A question about Insurance

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by chrisburke, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    for those of you who have a lot of gear, how do you deal with insurance? Do you have separate insurance for your gear or do you just count it in your house insurance? If you include it with your house stuff, does your provider know of your gear, or do you just have a "$30,000 contents waiver" sort of deal? If they know about your gear, do you contact them every time you get something new?

    I was just thinking about this yesterday, because I'm really starting to build on my gear.. and it would suck if anything was to happen... but while thinking about it, I thought... "how does the company know this is what I have.. for all they know I have a crappy P&S camera"

    Then today while I was thinking about it, I thought, maybe I should just document all the gear.. serial numbers and such.. take pictures of it all... I don't have receipts for most of my gear anymore.. I've lost most of them one way or another, and some things I never did have receipts for, because I bought it from a random person not a store..

    Any help in this would be great... and if it turns out that its fine being lumped in with my regular contents thats fine by me.. I just don't want an insurance company (if something was to ever happen) to say "we dont believe you had those cameras, etc...
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i have a special "rider" on my home insurance.

    i had to provide written evidence of all equipment under the policy.

    every few years it is important to have someone (perhaps your local camera store) do an update of value so that if something needs to be repair or replaced it will be done so at the current value, not what was the previous worth. There are lenses that increase in value and one will late a loss if you don't keep up with current values.

    i would suggest you talk to your insurance company with how they want to handle equipment with documentation. Perhaps a photo , along with serial numbers and a written statement from a local store will be enough, but they are the only ones who will be able to give you those specifics.
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Who needs insurance, live on the wild side!

    I too have a home rider on my insurance. All they want is a picture that I send them via email that shows the article and a serial number.

    This is NOT for commercial use. For anyone that is making any kind of money from their equipment, contact a local insurance broker and get the right coverage.
     
  4. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    Home insurance here as well. I didn't even have to provide a picture or anything. You are in Canada with a Canadian insurance company, they seem to be much more relaxed than US ones. I have only known a few people that have had to make claims if their house was broken into and stuff stolen and they just had to inventory everything and that was it, it was replaced, no questions asked.
    Call your insurance company and ask. When we got our insurance I told the lady that I had a lot of camera equipment and jewelry, we estimated the value and upped the insurance to cover it. It was mere cents.
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have business insurance, but a rider is still necessary for the gear I use on location. Without it, I'm protected only for the gear in the studio... which is where my gear lives.

    -Pete
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For professional/business insurance, look into a major photography association. You can usually get a much better deal because it's group insurance and it's often tailored to the specific needs of photographers....like insuring your income if your gear is stolen or broken while on the job etc.
     
  7. TBAM

    TBAM TPF Noob!

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    I may be in a different country to you guys, however I have worked in the Insurance Industry over 5 years now.

    The Insurance you purchase should largely be governed 1) by what you do with your contents and 2) what you expect may happen to your contents outside of your control to remedy.

    For example, unless you are using your photography equipment for business use in a full-time capacity, or in a capacity that needs to be declared the government as a business. You will only require domestic insurance.

    There are many levels of domestic insurance, however the items that are covered are usually broken up into 2 sections:

    1) General Contents

    2) Valuables

    What is considered General Contents and Valuables is largely up to your Insurance provider, and in many cases governs your "level" of cover.

    Digital Cameras (most portable items that are able to be powered by a battery, are classified as valuable items) are usually considered as Valuables, whereas flash umbrellas, tripods and backdrops would normally be considered contents (as they are not able to be powered by a battery).

    In addition to General Contents/Valuables, Insurance policies usually come under two types:

    1) Defined Events

    2) Accidental Damage

    Defined Events usually include Theft, Fire, Water Damage, Malicious Damage etc. Accidental Damage also includes those events but goes further to cover Accidental Damage and Accidental Loss.

    The cover you choose will be largely dependant on what you expect to happen to your photography gear, and in the event of an accident or event what extent you feel you could recover by your own means.

    Lastly, Many Insurers place limits on Valuables(as specified above) both monetarily and situationally. E.g. You may have cover for your camera gear but it might be limited to $1000 per item, or it might be limited to cover your camera only whilst it is not in use and whilst you are at your home.

    Some things you can stretch are: you could say the camera body is one item and each lens is a separate item.

    Depending on your Insurance policy if you choose not to disclose to your insurer your ownership of a valuable item (such as an expensive camer), in the event of an incident causing damage to the camera, they may decide not to cover it (though this is extremely rare) as it is your duty to disclose any information to your Insurer that may compromise or alter the risk that they have agreed to insure (A $5000 camera is quite a risk, considering it is portable, and if damaged (even slightly, sometimes) often requires replacement).

    The best bet is to read your policy booklet or speak to an Insurance broker. Most companies won't be able to answer your enquiries directly in regards to specialist items such as cameras, and really if you want to cover your camera for accidental damage both at and away from home, you really should invest in the proper coverage (which is best organised by an Insurance Broker).

    Not too long ago, I dropped my Pentax accidentally in the sand at a beach, and not too much later I noticed the auto-focus on the lens sounding like it was grinding. I also noticed the flash ran out the batteries very quickly.

    The Insurance company covered it to be taken to a repairer, a quote obtained and the camera repaired. Minus the excess of course.

    Anyways, I hope this information may have been useful to some.
     
  8. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    TBAM.. that was very helpful.. now, because of what you said in your last bit (about your lens being dropped) i have another question.. and the reason for it, is my lack of understanding in what insurance is for.... you dropped your camera in the sand, and it messed up the lens, and they covered the replacement for you?? I'm actually in a similar situation... except i didnt drop it, we just had it on the beach and sand got into the lens, and i am getting that grinding sound... are you telling me my insurance will replace that for me, even though it was a stupid mistake on my behalf?? If so, I can think of a pile of things (valubles) that i've dropped and have been messed up or broken as a result of that...

    i've only been out on my own for 3 years, i've always been covered by my parents until 3 years ago... so I really don't understand things like insurance... sorry if i sound like a moron
     
  9. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

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    I have been on my husband to call our insurance company and get a separate rider for my gear.
    I don't have a TON of expensive gear, but DEAR GOD, I don't know that I could replace it if my klutz-ass ever falls on a lens again!

    I walk around a lot to take pictures. I want an out-of-home policy.

    I was also told by a photographer that I ran into one day that if your camera gets damaged, report it DESTROYED or you'll get screwed by your insurance company.
    Or something.

    I am insurance clueless.
     
  10. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    I'm glad i'm not the only one
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well.... don't expect to profit from it. Expect to repair it, and get up to the current value (used lens) LESS your deductible. For instance: If you damage a lens that you bought new for $1000 (but is now worth $600 used) and it can be repaired for $150, you will pay the entire bill if you have a $250 deductible. Now if that same lens is stolen or seriously damaged (repair cost more than it's current value of $600), and your deductible is $500, you can expect a check for $100. And, if your policy is relatively new, you can also expect to be cancelled.

    -Pete
     
  12. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is called "fraud."

    -Pete
     

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