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Thread: Insurance Questions

  1. #1
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Insurance Questions

    I have gone without insurance o my gear for year. Now I am doing an inventory connected with estate planning and thoughts on covering my stuff have popped up. I have not contacted my insurance company yet as I'd like to inform myself first.

    So, is coverage separate from homeowners or must the gear be listed separately?

    Can I get coverage for traveling against loss, theft or damage while it is in the hands of the carrier?

    Do I value my equipment at its brand-new replacement value or what it would sell for on e-Bay?
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Insurance Questions

    Anything not brand view needs appraisal

    and that is the problem

    Talk to your insurance co first

  3. #3

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  4. #4

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    Re: Insurance Questions

    Potentially that could be 3 different types of insurance. Your home insurance can add a rider for your photo equipment. Travel insurance could cover your equipment that is in your possession while you travel. And if you ship your equipment, then the carrier usually offers an insurance add on in case it gets lost or damaged while in their hands.

    The same insurance company can handle the first two cases (but you have to be explicit about the coverage), but the shipper should cover insurance in the third instance. Unless you have a really good (or specialty) insurance company.

  5. #5
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Insurance Questions

    Homeowners insurance (in my experience) does not cover equipment used for business purposes, even with a rider. So if you sell prints you made need a dedicated policy, maybe even from a different provider.

  6. #6

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    Sep 1998
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    Re: Insurance Questions

    Some years ago my wife and I went to Europe for 2 weeks, mostly in Austria and Germany. I had 2 Rollei 6008 cameras with all of the lenses from 30mm to 300mm. 2 Rollei SL 3000 with lenses from 16 to 200mm, lots of film for both. They were in Rimowa aluminum camera cases. I also had a prototype, non functioning, of a LInhof 612 PC ll that I was returning to the factory in Munich.
    We stayed a few days outside Heidelberg in a small town called Necker Gemund. My wife’s father was from Nancy France and my wife wanted to see that city.
    So we loaded up the car, took off for Nancy. When we reached Strasberg she decided that she wanted to call our kids who were in college. Parked beneath the city hall, went up and called. When we got back to the car it had been broken into. All the cameras were gone, 25 rolls of exposed 120 were gone. My Rimowa suitcases with all my clothes were gone, so was my passport and our return Lufthansa tickets.
    Returned to Germany without seeing Nancy. Bought some new clothes, arranged for a new passport at the consulate, LInhof convinced Lufthansa to replace our tickets at no charge. So we were set, except they also got the keys to our car at JFK and the house keys.
    After a few hours at a French police station they found a detective that could do a report in English.
    Got back and filed a claim with our homeowners insurance company. Finally got our money after 6 months as their attorney figured that I must have been shooting professionally as that would prevent me receiving any reimbursement.
    After 2 depositions and his questioning the dealer I bought most of the stuff from the attorney accused me of being a professional that wasn’t reporting income on my tax returns.
    To finally get the insurance company I had to accuse the CEO of libel and threatened to sue.
    I had a check a day later and they paid $5,000 more then I was covered for!

    So, yes, homeowners will pay, if you are not making money from your photography. Otherwise get a floater policy that fully covers all risks.

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    15,989

    Re: Insurance Questions

    Separate art collection or business equipment riders can be prohibitively expensive. For insurance shopping purposes, it's best not to classify yourself as any kind of professional business, but just see how much you can stretch basic homeowner coverage, which might be quite a bit. Ask your agent in advance. Either way, you'll need some kind of documentation stored away in a safe place, ideally including not only pictures, but with copies of equipment receipts and serial numbers of specific items (very important if a burglary is involved, and you expect recovery of the actual items). Some homeowner policies will even cover a limited amount of personal theft from an automobile during travel, or else your auto insurance coverage might, and especially combined coverage from the same agency. Travel insurance, outside the country, is a different topic, and is essentially leased in many cases.

  8. #8
    (Shrek)
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    Montreal
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    Re: Insurance Questions

    I've always just assumed the risk myself, rather than pay prohibitively expensive additional insurance over my basic home and auto. But I don't live in a high-crime area, don't take stupid risks, and all my gear including work tools are older and less sought-after. The one time I priced out insurance for my tools, they wanted 30% of the replacement cost per annum as a premium. Meaning unless my complete tooling is stolen every 3 years or less, I'm paying for nothing.

  9. #9

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    Dec 2010
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    Canmore Alberta
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    Re: Insurance Questions

    Either way, you're paying for it. Years ago, the helicopter industry started self insuring....with premiums in excess of $500k/yr, they would buy additional machines & parts, preparing for the inevitable failures. It's probably not a bad idea in photography to squirrel away cash each year against inevitable replacement from accidents, theft, mechanical failure.

  10. #10

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    Re: Insurance Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    I've always just assumed the risk myself, rather than pay prohibitively expensive additional insurance over my basic home and auto. But I don't live in a high-crime area, don't take stupid risks, and all my gear including work tools are older and less sought-after. The one time I priced out insurance for my tools, they wanted 30% of the replacement cost per annum as a premium. Meaning unless my complete tooling is stolen every 3 years or less, I'm paying for nothing.
    I basically agree with you but I'll put in a caveat. IMO thieves aren't equipment experts and, even if they were, by the time they can see what you've got they've already broken in and accepted the attendant risk. So they'll grab what they can and sort it out later.

    As an aside, I once had a cheap bike in my condo parking garage. I didn't bother to lock it because there were much better bikes in the garage also unlocked and closer to the exit. Mine got stolen.

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