In Photography

    How To Insure Your Camera Gear

    How to Insure Your Camera GearIf you stay up to date reading the blog, you may have read this post about why insurance is important, and this post about my personal near disasters. Today I want to tell you how to insure your camera gear and make sure everything is covered to your liking. I’m pretty passionate about it. Kind of like white balance and backing up photos (which I haven’t gotten to on the blog yet….but I will!). I’ve even added a spreadsheet you can use to email your insurance agent. 🙂

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    First off, whether you are a photographer who shoots as a hobbyist or as a profession, insurance is for everyone. We all know how much cameras and lenses cost. And once you get a decent collection started, the cost to replace adds up fast. Nothing in cheap.

    Second, insurance isn’t as expensive as you may think. And it is worth EVERY DIME. Or you will think it is if you ever need to use it (which hopefully will never happen.

    Last, I know this isn’t a fun post, but it is important, so stay with me.

    Round Up Your Receipts

    Get all of your receipts together and put them in a safe place.  Now write the serial number of the item on the receipt. I have a paper file called “Photography Receipts” Next up, make a digital copy of them all buy scanning or taking a picture, then put them in a folder in your computer in a place that you’ll remember. Mine is in a folder called…wait for it….”Photography Receipts”.

    If you have your computer and external hard drives backed up online somewhere (I love CrashPlan), you should be in pretty good shape. If you are not backed up online….tsk, tsk…go ahead and copy that folder to Dropbox or somewhere that it will be safe in case of fire, burglary, corrupted files, whatever. You can even email it to yourself as a backup.

    How to Insure Your Camera GearHow to Insure Your Camera Gear

    Make an Itemized List of Your Camera Gear

    I have made a simple little spreadsheet you can type your item, serial number, and cost, then the list will total at the bottom. This list can be emailed later to your insurance agent. Look at me adulting! And helping you adult too.

    And don’t forget anything! Think of everything you own. You can decide if you want it all insured later when you have a total price tag. Having a list of it all in case of fire or burglary is never a bad idea, anyway.

    • camera bodies
    • lenses
    • tripod (some are really pricey!)
    • flash
    • expensive bags or cases
    • housings
    • filters
    • laptop that may be in a camera bag
    • any studio equipment? remote, umbrella, etc.
    • anything else expensive that I’m forgetting???

    Do Some Research

    When figuring out how to insure your camera gear, you need to do a little background research first. Do you have a home owner’s or renter’s policy? Look over your existing insurance policy to determine if you photography gear is already covered. If you don’t have insurance of any kind, you can get a separate policy for just your camera gear. If it is covered, it is most likely covered in case of fire or burglary, but look to see if it is covered when you are traveling, and in case it is misplaced or accidentally broken. While reading over your existing policies, find the answers to these questions:

    • What is your deductible?
    • Does it cover travel?
    • Does it cover loss? (such as misplaced?)
    • Does it cover stolen?
    • Does it cover accidents? (dropped in lake or on sidewalk, etc)

    How Much Coverage Do I Need?

    How much coverage you need depends on a few things such as:

    • Do you want everything covered at 100%?
    • Are there a few pricey individual items you would like covered?
    • Do you want it covered at market price for replacement or for new items at original cost?
    • How much do you want to spend on insurance? Bigger deductible means a lower price per year.

    I went with the whole shebang. I have acquired quite a bit of gear over the years, and if I lost it all at once, there is no way I would be able to replace it all at once without insurance. I also went with a plan that would replace my equipment if I accidentally broke something. And I wanted a zero deductible.

    My first policy cost under $100 a year and included around $6500 worth of gear. I’m pretty sure it was around $60-80….I didn’t think that was bad. Since then, I’ve added more gear, and added to that policy, so I’m not sure what the grand total is now, other than peace of mind!

    How Do I Get Insurance for My Camera Gear?

    • Use the spreadsheet and itemize your list of camera gear.
    • Call or email your insurance agent and inquire about coverage for the amount your gear is worth. They should be able to explain the different types of plans that will make the most sense for your situation.
    • Email your spreadsheet (impress them with your organization!)
    • Done!

    Do you need more information on how to insure your camera gear? Contact your insurance agent as I did and figure out the best policy for you. Protect your investment!!!!

    How to Insure Your Camera Gear

    If you’ve gotten this far, I hope you are considering how to insure your camera gear. I don’t think I could get by without a camera, it would be devastating! I would hate for that to happen to you!