About General Liability Insurance

All businesses, regardless of industry, face risks that should be covered by insurance. The most common and comprehensive type of policy business owners invest in is general liability insurance (or CGL).

Some of the risks CGL insurance covers are:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Medical payments
  • Legal defense and judgment
  • Personal and advertising injury

While businesses aren't legally required to carry general liability insurance, operating without it is extremely risky. If your business is sued, you could end up facing fees totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more). Having a sufficient CGL policy in place to help compensate for these damages is the only way to prevent this type of event from devastating your business.

Learn more about the risks covered by general liability insurance.


Example 1: You are charging batteries at a wedding when the charger shorts out and causes an electrical fire. The fire completely disrupts the wedding and damages the building. The client sues your business over the disruption and the damages. Your general liability insurance would cover your legal defense costs, including the cost of a settlement.

Example 2: One of your employees accidentally knocks over a wedding guest and she breaks her wrist. She files a lawsuit against your business. Your general liability insurance policy would pay for your legal fees, including any payouts or settlements that are required.

Example 3: Another wedding photographer in town has decided that you libeled him in your marketing materials and sues your business. The general liability policy you carry will cover your legal fees and any settlement costs.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of perils a general liability insurance policy will cover, and some conditions may result in a particular peril not being covered. It's always best to talk to your agent in-depth about the specifics of your policy to avoid blind spots in coverage.

Cost Of General Liability Insurance

On average, wedding photographers in America spend between $300 - $600 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.

Check out the chart below for a snapshot of average CGL expenditure across a variety of industries:

Graph showing average price of general liability insurance prices per industry

Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:

  • Location
  • Deductible
  • Number of employees
  • Per-occurrence limit
  • General aggregate limit

You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner's policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy. A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.

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Other Types Of Coverage Wedding Photographers Need

While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all wedding photographers should obtain:

Professional Liability Insurance

You do your best to take photographs that your clients will be happy with. However, there is still the possibility that one of them could sue you, claiming negligence related to errors you may have made or failure to perform. Professional liability insurance would pay for your legal fees in such a  situation.

Commercial Property Insurance

You have invested a lot of money in your photography equipment and editing equipment. If you were to lose your equipment in an unexpected event, like a fire, you might struggle financially to replace everything. Commercial property insurance will help with replacement costs when your property is damaged by a covered event.

Types Of Coverage Some Wedding Photographers May Need

In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your wedding photographer may require depending on certain aspects of your operations. Some of these might not apply to you, so be sure to ask your agent which policies are right for your business.

Commercial Auto Insurance

If you use your vehicle for business, you likely need a commercial auto insurance policy. A commercial auto policy will protect your vehicle, those in the vehicle, and others on the road. If you are in an accident, you can get help paying for repair or replacement costs and medical treatment for the injured.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If you have employees, your state likely requires that you carry workers’ compensation insurance. A workers’ comp policy will pay for medical treatment for employees who are injured performing work-related tasks. It will also help cover lost wages if an employee needs to take time off of work to recover from their injuries.

Additional Steps To Protect Your Business

Although it's easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it should not be your frontline defense. Yes, insurance will compensate for your business' financial losses after an incident occurs, but it's much better to avoid losses altogether.

With this in mind, here are three things you can do to better protect your business:

  • Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
  • Set up a limited liability company (LLC) to protect your personal assets. (Refer to our guide for step-by-step instructions on how to form an LLC in your state.)
  • Streamline your business' internal processes. This will remove unnecessary variables from common tasks and create a safe, consistent environment for conducting business.