Whether digital photography is your hobby, your profession or both, you can’t overlook the need for camera equipment insurance as well as other forms of business insurance if you’re a semi-professional or professional photographer.
Part 1 of this four-part PhotographyTalk.com article presents the first two steps you can take to help you determine what kind of camera insurance you need, and why. Once you’ve read steps #3 and #4 below, you’ll be better prepared to ask for quotes and negotiate policy details and premium costs.
Step #3: Narrow your search
Now that you’ve prepared all the information and documentation insurance companies will need to provide you with quotes, it’s time to head into the market and find the best choice. A sound strategy is to start with the insurance companies that already cover other aspects of your life. It’s probably a good idea to talk to the agent for your home insurance. If the agent has served you well, then you can rely on his or her advice. The agent will be able to tell you rather quickly whether your home policy covers your digital camera equipment or you need a separate policy. He or she may suggest a rider on your home policy if you’re taking your equipment overseas. If the agent offers to sell you camera insurance, then ask him or her for some referrals. If the agent can show they cover other photographers, and some of those referrals provide you with positive feedback, then your search may be completed.
If you don’t already have such a relationship with an insurance professional, then you’ll want to do what any smart consumer would do: Research on the Internet, ask your photography buddies for referrals and don’t hesitate to call local photographers and ask them what company covers their equipment.
Professionals, for the reasons mentioned above, will have to research a bit deeper for indemnity and/or liability coverage. If you’re a professional that has shoots in various international locations, then you may be able to reduce your equipment premium by leaving it at home and renting equipment at the location. The cost is often less than the added premium and the transportation of equipment around the globe. Plus, you won’t always be worrying about the many risks to your equipment thousands of miles from home.
Step #4: Read and know the details of the policy
Regardless of how busy you are, the time you invest to read and understand thoroughly your camera insurance policy BEFORE YOU BUY IT will likely save you hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars in the future. Knowing the deductible amount you must contribute to replace equipment before the insurance company pays its share is critical. Make sure you have that deductible amount always available, so if you did have to replace your camera, especially if you’re making money with it, you can do so immediately. Don’t miss the fine print in the policy, either, because it may reveal exactly how long you may have to wait for the insurance company’s check. You want a policy with a short turnaround, so you can go back to work quickly or take your camera on a future vacation.
Read Part 3 of this PhotographyTalk.com article for more information about the digital camera insurance buying process.