December 22, 2014, 09:32:14 PM

Author Topic: Insurance is an accessory right? :P  (Read 2566 times)

gregborkman

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Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« on: August 10, 2014, 12:52:17 PM »
I roll the dice here on whether insurance is really an accessory. But anywho, my question is about just that.

Do you insure your gear? Where did you go? How much does it cover? What does it cover? And how much does it cost yearly?

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Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« on: August 10, 2014, 12:52:17 PM »

Eagle Eye

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 02:33:34 PM »
I'm insured through USAA, $14,936 in coverage at $242 a year. Covers any loss, including theft. It doesn't cover normal wear and tear, acts of war, nuclear incidents, fungus, or intentional acts by the owner. It also does not cover the equipment at the time the equipment is being used for a paid assignment or going to or from a paid assignment. Insurance is well worth the cost, in my opinion.
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gregborkman

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2014, 03:20:58 PM »
I'm insured through USAA, $14,936 in coverage at $242 a year. Covers any loss, including theft. It doesn't cover normal wear and tear, acts of war, nuclear incidents, fungus, or intentional acts by the owner. It also does not cover the equipment at the time the equipment is being used for a paid assignment or going to or from a paid assignment. Insurance is well worth the cost, in my opinion.

I agree completely, which is why I'm looking into it now. Unfortunately, I don't have any family members who have USAA so I don't qualify for it. :/

monkey44

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2014, 04:55:15 PM »
Some folks seem to think USAA is a huge discount on insurance ...  Well, I disagree at least a little.  When I applied for USAA Auto insurance, the quote was less than several other quotes, but when I compared, the coverage was less as well.

It seems to me, and I've compared often -- USAA maybe once was less, but now it's relatively similar prices if you go for equal coverage.   At least within a few bucks.   So, we go with the agent down the road from us, and for a few bucks a month, can walk in and talk to the owner of the insurance agency -- and have done it a few times and gotten direct answers.   On USAA, we get wait on hold - then "we don't know, will get back to you", and don't.  ETC.

So, I would get a few quotes and see what happens -- you can get riders on your home or renters policy.

RunAndGun

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2014, 05:27:38 PM »
Are you asking for personal or business?  If it's just personal gear, it's probably covered by your homeowners(or renters) policy, unless it's an unusually large amount.  My business policy doesn't require me to specify or serialize my gear(although having a list of everything with serial #'s is a good idea.  Helped me immensely when I had a large, almost complete theft eight years ago).  I just told them the dollar amount I wanted.  Depending on your deductible and what is stolen, it may not be worth a claim(i.e. just a small lens), or it may save your @$$(i.e. an 800mm or in my case, I work in TV and even "inexpensive" things may be several $K).

gregborkman

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2014, 05:53:10 PM »
Are you asking for personal or business?  If it's just personal gear, it's probably covered by your homeowners(or renters) policy, unless it's an unusually large amount.  My business policy doesn't require me to specify or serialize my gear(although having a list of everything with serial #'s is a good idea.  Helped me immensely when I had a large, almost complete theft eight years ago).  I just told them the dollar amount I wanted.  Depending on your deductible and what is stolen, it may not be worth a claim(i.e. just a small lens), or it may save your @$$(i.e. an 800mm or in my case, I work in TV and even "inexpensive" things may be several $K).

For business.

johnrudoff@yahoo.com

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2014, 06:07:45 PM »
Excellent question. First, USAA has great service; we've had it for 30 years. Second, I itemize my gear by S/N and send them lists periodically. Third, there is some question how much pro use vs. hobby use excludes coverage. [Be very careful there, because insurance companies are NOT your friend (just like health insurance); if there is a big claim they may try to exclude you for pro usage.] But if you have any pro usage, then insurance clearly is a business expense. How much your deductible should be depends on your personal financial circumstances. You may want to look at NPPA's member options for all-risk insurance with Hayes.
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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2014, 06:07:45 PM »

gregborkman

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2014, 06:14:44 PM »
Excellent question. First, USAA has great service; we've had it for 30 years. Second, I itemize my gear by S/N and send them lists periodically. Third, there is some question how much pro use vs. hobby use excludes coverage. [Be very careful there, because insurance companies are NOT your friend (just like health insurance); if there is a big claim they may try to exclude you for pro usage.] But if you have any pro usage, then insurance clearly is a business expense. How much your deductible should be depends on your personal financial circumstances. You may want to look at NPPA's member options for all-risk insurance with Hayes.

Now, unfortunately, none of my family members can qualify me for USAA (I have no active or retired military family members who have USAA, for those who don't know the requirements) so that one is out of the question.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 06:17:43 PM by gregborkman »

gbchriste

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2014, 06:42:13 PM »
I've been a USAA member since 1985.  At that time USAA membership was limited to commissioned officers.  In 1996 membership was opened to military personnel of all ranks.

Now before I start and get flamed all over the place, let me preface by saying I was an enlisted airman from 1977 until my commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1985.  I was in a demanding and difficult career field and that period of my service is something I'm particularly proud of.  So I have no class biases here.

Having said that, in my view, the quality of service offered by USAA has steadily declined since the membership changed.  I've had occasion to finance and refinance homes as well as file several auto claims during those years and while the service started out on a stellar level that could not be matched, my recent transactions (a home refinance and auto claim) have left me feeling like I was dealing with a run-of-the mill insurance company in which the agents and adjusters were just in it for the paycheck rather than really interested in helping me.  I won't go in to all the details of why.

Again, no class bias here, but simple actuarial science would dictate that when you take a risk pool that consists exclusively of older, degreed professionals (i.e. commissioned officers), and add to that an entirely new population that consists in large part of young kids, many who barely made it out of high school, with little to no prior work or professional experience (i.e. young enlisted troops), then the insurance risk profile of the entire pool is going to go up significantly.  And when that happens, costs go up as well.

It's just a theory but I believe USAA is now reaping the harvest for the decision they made in changing the membership criteria.  Costs go up, losses go up, and as a result, they can no longer be the premier service provider they once were.

This year I've actually started thinking about moving away from USAA to another insurance provider after 29 years of membership.  I don't mind paying more money when I receive superior service but it's becoming somewhat debatable as to whether USAA can provide that superior level of service to justify any higher rates I might be paying.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 06:44:04 PM by gbchriste »

c.d.embrey

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2014, 06:45:41 PM »

For business.

If it's for business, then get real business insurance.

My insurance broker is Tom C. Pickard  http://www.tcpinsurance.com/  The insurance covers owned cameras/lights, rented cameras/lights, computers and Liability Insurance (includes liability for camera-copters at no additional cost).

With rental insurance you can rent that $10,000.00 lens without a deposit. If you have a business you need liability insurance.

There are other brokers who specialize in photography insurance, just Google to find them.


Freddie

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No, it's a necessity.
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2014, 08:27:51 PM »
I also insure with Tom C. Pickard. We're headed to South Africa next month and a certificate of insurance has been sent to the rental agency there to cover the 600mm lens I'm renting for one part of the trip. My policy covers everything I need and more. It isn't as cheap as homeowner's insurance. I made a claim against my homeowner's insurance in 1996 for a large theft from a locked room at my work. That insurance covered the loss but the premiums zoomed up and no further claims would be accepted. I also have insurance for the loaner equipment from Canon that I'm fond of requesting. It also covers computer equipment and related expenses.

MDR

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2014, 08:33:48 PM »
One word of warning - if you think your camera is covered on your domestic insurance make sur ego ask specifically, many insurances have a very low limit on individual photographic pieces ($500-$1000) and on some polices if its above that price its completely uncovered (i.e. if its $1100 and has $800 limit then you get $0) Home insurance policys seem to have limited understanding of todays high value electronics.

gregborkman

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 02:22:34 AM »
One word of warning - if you think your camera is covered on your domestic insurance make sur ego ask specifically, many insurances have a very low limit on individual photographic pieces ($500-$1000) and on some polices if its above that price its completely uncovered (i.e. if its $1100 and has $800 limit then you get $0) Home insurance policys seem to have limited understanding of todays high value electronics.

Good to know. I'll make sure to ask.

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 02:22:34 AM »

tapanit

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 03:49:04 AM »
I roll the dice here on whether insurance is really an accessory. But anywho, my question is about just that.

Do you insure your gear? Where did you go? How much does it cover? What does it cover? And how much does it cost yearly?
I don't insure my gear at all. In general, insurance makes sense only if there are significant secondary consequences of the compensation in an anticipated loss scenario, like lost income because of lost work opportunities &c. On the average you're better off financially by not insuring and instead saving the premiums and/or taking a loan to replace lost equipment as needed.

Yes, I have broken and lost equipment over the years that insurance would've covered. But I've also done the math and know insurance would've ended up costing more.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 08:18:39 AM »
On the average you're better off financially by not insuring and instead saving the premiums and/or taking a loan to replace lost equipment as needed.

But I've also done the math and know insurance would've ended up costing more.

My math is a bit different.  I take pictures lots of places – kids' school and sports, amusement parks (where the camera sometimes gets left in the bottom of a stroller), etc.  The camera stays in the car when eating at a restaurant, etc.  I hike with it on narrow trails through marshes.  Lots of opportunities for theft/damage.

When I go out with just the camera and only one of my lenses, depending on the lens a 'single loss' represents 30 – 67 years of the premium I currently pay to have all my gear covered. 
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Re: Insurance is an accessory right? :P
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 08:18:39 AM »