"At Risk" insurance policies?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by ken_kwok, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. Hey all,

    I'm looking to insure my cameras with some form of "at risk" insurance policy, before
    leaving on my summer internships. Does anybody know where to go? I've asked State
    Farm and All State, and they don't have anything like that, apparently.

  2. Although this is going to be disputed by an
    "insurance salesman"....just keep your stuff on
    a homeowners policy...with replacement value.
    What "we" consider expensive, the insurance companies
    do not. For example, the replacement value of a Leica
    M is about the same as a lawn tractor...or a nice
    piece of jewelry....just verify that your gear is
    covered OFF PREMISES, and that you have "replacement"
    value...that should cover ANY leica, except a 1956 MP...
    and you should sell it and buy a new car if you have one...
    And yes, I've lost gear, and yes, it was covered with no
    hassle...off premises...(in fact, WAY off premises!)

    This is of course in the U.S.---don't know about anywhere
  3. Off premise ?
    What home policy will cover off-premise replacement cost ?
    Unless you have a claim that the items are lost, stolen within your house.
  4. virtually every standard usa homeowner's policy will cover your possessions whether they are lost/stolen/damaged inside or outside of the house.
  5. ken -- i think you mean to say "all risks" policy. these are typically issued in the form of riders to basic homeowners policies to cover excess liability items, i.e. things that are excluded or subject to limits under the basic policy. jewelry, silverware, items used in a professional capacity all fall into this category under most policies. to cover them up to their full replacement value, you need to purchase an add-on all-risks rider. however, as noted already, camera gear for nonprofessional use is almost certainly covered by your existing home contents policy without limit and regradless of where the loss occurs. you must, of course, confirm this by reference to your own policy. the key. again as stated already, is to ensure that you have replacement value coverage.
  6. As stated most homeowners policies deliver off premises. In my job I deal with a lot of insurance companies doing just that. I recently had a customer have a couple of OM-1 cameras stolen, which he purchased new for a couple hundred bucks each. The insurance company had no qualms replacing them with two OM-3Ti's at 10 times their original cost. At the most your company may require an 'off-premise' rider, which is usually no more than an additional 50 or so dollars a year.
  7. Call your present homeowner's insurance (or renter's insurance, whichever you have).
    they should be able to provide you with an insurance rider as an ADDITION TO your
    policy-not a separate one.
  8. Ken, if you're going to be travelling, and want to have no worries
    about equipment, get a separate policy to cover it. Go online and
    search for "professional photographers insurance", you'll find
    companies who do this. A couple of points, some insurance
    companies only offer coverage if you're a member of some
    "professional" organisation for photogs, but this isn't necessary,
    you'll find companies who don't require this (all this means is
    you DON'T have to join some group (at $200+ annually for
    membership) in order to buy insurance. And also, make sure
    whatever coverage you buy gives you wordwide protection. I was
    paying $800+ for coverage until quite recently until I found out
    that it only applied in the continental U.S. -not good at all if you
    travel. It's nice not having to worry about it- whether you drop your
    camera off Santa Monica pier, or leave it in a Taxi in Dublin, it
    doesn't matter, you're getting something back.

  9. If you're a pro you need to have business coverage for your equipment. Your homeowners policy won't cover you. I have heard of people collecting for their stolen Leicas by claiming that they were part of their "camera collection" and that they actually used something else for work, so maybe it's a good idea to have an old beat up Nikon F or Yashicamat around someplace!
  10. I have checked with some companies..and all camera equipment can be covered under renters insurance. I think you need to have the receipt when you sign in for insurance or when you say the value.
    especially for leica cameras..since they are so expensive...some insurance companies might ask receipts of purchase.

    Anyone out here from new jersey. Its been hard to get homeowners or renters insurance here. i have metlife and they dont do business in nj anymore it seems..state farm is out too.
    anyone have renters insurance...if so could you give the company name.
  11. Don't forget to double-check your deductible, too....

    If your homeowners policy carries a $1k deductible,
    and your M6-TTL gets stolen, you might be unhappy twice.
  12. Well, Henry, >MY< policy covers up to 10% of its total
    value "off premise", AND covers new replacement cost.
    I even spelled it out for my agent, that this is what I
    wanted...with examples, i.e., if I'm on vacation in Florida,
    and my gear falls in the ocean, then I get NEW cameras,
    of the current model (MP?) and whatever lenses I have lost.
    I have the option (which I'd take), of taking the value
    and buying replacement M4s, but the value is still that
    of new cameras.

  13. Also, as Al pointed out, there's the "pro" problem...
    No problem for me....I guess I'm a pro in that 100% of
    my income comes from photography (as far as anyone can
    prove!) >BUT< the M cameras are my "personal" property, and
    my homeowner's policy MOST CERTAINLY covers them (I have,
    unfortunately, proven it).
    It would be difficult to be a "pro" and use Leica Ms (exclusively).
    Just make sure that your Leica gear lives at "home", whatever that
    is, and that your agent knows it. I have provided my agent
    a list , even though I wasn't asked for it....and he saw NO
    problems....bear in mind that I've had audio customers (past)
    with $40,000 stereo systems (pre-home-theater!) and NONE
    of us Leica snobs have nearly that on their person, ever!...
    I have friends with more in golf clubs than I have in cameras...
    also, my guitar and amp is "personal property", even though I
    play 100+ nites a year...it's nowhere NEAR a 'real income'...
    again, check it out with your agent....I did.
  14. Be careful about submitting claims on your homeowner's insurance in the US. Lately the insurance companies have been in tough financial waters (they were making all of their money from investments, which obviously hasn't worked out the last few years)so they're being very quick to cancel policies. There have been several articles in the press the last few months about people who file a couple of claims and discover that their policies become much more expensive or cancelled.

    These are not fraudulent claims; but smaller claims for minor damage, theft, etc. The problem is worse in some areas, I think Texas is particularly hard hit (they also have a lot of mold cases hurting the insurance companies' profits). Putting in a claim for your Leica and a couple of lenses could end up costing you a lot of money if you can't get homeowner's insurance!
  15. Yeah, I think "All risk" is what I mean. I also want it separate because I'm worried
    about it affecting my homeowner insurance in the future. So I'll look at the
    Professional Photographers Insurance for equipment. Does anybody have any
    companies they recommend?

  16. Professional coverage usually involves separate policies, not riders on homeowner's insurance. If you're not a professional, your best bet is to have your camera equipment listed on an all risk rider to the homeowner's/renter's insurance. The rates for professionals was at one time outrageous for photo gear.

    Some personal experience: Several years ago I suffered several losses due to two burglaries. Some of the photo gear stolen was used professionally and some was used personally. Luckily, my renter's insurance and my separate photography equipment policy was with the same company and I collected with minimum hassles. A guy I worked with had his car burglarized about the same time. He did not carry photography insurance because he thought the rates were too high. His homeowner's insurance paid for the binoculars that were stolen but refused to pay for the photography equipment because it was used professionally and he did not have professional coverage. He was also at work when the theft occurred. He had to eat the loss of a couple of Nikon bodies and lenses.

    I have my most used photo gear on an all risk rider to my homeowner's insurance because I am no longer a professional. It is for replacement cost with no deductible. The rates are reasonable.
  17. I just went through all this. Insurance companies have clear
    lines between Pro insurance and Home Owners' All Risks

    If you have a claim an investigator will ferret out the details and
    circumstances of the claim. If you have Pro insurance, and the
    claim happens on vacation, you will not be paid. You have to
    prove that it happened while working for pay or that the gear is
    strictly used for professional work.

    If you have a homeowners' rider and are shooting a wedding for
    money, you will not be paid. This is not a criminal case but
    instead a civil one, so YOU have to furnish proof.

    If you are not earning money with the gear, just get a full value
    rider. It's less expensive. But, be sure it is all spelled out as to
    your specific circumstances to be sure you are covered.
  18. Ken:

    Call your local State Farm agent again, and ask for a "Camera Equipment Floater policy". as Roger pointed out, you want an "All Risk" policy, and that is what the camera floater is. I won't bore you with how it came to be called a floater policy :) And some companies refer to them as "Inland Marine" policies, and I won't bore you with incogruous explanation either!

  19. Let me chime in since I have had to file a claim a couple years back. I am with Nationwide and have a rider that covers my camera gear.

    Some words of experience: Make sure your equipment list is up to date. If not your insurance company may still pay you (mine did); but with a 20-25% hit on the replacement value. They also require receipts, lacking that the manuals, boxes, and such from stolen can be accepted.

    Keep in mind most insurance companies will cancel a homeowners policy after two or three claims in a three to five year period. Also read a report in the Washington Post that indicated even calling your agent about the possibility of filing a claim can be counted against you. If you live in an area that gets severe weather you may think twice about putting camera gear on a homeowners policy.

    It is better from what I was told to get a separate policy. From a different post I got this name: Hays Group (800) 522-2460.
  20. Thank you, everybody!!!!!!! You've been really great and extremely helpful. Thank you
    for being so generous with your time. I hope that I can return the favor some day.

  21. For what it's worth, it's a good idea to have photographs of everything in your house of value, kept outside your home, to show the insurance company when you have a claim. An easy way to do this today is with a good digital video camera, starting the "movie" outside the house with the address shown, moving indoors and then throughout the whole house. Place jewelry on a table for close-ups, same with all your camera equipment. You might even be able to see the serial numbers. You can even appear in the video to make it up close and personal. Keep the receipts as well. The video should leave no doubts about what was in your house, though I guess you still have to prove that what's there is really all yours. Sound a little paranoid, but it beats making lists of everything by hand.
  22. For anyone in the UK, I've found that a number of companies will cover cameras, etc outside the house up to a certain maximum - in the case of my current policy it is, I believe, £5,000 for all items.

    BUT you have to be aware that this figure is subject to the total value of your home contents being adequately insured (at least on the policies I've had). I've done a bit of work in the insurance industry and have heard horror stories about people under insuring their possessions and finding that their stolen £1,000 camera is only covered for £500 because they underestimated their total value. It doesn't happen often but it DOES happen.

    Always remember the golden rule of the insurance industry: 'Whatever they say - don't pay'.
  23. Ken,

    ask about a Personal Articles Floater Policy.

    Otherwise, give Jim Koenigsdorf at the Hays Group a call - they have
    an excellent Inland Marine Floater policy that provides all risk
    coverage. Jim's number is (800) 522-2400.

    good luck,

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