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Author Topic: Is equipment insurance worthwhile?  (Read 6187 times)

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« on: February 18, 2013, 09:34 »
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Currently I have insurance on my equipment, but every year when the premium is due I reconsider whether it is really worthwhile.  Currently I'm paying $1,526 on $40,000 of equipment (3.8%) with a $1,200 deductable.  The insurance is a dummy insurance so it covers everything, even if I were to drop it on a concrete floor.  The problem is, for most small accidents the damage isn't going to be over $1,200.  My 70-200 f/2.8 dropped out of my backpack on concrete once and I sent it to repair and the cost was $500 or so... so insurance didn't help.

I feel the only time I'd really find the insurance useful is if my entire gear bag was stolen while shooting or someone came into my house and took all my gear.  In those cases insurance would be very nice but I've also heard that if you can afford to replace something, insurance probably isn't worth it.  It would certainly hurt but I could probably afford to replace most of my equipment if I had to.

Thoughts?  Do you have equipment insurance?  How much are you paying?


« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 09:49 »
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.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 22:54 by tickstock »

« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 10:02 »
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I pay $600 or so, and that includes the liability and all that.

« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 10:17 »
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I also pay about $600 for equipment and $1,000,000 in liability (which is a must for location shooting in the U.S.).  I'm paying about 2.5% on the value of the equipment and my deductible is quite a bit lower than Leaf's.  I've filed a claim after damage to a back and they paid quickly. 

Leaf, is your insurance specifically for photography?  If not, you could try to find some, if so, maybe general business insurance would be cheaper. 

Poncke

« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 10:21 »
-1
I pay 150 euro a year, LOL. Tells you the value of my equipment. But I am also covered for dropping stuff. Its not really an equipment insurance but home insurance with an extra clause. Own risk is 250 euro I believe.

« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 10:28 »
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I pay $600 or so, and that includes the liability and all that.

I pay another $475 for liability... sigh.
Sounds like you have a good deal.  How much is insured and what is your deductible (if you are willing to say)?

mlwinphoto

« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 10:33 »
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I pay a little over $200 for $8,000 in equipment coverage, no liability (good thing about nature photography, no people to deal with).
I've often asked myself if I really need insurance, too.  But I always seem to renew when the time comes.

« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 10:54 »
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I pay $600 or so, and that includes the liability and all that.

I pay another $475 for liability... sigh.
Sounds like you have a good deal.  How much is insured and what is your deductible (if you are willing to say)?

$17,000 in equipment and the deductible is $250.  I think I got it originally from joining ppa.com for a year.  Not sure they still offer the same deal.  I let my membership from PPA lapse after a year, but get to keep the insurance.  Maybe there is a photographer's association or even a small business association in your area that offers something similar?

I repriced a year ago and could get the same price for the insurance, but a $500 deductible was the lowest I could find. 


« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2013, 11:01 »
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I pay $531 for $25,000 coverage with a $500 deductible. It also includes $1,000,000 personal and advertising injury limit and $300,000 damage to premises rented to me.

I guess that insurance is one of those things that I wish I didn't have to buy, but am terrified not to have.  :-\

« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 11:08 »
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$531 - $600 sounds reasonable for equipment and $1 million in liability.  Does that include Errors and Omission coverage?  Do they charge extra for property rental owner (additional insured) certificates? 

« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 11:40 »
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I also have the $500-$600 a year package with liability, errors & omissions, and equipment damage. I think the deductible is only $250, and it DOES cover even if I drop a lens or my kiddo puts something in the toilet. 

Look into Package Choice - Hill & Usher

« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2013, 11:42 »
+1
I have liability insurance, but no insurance against theft or equipment damages.  I did look for good equipment insurance here in Belgium, but as soon as they hear you're a pro, the price goes up like hell.  Also :  when on location, I take $7000 maximum with me, so that would mean I can get robbed every 4 years or so compared to annual insurance fees.

As for theft at home, or in a hotel (or anywhere that I stay temporarily), the fire/theft insurance of my house will cover it.  Is this not the case with your home policies? 
The only insurance policy I really miss is professional indemnity.  I know such policies exist abroad.  I'd love to be covered in case of claims concerning copyright problems, angry models etc.

mattdixon

« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2013, 11:53 »
+1
I use E&L Insurance.

http://www.eandl.co.uk/camera-insurance

It cost about 200 per year, cover is good, you can hire equipment if your gear is stolen - takes the stress out of any potential muggings!
I use them for travel, you notify them 24hours before you leave for a trip.

« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 14:31 »
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$531 - $600 sounds reasonable for equipment and $1 million in liability.  Does that include Errors and Omission coverage?  Do they charge extra for property rental owner (additional insured) certificates? 

$531 is reasonable for how much equipment?  It isn't reasonable for $5000 in equipment for example.  The cost of insurance is rather dependent on the amount being insured.

« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 14:32 »
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no insurance but I am talking about a D90 (3 years almost) and 24-70, I do have a 50mm and the 18-135 that I use rarely, pretty much when I go to a place I know I can run into trouble

do have a few strobes but I don't take them outside ;D

tab62

« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2013, 15:23 »
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thru my home insurance- not too much per year to cover all things in the event of being stolen or fire. About $200 to cover about 25K in equipment. No deductible on the camera stuff.  But I don't have insurance if I drop it. I feel the odds are higher of someone breaking into my house and stealing my equipment are higher than me dropping my stuff.

« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2013, 15:34 »
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thru my home insurance- not too much per year to cover all things in the event of being stolen or fire. About $200 to cover about 25K in equipment. No deductible on the camera stuff.  But I don't have insurance if I drop it. I feel the odds are higher of someone breaking into my house and stealing my equipment are higher than me dropping my stuff.

Does your home insurance cover your camera equipment if they are used for business purposes?  most insurance plans don't.

« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2013, 15:36 »
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I would say look into production insurance instead. A lot of film companies get policies for "x" number of days when they are shooting, based on the conditions of the shoot. Insurance for when you really need it, only when you need it.

« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2013, 15:53 »
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$531 is reasonable for how much equipment?  It isn't reasonable for $5000 in equipment for example.  The cost of insurance is rather dependent on the amount being insured.

For me, that covers $25,000 worth of gear.

tab62

« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2013, 16:55 »
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"Does your home insurance cover your camera equipment if they are used for business purposes?  most insurance plans don't."


Yes, I had them write (cannot remember the legal term) an additional part to the policy. I will look thru my policy and scan it for you Leaf...

Tom

« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2013, 17:01 »
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"Does your home insurance cover your camera equipment if they are used for business purposes?  most insurance plans don't."


Yes, I had them write (cannot remember the legal term) an additional part to the policy. I will look thru my policy and scan it for you Leaf...

Tom

No, that's fine.  I'll double check my home insurance to see if I can get something added instead of a separate insurance.  I believe last time I tried I wasn't able to but it is worth checking agian.

« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2013, 17:12 »
+1
we  had a burglary recently, losing a camera among other items -- it was covered under our home owners policy for replacement cost (with $1000 deductible)  i also have a rider that insures me for breakage, etc - about $30 additional for $3000 coverage, no deductible.  so my equipment loss was completely replaced.

We've only had one year in which we used it - my wife & I each dropped our cameras on 2 separate mountain climbs -- both were replaced with no questions.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2013, 17:28 »
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I do have insurance, as a freelancer I have to have public liability insurance. I also have a small studio so I have to have insurance on that as part of my rental agreement.

I guess I like the security of knowing that if someone stole my bag whilst I was on location I'm covered for it.  My premiums are about $100/month.

« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2013, 17:34 »
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"Does your home insurance cover your camera equipment if they are used for business purposes?  most insurance plans don't."


Yes, I had them write (cannot remember the legal term) an additional part to the policy. I will look thru my policy and scan it for you Leaf...

Tom

No, that's fine.  I'll double check my home insurance to see if I can get something added instead of a separate insurance.  I believe last time I tried I wasn't able to but it is worth checking agian.
I've heard that you do not want a rider on your home policy. If you make a claim, even small, against the photog gear, then the insurance company drops your whole home policy. Better to keep a separate policy for photog gear. (From my rumor mill).

When I inquired about a home rider there indeed were questions about business use or hobby. They also wanted model and serial numbers of each item covered. At the time I was doing a lot of upgrades and didn't want the pain of keeping them updated. So I didn't get their coverage.

I really do need to think through this insurance thing again.  Thanks for the topic.

ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2013, 18:53 »
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I've heard that you do not want a rider on your home policy. If you make a claim, even small, against the photog gear, then the insurance company drops your whole home policy. Better to keep a separate policy for photog gear. (From my rumor mill).
Long before I was selling pics, I made a claim on a camera bag & contents which was lost/stolen in Belgium. The house insurer and travel insurer liaised behind my back (i.e. I claimed on both, and told both about the other so they presumably worked out some sort of proporitionality) and somehow although both had an excess, everything was replaced right down to filters.

But that was years ago, and I think selling images complicates things. Even though  what I do now is technically no more of an insurance risk than before I was shooting for stock, as I don't have a studio, models etc., I know they don't see it that way.

« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2013, 04:02 »
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Its a trade: Does it pay?

During a lifetime no insurances of any  kind pays back.

My best advice is to save the money and put them in the bank.
Then when accidents happen, and they will, you just eat the expense.
I have been insured for everything all my life. And since I have never used the insurance much, I have a huge deficit on that account.
And for what? Feeling safe? being secure? There is no such thing. And assets are maybe not assets but the opposite. Whenever you your are stuck with a thing you are stuck in the past.

Maybe it is good when everything goes up in flames or gets stolen, so you can renew yourself.

For those who doubt my words, take a look in your garage or your garden shed and see those prized possessions you insured for a high cost some years ago. Or take a look on your shelf and see the old camera gear that is useless nowadays.

Tools are useless without human hands on them.
The only asset worth while is you, your intellect and your health. That will last and that is valuable, -so insurance that.


« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2013, 07:17 »
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Isn't there a difference in premiums if you do this for a living (professional) versus just owning equipment as a hobbyist?

« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2013, 07:26 »
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Isn't there a difference in premiums if you do this for a living (professional) versus just owning equipment as a hobbyist?

There is for me.  I just called my home insurance again and they said - yes it would be cheaper if you could insure your camera within your home policy.. but I can't do that - sorry.  If you are using your camera for a business it needs to go in your business insurance... because of the risk and how much it is used.  The thing is - I probably use my camera a lot less than a lot of hobbyists.    So far my best solution to get the cost down has been to simply insure less of my equipment.  I cut out the insurance on things that a burglar wouldn't steal if they were going through out house (like large lights and stands etc).

« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2013, 07:30 »
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Isn't there a difference in premiums if you do this for a living (professional) versus just owning equipment as a hobbyist?

There is for me.  I just called my home insurance again and they said - yes it would be cheaper if you could insure your camera within your home policy.. but I can't do that - sorry.  If you are using your camera for a business it needs to go in your business insurance... because of the risk and how much it is used.  The thing is - I probably use my camera a lot less than a lot of hobbyists.    So far my best solution to get the cost down has been to simply insure less of my equipment.  I cut out the insurance on things that a burglar wouldn't steal if they were going through out house (like large lights and stands etc).

That's what I was thinking, too. My stands, studio lights, etc, aren't likely to walk away more than my lenses and D700's and speed lights.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2013, 23:48 »
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Its a trade: Does it pay?

During a lifetime no insurances of any  kind pays back.


?? eh?
a few years ago my dumbo husband put petrol in our diesel X5. We had the whole thing fixed under insurance.  (apparently this is quite common and BMW now have a policy that if you're that dumb you have to pay for the repairs yourself) :)

in 2010 my Mini had an attempted break in; (I actually had all my gear (and a friends') in the boot and rear seat.) I had a gorgeous soft top Mini Cooper and they cut through the fabric, only to discover they couldn't reach their hands through due to the roof brace thingys. So I was left with a 4in gash. The entire roof bit had to be replaced, as well as the windows which had to be matched to the new roof. Can you imagine how much that cost?! I only had the car for two years, so the approx $2k in insurance was certainly worth it!

« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2013, 09:28 »
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Diesel. Ha ha.
I once put diesel on my volvo. A whole full tank. So  I drove it to the nearest mechanics (YES, I did drive it on diesel!) and had him suck it out for 100 dollars.
I had the same car stolen twice, but the police found it, both times with broken front window and ruined lock.
So I put in new windows but not a new lock, I just used a screwdriver to start it with. After that it was stolen anymore.

Cost maybe 200 dollars.
Easily saved on the insurance I did not pay for.

But Im a crazy DIY guy, from far out in he country where we use pigs for pets and ploughs.

ShadySue

« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2013, 09:48 »
+1
But Im a crazy DIY guy, from far out in he country where we use pigs for pets and ploughs.
Trained pigs pulling ploughs has to be your ultimate niche.  ;) 
Problem might be creating a market for the images.

« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2013, 09:54 »
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Plowing is one of the things pigs do not need to be trained for, they just do it all day long. That is, if they have access to earth.
Never mind.
There would be a market for strange pigs pictures. But sadly I have eaten them.

tab62

« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2013, 10:44 »
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gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2013, 21:19 »
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« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2013, 22:55 »
+1
When I started in microstock (2005), although I treated it like a business as far as using our Tax guy (reporting earnings, deductions, etc., alongside my 'real' job), I never got around to thoroughly investigating 'business' insurance and left my equipment on the 'house' insurance.  A year ago, we experienced a HUGE home break-in, and ~ $17K worth on lenses were stolen.  Amazingly, the thieves left my 5 plus Nikon camera bodies. 

Amazingly, our insurance company replaced ALL the lenses and flashes that were stolen, but did say I had to from now on carry a business rider since I was using it for business purposes as well as pleasure.  One of the lenses was the Sigmonster (Sigma 300-800mm) which I had purchased for ~ 2200 around 2006 or 2007, it was a steal of a price even then...

But the 'replacement' cost is now ~8,000 so I received the newest iteration with lens coatings my 'old' model didn't have, because my old model isn't sold anymore.  Insurance is for the unexpected, not the expected.  Perhaps you might consider just insuring what you would really want replaced and perhaps could not afford to otherwise replace.  Also maybe see if there are higher deductibles that might lower premiums, like some do for health insurance...

« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2013, 12:10 »
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FYI

http://photo.net/learn/insurance

to which you should add: FYI, North Americans.


And that the rates are really low, as in too low to believe they can offer the same quality of coverage as other companies offering similar coverage.


 

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