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-   -   Insurance -- the big discussion thread (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/taking-care-business/122-insurance-big-discussion-thread.html)

John Locke March 12th, 2002 04:02 AM

Can anyone recommend insurance companies in the U.S. that don't balk at insuring DV equipment (for professional/personal use)...especially when it's going to experience a lot of travel...and that have fairly reasonable rates?


Chris Hurd March 12th, 2002 04:18 AM

Hi John,

Do a quick search on "insurance" and it'll bring up a number of threads here... this is a good question with no easy answers. Would make an excellent article for the site if I could find somebody in the know who can spell out what the options are in plain English.

The Wedding & Event Videographers Association here in the U.S. just recently dropped their equipment insurance policy offers.

mdreyes23 March 12th, 2002 02:37 PM

Registering Camcorder/Traveling Issues
Gotz a question for you guys:

1) I read somewhere in my camcorder packaging that it's a good idea to register the camera with the manufacturer so they have it on file in case you lose you camera? That brings up some other questions. Say you are under warranty with the camera but it's stolen? Are you SOL? Is the only way to cover that through insurance?

2) So, reason I'm thinking this stuff is I'll be taking my canon gl-1 out of the country for about a week and will be utilizing it a lot out in the open. I'm a litle worried about it getting stolen but not that worried. Anything I need to know about bringing a camcorder through the airport or anything like that. I doubt there are any problems with it goign through x-ray? customs? Been a long-ass time since I've been outside the country.

MegMacDonald March 12th, 2002 07:17 PM

I just went through insuring my GL and XL for "commercial use" and learned several things. First the insurance companies are NOT HAPPY about the idea of several people other than the owner using the camera, as in a company. We're with USAA and they farmed out the policy to a company called "Great American" which takes policies from $350.00 and up, nothing less. It was the only insurer willing to accept the idea other people---i.e: partners, would sometimes use the camera.

You have to have a police report w/ insurance companies if the camera is stolen ....and there has to be evidence of a break-in if it
disappears from the car. The deductible is still high, $500.00 and it's only insured for replacement value in it's first two years.

I guess if you drop it---first, it had better be YOU who dropped it...and then I guess it's insured for fixing or replacement.

My policy---so I guess most policies---is for the contigous USA only---nothing else.

In all, not a great deal. The "commercial" part makes it expensive, but USAA, at least, makes a very clear difference between "personal" shooting and "commercial".


MegMacDonald March 12th, 2002 07:20 PM

And I have a question: "Back in the day" when I was in TV reporter in Philly we always had to get a "Carnet" for our gear before we went out of the country---seemingly to be sure we took the gear OUT again (not selling it) at the end of our shoot. It was always a big deal and troublesome, with customs.

Would a camera/wireless mic/tripod assemblage still require something like that to go, say, to an EU country?

Meg again

John Locke March 12th, 2002 07:31 PM

Hi Chris,

Seems this is one territory that does need more information. None of the postings have any solutions mentioned, just questions like mine.

I'll have to find something, though. No choice in that matter. And I'll also have to find out about Customs regulations, registering, etc. So when I get it all sorted out, I'll write it all down and send it to you. I'll see if I can find some specialty coverage intended just for broadcast media, or something of the sort.

Alexander Ibrahim March 12th, 2002 10:46 PM

Business insurance...
There seems to be no easy answer. Most videographer insurance or film insurance/bond comapnies are really geared for much larger concerns.

You tell them you have a camera and edit suite to insure, they think BVW-D600 Betacam SP and Avid DS...and charge you $5000 per year.

Now for "low end equipment" like say an XL-1S or a DV500 these large insurers don't have the time or expertise to determine if it is a total los or a repairable expense. Given the rapid depreciation of these things they figure it isn't worth it to get teh expertise. So, they just make everything a total for replacement costs. That is expensive for you, back to the $5000 per year.

Well, I'd rather toss that $5000 in money market account and other investment vehicles, then if something ever happens you are covered.

This only leaves general liability insurance and insurance on equipment you might rent. Most insurance agents working with large insurers can in fact handle this, though THEY may not know it.

Your NLE...insure that as a normal business computer for replacement value, anyone who handles business insurance can handle this.

So...you have to use your own sense and shop around for an agent you trust, but for many at the $20000 or less investment level (in their video business) there are paths to follow that make some sense.

I do hope that there is a mroe reasonable camera insurance out there, but I have not found it yet. I figure something priced like car insurance,,,$500 per year, would be worth it as insurance. Otherwise I'll take my "insurance premium" to the bank.

Michael Rosenberger March 13th, 2002 01:11 PM

Hey John,

We just picked up $20,000 coverage for equipment and a multimillion dollar general business liablity policy for about $600 a year. In my experience it isn't the equipment insurance that kills you, it's the E&O insurnace, which is running about $2500 per year.

We chose the 20k on equipment to cover field use and travel - a couple cameras, mics, lights, etc. For home theft coverage, I added a rider on my home insurance for the difference. Did cost too much. Just watch out for the insurance company and the fine line between personal and business use. Remember when the insurnace company asks for your occupation for home/car/etc policies? They can deny claims for misrepresentation, and these days (since 9/11) they are looking for reasons not to pay.

Good luck on the move.

Alexander Ibrahim March 13th, 2002 07:18 PM

That sounds ideal, who was the insurer ?
Subject says it all.

Who is the insurance company ?

Do they have a website ? Can your agent give refferals ?

I'd prefer this sort of thing over my haphazard self insurance method.

Thanks in advance!

Michael Rosenberger March 13th, 2002 09:34 PM

We went through an insurance agent/broker. I will talk to my partner and find out what company issued the policy. I just do technical, he's the brains.

I will be out shooting the A.R.C.A. Rock Crawling event in Utah the next few days so may take me until Monday or Tuesday to reply- thats American time for those overseas, thank you :)

Also, anyone interest can send me an email with your return email address and I will also copy the information and send it out directly.


John Locke March 14th, 2002 07:37 PM

Thanks for the info, Michael. I'll send you my address now.

Before I buy, I'll do a bit of research and see if I can find a company that has an existing specialty policy. There's gotta be one or more out there...companies that will sign your equipment up initially as "pro-use" and not balk when it's time to cough up.

Thanks again.

Chris Ferrer March 21st, 2002 07:49 AM

Try good ol State Farm, I just got $20k in equipment coverage (no questions asked, $500 deduct.) and a half million in liability coverage all for $375 year. After trying the "big" guys like gearinsurance.com which have tons of restrictions and do seem to be geared towards larger companies, the policy I got sounds real nice.

hope this helps.


John Locke March 21st, 2002 07:59 AM

Thanks, Chris.

That's the best news I've heard concerning insurance yet! Thanks for the info.


Michael Rosenberger March 21st, 2002 02:52 PM

We went with $20K field equipment coverage and 1 million property and liabillity (P&L)insurance for $597 a year through Zurich. Sounds like State Farm has the deal.

Keith Loh June 7th, 2002 10:37 AM

Photographer's insurance?
I'm getting close to purchasing a camera and will buy it from a North American (or local) dealer.

I heard that you can buy the same kind of "idiot's" insurance that photography people buy which guards against everything including theft or carelessness. Does anyone have something like this? What kinds of things should I look for and what price range would be reasonable?

Where should I look for this?

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