« on: August 25, 2014, 05:08:12 PM »
That's crazy but not too surprising. I've worked with actuaries at insurance companies before and they are actually a logical bunch, but the people that you deal with are often quite irrational. What I know for sure is that you need to be totally honest upfront because they'll find any excuse they can to avoid covering your claim, and the larger it is, the more they dig.For those of you using your homeowners to cover your camera gear, I would recommend some caution. I have heard of several photographers whose insurance company have challenged their claims as commercial use. The companies point to having a website as advertisement of your business, etc. I ended up purchasing commercial insurance so I'm covered no matter what.
It's funny you mention websites. Several years ago I was shopping around insurance companies just to see what other rates were. One of the companies(the company I have my auto and home with) wanted to know if I had a website. They looked at them as a liability. In the end, I ended up staying with my long time business agent, partly because I have incredible rates and coverage and partly because when my "other" insurance company found out I was a TV photographer(the policy was essentially ready to go) they wouldn't have anything to do with covering me because they said the liability was too high(huh?).
That brings up another good point for everyone. Please make sure your insurance includes coverage for "mysterious disappearance". It's when your gear is stolen or lost without explanation. For example, you leave your gear in your unlocked car at a wedding reception, state park, etc., and minutes later you return and it's gone. You have no witnesses, no fingerprints, and there's no damage from a break in or something, and the police report indicates just that. These types of claims are considered a red flag for fraud and many policies exclude coverage altogether.
I actually could rationalize the website part better than I could the TV part. Nowadays, it seems EVERYONE has a website for everything, but his was probably about 10 years ago… So many people in this business advertise/list their equipment packages on their sites, especially when it comes to the cameras du jour. You can get calls JUST because you own a certain piece of gear(C300 is a PERFECT example), whether you're any good or not. Even if you don't list your address, it doesn't take too long for someone that wants to know it, to find it. So as an insurance co(and sane person), I can see where a website could be considered a liability(and a shopping list for a thief). I just didn't get why they considered the liability higher/unmanageable for TV vs. Stills. Yes, our gear costs more(WAY more), but they said they were fine with the dollar amount of coverage I wanted. It was probably just ignorance/lack of understanding on the ins co's part, since they don't specialize in the field like the company I deal with for my business policy.