Equipment Insurance

MBuzzy

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I have just been dealing with this, so I thought I'd share what I found out.

We're getting up to a LOT of equipment, worth a lot of money now, so I've been looking in to insurance. WELL, if you are using your camera equipment for a hobby, it is fully covered under your homeowner's insurance, just be sure to call your insurance company so that they know about the equipment and can annotate it in the policy. Some want invoices for purchase and some just need to know what you have it...some don't even care.

If you are using your equipment for profit though, it is a separate policy, called an Inland Marine policy. Your insurance company should be able to help you and you can usually work with the premiums and deductables. It is pretty cheap and definately worth having. Particularly if you have a good insurance company that covers damage and accidental breakage!
 

Bob Hubbard

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My personal opinion is that any photographer who works professionally without insurance is a fool, waiting to give their house to someone else.

Insurance is for more than when you drop your camera. It's for when you find yourself in the wrong part of town and a nice guy with a gun relieves you of all the weight you're carrying. It's for when the guy in a hurry runs the light and tbones your car turning your $2 camera body into a bag of parts. It's for when little Timmy and Tommy running around because their mom or dad is too busy not paying attention trip over your light stand and bring the whole mess down turning $800+ in lighting gear into a pile of parts, or when they trip over the power cord and get a scrape that mommy thinks should cost you $50k for "emotional distress".

I carry a $2/4 million policy, on $22k in gear. It costs me about $70 a month right now, over 8 months. Covers me all over the US, and in Canada, pretty completely.

I use the Potwora Agency in West Seneca.
Thomas R. Potwora
Potwora Agency-West
220 Orchard Park Road
West Seneca, NY 14224
716-823-9435
716-822-5878 (Fax)
Auto-Home-Business-Life-Recreational Vehicle
Tom's a good guy, won't BS you and won't sell you more than you need.


Another company I've heard good things about is http://tcpinsurance.com
Tom C. Pickard & Co, Inc.
820 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Phone: (800)726-3701
Fax: (310) 379-8946

Rates were comparable to Potwora's, though arranged a bit differently.

When looking at insurance quotes, be sure to compare apples to apples.
Also, be sure to pay attention to the deductibles.
I've got riders on my policy to cover things like renting gear. You can add on additional coverage for "errors and omissions", reshoots, and so on. Talk to an agent for in depth info and if you need it.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I have just been dealing with this, so I thought I'd share what I found out.

We're getting up to a LOT of equipment, worth a lot of money now, so I've been looking in to insurance. WELL, if you are using your camera equipment for a hobby, it is fully covered under your homeowner's insurance, just be sure to call your insurance company so that they know about the equipment and can annotate it in the policy. Some want invoices for purchase and some just need to know what you have it...some don't even care.

If you are using your equipment for profit though, it is a separate policy, called an Inland Marine policy. Your insurance company should be able to help you and you can usually work with the premiums and deductables. It is pretty cheap and definately worth having. Particularly if you have a good insurance company that covers damage and accidental breakage!

Hobby use is generally capped at a certain price, based on your coverage. Homeowners insurance is also generally of two types; replacement cost and declared value. Worth checking into; you could suffer a loss and find that the insurance company considers your four-year-old digital camera worthless or buys you a used one on eBay as a replacement instead of cutting you a check. Additional coverage can be purchased via a 'floater' on your policy. Warning; it is a profit center for insurance companies, try not to buy more than you actually need.

If you are using your cameras for professional use, you don't just want replacement insurance, you also want liability insurance. Often, reasonable commercial policies that cover your typical risks including liability and loss of equipment can be purchased inexpensively if you are a member of a recognized group, such as PPA, NPPA, ASMP, or WPPI. Here's an example from PPA:

http://www.ppa.com/benefits/insurance.php

Keep in mind that if you're a pro snapper, things change. You could get in a car accident and find out that your car insurance doesn't want to cover you, since you are using your car for business now. You could have a flat tire, miss a wedding, and get sued for not showing up on time (and you will lose, promise). You can even get sued if the happy couple isn't so happy with your photos. Like martial arts contracts, nothing stops anyone from suing, no matter how iron-clad your contract with them is.
 

Bob Hubbard

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https://www.packagechoice.com/ by Hill & Usher
PPA recommended.

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Cameras & Photography Equipment
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shima

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I use State Farm and have a business policy with them for the liability coverage and then a personal articles policy for all my gear (about $20k of camera gear). I've been very pleased with their coverage and cost for coverage. Been using them for a few years now for photography insurance.
 

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