Equipment insurance?

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Who do folks use for their equipment insurance? I have been with State Farm since the beginning (a little over three years) but would like to switch to something specific to photography (or at least "industry standard"). I considered joining PPA for their equipment insurance but it sounds like they depreciate equipment, which I do NOT want. Looking for something that covers damage, theft, etc. such that if for some reason something was stolen or I accidentally broke something - neither has happened but they certainly can - I am covered!

As for PPA, I may still join...for the indemnification insurance...
 

12sndsgood

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is there a reason why your unhappy with state farm? As long as they are covering you for the amounts and reasons you as a photographer need there really is no reason to change to a more photo based insurance. other then rate shopping.
 

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is there a reason why your unhappy with state farm? As long as they are covering you for the amounts and reasons you as a photographer need there really is no reason to change to a more photo based insurance. other then rate shopping.
This. Moving around may actually prove detrimental to your rates.
 

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Who do folks use for their equipment insurance? I have been with State Farm since the beginning (a little over three years) but would like to switch to something specific to photography (or at least "industry standard"). I considered joining PPA for their equipment insurance but it sounds like they depreciate equipment, which I do NOT want. Looking for something that covers damage, theft, etc. such that if for some reason something was stolen or I accidentally broke something - neither has happened but they certainly can - I am covered!

As for PPA, I may still join...for the indemnification insurance...
Is your State Farm insurance for business liability/equipment or for your home?
For business photography equipment, many working photographers get an Inland Marine policy rider. Replacement cost equipment insurance is available, at a higher premium.

No doubt, photography equipment does indeed depreciate.

A portion of your business operating costs covers equipment depreciation (even if you do not account for it), and you should be putting a portion of your revenue aside specifically for equipment replacement/upgrade.
That revenue you set aside then covers the depreciation so you don't have to pay extra for replacement cost insurance.

Joining PPA also gets you access to their attorneys.

Do you use the cash or the accrual method of accounting?
 
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Hill and Usher.

Package Choice? I think I've seen that name before. Do many people on here use it?

Moving around may actually prove detrimental to your rates.

Seriously?

Is your State Farm insurance for business liability/equipment or for your home?
For business photography equipment, many working photographers get an Inland Marine policy rider. Replacement cost equipment insurance is available, at a higher premium.

No doubt, photography equipment does indeed depreciate.

A portion of your business operating costs covers equipment depreciation (even if you do not account for it), and you should be putting a portion of your revenue aside specifically for equipment replacement/upgrade.
That revenue you set aside then covers the depreciation so you don't have to pay extra for replacement cost insurance.

Joining PPA also gets you access to their attorneys.

Do you use the cash or the accrual method of accounting?

I have my six or seven grand in equipment on a Personal Articles Policy since I got into photography in highschool before the thought of opening a business even crossed my mind, thus I think it would be wise for me to get legitimate business insurance to at least cover my equipment.

Yes, I'm aware of the PPA benefits as far as legal counsel and representation goes. But I'm on the fence about PPA due to a lot of stuff I've read about them. Not too sure yet what I'm going to do...

I use the cash method utilizing Excel and have done my own taxes each year with TurboTax, but next on my list of things to do is get a proper accountant. I really don't think I'm going to use QuickBooks until my business gets substantially bigger, as Excel - utilizing about a dozen different sheets - works great for me. Switching to accrual is on my radar, though, when I do get a proper account so that moving forward 2014 weddings booked during the 2013 calendar year, for example, are financially accounted for in the relevant year.
 

jamesbjenkins

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Unless things have changed, SF won't insure you as a photographer for a general liability policy anywhere on your personal lines (auto, home, renter's, etc.)

I'm an insurance agent with Farmers Monday through Friday, and I couldn't get the coverage I wanted anywhere in the major companies.

After a lot of research, I ended up going with Hill & Usher for liability and gear insurance. I got $13,000 of gear coverage with full retail replacement, and a $1M gen. liability policy. My annual premium is $525, and it includes $2,000 in rental coverage so I don't have to get screwed over every time I need something from borrowlenses.com.

PPA offers quite a few benefits, but their indemnification policy is pretty much worthless unless you pay extra for the upgrade. Also their gear policy is ACV (actual cash value) which is crap if you're like me and all of your gear was purchased in mint pre-owned condition, and always at least a generation out from brand new...

www.packagechoice.com. Problem solved.
 
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Unless things have changed, SF won't insure you as a photographer for a general liability policy anywhere on your personal lines (auto, home, renter's, etc.)

I'm an insurance agent with Farmers Monday through Friday, and I couldn't get the coverage I wanted anywhere in the major companies.

After a lot of research, I ended up going with Hill & Usher for liability and gear insurance. I got $13,000 of gear coverage with full retail replacement, and a $1M gen. liability policy. My annual premium is $525, and it includes $2,000 in rental coverage so I don't have to get screwed over every time I need something from borrowlenses.com.

PPA offers quite a few benefits, but their indemnification policy is pretty much worthless unless you pay extra for the upgrade. Also their gear policy is ACV (actual cash value) which is crap if you're like me and all of your gear was purchased in mint pre-owned condition, and always at least a generation out from brand new...

www.packagechoice.com. Problem solved.

Thank you so much for the info! All I know is that my State Farm policy - and I do have a good relationship with them as I have other policies through them too - is that if I accidentally break a piece of gear or it gets stolen, I am covered. But it's not what I should be using, I know I need to get insurance specifically for my business.

Do you know if Hill & Usher allows monthly payments instead of a lump sum once a year? Also, could you tell me about this "rental coverage" you speak of?

Why is PPA's indemnification policy worthless without paying extra?
 

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Okay, I assumed when you said you had insurance that you had proper business coverage. equipment insurance isn't enough. 1Mil. general liability coverage seems to be the standard as far as coverage goes. my price is around $550 for 1mil of coverage, 15k in equipment insurance. I believe it is thru CNA insurance.
 

jamesbjenkins

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I had the very same St Farm coverage you currently have, I'd imagine. I didn't have any problem with my agent, I was just paying way too much for what I was getting.

Your biggest liability right now is that you have no liability protection, should something happen (injury or accident) that you're responsible for. I had a bride's aunt trip over the leg of one of my lightstands somehow, and she fell and broke her wrist. That could have been a HUGE problem if I wasn't properly insured.

H&U does give the option of monthly payments, but there is a service charge every time they process a payment for you, so you're definitely incentivized to do the lump sum.

The rental coverage I was referring to provides you the same coverage you have on your itemized equipment for any rental equipment you get from a vendor like borrowlenses. When you get stuff from them, you have the option of purchasing insurance on the item in case something happens so you're not liable for a $2000 Profoto monolight. The problem is, their insurance is really expensive, especially if you rent items more than once or twice a year. I pay about $20 per year to H&U for $2000 of "rental equipment" coverage.

PPA's indemnification policy only protects you in the event of an E&O (errors and omissions) claim against you. It provides no liability protection of any kind unless you opt to pay for the extra business/liability coverage. The likelihood of you needing indemnity protection is much less than you needing liability protection.

When you add the costs of the membership, the deductible on the indemnity trust, the extra fee for the PhotoCare Plus coverage that gives you full replacement value and then the premium for the business/liability coverage, it's a lot more than $525, and it's a lot more hassle.
 

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How honest have you been with your State Farm agent? Do they know you're using the photography equip,eat for business, or is it insured as personal property? If they don't know that it is being used professionally, you may have problems if you have to make a claim. For example, they told me they wouldn't insure my gear because I work at a newspaper.
 
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How honest have you been with your State Farm agent? Do they know you're using the photography equip,eat for business, or is it insured as personal property? If they don't know that it is being used professionally, you may have problems if you have to make a claim. For example, they told me they wouldn't insure my gear because I work at a newspaper.

Therein lies the problem, sir. Though he knows I use my equipment for "a little bit of business use," it has been a lot more the past year or two than I have let on. I have gone through the past couple years just modifying the line items from time to time and paying the bill once a year. Switching to business insurance is long overdue.

My policy renewal bill is due in two weeks. I began sorting this out this morning and will probably be giving Package Choice a call.
 
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Just spoke with Hill & Usher / Package Choice on the phone and am on my way to getting this taken care of the right way. Thank you all for your input and advice!
 

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