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-   -   Insuring a camera? (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/taking-care-business/60744-insuring-camera.html)

Lee Kazimir February 15th, 2006 02:48 AM

Insuring a camera?

Am looking into insuring my A1U, as well as all my other gear. My sound production buddy says he only knows of one company that insures "film equipment", and they charge a lot. However, a camera like this, even with sound gear, needn't necessarily be considered "film equipment". It seems that an insurance company would cover this as they would any other item like a computer or a stereo.

I can't do it under "homeowner's insurance" because I need all this stuff covered while I am traveling in Europe. (See my other thread for details on the trip.) Can any of you guys recommend an insurance company and give me some idea what you pay to insure a camera like this? Feel free to PM or email me if you'd rather not discuss figures in an open forum like this.


Don Bloom February 15th, 2006 07:07 AM

I'm sure there are more than 1 company that insures 'film equipment' but more to the point-chances are your homeowners policy will not cover your gear for anything more than the occassional use as an unpaid amature or what my agent calls 'vacation videos' so try this broker who insures thru Firemens Fund-it www.rvnuccio.com then look under the header 'direct products' >'photographer/videographer'
I've had all of my gear AND my liability thru them for a few years now and although I haven't placed a claim I feel confident about them. First they've been around a while-2nd I know a lot of folks who insure thru them and third the policy is thru a reputable company.
You can do everything on line and you'll know how much it is BEFORE you finish.


Robert M Wright February 15th, 2006 03:53 PM

Just a though, for what it's worth. One of the most likely ways for a camera (video, film or otherwise) to be accidentally damaged, is in an auto accident. I intend to talk with my insurance man about that soon, to make sure I'm covered. I just had a deer jump out in front of me about a month ago, and I'm glad it was one of the few times I didn't have any gear in the car (pure luck).

Boyd Ostroff February 15th, 2006 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by Lee Kazimir
I can't do it under "homeowner's insurance" because I need all this stuff covered while I am traveling in Europe.

Actually you probably can't do it under homeowners if it's used professionally, and the coverage would probably be limited to $5,000 even if you could. Or at least that's what I learned from my agent.

But your agent can set you up with the correct policy, it really ain't rocket science! I got about $15,000 coverage for a trip to South America last summer from my agent and it cost about $200 per year which seemed very reasonable. And the agent said that I could just cancel the policy after my trip was over if desired, and the unused portion would be refunded. I decided to keep it in force however.

I have State Farm for my car, house and personal liability and my agent researched the proper coverage when I explained what I was trying to do. The type of policy he sold me is called an "inland marine" policy. Your situation may be different, but the point is you need to establish a relationship with an insurance agent and bring issues like this to them. They will be glad to help you.

Lee Kazimir February 15th, 2006 11:29 PM

Thanks for your responses.

Boyd, $200 for that much coverage for a year is extremely good. At that price I can't afford not to do it. Do you remember how much the deductible was? I know my policy will differ, just want to get an idea what others have paid to see whether my insurer is giving a good deal.

Robin, good point. Luckily for me I don't drive or own a car so that's not a concern right now.

Don: I will be looking at that link in detail tomorrow. Thanks for posting it.


Boyd Ostroff February 16th, 2006 08:41 AM

There is a $100 deductible. However I just looked at the policy and I was wrong about the coverage... it was only $8,600! I have been meaning to increase that to cover more of my gear now that I'm back home but haven't gotten around to it. The annual premium is $206. Sorry for the confusion.

Don Bloom February 16th, 2006 09:37 AM

just as a point of reference I've got about $25000 worth of stuff insured thru rvnuccio and have a million in liability. Including the $100 admin fee (their profit) my rate is under $400 per year and again the policy is thru Firemens Fund.
Now you've got something to compare it to so you can be an "informed" shopper. :-)


Lee Kazimir February 17th, 2006 12:34 PM

I looked at the RV Nuncio site and it seems that their Videographer policy only covers losses incurred in the USA and Canada. Useless for me!

Just curious, why would one go through RV Nuncio when you could buy directly from Fireman's Fund? I am planning to call them to see if they can offer me a policy on my gear in Europe.


Boyd Ostroff February 17th, 2006 02:46 PM

Don't you have auto or homeowners insurance already? Don't you have an agent for those? If so then let them do the legwork and propose something, based on your needs. If you don't have an agent then you might consider getting one... makes things a lot easier if you ever have a loss. And if you get all your policies through the same agency you'll get a discount.

Lee Kazimir February 19th, 2006 10:45 PM


Believe it or not, I've never bought insurance for anything. I don't even have health insurance. Although for this project I will have "travel insurance" that covers medical emergencies and also, I hope, insurance for my gear once I can find an appropriate policy.


Richard Alvarez February 20th, 2006 08:23 AM

For the sake of comparative shopping. I got my Xl2 and some other gear covered seperately (Total value of 8 grand) for 108 dollars. Liberty Mutual. But as Boyd suggested, I went to them because they insure my home, and car as well.

Boyd Ostroff February 20th, 2006 08:33 AM


Originally Posted by Lee Kazimir
Believe it or not, I've never bought insurance for anything. I don't even have health insurance.

Hah.... time to get started :-) Serioiusly, I was like that myself when I was younger too. And I don't go crazy about insurance now, but I do have all the essentials covered. I'm fortunate enough to have very good health insurance through my work - although I never use it - but still good to know it's there.

I assume you don't have a car (and HOPE you aren't driving an uninsured car!). Do you live in an apartment? You should explore getting renters insurance. This is really the same as a homeowners policy in most respects. It will be very inexpensive, but could save you a lot of grief someday. LIABILITY is by far the most important coverage to have. I have a friend whose apartment house burnt down. Bad enough that he lost almost everything, but his neighbor sued him, claiming the fire started in his apartment. These type scenarios are probably more common than you think, and if you're found liable in an personal injury case you could end up paying for it for the rest of your life.

Pick an insurance agency that's convenient to where you live, and talk to them about the full range of coverage you might need. Even if you decide not to buy anything, it will be the beginning of an educational process for you.

Lee Kazimir February 20th, 2006 12:49 PM

Richard and Boyd, thanks for your continued advice. Actually I have been talking to State Farm -- they handle all of my parents' house, car, etc. They offered me an extremely low rate to insure all of my camera gear while in Europe. 66 dollars for the year for "non-professional use". I have to talk to them more about what exactly constitutes professional and non-professional. I will not be getting paid for shooting my footage over there and I am not doing it for hire, so to me that is non-professional. However I don't want to get screwed later if I do make a claim so I'll have to talk to them further.

Also, I have never driven or owned a car so that's why I'm so new to insurance. I may get renter's insurance when I come back to the USA, but for the next 6 months or so I'll be without permanent address so all that I have to worry about is insurance for myself and for the gear.

Richard Alvarez February 20th, 2006 01:20 PM

That sounds like a good deal. Do make sure the definition of 'non professional' is clear. Hooking in through your parents connections is a good place to start.

Steve House February 20th, 2006 01:32 PM

Seconding Richard on making sure the definition of "non-professional" is clear. Their reaction towards a claim for a stolen $500 consumer camcorder may be one thing and a 25 kilobuck claim for a missing Canon XLH1, Sachtler tripod, Sound Devices mixer, two or three Schoeps microphones, and assorted other goodies might be quite another, whether you were over there on a paid assignment or not.

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