake.
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.
Business owner's policy (BOP)
Photographers and videographers sometimes qualify for a business owner’s policy. This package helps your business save money by bundling commercial property insurance with general liability insurance at an affordable rate.
California workers' compensation
California state law requires all businesses with employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Failure to comply can result in penalties up to $100,000 and jail time. 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.
What do photographers and videographers in California pay for business insurance?
California photographers and videographers can expect to pay roughly $425 annually for general liability coverage, according to data gathered from insurance applications through Insureon. This is the same as the U.S. median cost.
A BOP will likely cost $550 per year, a little higher than the national annual median cost, 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, at $1,232 per year, about $200 more than the national median.
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.