Gear insurance, what do you do?

Ryan0751

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Now that I have a bunch of pro photo gear now (probably about $15k worth), I really want to make sure it's well protected.

I have a home inventory set up, and all of my photography gear (and other electronics) is all in there, with serial numbers, prices, receipts, and it's all backed up off-site.

I recently re-did my home owners insurance, and I put together a personal property price that reflected my home inventory, and I also did purchase replacement cost coverage.

Now, I'm not a professional photographer. When I asked my agent about riders for the gear, he asked if I was a professional photographer, and I said it was as a hobby. I was then told it would be covered under the normal personal property coverage.

I'm not quite convinced this is enough. As I use this gear mostly outside of the house, I'd like some coverage if something is broken or stolen. I also understand that when you make a claim against your home owners policy, you are basically screwed. If they pay out for a claim, you usually wind up with a cancelled policy shortly thereafter followed by much higher premiums for the foreseeable future.

What do the rest of you do? Do you get third party coverage?
 

jamesbjenkins

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Depending on your insurance provider, you may be able to get a "business personal property floater" attached to your renter's/homeowners insurance.

If not, there are several companies that specialize in photographer's liability and gear insurance. Just Google it.
 

tirediron

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Most homeowners insurance policies have specific limitations on how much value of a given commodity will be covered. In my area, $10K is a common upper limit and additional coverage can be as high as $10 per $100 of value! Definitely look into business insurance as it may well be cheaper in the long run.
 

Majeed Badizadegan

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One claim against your home policy isn't a big deal. 2 within a 5-year span and you're crispy fried chicken.
 

KmH

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I would have suggested an Inland Marine photography gear rider as a supplement to your home owners policy.

You might also shop for an new insurance agent.
 
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kundalini

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I have my Inland Marine rider from NC Farm Bureau. The additional premium for $20K of listed equipment, plus extended theft coverage, is just over $200USD annually.
 

bratkinson

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As an amateur, I simply have a rider on the homeowners that shows each item over $100 or so, the serial number, purchase date, etc. I also have closeup pictures of each item and scanned all the receipts and keep that offsite with the rest of my backups. Whenever I add or delete equipment, a quick email to my agent and the policy gets adjusted. I recently sold off my 85 f1.8 and 200 f2.8 and got a whopping $6.00 premium refund check from the company! Whooo-hooo!
 

sm4him

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I'd be really interested in hearing from anyone whose camera gear insurance is NOT through their homeowner's policy. For a variety of reasons that I won't get into it, I would really prefer to have my gear insured completely separately from my homeowner's insurance. When all I had was a D5100 and a couple of used lenses, it wasn't that big of a deal, but now I've acquired enough equipment that I need to get it insured.

Sure, I could google it and probably find some places but I'd love to hear from anyone who actually uses some of those other insurance means--what they use, whether they've had to make claims and how it's gone, whether the cost has been reasonable, etc.
 

Rocketman1978

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As an amateur, I simply have a rider on the homeowners that shows each item over $100 or so, the serial number, purchase date, etc. I also have closeup pictures of each item and scanned all the receipts and keep that offsite with the rest of my backups. Whenever I add or delete equipment, a quick email to my agent and the policy gets adjusted. I recently sold off my 85 f1.8 and 200 f2.8 and got a whopping $6.00 premium refund check from the company! Whooo-hooo!
Same here, I have a rider on my homeowner's for all camera equipment, guns and jewelry through Encompass, an Allstate company. I added all of my camera gear (roughly $7K in replacement cost) for just over $50 annually. My agent said the nice thing about a rider is no deductible and no increase in premium if a claim is made, hence the purpose for the rider and not generalizing the property under my standard homeowners. Hope she's right.

I too love that I can just shoot a quick email notifying of my equipment changes, such as my 18-135 3.5-5.6 swap for a 24-70 2.8L and boom, all set. I feel bad sometimes between camera equipment, guns and jewelry how much I actually have to email additions to her, lol.
 
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Ryan0751

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I asked about the riders (with two different companies), they both were like "it's not needed", Liberty Mutual came back with some crazy premium increase.
 

TCampbell

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Now, I'm not a professional photographer. When I asked my agent about riders for the gear, he asked if I was a professional photographer, and I said it was as a hobby. I was then told it would be covered under the normal personal property coverage.

I'm not quite convinced this is enough. As I use this gear mostly outside of the house, I'd like some coverage if something is broken or stolen.

Ask a few more specific questions. The initial answer I got from my insurance company (and this seemed believable to me because they seemed to do a lot of research before they found the answer) was that everything was covered and from "all perils" (doesn't matter how it's damaged, it's covered). But upon pressing a few more example cases, they eventually told me that it was covered from all perils only if it was in my home or at least on my lot (e.g. out in my yard) but it was NOT covered if it was away from home when the damage occurred.

I was really glad I kept pressing a few example cases. If something happens to my gear, it would most likely happen when I'm away. I tend to use my camera the most when I'm not at home. There was sort of an assumption on the part of the agent that since I was talking about homeowners extending coverage to property that this property would of course only be at my home.

After concluding that the property was _not_ covered, I had coverage added. It was just slightly more than $100/year.

Also make sure you keep track of all your receipts. It'd be a good idea to scan them and make an off-site backup. For most types of gear insurance, receipts are needed when filing a claim to prove that you had the gear.

I also understand that when you make a claim against your home owners policy, you are basically screwed. If they pay out for a claim, you usually wind up with a cancelled policy shortly thereafter followed by much higher premiums for the foreseeable future.

Not for one claim. I do know someone who filed two claims (each about a year apart) and received a letter that his policy was cancelled. I have filed two claims and was not cancelled - perhaps enough time between claims - but also one of the claims was caused by a drunk driver who drove through the yard (at pretty high speed) and did a LOT of damage. That claim might not have counted as a "homeowner" claim because I'm told anytime a car is involved, the car insurance has to pay the claim.
 
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Ryan0751

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Yes, I found a great Mac app called "home inventory". It stores photos, receipts, all of it, and backs up offsite. You can even use your iPhone to snap the photos and automatically upload to the desktop App.
 

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