Q: What's the best type of camera insurance for professional photographers?
A: If you add up all the money you've put into cameras, equipment, and gear, you've probably made a 5-figure investment in your commercial property. It only makes sense that you'd want to protect that property with camera insurance. But how do you know which insurance will provide the best coverage?
That's a hard question to answer. Each business owner will have to find camera insurance that's the right balance of cost and coverage for their business. Fortunately, insureon's photography insurance experts have put together this guide to help you in your search for camera insurance.
Why Do I Need Camera Insurance?
In many ways, cameras make an ideal target for thieves: they're small, portable, and extremely valuable. Some cameras cost as much as cars and thieves can flip them on craigslist selling them quickly and leaving no trace. To protect your business from theft, fire damage, and other losses, you should invest in Commercial Property Insurance for photographers.
Does My Homeowner's Insurance Cover My Photography Equipment?
Many freelance photographers run a business from their home, but unfortunately, Homeowner's Policies usually don't cover professional equipment. If your camera was stolen from your home office, you'd be out of luck and have to pay out-of-pocket to replace your equipment.
Camera Insurance for Photographers and Videographers
To insure your photography equipment, you'll need Commercial Property Insurance. This policy will cover any cameras, printers, lighting, tripods, computers, and other equipment the business owns (including furniture and supplies not specifically related to photography).
If you have Property Insurance, your insurer pays to replace stolen items as well as equipment damaged in a fire or due to covered weather events.
Add-ons, Riders, and Notes about Camera Insurance
Camera Insurance policies can be customized to better protect your business from theft and other debacles. In particular, there are a few tweaks you can add to your policy that can drastically increase the amount of coverage you have.
When choosing between Property Insurance providers, keep these options in mind:
- Inland Marine Insurance. Add this rider to your coverage and you'll get protection for theft that occurs outside of your office. If your camera is stolen from the backseat of your car, Inland Marine will reimburse you for the loss. Damages and theft that occur while you're shooting on location or traveling can all be covered by Inland Marine.
- Replacement-value vs. cash-value. When you sign up for Property Insurance, you'll have to choose between a replacement-value and a cash-value policy. A replacement-value policy will cover the full cost of replacing your lost or damaged camera with a new equivalent. A cash-value policy costs less, but it only covers the current, depreciated value of your camera. Your Canon EOS may have cost $3,000 when you bought it, but now it's only worth $1,000. If you have a cash-value policy, you'll only be reimbursed for $1,000.
Protecting Your Business from Theft
By taking a few precautionary measures you can greatly improve the chance that you'll be able to recover a stolen camera. If police recover your stolen equipment, you might have to prove that the cameras are yours. Remember to…
- Take photos of your equipment.
- Write down serial numbers for cameras and other equipment.
By doing these two things, you'll increase the likelihood that stolen items will be returned to you (if they're ever recovered).