July 25, 2014, 05:35:38 PM

Author Topic: Is your midrange gear insured?  (Read 7740 times)

samkatz

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2013, 11:34:44 PM »
Here in the USA, get a rider on your homeowners where you itemize all your equipment, including your laptop. Make sure the rider covers "all losses"...eg, gets stolen out of your car... It won't be the cheapest insurance, but certainly gives you peace of mind.  You don't travel around w/your TV or home equipment but you want to be free from worry when you travel w/your cameras.   I dropped a Canon and lens in a river once, and they paid w/no problem.

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2013, 11:34:44 PM »

Botts

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2013, 11:37:45 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.

My insurance company (home insurance as I'm not a pro) told me that if I'm in the USA or Canada, they'd like a police report stating the loss, but if I'm in Mexico, or a country that the police will hassle me in, they'd rather I not take the risk of reporting it.

My home insurance also didn't require an itemized list, just the ability to prove what I had in the event of loss. So I keep a copy of the receipts for all my gear in a folder in a safe, and a PDF copy of all receipts on my laptop, and in the cloud with DropBox. 

I believe this is partially because my insurance plan also covers "mysterious disappearance" without exclusion.
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tapanit

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2013, 01:00:58 AM »
Starting as of today I somehow feel that not insuring the stuff but carrying around the greater part of it most of the time is not exactly clever, on the other hand my budget is stretched as it is so I'm wondering if other people insure their "midrange" dslr gear against theft & damage or they consider the real world risk too low to pay for the insurance?
I insure nothing. Regardless of how high the risk is, I'm sure the insurance companies have figured it out better than I could, and if it's profitable for them, it can't be for me, in the long run.

Insurance makes financial sense only if there are secondary considerations, i.e., if the insurance money you'd get would in the event be worth more to you than the actual amount you get. Travel insurance makes sense because in some places not having one might mean you won't be admitted to a hospital (or get the emergency helicopter ride or whatever). Insuring your house makes sense if a fire could otherwise drive you bankrupt. But it never pays to insure cheap stuff.

As far as photo gear is concerned, if you're a professional, making your living out of photography, insurance can mean you can replace the gear faster and thus lose less work opportunities, and then it might pay off. Especially if the insurance is tax-deductible.

But in general, especially for a hobbyist, insurance does not pay. Compare the insurance premiums with what the bank would charge for a loan. If insurance company wants 2.5% of the value of the item and interest rate in the bank is 5%, you'd have to figure you break half of your gear for insurance to make sense.

Of course there again may be side-effects besides money. Maybe you know your wife wouldn't let you take a loan to replace the lens but would let you use the insurance money for it. Then insurance might again make sense.

Otherwise, you are paying for not having to do the math and for feeling a little less uncertain about the future. Maybe that feeling is worth the money to you. But it will cost you money, not save it.

Zv

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2013, 03:06:28 AM »
Starting as of today I somehow feel that not insuring the stuff but carrying around the greater part of it most of the time is not exactly clever, on the other hand my budget is stretched as it is so I'm wondering if other people insure their "midrange" dslr gear against theft & damage or they consider the real world risk too low to pay for the insurance?
I insure nothing. Regardless of how high the risk is, I'm sure the insurance companies have figured it out better than I could, and if it's profitable for them, it can't be for me, in the long run.

Insurance makes financial sense only if there are secondary considerations, i.e., if the insurance money you'd get would in the event be worth more to you than the actual amount you get. Travel insurance makes sense because in some places not having one might mean you won't be admitted to a hospital (or get the emergency helicopter ride or whatever). Insuring your house makes sense if a fire could otherwise drive you bankrupt. But it never pays to insure cheap stuff.

As far as photo gear is concerned, if you're a professional, making your living out of photography, insurance can mean you can replace the gear faster and thus lose less work opportunities, and then it might pay off. Especially if the insurance is tax-deductible.

But in general, especially for a hobbyist, insurance does not pay. Compare the insurance premiums with what the bank would charge for a loan. If insurance company wants 2.5% of the value of the item and interest rate in the bank is 5%, you'd have to figure you break half of your gear for insurance to make sense.

Of course there again may be side-effects besides money. Maybe you know your wife wouldn't let you take a loan to replace the lens but would let you use the insurance money for it. Then insurance might again make sense.

Otherwise, you are paying for not having to do the math and for feeling a little less uncertain about the future. Maybe that feeling is worth the money to you. But it will cost you money, not save it.

+1 and as someone who worked for an insurance company I can concur. Amount paid out in claims is a pittance compared to what they make. What does that tell you?
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Marsu42

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2013, 04:02:06 AM »
+1 and as someone who worked for an insurance company I can concur. Amount paid out in claims is a pittance compared to what they make. What does that tell you?

I don't think it's quite as simple, and nobody confuses insurance companies with charity, that's why I never had me as a customer. But I know there are legit cases, and I would be one: If I loose my €8000 gear, I cannot replace it because I simply don't have the money. Money I don't have doesn't pay me interest in the bank. So for risks that are too great to cope with on my own (same thing: health care) I consider insurance a good idea, even though it's basically another means of transferring wealth from "have nots" to "haves" because as written above if you've got enough money insurance might be considered a waste of it except if you want to pay for a subjective "peace of mind".

The chances of losing absolutely everything are pretty low (especially in a double-brick house with only a wooden roof to burn).

My "problem" is that I am very well able to carry 100% of my gear around, and often I do, it's (or will be) "only" 2 camera bodies + 4 lenses + the usual flash-filter stuff. And it's all conveniently packed into one bag, though I try to make it look as cheap as possible from the outside...

.. .and fortunately, in Germany there seem to be ok companies like the one menitoned above that is specialized in dslr equipment so figuring out what the terms are should be possible even for non-lawyers like me. The rates are reasonable or to be expected, I guess:

0€ co-payment: 3.25% of gear value
100€ co-payment: 2.5% of gear value
250€ co-payment: 2.0% of gear value
1000€ co-payment: 1.6% of gear value

Ellen Schmidtee

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2013, 04:36:09 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.

In Israel the insurance company would like proof the equipment existed in the first place (read: the assessor has seen it when he came when the insurance was made, or a receipt for the purchase of the item was sent to them), though some items of small value were value in lump without being itemized.

Also, a complaint should be filed with the police, though when it comes to property damages, this means very little. A few years back I reported my house was broken into and some property stolen. The police officer signed my copy of the report, didn't keep a copy, and when I asked her whether someone is going to come around and take fingerprints off the window, she said I've seen too many police shows on TV. As newspapers report, this is typical - the police don't have enough man power to investigate, and keeping copies would make for bad stats (lots of unsolved crimes).

There's a clause saying if the stolen equipement is found, it becomes the insurance company's property. As the assessor didn't write down the equipment's serial numbers (just model, e.g. "Canon EF 50mm f/1.4"), I'm not sure they could enforce it.
 
Insurance rate would be higher, though. E.g. there's a discount for not having sued the insurance company.

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2013, 05:38:22 AM »
+1 and as someone who worked for an insurance company I can concur. Amount paid out in claims is a pittance compared to what they make. What does that tell you?

I don't think it's quite as simple, and nobody confuses insurance companies with charity, that's why I never had me as a customer. But I know there are legit cases, and I would be one: If I loose my €8000 gear, I cannot replace it because I simply don't have the money. Money I don't have doesn't pay me interest in the bank. So for risks that are too great to cope with on my own (same thing: health care) I consider insurance a good idea, even though it's basically another means of transferring wealth from "have nots" to "haves" because as written above if you've got enough money insurance might be considered a waste of it except if you want to pay for a subjective "peace of mind".

The chances of losing absolutely everything are pretty low (especially in a double-brick house with only a wooden roof to burn).

My "problem" is that I am very well able to carry 100% of my gear around, and often I do, it's (or will be) "only" 2 camera bodies + 4 lenses + the usual flash-filter stuff. And it's all conveniently packed into one bag, though I try to make it look as cheap as possible from the outside...

.. .and fortunately, in Germany there seem to be ok companies like the one menitoned above that is specialized in dslr equipment so figuring out what the terms are should be possible even for non-lawyers like me. The rates are reasonable or to be expected, I guess:

0€ co-payment: 3.25% of gear value
100€ co-payment: 2.5% of gear value
250€ co-payment: 2.0% of gear value
1000€ co-payment: 1.6% of gear value

Is there a reason you always carry all your gear? I only every take everything if I am moving to another country. Otherwise I select the bare minimum gear I need and stick it in one small backpack. Usually one body one lens one speedlight is my go bag. Kinda like limiting myself, makes for creative thinking!
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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2013, 05:38:22 AM »

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2013, 06:40:16 AM »
But in general, especially for a hobbyist, insurance does not pay. Compare the insurance premiums with what the bank would charge for a loan. If insurance company wants 2.5% of the value of the item and interest rate in the bank is 5%, you'd have to figure you break half of your gear for insurance to make sense.
What are you talking about? ... You don't have to break half your gear for insurance to make sense, my 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II alone costs around $ 2000 ... paying 2.5% (i.e. $50 a year) is peanuts compared to not having an insurance and having the lens stolen/lost ... would you rather pay $ 50 or $ 2000.
Recently someone stole my 24-40 f/2.9 L II lens, unfortunately I had no insurance (insurance for camera gear, does not exist in this coountry) and I cannot buy the 24-70 L II again ... but if I had insurance, paying that $50 would have made helluva lot of sense.
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Zv

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2013, 07:37:38 AM »
But in general, especially for a hobbyist, insurance does not pay. Compare the insurance premiums with what the bank would charge for a loan. If insurance company wants 2.5% of the value of the item and interest rate in the bank is 5%, you'd have to figure you break half of your gear for insurance to make sense.
What are you talking about? ... You don't have to break half your gear for insurance to make sense, my 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II alone costs around $ 2000 ... paying 2.5% (i.e. $50 a year) is peanuts compared to not having an insurance and having the lens stolen/lost ... would you rather pay $ 50 or $ 2000.
Recently someone stole my 24-40 f/2.9 L II lens, unfortunately I had no insurance (insurance for camera gear, does not exist in this coountry) and I cannot buy the 24-70 L II again ... but if I had insurance, paying that $50 would have made helluva lot of sense.

50 bucks a year? What insurance company is this? I just went online and got a quote for $600 a year. And thats not pro cover. That would be the cost of a small lens every year! Pretty sure I could afford NOT to pay that!
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Marsu42

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2013, 07:44:25 AM »
Is there a reason you always carry all your gear?

Um, because I don't know what I'll shoot through the day and want to have all focal ranges covered (macro, uwa, standard and tele)? If sticking to one lens and flash works for you it's great, but I guess most people buy their gear not to admire or select at home but to change lenses from time to time - and I bought my lenses like the 70-300L because I am still able to take them with me unlike other larger and heavier versions like the 70-200L.

50 bucks a year? What insurance company is this? I just went online and got a quote for $600 a year. And thats not pro cover. That would be the cost of a small lens every year! Pretty sure I could afford NOT to pay that!

I just wrote the rates at least from a standard insurance in Germany in a post above - but the offers seem to vary between countries a lot.

Botts

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2013, 09:33:11 AM »
I insure nothing. Regardless of how high the risk is, I'm sure the insurance companies have figured it out better than I could, and if it's profitable for them, it can't be for me, in the long run.
Otherwise, you are paying for not having to do the math and for feeling a little less uncertain about the future. Maybe that feeling is worth the money to you. But it will cost you money, not save it.

On a grand scale, for long-term you're correct.  On a realistic scale though, it comes down to risk tolerance.

Right now, I'm sitting with $9,000 worth of gear in my backpack.  This is currently my hobby.  If my backpack were to disappear, I'd be crushed, and not able to repurchase the gear.  It would take me several years to rebuild my collection.  For me, the risk of losing the insurance premium by not using it is far outweighed, by the potential risk of $9,000. 

The math doesn't make sense to insure when you include the risk of actually using all 9k of gear.  But I am not an insurance company that can afford to "write off" the capital loss.  For an insurance company, it makes sense to insure me, I'm likely 100% profit.  But to me, the cost is worth it.
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Eagle Eye

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2013, 11:04:46 AM »
I have my 5d Mark II, 17-40L, 24-105L, 24-70L, 70-200L, 50L, 100L Macro, 135L, 28 1.8, 85 1.8, 580EXII, and Gitzo tripod  all fully insured for the cost of brand new replacement through USAA for $118 annually. Replacement costs were pulled from B&H and are typically higher than what I actually paid (why lenses are a great investment). This covers every possible source of loss or damage, from theft to dropped out of a helicopter at 3000 feet. There's no deductible. I live in Texas.
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miah

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2013, 12:25:10 PM »
Like several other posters, I don't "believe" in insurance, think it's generally a raw deal, and buy as little of it as possible. That said, all $15K worth of my photo gear is fully insured with State Farm.

Their Personal Articles policy is a no-brainer. It's an excellent value for the money, which I've come to know first-hand: I hit a rock and dropped an EOS 10S/24-135mm film camera/lens in the San Juan river while canoeing and it was replaced with the next BETTER model, no questions asked; my Sony digital camcorder and some accessories were stolen while diving in St. Vincent and it was replaced with the next BETTER model, no questions asked; my iPod, new Sony camcorder and a bunch of accessories were stolen while motorcycling across Bolivia and they were replaced with the next BETTER model, no questions asked. All of this was zero deductible and the new gear was Fed Ex'ed to me overnight.

The fact is, everyone must weigh their own level of personal risk. I travel a lot, and can't possibly watch my gear 100% of the time. This is far different than the guy who keeps most of his gear safely stowed at home and takes a small kit out on weekends where it's always in his possession. My risk is relatively high, so much so that I'm surprised State Farm is willing to sell their policies at such reasonable rates and still cover loss or damage anywhere in the world. But if your risk is relatively low, self-insuring might be the better choice.
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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2013, 12:25:10 PM »

RMC33

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2013, 12:36:07 PM »
I have my 5d Mark II, 17-40L, 24-105L, 24-70L, 70-200L, 50L, 100L Macro, 135L, 28 1.8, 85 1.8, 580EXII, and Gitzo tripod  all fully insured for the cost of brand new replacement through USAA for $118 annually. Replacement costs were pulled from B&H and are typically higher than what I actually paid (why lenses are a great investment). This covers every possible source of loss or damage, from theft to dropped out of a helicopter at 3000 feet. There's no deductible. I live in Texas.

Thats not bad at all!

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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2013, 03:50:04 PM »
But in general, especially for a hobbyist, insurance does not pay. Compare the insurance premiums with what the bank would charge for a loan. If insurance company wants 2.5% of the value of the item and interest rate in the bank is 5%, you'd have to figure you break half of your gear for insurance to make sense.
What are you talking about? ... You don't have to break half your gear for insurance to make sense, my 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II alone costs around $ 2000 ... paying 2.5% (i.e. $50 a year) is peanuts compared to not having an insurance and having the lens stolen/lost ... would you rather pay $ 50 or $ 2000.
Recently someone stole my 24-40 f/2.9 L II lens, unfortunately I had no insurance (insurance for camera gear, does not exist in this coountry) and I cannot buy the 24-70 L II again ... but if I had insurance, paying that $50 would have made helluva lot of sense.

50 bucks a year? What insurance company is this? I just went online and got a quote for $600 a year. And thats not pro cover. That would be the cost of a small lens every year! Pretty sure I could afford NOT to pay that!
Clearly you have not read some of the quotes given by others here in the thread (e.g. florianbieler.de & Eagle Eye ... florianbieler.de also gave a web link which you can check it out yourself). BTW Which insurance company gave you the quote of "$600 a year"? what annual percentage were they charging you? and what is the total value of the gear? 
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Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2013, 03:50:04 PM »