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Insurance for Photography

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Insurance for our gear

It would be interesting to know how you insure your bodies, lenses etc.
Specially those who travel like I do.

Last time I had an insurance a few years ago, it happened to my DVcam (yes we also do video shooting) an unwealthy shower of salted water.
When we came back and wrote to declare the damage (camera was dead) to the insurance, I got no answer. So I called the insurance rep and discovered that the inusrance company did bankrupt a few weeks before.
Bad luck, no LOL.
Since this I've no insurance, but I leave and almost sleep with my bag when I travel. 25.000 € in a small bag is easy to be stolen. This is not serious, I must find a solution, but what I've seen is really expensive as soon as you declare a pro use of your gear.

Any inputs, especially from Europeans?
 
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Ray West

New member
Hi Nicolas,

I don't know if these are any use, but seems simple, they have a leaflet most weeks in AP, but www.eandl.org.uk, but maybe not for domiciliaries in the rest of eec.

I don't know how the pricing works out. (I've just looked at the www site -ugh..., but maybe you can use as a price guide )

Best wishes,

Ray
 
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Mike Spinak

pro member
I don't know whether this will be at all helpful, but, in case it is: I am insured by Chubb with a policy for professionals. The policy covers all risks, everywhere. The policy is specially available to members of NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association). If I'm recalling correctly, I pay 3% of the value of my gear per year.

I think the ASMP offers similar; and I imagine many other organizations probably do, as well.

Mike

www.mikespinak.com
 

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
I've had a very bad experience with E&L, would not recommend them in the slightest aside from the fact that their prices are good because their excess is so high.

They cancelled my insurance leaving me uninsured on a pro coverage for a month without telling me. I had applied to add certain items to my insurance. They said that as my cover was going to be for over 10 grand they would need to check that my property conformed to certain standards of security. I'm in a rented property and could not make the changes to the window locks that they required. So I asked them why this had not been a problem until now. They said that over 10 grand they needed the reassurance but were I to drop the value to under that amount there would be no problem. I did so and emailed them in the new list.

I didn't hear from them for a month then I receive a letter stating that my insurance had been cancelled from the date I sent in the new list. I phoned up to find out why and was told that if I had refused to secure the property according to their specifications then they didn't want to insure me for any amount.

I'm glad I'm rid of them. I'm now insuring with Photogaurd who have a zero excess policy (albeit more expensive) and clearly state in their small print that no assurances vis a vis security need to be made for a policy under 15 grand. They also don't require specifics of items under £100, you can lump them all together into one sum. A serious time saver. Thankfully I've not had to use them yet but their small print is far more user friendly than E&L. Let's face it, any company who will drop your insurance contrary to what they tell you on the phone, then not tell you about it for a month, is a total waste of time IMO.
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Thanks all for your fast input!
what a good forum here ;-)
I suggest that this topic could be continued so we learn all more about GOOD companies, keep posting on nice insurers behavior, obviously bad ones (but argued then) but let's also keep good wording as it is, descriptive and polite (Ben post is a real good exemple).
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
We need to put together a resource page for insurance.

Please post experience with camera insurance and give contact info on the best ones!

Asher
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Nill
thanks for the info, I had a fast check of their website and will certainly ask them a quote (they seem to accept foreigners...)
 

Tim Armes

New member
Hi,

As a French resident, I also share your problem. As an amateur photographer the MMA seems to offer the best solution, since they have a new for old policy no matter what the age of your equipment.

Tim
 

John_Nevill

New member
I hunted around for photography equipment insurance in the UK and tried many brokers.

The quotes I received were astronomical. My equipment list sits at ~£10k and most specialist insurers wanted >£50/month with limit cover and excess

So my mother (a retired Zurich Underwriter) suggested that I add it to my house insurance as an all risk nominated amount. I phoned my insurer and got worldwide cover, new for old, theft and accidental damage for an additional £12 per month. It may sound cheap but remember they have my buildings / contents and life assurance etc, so adding £10k is a small risk.

I'd thoroughly recommend this as an option to the semi pro / serious amateur, the specialist companies really can't compete with the larger insurers.
 

Randy Brister

New member
I think the very best route for anyone who is technically not a pro (does not generate 100% of their income from photography) is to try and add their gear to their homeowners/renters policy. This will be much less money than a seperate business policy, and should cover you just about everywhere.

However, those of us who are technically professional, most homeowners/renters policies won't cover any of our business property/tools. I've had a full business policy with The Hartford for 8-10 years. I've shopped their coverage as well as their price, and haven't seen anyone who can compare. It's not cheap, I pay $1800 a year for a full coverage policy, which includes $2,000,000 in liability. All of my work is done on location, and I'm covered everywhere, for pretty much every type of issue.

Randy
 

Nill Toulme

New member
If you go the homeowners policy route and you're making money off your work, even if it's not 100% of your income, make sure your liability coverage doesn't exclude business activities.

Nill
~~
www.toulme.net
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Problem with home owner's plicies in an earthquake-prone area like CA is that there can be a short trigger to cancellations or higher premiums after a claim. The increased costs almost negate anything but a claim for major destruction!

Asher
 

Nill Toulme

New member
That's not just earthquake-prone areas, that's the U.S. (at least) in the post-9/11 insurance market. Don't use your homeowners policy if you intend to make small claims.

Nill
~~
www.toulme.net
 

Alan T. Price

New member
I use my home insurance

There is a section in my home and contents insurance policy that covers specified portable valuables for practically anything anywhere within my own country (Australia). There are limitations such as the value should not exceed a quarter of the total home contents, and it cannot be used professionally, but these do not bother me. Well, the professional use hasn't.

I haven't tried dedicated photographic gear insurers because this set-up has been so easy. The only problem is that when I made my only claim so far my premium went up 25%. I don't know how much this related to the claim and how much it related to a general insurance price rise in Australia after the biggest insurer in the country went belly up.

Without insurance I would be loathe to leave my gear in my car when I went travelling, or indeed any time at all. As others have said, camera gear is small, portable and expensive. I see insurance as a necessary cost of being involved in photography.
 

Matt Laver

pro member
On a related note what about professional indemnity insurance for the pros out there. Do you have this seperately, or is it included in your equipment insurance? I've seen it done both ways but was wondering how your experiences had been. I've also seen it done through professional associations (APA, ASMP, AoP etc). Comments, suggestions, companies, costs?

Matt
 

Nill Toulme

New member
The policy that Tom Pickard (see above) offers includes US$2MM of liability coverage. (That's probably $1MM per occurence, $2MM aggregate, but I don't remember for sure.)

Nill
~~
www.toulme.net
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Nill Toulme said:
One that is frequently mentioned on the net — almost without exception favorably, from what I've seen — for U.S. coverage is the Tom C. Pickard Agency. I have a quote from them and plan to go with it as of Jan. 1 unless something sways me in the meantime. Casey Berry is the photographers' contact there.

Nill
~~
www.toulme.net
Too bad, I'll have to find another place:
Hello Nicolas,
Thank-You for your recent inquiry regarding our photographers insurance package, I am sorry
to say that our underwriters will not offer coverage without permanent residence in the USA.
Best of Luck!
Cathi Tygret
TCP Insurance Co
EDIT: nothing wrong with you Nill, you stated "USA coverage"...
 

Steve Fines

New member
Hello,

I use Chubb through NANPA. I haven't filed a claim yet but have spoken to someone who did. He was paid quickly without hassle, his policy wasn't cancelled and the rates didn't go up.

There's a reason you can get a whole lot of coverage very cheaply as a rider on your homeowner's insurance. It is free money for yor insurance company and if you use it they'll rate your rates, which will end up costing you more.

What I don't know is if I use my Chubb insurance for a camera claim does my homeowners's insurance company automatically hear about that claim and adjust their rankings of me accordingly. I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

Funny stuff (but not haha funny) - you're required to have insurance (by your bank for the house, by the State for your car), but if you use it it will be cancelled or it's price raised significantly. Makes you realize that you are actually paying for someone else's insurance. But I'm rambling now - enough said.
 

Charles Lupica

New member
I'm in Switzerland and I cover my camera through Winterthur Insurance as part of my homeowners coverage. But they will not cover anything over $5000 as part of that coverage. They do offer a professional policy that would cover all of my equipment and my images that are displayed in a commercial (secure) display. For the images, it's not clear what they will pay and I hope I don't need to find out; probably replacement price. And replacement price is no where near the "price" for a limited addition, sighned, framed digital-cprint.

I have not asked the price for a seperate "commercial" policy but hadn't thought about them disallowing the claim if they find I am selling images.
 

Tim Armes

New member
Since this I've no insurance, but I leave and almost sleep with my bag when I travel. 25.000 € in a small bag is easy to be stolen. This is not serious, I must find a solution, but what I've seen is really expensive as soon as you declare a pro use of your gear.
Any inputs, especially from Europeans?
Nicolas,

Since this thread has been resurrected, did you find a solution?
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I'd like to know how everyone insures their gear. I may borrow stuff from Canon CPS service and I read that we have to cover the insurance.

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Thanks so much, Nill! How long have you used them and do you have experience in any claims from you are anyone else?

Asher
 

Mike Bailey

pro member
This is just for in the United States.

For doing art fairs I went through The Hartford, which seemed reasonable enough in liability coverage, BUT they base what they charge you on your income, and, of course, how much liability you want. This was just for liability, not photography equipment. Basing a simple liability coverage, nothing else, partly on your income seems like a really predatory practice. But so what else is new with insurance companies in general?

My homeowner's policy, State Farm, would not cover professional photography gear, nor liability relating to the business.

Chubb sounds good in that the experience described above didn't trigger a rate increase or a cancellation after a claim. Insurance companies love you as long as you pay them money and never make a claim. It's an entirely different story if you are not 100% profit to them, almost without exception!

Mike
___________
Mike Bailey
The Elemental Landscape
http://BlueRockPhotography.com
 

Nill Toulme

New member
Asher I've been with them for three or four years. No claims yet and hope never to have one (especially as I have a $1k deductible!), but the feedback I got on them from others was that they are very good on claims. The policy is written by Fireman's Fund, which has a stellar reputation in that regard generally — in the same category as Chubb.

Nill
 
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