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311Hemi

Insuring camera gear?

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How many of you have insurance on your camera gear. I was just thinking today that I have enough invested that it would be tough to replace should anything happen to it....so I was considering adding it to my policy. Not sure if homeowners would usually cover it or not.

Thoughts?

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Quite possibly your homeowner's may put a rider on specifically for your gear like they do for rec vehicles and jewelery. I insure with a company that specializes in photographers, but it would be pretty pricey for a hobbyist - $530/year.

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Well....easily enough I called State Farm and for $4/month I can cover my Canon XTi and 70-200 f2.8L IS to replacement value. That covers lost/stolen/damage with no deductible.

It would be covered under my personal article policy which I have a few other things covered....mainly jewelry. To be added with my camera gear are firearms and fishing gear!

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Good question hemi, and a nice answer.

For everyone else, your homeowners may cover it already. Check with your company. If you make any money at all from photography and you make a photo gear claim against homeowners insurance (even a specific photography gear rider) they will deny the claim. Those types of insurance are only for personal/hobby gear.

If you even sell a few prints, you need to go with a separate company. I'm in the process of switching to the one Ken has. It's a couple hundred bucks less than the one I'm with.

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Ditto what Steve said and I use a specific company that deals with photographers. Probably the same one as Ken, I pay about the same amount.

It is very important to understand how insurance companies deal with photography. As Steve said the sale of even just a few prints qualifies you in their eyes as "commercial". Your homeowners will not cover your claim.

Important to consider for those that shoot weddings on the side, portrait shoots, sports or whatever it is that you shoot and you try and sell a print or two. The other very important issue is liability. If someone is injured while you are being compensated for your photography no matter what type you can be held liable. This means a claim can be filed against you and your home, cars, everything you own could be in jeopardy!

This is one reason why photography by professionals cost what it costs. It is not cheap to carry gear and liability insurance, equipment and travel costs, and be paid an hourly rate. Everyone would like to make a buck or two selling photos and pay for gear. I hope everyone gets that chance, but take the time to think about possible ramifications and make sure you are covered. No photo is worth risking everything you own over.

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Great info guys! I'm not planning on selling anything at this point (heck I am a newbie at this anyways), but this info is good to know should I move to the next level and be able to start doing that!!!

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Good thoughts on liability, Dan. Since I have the coverage I just pay the bill and forget about it, but someone doing it only now and then on the side probably doesn't think much about liability. My combined gear/liability insurance is about the same as Ken's.

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Same for me Steve. I have two million in liability and all gear covered for REPLACEMENT value. Something else to ask your insurance agent. Most homeowners insurance will cover a depreciated value on your claim. Another important distinction between commercial and homeowners.

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Since the gear premium of my insurance is based on dollar value, it's up to me to stipulate whether it's replacement cost for the newest version of the camera/lens/gear or used cost of the exact same model. It's insurance specifically for working photographers, and that's the way they run the policy. I always opt for newest version replacement cost.

Bad enough to lose/break/get stolen a piece of gear. Might as well get it replaced with new.

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Heck, I checked with State Farm and they told me it would be 420.00 for replacement cost lost/stolen/damage. That was for all my gear, which I am sure is way less than some of you, and just for a hobbyist.

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That sounds pretty high to me. Did you ask them if, as a hobbyist/non-pro, your camera gear is already covered under other portions of personal goods in your existing policy? Like in the same category as personal computers, TVs, etc?

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They said it was covered under home owners to some extent. If the tripod tips over and falls down a hill, I am SOL.

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I Have a rider with American Family to my homeowners policy. I think it costs me about $60.00 a year for everything including CF cards, case, mono-pod, tripod, etc. But can not participate in commercial photography of any kind. I had to provide proof of purchase with all items before they would cover them. It was an easy way to prove ownership since all my B&H and Canoga, West, and National put serial numbers on receipts. Makes it easy to prove you had them in case of loss. I also gave him a picture with everything in it.

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I don't recall what it costs me, but like Paul, I added a rider to my American Family policy and insured just my camera and lens. Come to think of it, I should maybe stop in and add my other camera and lens to the rider. Then again, if I do, they might think I do this for money.

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Heck, I checked with State Farm and they told me it would be 420.00 for replacement cost lost/stolen/damage. That was for all my gear, which I am sure is way less than some of you, and just for a hobbyist.

Did you ask to add a personal article policy?

My State Farm personal article policy that covers my wife's jewelery up to replacement value will be covering our camera gear (lost/stolen/broken). They also cover guns, and fishing gear (any sporting gear I think). All my insurance is through them, but I don't think that should make a big difference.

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No, I didn't. I just asked what I needed to insure my camera gear. I may have to go back and change some things around. The lady at the desk was new there and wasn't quite sure what she was doing. She asked for help and they said it was correct.

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You have to be a bit careful about "replacement cost" when talking insurance. Getting a "Rider" on your home policy is called "scheduling" your gear. If you have a camera you bought new three years ago, in case of a loss, the insurance company only has to replace it with like kind and quality. Not new. So, in effect, they are "replacing" it but not with new. Keep that in mind.

When you set a price, make it realistic. If you have a three year old camera and you bought it used for $500 and a new one is $1,000.00, don't insure it for $1,000.00. What will happen is that you'll pay premium on $1,000.00 but at the time of loss, if the company can get you another just like it (three years old used) for $100.00, that's what you'll get. So, be careful to set a realistic value on your gear.

When you schedule your gear it will be covered for more things than just letting it be part of your personal property under your home owner's policy. If it's just part of the personal property, it will be subject to the policy deductible. Sometimes that $1,000 or more. It's also limited to certain perils like theft, fire, windstorm etc. If you drop it you are SOL. But, if you schedule it, you can set your deductible where ever you want it. And, if you do something stupid like dropping it, backing over it with your truck, etc... it'll be covered.

By the way, I'm an insurance agent. You should go over these ideas with your agent.

Randy

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