If you’ve been interested in photography for a while, then you’ve probably amassed a collection of equipment worth thousands. The camera’s, lenses, flashes, lights, batteries, even the laptop you use for editing. Many photographers carry around $10,000 or more in equipment to jobs.
Many photographers will have everything insured and assume their gear is covered somehow under one of those.
I’ve heard one story of a lady who had business insurance, car insurance, as well as home and contents insurance all with the same company, yet when her car was broken into and the equipment stolen, they said she wasn’t covered! This was a $10,000 loss for her… and if you’re just getting started, this can be enough to set you back a long way, or even discourage you so much that you quit.
Here’s a Few Things To Note Regarding Insurance
- Home owners insurance only covers your gear when it’s in your home. So when you’re at a job nothing will be covered!
- You should also be covered for on the job injuries of yourself and anyone you could potentially harm. It’s highly unlikely that it would ever happen, but you need to be covered if a fill light or a tripod falls on someone and they get injured. Even someone tripping over a power cord running to your lighting can give a crazy person a reason to sue you!
- You MUST check with your insurance provider to make sure that everything is covered. That all your gear is covered for breakage, theft and injury
- You can have subjects sign an agreement freeing you of any responsibility for injuries, but it still pays to have guaranteed cover in the event of an accident…
So Which Insurance Provider To Choose?
This depends on a few different things…
The value of your equipment and the type of photography you do being the main ones.
Simply spend a few hours calling at least 10 different providers and asking them what they recommend, how much it will cost, if there will be any excess, and exactly what they cover.
You’ll find that a lot of the providers simply won’t have any option to cover photography gear, usually because they don’t realize how valuable it is (in my opinion).
There are specialty companies that have special policies for things like photography equipment, but they will usually be a little more expensive.
The insurance provider you select to cover your photography equipment, and essentially your whole photography business, should come down to three main criteria…
- Who offers the best price?
- Who has the best customer service? (because this is very important when it comes to insurance)
- Who provides the best coverage?
You probably won’t get the best in all three columns, because the company with the best price might have lacking customer support, or the one with great coverage will cost an arm and a leg, etc.
Get as many notes as you can from each company and don’t make any quick decisions…
Insurance companies know that most people ‘shop around’, so they’ll try and reel you in quickly sometimes. They’ll say something like “if you sign up right now I can remove the excess fee on your first claim”, and they’ll warn that it’s your only chance to get that offer… DON’T DO IT!
If they really want you as a client, you’ll be able to call back later and say “I’m willing to sign up if you can still give me that offer”. They’ll accept every time… trust me!
Look over all your notes for a day and think about how each plan will work with your business.
NOTE: If you create a ‘sub-plan’ under your current insurance company, then if you make a claim on your camera gear, it will drive the yearly price of your regular home and contents insurance up because it still counts as a claim on your policy, even though it will be relatively small.
Photography Insurance Is Important!
Just like all types of insurance, you don’t think you need it until something happens!
Get a good policy that keeps you covered!
Please, if you think you’re already covered under one of your current policies, call your provider and check! There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re covered when you’re not.
Comments: In the comment section, let us know of any horror stories you’ve heard or experienced where someone’s gear hasn’t been covered by insurance.