Knowing your Insurance

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I never thought I would work on the insurance on my camera gear as much as I have in the past few weeks.  I had a small but robust limited liability insurance plan to cover my photograph business. It had all the usual stuff you would want. I had a relatively good maximum limit for the type of work I do. I had liability insurance for bodily injury both at my office and off premises. I had coverage for damage to other’s property. I mean with size 14 shoes, I have been at times known to accidentally trip over things here and there. I mean grace was never a word used to describe my delicate stride. I also had coverage for libel, slander etc. All in all it was a good basic plan.

I did however have additional coverage for my camera equipment. I use my gear out and about in the field and it is always at some risk of damage, theft etc. So I had some kicker coverage put on it so that in the event of a bad day, I would be able to get a replacement value piece of gear. I had the same coverage for a few years, but a new project had me look into an overhaul my coverage. While the policy I had was fine when I first started working, my work has changed my insurance needs.

This review all came about because, I am working on a project this fall that has me renting some gear from the great team over at BorrowLenses. Since I am renting a pretty good chunk of gear, they wisely asked for a hold deposit for the value of the gear or a certificate of coverage from my insurance company. No problem I said, but that is when the shoe dropped on my old coverage. Turns out that my insurance only covered $1000 of rental gear at my house or studio. It couldn’t be used in the field and be covered. Furthermore, there were several conditions on what would be allowed to be covered and where. Since I needed to use the gear in the field and more than $1000 in coverage it was time to get some updated insurance.

I made a call to my agent and explained in detail the situation and what I do and his office was able to come up with a new policy that works for my level of equipment, type of shooting and occasional semi-truck of gear I rent. The new policy has allowed me to cancel and get out of the older policy and feel good about the new coverage I have. Sure the premium is a little more but by only about (10%), but I now have the coverage on everything no matter where I am in the US.  It now also covers my darkroom equipment and older cameras that weren’t under my other policy.

So if you have have insurance on your gear, give you agent a call and make sure it is up-to-date with your current needs. If you don’t have insurance, please get coverage for your equipment. It doesn’t take but a small ocean wave, fast thief, butterfingers, gravity or god knows what else to come along and damage your camera beyond repair. When that happens, it is nice to know that you have the coverage you need.

 

August 19, 2013

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