Cameras enable us to capture the most memorable moments of our life. This is the reason many of us have at least one. Cameras, professional or personal are expensive as well as delicate to handle. A little negligence or mishandling can damage them. Though most cameras are often covered by manufacturer's warranty, it typically expires in a year and covers only the manufacturing defects.
Hence, a sensible solution to safeguard your camera is to insure it with a right cover. As many insurance companies are offering different policies, it is necessary to understand the possible risks and the required protection for your camera. In this article, we will discuss on the things you need to consider before choosing a camera insurance policy.
Broadly, camera usage can be classified in to two types - personal and professional. Under personal usage, the camera is used purely for personal purposes, without any intention of making money. Even if you use a high-end professional camera, without making money, it cannot be considered professional usage. As part of professional usage, you use a camera to make money.
So, before opting for an insurance policy, be sure about your usage. Based on what kind of a photographer you are (as this determines the usage of camera) - amateur, semi-professional, or fully professional, there are different types of camera insurance policies.
Many insurance companies offer camera insurance policies that have geographical restrictions. In case your camera has suffered damage outside the mentioned territorial limits of the insurance company, you are not eligible for claiming amount for the damage.
Imagine you were on a family tour. And while capturing some images, your camera fell down accidentally and stopped working. You may not bother much assuming that you have camera insurance to take care of this. But, when you call and report the same to the insurance company, their response may upset you. They may say that the insurance is applicable only if the accident happens in the city or country limits.
So, make sure that the insurance is applicable globally or at least all over the country to make it worthwhile.
What all are included in the accidental damage?
At times, the insurance policies are very tricky. Though the policy claims that it offers cover to all possible accidental damages to the camera, in reality, the companies have a certain list of accidents, only for which the cover is applicable. Different companies include different accidents.
For instance, a general damage caused because of wear and tear, repairing, cleaning, and battery leakage, may not be considered and hence, makes the claim invalid. Be sure about the terms and conditions of accidental damage before purchasing the policy.
Theft coverage is one more important thing to consider. As the chances of fraudulent claims are more when it comes to theft, insurance companies are a bit tough on claims related to theft. While, some companies may completely exclude theft coverage in the policy, some may include, but with conditions. Hence, be aware of the theft coverage before choosing the policy.
Other things to consider
In addition to above mentioned things, there are a few other points that are worth considering.
• Equipment cover: This cover is applicable to professional photographers who possess different camera accessories like additional lens, cover filters, tripods, lighting, flash equipment, etc. Besides offering cover to the body of the camera, if the policy offers cover to these accessories also, it would be beneficial.
• Public liability insurance: This would again help the professional photographers who own studios or those who perform photography sessions outdoors. Public liability helps them to save costs on the legal claims made by the injured public at the studio/outdoor shooting location due to photographer's negligence. This insurance is for the studio owner and the cameraman, but not the camera.
• Equipment replacement: Camera replacement or 'old for new' are some of the schemes offered by the insurance companies. As they seem like a bait to attract the customers, one should be careful while considering these schemes. They can be considered to be useful to the policy holders, only if the terms and conditions are made transparent by the insurance company. Depending on the policy and specific conditions, the companies may replace your damaged camera with a new one.
You need to consider these points before choosing camera insurance. Approach a reliable broker to get a fair deal on your camera insurance policy. As he is a professional in this field, he understands the industry specific terminology and helps you choose the right policy.