The Numbers Game - Camera Insurance For The Amateur
Spotted this roll-up sign at our recent Photo Live Expo 2016 at the Novotel Langley and I am sorry that I did not get to speak further with the gentleman who manned their stand - as it was I was engaged at one of our own stalls all the day.
Still, the internet is a good resource, and the web address:
www.cameraenthusiastsinsurance.com.au turned up the entire website and most of the information that is necessary. I was pleased to see that it is organised in a business-like manner....for those of us who don't have a business-like mind...
Briefly, they ask you to nominate a monetary figure to cover your camera gear and then provide a quote based upon this figure. If you wish to go ahead with the policy I'll bet there are more forms to fill out - I mean you would have to specify the gear that will be covered. If your estimate of the value of it is wildly over-reaching they can probably help you bring it back to more realistic figures.
They'll cover you for loss, damage, and theft and also for gear that is in transit. There are provisions that will compensate you with new for old in the event of losses, and it appears they are prepared to let the policy work on a world-wide basis. Of course there will be details, specifications, exclusions and requirements that you need to know - you'll need to contact the firm to work these out - but in many cases this sort of insurance is a very good idea.
It has not always been available - I do remember SGIO in the 60's offering coverage for camera gear separately from other insurance packages, but in later years this sort of contract gave way to inclusion in domestic policies. The problem has been the exclusions and restrictions on equipment that is increasingly being taken to exotic places. Sometimes it is being stolen or dropped in very picturesque parts of the world...see the recent Olympics in Brazil...and photographers might fall between the cracks of professional or homeowners insurance coverage. This is where this enthusiasts insurance is invaluable.
Even if people are not enthusiastic...just sort of blasé about the whole picture thing...they still perk up mighty strong when it comes to equipment and financial loss. They are prepared to defend their stuff with money.
I tried a test quote on the website. I didn't specify any gear, but set an arbitrary figure of $4000 for a travel kit. (Leica enthusiasts will laugh. $4000 covers a lens hood and a spare battery. I am made of cheaper stuff...) The premium is $201 for a year. If you were to stack in two trips in that time - South America and the Middle East for instance - that is a measly pittance compared to the possible (probable?) loss from theft or damage. It's a financial no brainer, like health insurance for the frail*. If you lose equipment you collect and win, and if you do not need to collect, you win. Win-win.
I shall be investing a portion of the pittance on insurance for the Fujifilm X-100 on my next overseas trip. Then I can go into the opium dens and fan-tan rooms with confidence.
* This one I KNOW. I shall pay private heath insurance from now until 3000 CE and still be ahead of the game.