≡ Menu

It’s Time to Put on Your Big Boy Pants; Insurance

16547393922_a37d113c0e_k Unequivocally you should absolutely have insurance for your photo booth rental business, no exceptions.  This is what separates the men (and women) from the boys (and girls) and the professional companies from the fly by night hobbyists.  Considering all the various types of businesses you could start, this one is pretty low risk for personal injury or property damage claims.  It’s not like the guys who are out cutting down trees, replacing a roof, towing cars, etc.  However, insurance is to protect against what we hope never happens.  Before I actually got started in the business, I thought, how could a guest, possibly become injured, inside my photo booth.  Now, after being out there for a few years, and seeing that alcohol is a factor at most events, I think it is absolutely possible and probable.  We run an enclosed booth and I’ve considered, well someone could hit their head on the frame enclosure, fall off the chairs, hit our studio spectrum lighting bulbs, plus, we’ve seen people do some wild things inside our photo booth, we’ll leave it at that.  I also used to think, our equipment is pretty rugged, what could possibly happen to it.  Then I noticed that people can be rough with the operation of the booth, pressing our touch screen like it was a missile launch button, rocking the whole enclosure.  Young kids who try to beat you to the printer and stick their hand in the tray to grab the photo strips.  Guests who have nearly spilled their drink on our whole setup.  There is also the possibility of a venue accusing you of damage to their property, because of a floor or wall scuff, anything is possible.  Without any insurance, one personal injury or property damage claim that results in a lawsuit and your business could easily be over.       

With that being said, don’t make finding insurance for your photo booth business a stumbling block for getting started.  The more steps there are to starting a business, the less likely people are to actually start it, as analysis-paralysis takes over.  To my knowledge, there is not a law that says you must insure your photo booth rental business, this isn’t like auto insurance, where you are required to have a policy.  Full disclosure, when we initially started our photo booth rental business, we were without insurance for a handful of months.  Admittedly this wasn’t the best decision, but I like to take action, get things started and figure out the details later.  Furthermore, we never actually lost a booking because we didn’t have insurance.  We did have venues that would ask us for a certificate of liability insurance, we’d explain that we didn’t have it yet and they would add us to their policy for the day.          

One of the reasons that it took us a little while to get insured was that during our initial search for insurance we had some difficulty.  The photo booth business overall is still very new and many insurance brokers have never shopped for this type of liability policy.  Those who were actually calling us back with quotes had prices that were ridiculous.  The key is to find an agent/broker that will really work for you and asks you a lot of questions about the business.   Start with your current agent/broker, if they are able to find you something, you may be able to get a multi-policy discount.  Explain to them that this is very similar to the photography and DJ business, in that you are being hired to work at different venues, you have equipment that you set up and take down.  Send them to your website and send them photos of the booth. 

What’s a fair price?  In the end we obtained insurance through Traveler’s for about $500 a year, which gives us a 1,000,000 in coverage.  Most venues, if they require insurance, will desire a minimum of $1,000,000 in coverage.  If you are getting quotes that are over $600, I would move on, I don’t think it’s fair to pay more than $500-$600.  Be sure that the policy also insures any property damage that could occur to you actual photo booth.  These photo booths are expensive enough that it would be a big hit to your wallet should you ever have to replace one completely out of pocket. 

As you will likely be transporting your photo booth from event to event in your personal vehicle or trailer, for insurance purposes, your personal vehicle is now being used for business.  Advise your insurance company of this reality.  Unfortunately yes, it will probably raise your rates.  However, you don’t want to be in a situation where you have an accident going to or from an event, and your insurance company denies the claim because they weren’t advised you were using the vehicle for business purposes. 

Having insurance for your photo booth business is very professional and is another way that you can separate yourself from the competition.  The fly by night companies will never have insurance because it takes effort and cuts into their profits.  Advertise on your website and business cards that you are “fully insured.”  Sometimes customers ask us why our prices are higher than others and among other reasons we explain that we have liability insurance coverage.  In this crazy day in age of lawsuits, people really like this piece of mind.  It’s a nice feeling knowing that you’re not out there naked without any coverage.  While you’re shopping around with insurance brokers, you’re getting the word out about your business as well.  We actually ended up booking 2 photo booth rental gigs with the broker that found us insurance!

Let’s recap:

  1. Minimum of 1,000,000 in professional, general liability insurance coverage.
  2. The policy should cover any potential damage and repair/replacement costs to your photo booth.
  3. Notify your auto insurance company that you will be using your personal vehicle on occasion for business.

Try these companies for insuring your photo booth rental business:
RV Nuccio Inc.
Hiscox
Travelers
StateFarm

Now there is one more type of insurance that is needed if you have employees, worker’s compensation insurance, but that’s a topic for another day. 

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Neil Smith August 26, 2015, 11:30 am

    I got mine from rv nuccio for $100 as a member of the American Disc Jockey Association. It’s about the same of you’re a member of the National Association of Mobile Entertainers as well. It only costs $100 to join NAME.

  • Lee Ann September 22, 2015, 3:20 pm

    First of all, my website is still under construction…it needs several changes!

    Secondly, I only have one booth. Do you still recommend $1,000,000 of insurance? My start-up was around $14K, including booth , attorney fees for LLC, web design, logo design and props. I am glad to have stumbled upon your site!

    Lee Ann

    • admin September 23, 2015, 6:15 am

      Lee Ann, thanks for the comment. I would recommend the 1,000,000 in insurance, that is the minimum that event venues like to see. You should be able to get it for a cost of $300-$500 per year. I checked out your website, it’s coming together nicely! Send me an email if you need anything else.

  • Joel October 13, 2015, 7:32 pm

    I am a wedding photographer who offers photobooths as a side business. Although we also offer it for non-wedding events as well.

    I already have an existing $1M liability coverage through state farm. My question is do you think it is advisable that I ask my agent to add the photobooth to our coverage as well? The photobooth system is an $11K investment. Thank you

    • Chris October 14, 2015, 5:49 am

      Joel, I would definitely ask your agent to add the photo booth to your policy. Should be pretty easy for them to do and your rate shouldn’t go up too much.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a free, editable, attorney-drafted, photo booth rental contract, valued at $100.