Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Camera Insurance

I learned the other day that even with a rider on your home insurance, if you even intend to sell any photographs (never mind selling any or turning pro), your coverage on camera equipment is null and void.

I got on the net to do a search for camera insurance and oddly it seems hard to come by. No problem in Britain where you have a few options, regularly advertized and on line. No such luck in North America. I did see something for photo.net users but not much information about coverage.

Anyone have useful information about getting camera coverage. Probably most of us could afford to replace any one lens or body at a pinch, but probably many of us would really be in a bind if we lost the whole camera bag. I'm going to talk to my insurance agent too.


orcasmac said...

in Canada, but I had a rider attached to my homeowners' policy (from State Farm) specifically to cover my photographic equipment while I'm on the road. Turns out the homeowners' policy would only cover theft of my equipment from the house, or other damage that might occur if the house was damaged (fire, etc.). Now I'm covered even if I accidentally drop some of my equipment overboard or onto the rocks, for example.

But they did ask if I was a professional photographer (I'm not). The way the agent sounded, it may have been just a difference in rates, not coverage, if I'd admitted to being a pro.

Hope this helps.

Richard Mack said...

Insurance! Don't even get me started! Even as a pro it is hard to come by. ASMP, APA and other associations offer companies you can get it through - but it is geared for professionals. Liability, studio coverage, as well as equipment. BUT, and this is a big but, many times they still won't cover a loss. In 2006 I was on assignment covering a Scout Troop doing a high adventure trip down the Missouri River in Montana. A week in the wilderness on the river retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail. I was chosen for the assignment because I had just completed a landscape book on the trail - The Lewis & Clark Trail American Landscapes (OK, shameless plug!). Anyway under clear skies a wind came up which turned over half of the canoes. Mine included. Camera bag went underwater but was recovered. Some was lost included a tripod which is probably still on the bottom of the Missouri somewhere! Some lenses had water inside but thankfully the Canon 1Ds was fine. I made a claim through my agent to Zurich Insurance. Much to my surprise, transfer by aircraft or watercraft was not covered! And they asked - why would you take that kind of equipment in a canoe? My argument that they in essence restricted my trade fell on deaf ears. My claim was rejected. I have since switched to Traveler's, but fear they may do the same if I ever have a claim. Tread cautiously, don't over buy on the insurance - you are right, you can probably afford to replace a lens (if it's not a Canon 300 2.8!). There are ways to get coverage, but you may have to go through one of the photographic associations to find them. Good Luck!
Richard Mack

chuck kimmerle said...

PPA, as well as NPPA (at least they used to) have insurance packages for members that offer full coverage. Memberships are not cheap, butmight be worth the money for the insurance benefits alone.

Shaun O'Boyle said...

I'm a member of PPA soley for the equipment insurance available. After having a $3300 Canon 5D body stolen last year, I realized how foolish it was not to have a decent insurance policy for my gear. Just be sure to keep your equipment schedule up to date with the insurance company, if its not scheduled, they will not cover any losses.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone here a Canadian? I am looking for equipment insurance in BC, and it is proving difficult!

Freddie Foto said...

Camera Insurance may be a little more widespread in the Uk, though there are always things to look out for - like if as a pro (or amateur) is your camera equipment covered if stolen from the boot of your car or damaged in the hold of an airplane. Always also worth looking at reviews to how insurance companies deal with their claims - always a good benchmark of a company ... http://www.camerainsurance.org.uk