Whether you’re a hobbyist or professional, digital photography is an important part of your life. That’s why it’s essential to protect your camera and other equipment with insurance. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PhotographyTalk.com article explains the four steps you should take to help you determine what equipment to insure and then looking for the right insurance company. Part 3 includes 10 tips for choosing a specific company and negotiating the details.
Know your needs
If you’ve followed the steps in Part 1 and Part 2, then you should have almost an exact picture of what kind of coverage you need. By reading the policies being offered carefully, you can ensure there is no extra coverage that’s unnecessary. Otherwise, you’re paying for insurance that can never be of any value.
Explain your photography profile
Discuss with agents of prospective insurers what kind of digital photographer you are. Be as specific as possible. Then, share your list of equipment to be covered and their value. Make sure you state whether you want replacement or new-equipment value.
Expand on your profile
Once you’ve explained that you are an amateur, semi-pro or professional, provide the agent with more detailed information. For example, if you often shoot nature photography that takes you into wild backcountry, then you may need additional coverage because your equipment is at more risk for theft and accidents. A portrait photographer will probably not need that kind of coverage, but could require indemnity and/or liability coverage.
Find the best coverage
Look for comparison charts on the Web; there are plenty of them. Once you’ve found three to five policies from companies that seem suitable, call each of them to discuss and negotiate the details. Then, compare your choices again.
Buy instead of being sold.
Insurance agents are salespeople; their job is to sell you anything they can convince you to buy. That’s why it’s so important to know the details of your policy, so you buy only what you need. Amateurs don’t need indemnity insurance. No digital photographer should buy a travel rider to their policies if they don’t take their equipment from the country.
Focus on the deductible
The deductible amount, or the amount you pay towards the replacement of your equipment before the insurance company does, directly affects the premium you’ll pay. The lower the deductible, the higher the premium.
Wheel and deal
You’ll never pay a lower premium unless you ask for it. If you’re considering buying digital camera insurance from a company that already covers your home, for example, then don’t hesitate to ask for a discount. You can also leverage one company against another: tell one company that you like its policy, but another company is willing to give you the same coverage for less.
Include photography-specific companies in your search
There are many insurance companies that specialize in policies for digital camera equipment. Make sure to research those companies and include a few in your list of finalists. They know the business and will immediately understand what kind of photographer you are, and have the right policy for you.
Honesty is always the best “policy”
Not only do you want to describe your photography profile thoroughly, but also be totally honest with the agents providing you with quotes. Failing to disclose all information may negatively affect a future claim.
When your digital camera insurance policy is ready to be renewed in a year, don’t just automatically agree to continue coverage with the same company. It may have done a great job, but now you have a year’s experience with insurance coverage and your photographer’s profile may have changed. A good strategy is to tell the current company that you are shopping for second-year coverage, and it’s time for the company to offer you its best deal. It’s must cheaper to keep your business than replace it, so use that knowledge to your advantage.
Read Part 4 of this PhotographyTalk.com to learn how you can prevent loss or damage to your camera, which can also reduce your premium and the likelihood of ever having to make a claim.