July 26, 2014, 01:07:26 AM

Author Topic: Is your midrange gear insured?  (Read 7747 times)


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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2013, 08:04:01 PM »

dr croubie

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2013, 08:14:04 PM »
Get all your gear, and all your receipts (I hope you still have them), and you'll be surprised.

I buy a lot of stuff off ebay, and i mean a lot (check my gear photos in my signature, that was about 1 year ago and it's probably doubled since then). Being the complete nerd that I am (hey, i'm a gearhead nerd, not a photographer), I went back over my paypal and ebay accounts and worked it all out one day into a spreadsheet. (tip, another good reason to do this is to mark-down all of your serial numbers in case something gets stolen)

I have only 3 big-ticket items (well, 'big ticket' to me, not compared to some of you guys), my 7D and 15-85 (€1800 cost) and 70-300L (€1200 cost), which is about $4000 total.

Then my 'rung down' stuff, 85/1.8, 100/2.0, Samyang 35/1.4, Sigma 8-16, FL55/1.2+EdMika, 430EXmk1, EOS3, Zeiss 300/4.0, Voigtlander 21/4.0, Mamiya 645AF, Vanguard tripod, all of which were between $200-500 each, maybe another $3-4000 to the total.

A lot more stuff just below that, lots of Pentacon Six Zeiss stuff and a few 'nice but not the best' lenses for $50-150 like my Takumar 50/1.4, Jupiter 85/2.0, Shorty McForty and Nifty Fiftington.
Then comes all the crap. Russian lenses for $10-50 each, lenscaps for $2 each from china (I always get lenses without caps, and I'm so fricking OCD that everything has to have a cap, front and rear), filters of various shapes, sizes and colours, step rings from 39 to 106mm and down again, cokin attachments, grips, arca-swiss plates and clamps, a nodal-ninja, bellows, extension tubes, focussing screens, teleconverters.
You name it, i've bought it.

But get this. I typed all of this stuff into my big OCD spreadsheet, and the numbers are a bit amazing (and a bit scary). I can check when I get home for the exact magic number, but it's something like $150. Add up the total price of everything that cost above that 'per item', and add up the cost of everything below that 'per item', and you get roughly the same value (maybe $7-8000 or so). So despite my complete lack of 'big ticket' stuff like a 1DX or über-white, the value of my kit is a lot more. And I'm not going to carry it all at once. (I might get it all in my car at once, but that's because the car is a Falcon Station Wagon with a huge boot).

Anyway, how do I insure this? I've got a $5000 out-of-home accidental damage on it, which is probably the most i'll have in a backpack at once (and it's the most my insurance company will give me). But do I bother insuring all the small crap? The lenses that cost $10, and the caps to go with them? All the filters that I only bought because they were cheap, and probably won't buy again? The only way I'm losing the whole kit is in a fire, even if someone broke in they might take the 70-300L and 7D and leave the gunge (hey, I would too). So is it worth insuring $15k of stuff, even $10k?
Too much gear, too little space.
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RMC33

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2013, 08:53:48 PM »
Much like RL I have all my gear insured vs. theft, damage on the job, damage to other peoples stuff. One thing my insurance agent told me do was install a safe in my home for my most valued items. It cut my cost by 25% and has paid for itself over 4 years. Biggest hassle with it was going through and listing EVERY item, but my insurance keeps all my SN's and photos on file to ID items if they go missing. I have state farm (this falls under my homeowners/small business insurance) and my agent is great. It also includes my 3D printers computers etc. for my patent/prototype consultancy.

Richard8971

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2013, 08:57:12 PM »
All of my camera equipment is insured through State Farm. They wrote me a personal articles policy and have had it for almost 2 years. As of my seperation from the wife I ended up with half of the camera equipment and she the other half. But even at around 6 grand worth of camera gear, it runs me about 70-80 bucks a year for the coverage, and you get to set the value of your equipment. (I would imagine within reason of course, I always went for new replacement value)

Zero deductable and 100% accident/theft coverage. I have used it twice now, once for my 40D when it got dropped (they gave me $1100 towards a new 7D) and my EF-s 60mm macro when my wife's cat knocked it off of the bookself. (Full replacement cost)

No questions asked and wonderful service. I couldn't be happier.

D
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jdramirez

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2013, 10:59:29 PM »
I think I have a personal property (or something like that) policy through Erie Insurance in PA.  They charge by the value of your gear.  I think it was something like 46 bucks per year against theft or accidental damage for around $5,000 of gear.  I haven't had to use it, but there isn't a deductible.  Contact a legitimate company before you go with someone you have never heard of.  Peace of mind is worth the extra 10 bucks you might have to pay.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

Ellen Schmidtee

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2013, 12:19:14 AM »
I've insured it after I bought an apartment, and had to insure it & it's content. I've extended the photography equipment's insurance to cover it's use outside my apartment.

I didn't insure the cheaper items (filters, 2nd hand film camera, P&S, etc) as in the long range, buying new would be cheaper than having it insurance company pay for it.

Marsu42

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2013, 03:16:23 AM »
Get all your gear, and all your receipts (I hope you still have them), and you'll be surprised.

I was esp. surprised that almost no orders from overseas contained a correct receipt, they were either declared as "gift" (China) or the €150 value was magically reduced to €20 for EU vat & tax evasion (US order). I didn't ask for this, though I admit it didn't bother me then, but when insuring the gear it'll be a problem. But most likely I'll go the way to only ensure the more expensive items of €100+ and not every lens cap or hood.
[/quote]
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 06:06:03 AM by Marsu42 »

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2013, 03:16:23 AM »

Random Orbits

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2013, 01:31:54 PM »
Get all your gear, and all your receipts (I hope you still have them), and you'll be surprised.

I was esp. surprised that almost no orders from overseas contained a correct receipt, they were either declared as "gift" (China) or the €150 value was magically reduced to €20 for EU vat & tax evasion (US order). I didn't ask for this, though I admit it didn't bother me then, but when insuring the gear it'll be a problem. But most likely I'll go the way to only ensure the more expensive items of €100+ and not every lens cap or hood.

Depends on the company.  My insurance company just asked for a list of equipment and current price quotes.  I bought some equipment new, but most of it is used.  However, all of it is insured for replacement value, so I got that info from the Adorama site.  I didn't cover the filters, bags, tripod, etc, even though the value of those things add up as well.  The insurance value threshold is a personal preference.  If I were to lost everything, it'd cost a bit to replace but certainly would cost a lot more without insurance.

Marsu42

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2013, 06:05:45 AM »
Another question since I stayed clear of insurances so far: What happens if I actually loose something and the company has to replace it? Do say "No problem, no need for proof it was really stolen or it's a fraud attempt, here's your (insert value here) and have fun with it"? Does the insurance rate rise afterwards or (when) do they cancel the contract? Sorry if this sounds silly or naive, but I really have no experience with insurances at all.

dr croubie

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2013, 06:01:06 PM »
Wow, what a good rainy-day exercise (or in my case, it's 37C outside today so i'm indoors with the aircon on full blast).
Added in all my purchases from this year to my spreadsheet, put in some proportional weighting factors for things i'd bought all at once with combined shipping, converted the whole lot to $AU using today's exchange rates (which isn't exactly fair, some rates have changed 15% since I bought the stuff, oh well).
And the total cost of my gear is $19,867.
Sum total of everything $236.91 and over is almost the same as the sum total of everything $236.90 and under, that's my "halfway point" of value.

There's some more scary numbers in there, like everything that's cost me $20 or less including shipping, so really low-value items that I wouldn't even think twice about buying, have still cost me $755 added together. Even things under $50 that I seem to buy without thinking have cost me $3000 in total over the past few years.

So yeah, how do I insure that? Currently my home+contents policy gives me $5000 of 'accidental damage and theft outside of home', ie if someone steals my backpack or i drop it off a cliff. And my policy also gives me 'up to $10k of camera equipment', which i'm definitely well over, so I've got $15k of regular 'contents' specified damages, ie if someone breaks in and/or sets fire to my house. Is it worth updating to include the last $5k? That only includes stuff that cost me $85 or less per piece. The chances of losing absolutely everything are pretty low (especially in a double-brick house with only a wooden roof to burn).
Sigh, too complicated, I think i'm going to leave it at $15k to save on premiums and go shoot some pictures instead.

Another question since I stayed clear of insurances so far: What happens if I actually lose something and the company has to replace it? Do they say "No problem, no need for proof it was really stolen or it's a fraud attempt, here's your (insert value here) and have fun with it"? Does the insurance rate rise afterwards or (when) do they cancel the contract?

I'm not sure about genuine "losing something" whether they take your word for it. But for theft you definitely need a police report, like when I was backpacking and someone pilfered my P&S from my pocket at a pub (ok, it may have fell out, but for insurance purposes it was stolen), and I had to fill in a proper police report in German (thankfully I eventually found the only cop who spole decent english in Salzburg). That was Travel Insurance (don't leave home without it), so I'm not sure what would happen to premiums if I claimed on my home+contents, hopefully I never have to find out.
Too much gear, too little space.
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barracuda

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2013, 08:36:44 PM »
I have a State Farm personal articles policy that covers most of my camera gear at full replacement cost. At first I covered everything, memory cards, batteries, etc. but then realized that I would never make a claim for the small things if I happened to lose them. When my agent told me that her brother had a similar policy and that State Farm cancelled his policy when he made too many loss claims, I decided to only insure items costing over $300.

I've had the policy for about 5 years now and have only made one claim for a broken 580EX that I dropped. They basically paid for a new 580EXII. When I made the claim, they asked if I had gotten an estimate to repair it, which I did. Canon's estimate was a minimum of $150, so State Farm just sent me a check for what I originally paid for the 580EX. I later got the flash repaired for $150 and have kept it since I could always use another flash with 5 camera bodies.

As my collection of camera gear has grown, my annual insurance cost has doubled from around $150 to $300 per year. Is it worth it? I think so. Although I've only had one loss, I gain peace of mind and feel that I don't have to baby my equipment (although I am careful with it). I also know that if I'm ever in a situation where I'm in a confrontation with someone for my camera gear, I'd just hand it over knowing that I'd get brand new updated versions of my equipment without a problem. I would however, kindly ask for the memory cards.  How ironic, in that that's one of the things I don't insure.  :)
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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2013, 08:40:11 PM »
Good question. I have to admit that I still don't have insurance. I simply haven't found any insurance company yet with reasonable rates. I live in Massachusetts and the regulated market here leads to a lot of insurance companies not doing business here. So all the great and cheap plans such as the one through State Farm are simply not available here. Tagging my stuff to my home insurance is a problem as well since I'd never be able to claim anything really without risking the rates for my house that is close to the coast and almost nobody offers insurance for houses here (and being forced to buy insurance from the state is very costly).
Still thinking about joining one of the professional photography organizations and buy insurance through them. But that's not cheap either. I'll have to see how much income actually comes in from photography over the next few months and then see.
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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2013, 09:42:31 PM »
Another question since I stayed clear of insurances so far: What happens if I actually loose something and the company has to replace it? Do say "No problem, no need for proof it was really stolen or it's a fraud attempt, here's your (insert value here) and have fun with it"? Does the insurance rate rise afterwards or (when) do they cancel the contract? Sorry if this sounds silly or naive, but I really have no experience with insurances at all.

Insurance companies used to ask you to report the loss to the police incase it's ever found and handed in. The police gave you a ref no. or a loss report number to give the insurance company along with details of the loss. However, since the advent of mobile phones, the police were getting too many calls about lost phones that they got a bit fed up and sometimes refused to issue a loss report. This was back when I worked for O2 in the UK (5 yrs ago).

Dunno about cameras, but check with the insurer and read the terms and conditions very carefully. The bastards hide stipulations in there then when it comes to claiming they repudiate the claim and refer to you to said terms and conditions.

Sometimes you have to specify high value items like a DSLR and lens in the policy for an additional premium. This is actually a good idea otherwise you won't get the full value of the item back, just a limited sum.

And then theres the excess.

Seriously unless you are juggling lenses for a living I'd say insurance is a waste of money. Risk is always present no matter what we do. It's part of life. Insurance is like gambling. I bet so much that I will screw up. Ummm of course you will!!! Why pay for that! Buy new gear if and when jt breaks (rare). Or get it repaired. Or upgrade. Or cut your losses and pack it up and go home!

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2013, 09:42:31 PM »

rolsskk

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2013, 10:26:33 PM »
I just want to footstomp something for everyone here with regards to insurance - just because your company says it's "insured" does not mean it'll be covered! I say this because there are obvious limitations for policies such as homeowner/renter and auto polices where they'll be cover IF your gear is stolen FROM those locations. That being said, you typically need a Valuable Personal Property rider on your homeowner/renter's policy, where you specifically identify each and every item, by serial number (if applicable), for coverage in between the house and the car, as well as piece of mind. Aside from the information that I've provided the insurance company, I've got a PDF that has all of the pertinent information and pictures of the insured items, just in case.



Although I checked many places, I have not found anyone providing insurance for camera gear in Qatar ... does anyone here in Canon rumours know of any company providing insurance in Qatar?
Just curious if you're a US Ex-pat there, if so, try a US based insurance company? Some will provide international coverage.
All of our camera gear is insured by State Farm, but oddly enough, they would not cover my Ipad 4. Apparently that item represents a higher risk than a 5d3!
You need to make sure you ask how and what policy it would be covered under.

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2013, 11:16:48 PM »

All of our camera gear is insured by State Farm, but oddly enough, they would not cover my Ipad 4. Apparently that item represents a higher risk than a 5d3!
You need to make sure you ask how and what policy it would be covered under.
[/quote]

The policy is not in my name. I was told by the policy holder that State Farm would not insure under either the homeowner or extended electronics policies.

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2013, 11:16:48 PM »