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Does anyone have insurance on their equipment?

Kelseyville, CA(Zone 8b)

I'm not a professional photographer but I read somewhere that it was possible to obtain a separate policy or "floater" on your camera equipment. I also read that you don't want to just add it to your homeowner's policy because the policy could later be canceled your premium would go up. Also found that if you just were to drop and damage your camera, the homeowner's policy wouldn't cover it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Linthicum Heights, MD(Zone 7a)

I'm a poor one to give advice since I don't always practice what I preach. That being said, you are absolutely correct in your comments.

You will probably pay $100 to $150 (annual premium) for $10,000 in coverage. Do you need it ? If it will make you sleep well at night, the answer is yes. I believe all insurance should be viewed from a catastrophic perspective. That is, can I afford the loss. If I had 10 lenses, each with a value of $1,000, I probably wouldn't opt for a floater. However, if I had one lens worth $10,000, I would probably buy the floater. You are covered for theft under your homeowners policy so that is not an issue.

There is no right or wrong answer, but accidents can happen. This past winter while birding I was looking through the viewfinder, stepped off the paved curb and lost my balance. I fell on my Nikon D200 and Sigma 50-500 lens and cracked a rib. I drove the lens into the ground. Fortunately, the lens hood (strong hood) protected the lens and nothing broke. But, I was lucky. The moral of the story is, "don't walk while looking through the viewfinder". Even now, I find my legs sometimes getting tangled with the tripod legs as I am turning to follow something in flight. One of these days, I will probably go down with my Nikon D300 and Nikkor 500mm lens. Then, I will be glad I had insurance.

From a pure insurance perspective, I believe in high deductibles versus first dollar coverage.

Hopefully, that makes some sense.

Grenada, MS(Zone 8a)

I had a policy on a more expensive set-up that I used to have when I was doing journalism/event photography. The policy was a stand alone policy that covered just about anything as far as accidental damage/theft to my equipment. For instance..came running back to my truck during a rain/hail storm and dropped one of my best lens out of my backpack somehow...ran over it with the truck...my policy covered it. There are policies to cover your equipment.
Be sure to check with your agent about exactly what is covered under your homeowners policy.
It ranges, as said from $10 - $30 per $1000 just to give you an idea of cost. You may have to seach around to find a company that will write this type of policy, or even look into companies that specialize in this type of coverage.

Kelseyville, CA(Zone 8b)

Thanks for your advice Linth. Sorry about that cracked rib-ouch! You sure got lucky when your equipment wasn't damaged. I sure know what you mean about not walking while looking through the viewfinder-I've come close a few times!

Good grief Mike-what a catastrophe you had too! I'll have to look around for the right insurance for me.

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

Hi all,

I insure my equipment with State Farm, I have $10,000 covered. Not too much for cost... I think its like $80 a year, covers everything! I needed it because I travel with it to shoot kitesurfing. I'm in the water with the surfers and have the risk of being sprayed. It is a good investment if you care for your stuff. You never know what could happen. Check it out with State Farm and see what they say.

Kelseyville, CA(Zone 8b)

Thank you blupit007, I'll be sure and check with them.

PERTH, Australia

Duc, I've recently taken out separate insurance cover for some of my more pricey photographic equipment. It's more expensive than on the Home & Contents policy, but the cover is very specific and provides me with greater peace of mind. It was the 500mm lens which prompted me to cover separately.

Lakeland, MN(Zone 4a)

I too have a personal articles policy with State Farm. I agree it's cost is low, less than $100per year. We have laptop, collector pictures, jewelry and our cameras on this. It is piece of mind to know that if something happens I have coverage. The negative is we need to have a high threshold to make a claim. State Farm got 'their under wear in a bundle' when we had a small cluster of claims. Overall when I am tempted to do something funky to get that good shot I usually do it as I have this insurance as piece of mind. Good luck with your decision.

Fremont, CA(Zone 9a)

I have developed neuropathy and stumble much more than I used to. I bought a new camera last year and decided to go with a policy, including damage from dropping at http://www.squaretrade.com/pages/ They seem to have a very good replacement/reimbursement program. I have not yet made a claim, but almost did on an mp3 player. Started the process and the thing started working again.

Generally insurance money is money down a rat hole, so I typically have not done it. In theory, for most policies just put what you would have paid in premiums in a savings account and don't touch it unless you actually incur a loss. This would mean leave it alone even if you abandon/sell the equipment and buy a replacement. Then add to the account for the "insurance" on the new stuff.

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