After years as a serious-amateur turned semi-pro I'm at the point that photography is becoming a major part of my business income.
Up until this point I've had my equipment insured with special policy under my renters insurance. I believe it's called "rider" policy. However my insurance company informed me that they can no longer cover my equipment since I use it more for pay than for personal use.
I have called dozens of insurance companies and cannot find one that covers photography equipment for business. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Better late than never. I have a Personal Article Policy (Floater) from State Farm, from whom I also have homeowner's insurance. The floater costs around $300-350 for insurance on >$30,000 worth of goods.
I asked the same question from the Nikon rep for Samy's Camera in Los Angeles. I found out most of the pros out here use Tom Pichard and Company. The website is tcpinsurance.com. Good luck and tell me how you like it.
I have all my insurance with USAA, however you have to be in the military or a military veteran to get their insurance. It is absolutely one of the best around. I have all my camera equipment covered under a Valuable Property policy for about $30 a year, and that includes everything listed in my profile.
It not only covers it for theft, but any damage even I I drop the camera, get it wet, etc. I now leave my camera in my car at all times in a Thinktank Urban Disguise bag and don't worry about it.
Thanks Terry, I just called USAA and paid 10/month for over $10k in gear! Now i can take that canoe trip without fear of losing my gear.
>I have all my insurance with USAA, however you have to be in >the military or a military veteran to get their insurance. It >is absolutely one of the best around. I have all my camera >equipment covered under a Valuable Property policy for about >$30 a year, and that includes everything listed in my >profile. > >It not only covers it for theft, but any damage even I I drop >the camera, get it wet, etc. I now leave my camera in my car >at all times in a Thinktank Urban Disguise bag and don't worry >about it. > >Terry >
What were the requirements before the policy was issued? Just receipts and photos of the insured equipment or questions about home security systems and such that might cause a review of the original homeowners policy? Quickly issued in office after check was handed over?
Pros or semi-pros should obtain a separate Inland Marine (also called a "floater" policy) on their equipment. Do not attempt to add such gear to a personal lines policy like a homeowners policy as it may be excluded there due to your personal use.
Rates for professions is generally higher than for amateur photographers. Don't cheat or try to fudge your answer if you're a pro (if you sometimes use your equipment as a pro; being a "semi pro" does not compute with insurance companies).
I can't help but be skeptical that you've called "dozens" of companies. Call the company that provides your personal coverage. If he's an independent agent representing a number of companies he will then have some incentive (your other coverage) to obtain coverage for you.
If he can't or won't find an agent or broker who will welcome your homeowners and auto coverage and use it as a basis for an incentive to find you coverage for your professional equipment.
I just got a quote through a company affiliated with a media photographer's association that seems quite high. Almost $1,000 per year for just over $20k in equipment. Includes laptop and accessories. $500 deductible for damage per claim and $1,000 for theft. Also includes theft from an unattended vehicle and up to $15,000 of rental equipment.
I use State Farm as well. The insurance is called a small article policy and the coverage is fantastic. The policy has a zero deductible, and is all inclusive including theft, accidental damage, and accidental damage if you loan out your gear to a friend. I have a lot invested in my gear and I feel well protected with tis policy.
Sorry to resurrect an older thread, but the issues are still current.
I have my homeowners through Cincinnatti Insurance - a top rated company. The rider for photo gear is very reasonable - About $1.00 per $100 of value for "non-professional use". I have recently had my first claim after about 5 years and had a check within days for the full declared value. There is no deductible.
For professional coverage, PPA members can insure through Marsh. Insurance costs roughly $2.40 per $100. There are several other alternatives on the PPA website.
We have USAA for auto and home owners insurance. I knew about the rider for Valuable Property (VP), but never got around to setting it up. So, when a thief stole my favorite lens: Nikkor 24=70mm, I was really upset.
I finally got around to calling USAA and discovered to my pleasure that even though I didn't have the VP rider, the lens was covered by my homeowners policy. The only problem with that was that I had a $1,000 deductible. Still, better than nothing. I got the money within four days of filing the claim.
I did have to fax them the original sales receipt for the lens. They then looked up a current price for the lens and paid me for that, including tax. I was very pleased with the service and policy. I REALLY need to set up that VP rider...
Again -- if you make money with your equipment - part of full time - you may be fooling yourself if you cover it under a personal or home policy. I have a web site that tells potential customers that I am a professional photographer. I am covered by State Farm for my cars, home AND business liability insurance as well as an inland marine component that covers my equipment. If you shoot occasional weddings, etc., for money and have only a rider on your home policy to cover your photo gear, you may find that a claim on that, for equipment that you also make money with, can be interpreted as insurance fraud. Insurance companies frown on that! So make sure you are covered not only for WHAT you have (cameras, lenses, etc.) but HOW you use it.
If you don't have a professional business (intended to make money, whether or not you do!) you may be OK on a rider on your home policy for accidents, theft, etc. But again -- talk to your insurance agent.
PS - I am NOT an insurance agent, but I have a very good one. He has explained to me the ramifications of my business and what I must do to be thoroughl covered.
>...AND business liability insurance as well as an inland marine component that >covers my equipment.
Your mention of liability insurance brings up what i believe is an important consideration, and one semi-pros particularly might not have considered. Perhaps you could explain a bit more about the coverage. For example, does it cover such things as failure to perform (for whatever reason(s)), injury to others if, for example, someone trips over a camera bag and injures themselves, injury to second shooters, etc.
I'm about to purchase insurance for my photography business for the first time, and have done some research regarding options mentioned here. First, there are 3 areas that seem to need coverage- equipment loss/theft, liability (someone trips over your tripod, etc.), and coverage similar, I guess, to malpractice- for example, you shoot a wedding and photos are unacceptable to the couple, memory cards are damaged, etc. I received quotes from Hill & Usher, TCP (Tom Pickard), a local insurance company in my area of upstate NY, and looked at organizations like PPA. It seems like $500 annually is the "going rate". PPA includes $15, 000 of equipment coverage in their membership, and inclusion in a "trust fund" covering one of the other areas, but to purchase coverage in the 3rd area (sory, I forgot which one) was another $300+. I'm checking MetLife, who I have my homeowners with, but I'm not too hopeful. It looks like, unless something better comes up shortly, I'll be going the $500 route. Yikes! I don't know if this information helps anyone, but I thought it worth sharing. By the way, those who qualify for USSA because you are veterans- THANKS! Jim http://www.jimsack.com
I have a question for those of you who use State Farm. Does your business insurance cover equipment, liability if someone gets hurt in your studio, trips over a light stand on location, etc., and lawsuits/legal action if a memory card is damaged, photos are deemed unacceptable by a client, etc. When I've looked at coverage for all of these areas, the annual premium has been about $500, regardless of company. Finally, for those of you shooting professionally, do you carry insurance coverage for all of these areas? Thanks for any assistance you can provide. Jim http://www.jimsack.com
INSURANCE COVERAGE FROM A BUSINESS POLICY: 1. Hurt in studio - Yes (Medical Payments to Others: Subject to limits of Policy) 2. Trip over light stand - Yes (Medical Payments to Others: Subject to limits) 3. Memory card - perhaps - depending on whether or not it is 'scheduled" and what caused its damage. 4. Unacceptable photos - No 5. Law suits are dealt with under the Liability section of a Business policy.
You need to be concerned about a couple issues in addition to those you have listed.
1. Coverage for equipment "off premisis". 2. Coverage for items that can be damaged due to being dropped and broken. 3. Computer equpment on & off premisis for loss due to Theft, Breakage. or Power Surge.
These 3 areas warrant consideration for what is call a Commercial Inland Marine Policy, which is optional coverage that can be added to your business policy. You would also "schedule" (ie. memory cards, flash attachments, lenses, camera bodies, filters, batteries, etc.) that are of specific concern for you. It has been my experience that professional photographers are far more concerned about a $5000 camera body, or a $3000 lens, than they are about the miscellaneous items like filters, batteries, memory cards, etc..
If you are making money with your photographyequipment and believe you are covered under your Homeowner's or a Personal Inland Marine Policy (note I said PERSONAL Inland Marine Policy) , I would strongly advise you to have a conversation with your insurance agent and have him/her show you specifically where it states in your policy that you are completely covered for camera equipment used for Business purposes. The Personal Inland Marine Policy is not meant to protect a Professional Photographer. It is meant to protect the amateur. The Commercial Inland Marine Policy is for the professional.
Just for the sake of clarification a Personal Inland Marine Policy is also commonly referred to as a Personal Articles Policy. They are the same thing.
I'm sure I have forgotten something. It is after all late @ night on a Friday when I am doing this. My intent is to provide some basic answers to some basic questions. It is not my intent to explain the intracasies of the policy. There are too many variables that need to be considered.
Hope this helps.
By the way, I am a 30 year State Farm Agent. Not trying to solicit business, just trying to help clarify some issues.
Thank you very much for the information. I have quotes from several companies, including MetLife, who we use for our home insurance. The info you've shared clarifies some issues, and provides the areas I still need to address. I hate to admit it, but when it comes to areas related to insurance, among many other areas, I have the attention span of a gnat! Thanks again! Jim http://www.jimsack.com
Having lost most everything except my d70 in a home burglary last Fall when our home was being re-built after a plumbing flood, take seriously these suggestions in this thread. I've spent months and thousands getting back to where I was, but some items with sentimental value like my old F3, on which I learned photography originally, and some really old and rare, but fun, F mount lenses, will never be replaced. Wish I had read this thread about a year ago when I made a mental note to secure things better, but then failed to follow up!
>Hi Jim, > >INSURANCE COVERAGE FROM A BUSINESS POLICY: >1. Hurt in studio - Yes (Medical Payments to Others: Subject >to limits of Policy) >2. Trip over light stand - Yes (Medical Payments to Others: >Subject to limits) >3. Memory card - perhaps - depending on whether or not it is >'scheduled" and what caused its damage. >4. Unacceptable photos - No >5. Law suits are dealt with under the Liability section of a >Business policy. > >You need to be concerned about a couple issues in addition to >those you have listed. > >1. Coverage for equipment "off premisis". >2. Coverage for items that can be damaged due to being >dropped and broken. >3. Computer equpment on & off premisis for loss due to >Theft, Breakage. or Power Surge. > >These 3 areas warrant consideration for what is call a >Commercial Inland Marine Policy, which is optional coverage >that can be added to your business policy. You would also >"schedule" (ie. memory cards, flash attachments, >lenses, camera bodies, filters, batteries, etc.) that are of >specific concern for you. It has been my experience that >professional photographers are far more concerned about a >$5000 camera body, or a $3000 lens, than they are about the >miscellaneous items like filters, batteries, memory cards, >etc.. > >If you are making money with your photographyequipment and >believe you are covered under your Homeowner's or a Personal >Inland Marine Policy (note I said PERSONAL Inland Marine >Policy) , I would strongly advise you to have a conversation >with your insurance agent and have him/her show you >specifically where it states in your policy that you are >completely covered for camera equipment used for Business >purposes. The Personal Inland Marine Policy is not meant to >protect a Professional Photographer. It is meant to protect >the amateur. The Commercial Inland Marine Policy is for the >professional. > >Just for the sake of clarification a Personal Inland Marine >Policy is also commonly referred to as a Personal Articles >Policy. They are the same thing. >
Good summary. I was more concerned about Errors and Omission coverage than equipment insurance. I went with CNA though Wells Fargo. I am covered for everything you outlined here and more. BTW, some venues will not let you photograph without certificate of insurance.
I went through the same process and settled on a local broker. I do understand that some of the large pro photography associations sponsor insurance, but I think it's for their members. You can check. I don't believe any of the homeowners insurance policies cover business use. _________________ Michael D. Miller MillerPhotography@comcast.net www.MichaelDMillerPhotography.PhotoReflect.com