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Insuring Your Camera Equipment

by Bethany (follow)
Blog (395)      Articles (166)     

Cameras and their accessories are expensive to buy, maintain and repair, so you would want to take pains to make sure that they’re insured against theft and damage.

Why insure your gear? It’s pretty simple — whether it’s your livelihood or your hobby, photography is an expensive activity, where you can spend thousands of dollars on a camera, lenses, and countless other accessories (such as flashes, remote shutter release, tripods, reflectors and filters). Nothing is worse than investing in expensive equipment, only to have it all stolen, or damaged in an accident. Insuring your camera and gear offers you that extra peace of mind when you take it out.

If you are not a professional photographer — that is, less than 50 per cent of your income is made via photography — then you can insure your camera and accessories through your home and contents insurance. These policies differ depending on the company, the policy, and the items you are insuring, but usually comes under "specified portable items". All you have to do is ask your insurer to list your equipment, and provide proof of purchase. Whether you choose to list all of your equipment, or just particularly expensive items, is entirely up to you.

Professional photographers, who often need to shoot outdoors and on-site, would need to invest in public liability insurance. This covers any equipment and studio against damages and loss — from fire, theft, and glass damage. It also means that, if you’re out shooting for commercial purposes and accidentally injure or damage another person and/or their property, you’ll be protected. Home and contents insurance will not cover you or your gear if it is for business purposes.

Another useful investment would be in travel insurance. This isn’t just for frequent travellers, but for whenever you are abroad with equipment of substantial value. Different policies have specific requirements and limitations as to what portable electronic equipment is covered. Again, if your trip is for commercial purposes, you would need to declare this before your trip — there are separate Corporate Travel insurance policies available for professional and semi-professional photographers working abroad.

Aside from your usual insurance companies like AAMI or Allianz, there are insurance providers that specialise in photography insurance. Companies such as Aon, Covertec, and Protecsure offer coverage for professional photographers and amateur photographers alike, and are especially worth looking into because their policies are tailored towards photographers.

So if you haven’t already insured your gear, it would be wise to look into your options. Are you planning on professional ventures, or is this going to be a hobby? Is your camera coming with you on your next trip overseas? Make sure to ask your insurance company for more information.

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