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Thread: Insurance Questions

  1. #11
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    17,796

    Re: Insurance Questions

    My daughter moved across USA with her Hasselblad kit, she was a Pro before Digi

    Her car with cameras in hotel parking lot, she lost all her gear to a breakin

    A very honest lady, she shortly found nothing is covered by Homeowner Ins when the stuff is in transit during a MOVE

  2. #12
    Corran's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    North GA Mountains
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    Re: Insurance Questions

    Insurance is almost certainly not worth it, unless you have a large amount of very precious photography things that will need to have documented proof of value from an appraiser. And then the attendant costs will likely be very high.

    Long time ago I had a "rider" for my musical instruments and some pro audio equipment, valued at something like $15,000. The premium was pretty high, even back in the early 2000's, and ultimately would have been a fight to get anything if the worst had happened for various reasons including that of course my instruments came with me to performances and I was getting "paid" to perform in orchestras (even if it was not an actual wage or very much anyway). IMO my current business insurance is primarily for liability sake and not equipment replacement.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  3. #13

    Re: Insurance Questions

    After Michael Smith telling me he lost much of his valuable lenses and other equipment in Chicago I make a point of doing two things when I travel with my gear. First is always toss a ragged looking tarp I used for many years in home painting jobs over the gear in the back of my truck and toss an old broom and a couple of old paint brushes on top of the tarp. Make it look as unattractive as possible may reduce the incentive from a potential thief. Secondly, I try to find single story motels where I can carry my gear into my room with me. Yes it is a PITA (I have a LOT of gear) to do so but it is comforting knowing it is not going to part company with me overnight. Sometimes managing this risk is more about being proactive than reactive.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,338

    Re: Insurance Questions

    My approach when traveling with gear is: 1) keep it within my arm's reach; 2) locked in vehicle that is within my direct line of vision; or 3) secured someplace that is not easily pilferable. This has meant constantly hauling all my gear into and out of the motel with me (as Michael noted), carrying on my equipment onto the plane, eating in restaurants with large windows that allow me to see my vehicle while I eat, and just generally staying as glued to my equipment as possible during all phases of travel. The minute you aren't thinking about the security of your gear (p.s. you are not on a "vacation" when you have $$$ of gear with you), you will lose it. Be paranoid my friend.

    This approach has worked for me for 40 years.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    5,241

    Re: Insurance Questions

    ditto

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
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    16,001

    Re: Insurance Questions

    Here organized theft rings are everywhere. They clean out entire houses in minutes, sending in vans after scoping out which specific neighborhoods are empty when everyone if off at work. They follow contractors home and take $40,000 or more of tools and equipment at a time, or steal their panel trucks and strip them somewhere else. Entire warehouses get hit. The best strategy is to be LOW-PROFILE all the time. Be aware if anyone if following you home. Don't leave valuable equipment behind anywhere. Lock service vehicles inside, with a big dog outside. Don't look like a photographer or contractor driving around.

    There used to be a very popular lunch spot where many contractors parked in the lot. All the ones with big fancy steel lock boxes were targeted. Any proficient thief knows how to get into them. Another fellow who drove a beat up old pickup just threw a filthy old blanket over his tools, and never got anything stolen.

    I did get residentially burglarized once by a husband/wife junkie team despite having an alarm system. They made a mess, randomly stole a lot of things, many worthless, but some high end photo items too. The cops made an even bigger mess sorting through everything and dusting for fingerprints. I did have serial number of lenses and cameras on file. The offender was caught stealing a pack of bologna in a Safeway supermarket, his fingerprints were run, his house searched, and the serial numbers on certain of my things were matched, allowing them to prosecute. But there were mountains of stolen stuff they had to search through. The arrest and conviction of that pair probably saved their lives. They were so strung out that even another six months of heroin and probably both of them would be done in.

    Police detectives knew about them all along, but just like all analogous scenarios, refused to move unless they had on file precise serial numbers proving a pattern of theft, otherwise; it's almost impossible to get a jury conviction. They'd just claim they bought it all from someone else innocently, and didn't even know it was stolen. When I sold equipment, prior to retirement, we'd do well over 100K of insurance replacement estimates for contractors PER WEEK. Epidemic proportions.

    My Homeowner insurance company was prepared to pay the full REPLACEMENT amount (not a depreciated sum), since I had a file of receipts. But that happily turned out to be a much smaller sum once the majority of my gear was actually recovered. But my Fuji 250/6.7 lens was never found.

    But don't assume theft is just a big city problem. Everywhere drug abuse exists - which is now nearly every town in the country - there will be thieves, and probably at least a few teenage recreational stealers too.

  7. #17

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    4,027

    Re: Insurance Questions

    I have insurance with Great American through Tom Pickard Insurance Co. as the agent. It's designed for photographers, and it works out great. I don't know the total, but I have thousands of $ of used equipment insured through them. I spend around $700 per year for this, paid in three installments per annum. It's a total policy, so one gets coverage for copyright protection, equipment, etc., etc. See www DOT tcpinsurance DOT com.

    It's a matter of sending them an inventory of equipment and the insured amount for each item. Of course, the more one puts down, the greater the cost. Insurance is for replacement cost, so I put down amounts that correspond to current used prices. The inventory also includes serial numbers, if available.

    It probably makes sense to have photos on hand for each piece of equipment; though, that's not requested. Come to think about it, I need to update my inventory, because I've bought and sold since taking out the policy.

    It's not possible to only have equipment coverage with this policy. However, the insurance options are flexible enough to design a policy for different fields of photography. (Landscape, architectural, portrait, etc.)

    I've had a policy with them for years and have never needed to make a claim. But, I've collected my gear over decades at considerable overall expense. So, it's comforting to know, if the worst happened, I could afford to find replacements.

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    4,027

    Re: Insurance Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Here organized theft rings are everywhere. . .
    Wow! Scary. (Jeepers.)

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    518

    Re: Insurance Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by djdister View Post
    My approach when traveling with gear is: 1) keep it within my arm's reach; 2) locked in vehicle that is within my direct line of vision; or 3) secured someplace that is not easily pilferable. This has meant constantly hauling all my gear into and out of the motel with me (as Michael noted), carrying on my equipment onto the plane, eating in restaurants with large windows that allow me to see my vehicle while I eat, and just generally staying as glued to my equipment as possible during all phases of travel. The minute you aren't thinking about the security of your gear (p.s. you are not on a "vacation" when you have $$$ of gear with you), you will lose it. Be paranoid my friend.

    This approach has worked for me for 40 years.

    I agree. If you cant keep it safe, you are risking a loss.

    When I had my loft studio in the city back in the 70s... my film cameras n equipment were brand new. That was when equipment like RB67s cost an arm n a leg. I kept receipts for everything and got insurance to cover my business and equipment.

    A few years later I was robbed. Wiped out! everything including my 3 balcar strobes which weighed a ton, RB67s, LF stuff, 16mm movie cameras n recording n mixing equipment. They must have had a moving van downstairs by the freight elevator.... and no one saw a thing!

    I put in my claim n the company was very quick to respond. They sent an adjuster n he devalued everything to the point it wasn't even worth having insurance anymore. I took such a beating, maybe got $10/ $100. After that, I built a very secure closet in the loft to house everything and dropped the equipment insurance n kept the liability, that brought the premium way down. I have to also comment on how the guy sold me the insurance policy... he assured me everything is fully covered to the max, they pay top dollar. I asked all the appropriate questions n he gave me such a nice run down n even helped me inventory... then once you sign the dortted line... its a new game! READ THE POLICY WITH YOUR LAWYER... it in the legaleaze wording.

    Is it worth getting insurance for our 60 old stuff?... no! what we have is relatively cheap to replace. You aren't paying thousands for lenses... your money is now in film n chemicals. No one even wants your enlargers.

    OH.... as mentioned before... save a few bucks every year for maintenance n repairs as well as replacing equipment for whatever reason. If you didnt do anything with that money, carry it over for next year but keep adding to it. It will add up before you know it. Thats the best insurance policy!

    .

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