Business Insurance Requirements for Photographers and Videographers in Illinois

You’ve spent thousands of dollars on that one macro lens you needed for a corporate video shoot in Chicago, or agonized over the perfect level of polarization needed to preserve the happy memories of newlyweds in Naperville. You know how your camera works inside and out. But without proper business insurance, property damage or a costly lawsuit could blindside you and leave your dreams of turning your passion into a successful business completely out of focus.

One vital insurance policy for photographers and videographers is general liability insurance. It can cover your legal bills if someone is injured by your equipment, or if you accidentally put a tripod through a client’s window. You may also qualify for a business owner’s policy, which bundles general liability with commercial property insurance. You can think of it as camera insurance, since it can pay to repair or replace everything from your camera to the computer you use for editing in case of damage or theft. Professional liability insurance can protect you if a client isn’t happy with the video you shot, or if a bride decides to sue because your wedding photos don’t match her expectations.

Insureon makes shopping for business insurance easy with industry-leading technology that gathers quotes from top U.S. carriers that fit your needs. Read more to find out which policies are most common for photographers and videographers in Illinois, and start an application to get your free quotes today.

Find the right insurance policies for your photography or videography business

The most common business insurance policies for photographers and videographers vary depending on a number of factors, including revenue, client contracts, and partnerships. The table below illustrates which policies might work best for your business type.


Business type General liability / BOP Professional liability Workers' comp
Sole proprietor X X  
Contractor / freelancer X X  
Business owner with employees X X X


General liability insurance: This is typically the first policy that photographers and videographers buy. General liability covers the financial costs of third-party injuries and property damage. If a client trips on a loose cable and falls at your studio, general liability can pay for the resulting medical expenses and also cover damages from a lawsuit. Videographers and photographers also may qualify for a business owner’s policy (BOP), which packages general liability and commercial property insurance into one money-saving bundle.

Professional liability insurance: Also referred to as errors and omissions insurance, this policy covers the legal cost of damages if you make a mistake or if a client accuses you of making a mistake. For example, if you are taking photos at a wedding and your camera malfunctions during a pivotal moment, you could be sued for not fulfilling your contract. Your errors and omissions policy can appoint a lawyer to defend you, and pay for your courtroom costs.

Illinois workers’ compensation insurance: If you employ anyone, whether full-time or someone who helps out on location, you are probably going to need to purchase workers’ compensation coverage. The State of Illinois requires employers to carry this policy even if they only have one part-time employee. Coverage is optional if you don’t have any employees, but it’s something you should still consider. If you are hurt on the job, workers’ comp can pay for your medical bills, including ongoing rehabilitation costs. It can also pay for some of your missed wages.

When you are looking at your surroundings through a lens, it can be easy to miss something right in front of you. That’s probably why tripping, slipping, and falling are among the biggest causes of injuries to videographers and photographers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The most commonly reported injuries for photographers and videographers in the United States are overexertion and bodily reactions, possibly caused from lugging around heavy equipment, or twisting and crouching to get the perfect shot.

Business insurance costs for photographers and videographers in Illinois

How much will photography or videography business insurance cost you? Potentially less than a new professional camera, according to data from Insureon insurance applications. Most photographers and videographers can expect to pay roughly the national median average for insurance. That means $425 per year for a general liability policy, or $500 if you choose to bundle general liability coverage with commercial property insurance by purchasing a business owner’s policy. Errors and omissions insurance has an annual median cost of approximately $340 a year.

The one major outlier is workers’ compensation insurance. As you can see in the chart below, the national median average is slightly over $1,000 per year, but in Illinois the median cost is closer to $1,900. One potential reason for the price jump could be a few outlier policies that pushed this number higher, so don’t let that deter you from getting a quote.

Median Insurance Costs for Illinois Photographers and Videographers

Save time and money with Insureon

Insureon’s industry-leading technology helps photographers and videographers in Illinois save time and money shopping for insurance by comparing policies from dozens of top U.S. carriers. Simply apply online and review quotes for the policies that best fit your business needs. Our insurance specialists are licensed in Illinois and can answer your questions as you consider coverage.

To make the application go even 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 and videographer insurance quotes today.