How Does Camera Equipment Insurance Work?

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Maybe you only have one camera with a few lenses or perhaps you are a professional photographer with thousands of dollars worth of photography equipment. Your equipment is not only important to you, especially if you have a photography business, but it can also be expensive to replace if it gets stolen or damaged. 

One hedge against stolen or lost equipment is camera equipment insurance. But how does camera equipment insurance work? 

Today, we’ll explore what camera equipment insurance is, how it works, what it covers, and why camera gear insurance is worth it. Best of all, we’ll show you that there’s a great way to affordably insure all of your camera gear!

What Is Camera Equipment Insurance?

Camera gear insurance isn’t just for professional photographers and videographers. Many amateurs invest in liability insurance to protect their equipment. After all, good camera equipment is expensive to replace! 

Camera equipment insurance is a type of general liability insurance that’s designed to protect you if your camera equipment is lost or stolen. However, the amount of coverage and how much it costs will vary from one insurance company to the next. 

Most insurance providers have specific lists of incidents that they will and will not cover. While you can have specific incidents added to your policy for coverage (usually for a fee), if something happens that falls outside of one of those categories, the insurance company will reject your claim. 

If you have to file a claim, it will likely take up to 30 days (sometimes longer) to process. In addition, you’ll have to fill out a lot of paperwork and provide documentation about the items on the claim. You’ll have to prove not only that you owned them, but also show how much they cost when you bought them. 

Does My Home Insurance Cover My Camera Equipment?

Does your homeowner’s insurance (or renters insurance) cover your camera equipment? Unfortunately, it depends. Your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance may include camera coverage; however, there are likely conditions for coverage, if you have any.

For example, the value of your camera and accessories may affect your coverage. The more expensive the equipment is, the more likely it will be that your insurance won’t cover it, will cover only up to a certain value, or charge an additional fee to cover the full value. Moreover, insurance may not cover something like a cracked lens. 

If you have a photography business that you run from your home, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance usually won’t cover your photography equipment. Most insurance providers require separate policies for personal and professional use. That means you’d have to buy separate camera gear insurance. 

Used equipment may also be covered; however, you may have a problem proving the value if you didn’t buy it originally. 

Accidental Damage or Theft Away from Home

Many home insurance policies will only cover items in your home. This means if you take your camera gear outside into the community or beyond to shoot and it suffers accidental damage or theft, your homeowner’s insurance probably won’t cover it. 

Your automobile insurance may not cover your professional equipment from accidents or theft while your gear is in the car, either.

For camera gear insurance while you are out in the world, you may have to pay for inland marine insurance, which is a special kind of insurance designed to cover property in transit. This type of insurance covers accidental damage and theft while you are out of your house.

Replacement Value vs. Cash Value

When you file a claim with typical insurance, you might only be reimbursed for the insurance company’s calculation of the current value of the equipment (called the cash value)—not what you paid for it. 

As your equipment ages, insurance companies will account for the depreciation or the decreased value of your property over time due to wear and tear. 

Consider this example. Your lens was worth $1,000 brand-new, but an insurance claim won’t reimburse that value because it isn’t brand-new anymore. 

Instead, the insurance company may calculate the value at $600, even though it would cost you at least $1,000 to replace the equipment. Depending on how the company calculates the depreciation, you may only receive a fraction of what you paid originally.

Many insurance companies offer a replacement value option, but you’ll typically pay extra for it. With replacement value policies, the insurance company will reimburse what it costs to replace your equipment. 

Camera Equipment Insurance vs. Equipment Warranty 

Camera equipment insurance differs from equipment warranty. A warranty is limited protection that comes with equipment when you buy it; a warranty can be valid for as little as a few months to several years. It covers failure or premature wearing of the parts of the equipment due to manufacturer’s defects. 

You can sometimes pay extra to extend the equipment warranty for a certain length of time when you buy the equipment, but warranties are still limited in both what they cover and for how long. Theft and accidental damage aren’t covered. 

Camera gear insurance is purchased separately. As mentioned, what the camera gear insurance covers will vary by company, but you can have camera coverage for as long as you keep paying the premiums.

How Much Does It Cost to Insure My Camera Equipment?

Costs depend on what your insurance protects, both in terms of the equipment and which types of incidents you want coverage for. For example, general liability insurance may not cover damage from drops outside, so you may have to pay extra for that. 

Professional photographers and videographers pay an average of $65 monthly or about $800 annually for coverage. An amateur may pay around $500 annually. 

Is It Worth Getting Insurance for My Camera Gear?

If you had to replace all of your gear today, could you do it promptly without feeling a significant financial squeeze?

For most people, the answer is no. This means having photography insurance is a good move. For items like camera gear, it just makes sense to have it. 

Ways to Protect Your Photography Equipment

There are some things you can do to protect your photography equipment from accidental damage and theft. 

For example, when you are traveling for a shoot, make sure your gear is strapped firmly down, either to your person or your pack. Invest in padded and waterproof travel and storage gear.

Deter Theft

Many thefts are crimes of opportunity. Unfortunately, it only takes a few seconds to leave with expensive camera equipment. Thieves watch for unattended camera equipment for these reasons:

  • It is easy to walk away with 
  • It can be sold online quickly for a good return
  • It’s hard to trace

Never leave your photography equipment where someone could pick it up and walk off with it.

If you have to leave your camera equipment in your car, it is best to keep your equipment out of sight and the car locked. Make sure the windows are up, too.

If you have a studio or photography business, you should limit who has access to your facility and keep careful track of your keys. Consider installing an alarm system.

Take Photos of Your Equipment

Take photos of all of your camera equipment and keep an inventory. Make sure to log each pieces’ description, serial number, and model number. 

Keep your receipts to prove when you purchased the equipment and its value. You will need this information if you ever need to file a claim. 

What Is the Best Option?

While you could buy insurance and pay extra fees to have all of your equipment covered whether you are home or out on a shoot, there is a better, more cost-effective way. Since you likely have a cell phone, too, why not consider AKKO insurance?

AKKO offers very affordable phone protection plans starting at $15 a month (under $200 a year). With our plans, you can add up to 25 items, including cameras and accessories, to be covered in full, too! 

No matter what the item (including camera equipment), your deductible is $29 to $99 per claim for your additional items.

Unlike other kinds of insurance, you can file more than one claim per year, too. Claims are limited to $2000 per claim; however, for a few dollars more, you can upgrade to a per-incident limit as high as $10,000.  

AKKO makes filing claims easy, quick, and much faster than filing with a traditional insurance company. AKKO even covers theft from your car, provided that you locked your car, had the windows up, and had visible evidence of forced entry.

Curious to see how AKKO stacks up against other device protection competitors? You’ll be pleasantly surprised: 

AKKO also offers student plans and family plans so that you can enjoy even more savings! 

AKKO offers a better way to insure items that are important to you, including your camera equipment. Contact AKKO today and see the difference! 

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