What You Need To Know About Camera Equipment Insurance

TLTR: This article explores what camera insurance is and why you need to get camera equipment insurance for full coverage. Apart from getting into what the policy covers, it also explains the types of insurance that professional photographers should ensure their business with to ensure that it is protected against any unforeseen situations.  

As a photographer, you already know that your camera and photography equipment aren’t cheap. Sometimes, the cost of repairing or replacing a cracked lens or a broken gimbal can cost as much (if not more) than the price of the camera body itself.

If you’re a professional photographer or run a photography business, you understand how big of a problem a malfunctioned camera or broken equipment can be for not just you, but also for your clients. Even if you’re just a hobbyist, you’d want to make sure that your camera was safe and covered at all times. So, if you’re looking to provide your camera and camera equipment with the financial coverage they deserve, getting camera insurance and adding camera equipment insurance is an absolute must.

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What Is Camera Insurance Coverage?

New cameras typically come with at least a one-year warranty from the manufacturer. However, it only covers repairs if it breaks down due to a manufacturing defect.

Camera insurance further helps protect your camera (DSLR, SLR, or mirrorless), action cameras, or video cameras, if it is subject to accidental damage, electrical malfunction, mechanical breakdown, and theft or loss.

What Is Camera Equipment Insurance?

Camera equipment insurance is a form of coverage that you can choose as part of your camera insurance. It protects photographers and videographers from any financial loss that results from damage, malfunction, or loss of their camera equipment. 

Camera equipment insurance covers a wide range of camera equipment like tripods, flashguns, lens filters, gimbals, and external microphones. It also covers remote shutter buttons and other camera accessories.

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    Do You Need Insurance for Camera Equipment?

    No matter how safe you think your cameras are or how careful you think you are, accidents and mishaps occur more often than you think. Even when you’re working in a controlled environment like in a studio, tripping over a stray cable or hitting the side of a table can result in you knocking over expensive cameras, lenses, flashguns, and tripods.

    Cameras and equipment used in wildlife and landscape photoshoots are further exposed to even more risks from the natural elements. So, if you damage your camera or equipment, or if it gets stolen, and you didn’t have camera insurance coverage, you will have no other option but to pay for its repairs or replacement out of your pocket.

    Having camera gear insurance in place would also eliminate the need to pay for replacing your camera.

    Simply put, you need insurance for camera gear if:

    • You’ve purchased an expensive camera and equipment that you’d struggle to replace them if anything were to happen to them.
    • You think that your camera and camera equipment will get damaged during a photoshoot.
    • You’re under the impression that your camera might get stolen.
    • You feel like you would need an immediate replacement device if anything were to happen to your camera.

    So, if you’re wary of the potential risks and feel like you are likely to need a financial safety net to fall back to, camera insurance coverage could be your answer.  

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      What Factors Influence Camera Equipment Insurance?

      When speaking with an insurance agent or camera insurance company, be specific regarding how and where you plan to use your camera. The agent or the company representative will generally ask for a detailed list of information for each listed item you want to insure.

      You will need to update and maintain this list every time you sell or acquire new equipment. Doing this will influence the amount that you’ll need to pay in premiums.

      For instance, if you work outdoors and shoot the wildlife or landscapes or work as a wedding photographer, you may need to pay more in premiums. This is because you’re exposing your camera equipment to natural elements. Furthermore, working outdoors also leaves your camera equipment exposed to thefts and accidents.

      On the contrary, your rates will be lower if you only use your camera and equipment inside a studio. This is because unlike the great outdoors, photography studios are generally much safer.

      However, some carriers can set the same amount for both cases. But it’s important to be specific and upfront with your broker from the very start to avoid any misunderstandings.

      What Does Camera Equipment Insurance Cover?

      Camera equipment coverage is an add-on of camera insurance. It needs to be added to your camera insurance to take effect. It then provides the same range of protection to your photography equipment as it does to your camera.

      Camera insurance can help protect your camera and equipment against:

      Accidental Damage

      Suppose the lens element of your camera cracks or shatters or if liquid damage impairs its internal components. Your camera insurance will help pay for repairs or replacement. Similarly, if your tripod falls and one of its hinges comes loose, this policy can pay to fix it.

      Electrical or Mechanical Breakdown

      Most new cameras come with a six-month to a year warranty. During this period, the company or the shop provides complete repair and replacement service. However, if your camera equipment experiences an electrical or mechanical breakdown after the warranty period has expired, this policy can help in covering the repair or replacement cost.

      For example, if your camera lens’ focus ring gets stuck or the remote shutter button stops working, your camera insurance will cover any repair fees.

      Theft or Loss

      If you were to lose your camera or camera equipment to theft, this policy will cover the expenses for its replacement. However, there may be some exclusions if you’re found to have left your camera and camera equipment in a place that wasn’t secure or if it was left unattended.

      Travel Coverage

      If something happens to your camera or camera equipment when you’ve taken it abroad, this policy will provide coverage for them. This coverage tends to be for a specific number of days per trip or a specific number of trips per year.

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      What Camera Equipment Insurance Doesn’t Cover?

      Damage Due to Wear and Tear

      As they get older, cameras tend to stop working as well. Hence, Camera insurance will not cover malfunctions and damages that have occurred as a result of age and long-term use.

      Second-hand Cameras

      The camera and equipment you’re trying to insure must be purchased directly from an authorized distributor, retail store, or manufacturer. Insurers need to be provided proof of genuine purchase for the policy to pass.

      Older Cameras

      Most carriers won’t cover cameras that are more than three years old. Some may even lower the number down to 12 months.

      Superficial/ Aesthetic Damage

      Cosmetic damages such as dents and scratches to your camera body that doesn’t affect the functionality of the camera will not be covered.

      Cameras Used for Commercial Use

      Camera equipment insurance will not cover cameras and camcorders used for commercial use. You may need to take out a business owners policy if you’re looking to cover them.

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      What Types of Insurance Do Professional Photographers Need?

      According to IBISWorld, there are 234,222 professional photography businesses operating in the U.S. in 2021. Given the sheer volume of different customer needs and projects, there’s always a chance that you could face several third-party claims and lawsuits. Some of the policies that can help you stay prepared are:

      Business Owners Policy

      A business owners policy (BOP) can help protect photography businesses from any claims and lawsuits, property damage, and equipment breakdowns.

      They can also help you stay financially afloat if your business needs to suddenly close shop. For example, you slip and break your primary camera while shooting a wedding. Your BOP will cover both your lost income and the repair costs that resulted from the accident.

      Commercial Property Insurance

      If you’re working as a professional photographer, commercial property insurance is one of the most important coverages that you need to have in place. It can protect everything from your cameras and camera equipment to lighting gears and laptops that you use to process your client’s photos.

      Proper commercial property insurance can cover you against any forms of theft, vandalism, wind, and fire damage.

      General Liability Insurance

      Every serious photographer will have a lot of equipment with them. Wedding photographers will have everything from multiple light reflectors and tripods, to multiple prime and telephoto lenses. While this can be beneficial for the photographer, it can put their clients and guests in danger.

      For example, a child could trip over a tripod stand and injure themselves. In such instances, your general liability insurance can help pay for their medical fees.

      Errors and Omissions Insurance

      Errors and Omissions Insurance or E&O insurance is another important coverage that professional photographers need to have in place. It covers different claims and lawsuits that third parties could file as a response to your errors, incompetence, and delay in services.

      For example, some organizers hire you hired to shoot a local folk concert. But they weren’t happy with the video or sound quality and decided to sue you. This policy can help pay for your defense costs.

      Let us help you find the right camera equipment insurance to keep your photography hobby or profession afloat. Find a local insurance agent today!

      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

      Does Renters And Homeowners Insurance Cover My Camera?

      The straight answer is, yes, it will! If you want to cover your camera against theft, vandalism, and other covered perils, your homeowners insurance policy will automatically provide the necessary coverage.

      However, the majority of home content insurance is limited to cover your belongings only if it’s inside your home. As most photographers prefer taking their cameras outside, the coverage that homeowners insurance provides can be limiting. Furthermore, if something were to happen to your camera and you were to file a claim, it would likely increase the home insurance cost in the future.

      So, you’ll need camera insurance to ensure that your camera is financially covered to the full extent; even when you’re taking them outdoors or to your studio.

      Does Renters And Homeowners Insurance Cover My Camera Equipment?

      Yes, it will! Your homeowners insurance will cover any photography equipment that you own such as tripods, lenses, external flash, gimbals, or external shutter remotes from perils such as fire, theft, and vandalism.

      But you’ll first need to get camera insurance, and then add camera equipment insurance if you want to provide extra coverage. Note that you’ll first need to have your camera body insured before you can insure your camera equipment.  

      If you want to also insure your camera equipment against accidental damage like cracked lenses and mysterious disappearances, you’ll need to buy a camera insurance policy. 

      Does Camera Insurance Cover Lost Photos?

      Most camera insurance policies don’t cover lost data. Most modern digital cameras can connect to the internet. If you don’t lose your precious photos, make sure that you upload it to the cloud and also store them in a backup file frequently. 

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