As a photographer it is probably your worst nightmare. You wake up one morning and all of your camera equipment has been stolen. Once the initial shock starts to fade, the anger will increase; "How dare someone do this to you?" However soon after the biggest nightmare starts to become a reality as you wonder if you are insured and if you are, will it cover what has been stolen?
Now you will probably have home insurance and this will provide you with decent cover if you have been burgled. It is worth mentioning though that you might want to read the small print as most policies will have a upper limit for a single item. In the majority of cases this should cover you, however if you have a 600mm f4 lens then this could exceed the single item limit.
But what about if you are not at home. What about if your equipment is stolen from the back of your car? This is where you can start to run into all sorts of problems. Lets go back to the home insurance policy. If you have asked for it, then your policy will cover processions away from the home. But you need to check that; a - you have this and b-that it will provide you with the cover you need. Lets face it with the cost of photography equipment then value of all your equipment can soon run into the thousands of pounds, sometimes even more. You will have car insurance does it is doubtful if this will provide any cover. If you have annual travel insurance then again you will have some degree of protection but many polices do not cover you for the theft from a car. Finally you might have a bank account that you pay for that has gadget insurance included in the premium that you pay. Its worth checking this for the total value you can claim i and for how much each single item is limited too. You could once again be under insured.
So you may be wondering what has prompted me to write this blog. Well unfortunately I have had a distressing conversation with a friend who had over £15,000 of equipment stolen out of his car yesterday. The terrible news is that whilst he has some insurance he is probably going to be over £12,000 out of pocket. Photography is his passion and the equipment is going to be needed to be replaced. He's worked bloody hard over the years to be able to afford to buy his dream kit and its all gone in an instance.
There is a very important lesson to be learnt here and if he is reading this blog, I am sure he won't mind me stating this point. Never ever, EVER, leave your camera equipment in an unattended car, not even when you pop to the shops. to a friends for a quick cuppa, especially over night. It only takes a second for this nightmare to become a reality and unfortunately as we all know, the majority of thefts happen because the thief sees an opportunity.
This has prompted me to do a little bit of research into camera insurance and what is out there on the market. I am not going to name individual companies as you can do your own goole search. What I did find is that it's probably not as expensive as you might think.
For £35 a month I was able to get £15000 worth of new for old cover, which also included mechanical breakdown cover and insurance when travelling abroad. I would need to read the fine print of the policy for an exclusions or limitations plus any excess on a claim. I quickly put in 3 camera bodies at £1500 each, 5 lenses at £2000 each and some other bits to get to the price. Now if I was to take the policy out I would do this properly but I wanted to get a quick quote. £35 sounds quite a lot but then all insurance does until we need it.
Accidents do also happen and this again is where your insurance will protect you. Over the past 3 years, I have destroyed an astro modified camera by soaking it in the sea, a 70-200mm L lens by falling over, my 16-35m L iii fell off the tripod ( thankfully canon could repair it) but the repair was a couple of hundred pounds. I won't include filters but a few of those have also bitten the dust. Thankfully, with the exception fo the 70-200mm everything was covered and whilst being a little bit out of pocket, I wasn't left looking for hundreds on pounds.
So there we have it, a cautionary tale for you to think about. The question is how much is the total value of your camera equipment and could you afford to replace it? If the answer is no, the only other question you need to ask yourself is:-
Can you afford not to be insured?