With hefty price tags for the latest DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, and even compact cameras now retailing for around the £800/$1,000 mark, it’s more important than ever to make sure we have the proper insurance cover in place should anything go wrong.
Think also of all the accessories you’ve collected. Lenses to get the best out of the latest high-resolution cameras also don’t come cheap, and it's not unusual for the contents of photographers' kit bags to be worth upwards of five figures.
What’s more, camera insurance is even more crucial if your hobby extends beyond mere amateur photography with friends and family. If you shoot at weddings or gigs, or you cover any other events where you'll be mixing with large groups of people, you'll undoubtedly find your general household insurance probably won't cover these situations.
You might also want to read our guide to the best dash cams you can get right now to protect you and your car.
What camera insurance should I buy?
The question is, whatever the particular insurance premium may cost, is the alternative – no insurance – something that you can really afford?
We've looked at those insurers who make a specialism of dealing with photographers on a daily basis. Here are the candidates that provide the best options for camera insurance for UK photographers in 2019.
1. Aaduki multimedia insurance
Specialist insurance that includes equipment cover and liability insurances
As everyone’s requirements will be different, you may find a ‘tailor-made’ policy is best. Dealing with the photo trade for the past 12 years, and catering to both amateur and professional, that’s exactly what Aaduki offers, using a panel of insurers rather than just one. This also means that the terms and conditions will vary from policy to policy and customer to customer; however, it also means that if one insurer is quoting too high for your liking, it can approach an alternative on your behalf who may be able to provide a more competitive premium or better terms. In terms of coverage, peace of mind is offered by the fact Aaduki’s policies are universally ‘all risks’, meaning you’re covered fully for theft, accidental damage and accidental loss. If holidaying, customers can also include 60 days of worldwide cover or unlimited worldwide cover. Instead of dealing with call centres abroad, customers can also source quotes direct from experts based in its UK office. Furthermore, members of photography trade body, The Societies, get a discount.
2. Infocus photography insurance
Comprehensive insurance protection for photographers
Infocus offers insurance protection for both photographers and video makers, helping protect your business and enable it to quickly recover from any catastrophes. With its policies underwritten by Hiscox Insurance, there's the ability to pay in interest-free instalments, while worldwide cover is also offered for photographic equipment. Interestingly, the company says it can also provide PR help if you ever need crisis containment. Making sure applications are quick and easy, there are two levels of off-the-peg insurance policies offered to photographers and videographers, namely Basic and Standard. Priced at £199 and £299 per year respectively, they cover equipment to the value of £5,000 or £10,000, as required. Both of these policies provide professional indemnity, which enables you to pay compensation to a third party who brings a claim for professional negligence, as well as public liability to cover you against injury or loss to third parties and their property, in addition to crisis containment insurance. Alternatively, you can create your own bespoke policy by using its website, or by calling its UK team direct to discuss.
3. Towergate insurance (Camerasure)
All-risks cover for professional photographers and videographers
Of greater value perhaps to the all-jobbing professional than the strictly amateur – though it does offer a ‘semi pro’ option for enthusiasts – Towergate’s Camerasure insurance products are pitched primarily at freelance photographers and videographers, as well as those performing similar roles within multimedia institutions (translation: photo labs, picture libraries and media agencies). Notably, as well as protecting your photographic equipment, it can also cover computer breakdown and data loss – equally crucial in this digital age – and any such damage/loss resulting in the need for a reshoot. If you’re travelling abroad for a shoot and can’t stash all your camera gear in your hand luggage, you'll be pleased to know it also covers damage to kit stored in the aircraft hold. Cover also extends to potential legal liabilities to customers, employees and the general public, as one would expect of a pro policy. Another advantage is that Towergate Camerasure partners with a number of professional bodies – The RPS, for example – to give its members up to 40% discount off premiums, subject to certain criteria.
£50 excess makes Photoguard stand out among rivals
Photoguard is another trade specialist when it comes to protecting your photographic equipment that might not otherwise be covered by your regular household insurance. It also makes the point that if you’re using the camera as a professional photographer, you may not be able to claim on your home insurance. A major advantage with Photoguard is that it has a claims excess of just £50 and can cover you for travel both in the UK and abroad. Like others here, there are a couple of policies to choose from to speed up the application process, with the Select policy, covering a equipment to a maximum value of £25,000, and the Pro policy boosting this to £50,000 (and still with the same low £50 excess fee). The Pro policy also extends to covering 'associates' – which it classifies as fellow photographers or assistants who work with you – against claims by third parties. Potentially very useful, not to mention cost saving.
5. Eversure Insurance
At the affordable end of the spectrum, with cover from just £19.99
The accent here is on giving photographers value, with Eversure working closely with its underwriters to be able to provide camera insurance policies starting from just a penny shy of £20. Photography is just one of its specialisms, however, as it also covers cycles and caravans. Suitable for everyone from amateurs and enthusiasts to professionals, Eversure's camera insurance policy options can include cover for theft, accidental loss or damage; protection against your equipment being snatched from unattended vehicles; and hire of equipment and personal accident as standard. It also provides ‘new for old’ cover, not just cameras but also for drones (as long as you’re using said drone for non-commercial purposes). The cheapness is partly explained by the absence of not just worldwide travel cover, but public liability (excluding drone use) and professional indemnity as standard, but you can add these if you need them. Based in Guildford, Surrey, Eversure says its team is on hand to answer queries during normal working hours, with policy amendments being able to be made either via phone or email.
Photography and videography insurance for pros and semi-professionals
PhotoShield offers three standard tiers from £99 to £299, plus a Bespoke option, giving those who derive their income from photography some scalability in their coverage. Going Bespoke gives you flexibility to accommodate non-standard cover, as well as options like employers' liability and and studio/contents cover. The £299 Option 3 comprises worldwide photographic equipment coverage of £10,000, worldwide laptop coverage of £1,500, static computers/equipment cover of £3,500, business interruption of £250,000, professional indemnity of £100,000, public liability of £2,000,000 and more. Your equipment is covered for unattended or distracted theft, subject to reasonable care being demonstrated, which is a big plus for photographers who work on location. Your kit is also covered in unattended vehicles (subject to being stored out of site) and in aircraft holds (provided it is stored in a Peli Case). PhotoShield replaces kit on a new-for-old basis across all its policies, and is underwritten by Liverpool Victoria Insurance (LV=) in the UK, and Gable Insurance in Eire.
7. The Insurance Emporium
Tweakable insurance from £1.70 per month, with a 25% introductory discount
The Insurance Emporium has two comprehensive base policies, to which you can add elective benefits. Amateur and Semi-Professional policies are for photographers who earn less than 50% of their income from photography, with less than £25k of equipment; Professional policies are for those who earn more and own up to £50k of equipment. Amateur & Semi-Professional policies include theft, loss or accidental damage, new for old, unattended vehicle, worldwide cover, replacement hire, data recovery, public liability and personal accident coverage. Professional policies also feature accidental portfolio damage, props, professional indemnity and business interruption. The Insurance Emporium's elective benefits include the addition of gadgets and mobile phones, sports and action cameras, waterproof photographic equipment and other useful options.