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Old July 11th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #1
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How to insure/secure your gear when traveling..?

I need to travel for a film shoot (yea, I'm European so that's what I call them) and hence have to ship or travel with my equipment. Since I have invested quite a bit in this gear, I wonder what would be the best way to protect myself -- get an insurance (yes, I've heard horror stories about how the US insurance companies handle claims), or if shipped, put a tracking system on it ( TrackStick Mini: Smallest GPS Tracking Logger - Vehicle Tracking Devices | GPS Tracker Systems ), or maybe just guarding it myself by (inconveniently) driving cross country..? (A silly side note; I got an old Gibson guitar that my mom back in Norway still insists paying insurance on after she heard that a similar copy sold on eBay for $15k.)

Anyways, as always any input appreciated.

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Old July 12th, 2010, 01:35 AM   #2
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Where are you going? For how long? Is your gear currently insured? Are you a professional?

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Old July 13th, 2010, 05:12 AM   #3
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I normally put it under my travel insurance (you do have travel insurance for your trip, don't you?). I pay extra so that I can increase the maximum value to whatever it is worth and to reduce the excess to nil. Even if you are driving yourself, get some form of insurance - what happens if (god forbid) you crash on the way there and all your gear gets totalled? Plus if you are in foreign places, it's nice to not have to spend the entire time worrying about where your camera is and to focus on other things like organising your shoot and finding your way safely to the location, especiallly as tourists are often targetted by criminals.

I will never travel without the best insurance I can get, because it means I'm far more likely to take more risks (whether that means getting the shot at all costs, or just not holding back in the surf!). That's why I love travel insurance - for the one month or whatever it is you're gone for, if anything goes wrong, you are completely covered. If your flight is cancelled, hotel ransacked, location flooded on the day of your shoot, you get hospitalised, your dog dies and you have to fly home, etc, you will not be out of pocket.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
I normally put it under my travel insurance (you do have travel insurance for your trip, don't you?). I pay extra so that I can increase the maximum value to whatever it is worth and to reduce the excess to nil. Even if you are driving yourself, get some form of insurance - what happens if (god forbid) you crash on the way there and all your gear gets totalled?
This may apply to your situation/location but I can assure you that anything shy of professional equipment insurance in CANADA at least will result in you not being covered for your loss, regardless of how much extra you paid for. In my case, the potential insurers would not even issue GEAR insurance until after I had purchased a comprehensive business liability insurance package first. As well, automotive insurance here covers NOTHING in terms of personal or professional contents loss.

Moral of this story - ASK a knowledgeable insurance agent BEFORE you need to try and use equipment insurance.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 10:49 PM   #5
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Good point Shaun. I've never travelled with anything more expensive than a Z1p. And because all the travelling I've done is for surfing films, and funded by me, we get away with not travelling 'officially' for business purposes. We're basically tourists there to get some nice photos!!!
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Old July 30th, 2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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If you're traveling with equipment of significant value, you'll also want to educate yourself about the carnet. It's documentation that proves that you're traveling with equipment that you already own and therefore are exempt from international tariffs that otherwise apply as you purchase equipment in one place and then transport it to another place with different equipment import laws and/or procedures.

A web search on the term will help you get informed.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #7
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Buy insurance that covers you everywhere. If you don't have insurance yet, get it now.

I travel 3,000 miles a month, and the time I had something (well, lots of somethings) stolen was in my driveway in a safe neighborhood. If you have invested in your gear and you are running something remotely resembling a business, you should purchase insurance.

I primarily work audio, and the Hoffberger Insurance Group was able to offer me a modified Photographer's Policy. This includes comprehensive and liability insurance too.

PS. Do you have your gear inventoried? Serial numbers, model numbers, descriptions, tags, markings, pictures, etc. I had to learn the hard way...
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Old December 20th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #8
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I can only recommend getting specific insurance for film production. mine even covers loss if the material is stolen/lost and the production has to re-shoot. and I never leave my stuff in hotel rooms, I carry it along all the time unless I can leave it in a private trusted space. I make sure that nobody in that area knows whats in my bags...
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