Insure your gear...

iGary

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Original poster
May 26, 2004
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Randy's House
Yesterday I was at the Annapolis Sailboat Show taking some pictures for a friend that owns a local free rag. I mainly did it so I could have free access to the show, but anyway, there I was.

There was lots of backlight, so I decided to pop on a big flash bracket and my 580 EX flash gun. I was off and about my business.

I was taking some pictures of some people looking at the bow of a boat, and next thing I know I hear a plunk and I am watching my $400 flash gun waving goodbye into the depths.

Luckily, I have business insurance for it, and I also have a renters policy that would cover it otherwise. But the deductile is $500. So I still lost $400.

Just got me to thinking, I could have dropped the whole rig in...that would have been much, much more.

So what would happen to you if you dropped your rig, it fell in the water, someone stole it out of your car - are you protected?
 

Karpfish

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2006
662
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My parents have added my gear to homeowners insurance. can i ask how your dropped a flash from the bracket? did you just not lock it into place? I would have died if that happened.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Karpfish said:
My parents have added my gear to homeowners insurance.
Be careful with this... policies often do not cover portable gear damaged outside the home, unless that specific coverage is purchased. At least, in the US, it is rare for laptops to be automatically insured under homeowners' policies.
 

iGary

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May 26, 2004
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Randy's House
Karpfish said:
My parents have added my gear to homeowners insurance. can i ask how your dropped a flash from the bracket? did you just not lock it into place? I would have died if that happened.
I had it on a long bracket and must not have screwed it down well enough to the remote shoe. I should have just mouted it on the camera given all the people and crowds (people bumping into me etc.).

I was gutted when it happened, but I'm over it at this point. Just what happens when you get distracted.

Be careful with this... policies often do not cover portable gear damaged outside the home, unless that specific coverage is purchased. At least, in the US, it is rare for laptops to be automatically insured under homeowners' policies.
True - like my renters policy does not cover damage or loss outside the home - I had to buy additional coverage. But I think most homeowners coverage does.

I actually read both my business and renters insurance and will be calling my agent today - I'm undercovered and didn't even know it.
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,523
322
NJ Highlands, Earth
Something that I've been meaning to look into is an Insurance Rider for my Homeowner's Policy.

Supposedly, they're "All Risks" and can be taken at Zero Deductable.

My understanding is around $20/year per $1000.


-hh
 

jimmer116

macrumors member
Sep 27, 2006
37
0
mkrishnan said:
Be careful with this... policies often do not cover portable gear damaged outside the home, unless that specific coverage is purchased. At least, in the US, it is rare for laptops to be automatically insured under homeowners' policies.
Yeah, I had to add protection to my iMac. They basically told me to break it at home. If it happened elsewhere, it's not covered.

But yeah...insurance is more often than not a good idea.
 

timnosenzo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2004
889
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ct, us
I have all of my gear insured through Travelers insurance, who also holds my auto and renters insurance. The premium is cheap considering the value of everything if I was to lose it all. *shudders at the thought*
 

compuwar

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2006
4,717
2
Northern/Central VA
There are a few things to consider here, so I'll add my two cents:

1. If you're insuring on a homeowner's policy there are three factors to consider:

A. Do you use the equipment in a professional manner, and will that let them deny the claim?
B. Do they cover the loss outside the home?
C. What happens if you make a claim and they decide to cancel your policy and you're still paying on a mortgage?

2. If you're expecting your auto insurance to cover it in the car, will it- there have been some recent horror stories over this.

3. If you're shooting somewhere public, do you have liabilty covered if someone trips over your tripod?

Generally, "inland marine" polices cover equipment and "all fault" losses, though some don't seem to cover equipment when it's "at home." Nikonians and North American Nature Photography Association both offer camera-only inland marine polices, the Nikonians one is international.

I've just got a really good policy which isn't even scheduled (I don't have to have my equipment on a special list at the insurer's.) It covers liability to some extent, all my "personal professional equipment" including the powerbook, and a LOT of camera gear. The deductable is $500, like the original poster- but I feel I can self-insure that. My premium is $500/year, which considering my travel schedule and the cost of my gear is close to fantastic, and given that it includes liability is phenonimal. I'm not covered for earthquakes and floods though.

I think it's one of those areas were going to an agent actually helps, though I'd done a ton of research before I did that.
 

iGary

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Original poster
May 26, 2004
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Randy's House
I'm actually quite glad now that I dropped that flash into the water.

I was undercovered on my business gear (computer, camera gear) by about $5,000.

I had no errors and omissions coverage. (I write a lot of navigational info for boaters - God forbid I screw up and someone runs their boat up on the rocks and dies. :eek: .)

I use a friend's boat to do my water photography - totally not covered.

I had to get an additional rider for "excessive field use," because of the amount of time my gear is out and about.

Glad I started the thread - I know a lot of people here have an assload of equipment and God forbid something happens with it. Worse yet, God forbid if you don't have any insurance for it. :eek:
 

aquajet

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2005
2,384
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VA
compuwar said:
If you're expecting your auto insurance to cover it in the car, will it- there have been some recent horror stories over this.
About five years ago, I brought my double bass into my luthier's shop in Dallas in order to have him cut and install a new adjustable bridge. To make a long story short, I crashed my car into another on my way back home from picking up my axe. The neck broke and a large chunk of the lower back panel broke off. The repair would involve hand-carving a new neck to graft onto the body and scroll of the bass, which luckily my insurance company agreed to pay for. But before I selected a luthier to do the work, they informed me that my policy would be cancelled, a result of my at-fault accident. I was going to let my regular luthier do the work, but instead I elected another luthier in the Wash DC area to do the work -- at twice the cost. :D :rolleyes: I shudder thinking about having to pay for the repair myself. The cost was truly staggering.

I'm happy with the repair, but it took a while to get used to the new neck afterwards. Truth be told, it's not the same instrument that I received as a high school graduation present.
 

Cooknn

macrumors 68020
Aug 23, 2003
2,111
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Fort Myers, FL
iGary said:
So what would happen to you if you dropped your rig, it fell in the water, someone stole it out of your car - are you protected?
I have $1M liability insurance in case I knock over an expensive vase on a shoot - the policy also covers my camera equipment. Like you I have $500 deductable, though...

[EDIT] Just so y'all know it only cost $35 per month for my liability/equipment insurance from State Farm. It's very affordable ;)
 

Mike Teezie

macrumors 68020
Nov 20, 2002
2,205
1
Sorry to hear about your flash Gary.

Interesting timing for this thread - I'm looking into getting all my stuff insured. I feel like I've been lucky and dodged the bullet for too long.

I'd be utterly screwed if something happened to my gear. I'm calling my insurance company tomorrow.