Obsolete ??

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by benjiboy, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I read today about a photographer in New Orleans who all his equipment in Hurricane Katrina whose insurance company would only pay out a small fraction of the value of his losses because it wasn't digital but "Film equipment, and therefore obsolete", which makes me wonder if the premiums I'm paying on my policy for my gear that is all more than twenty years old would ever be justified in case I ever lost it, because I'm beginning to seriously doubt it, because Insurers can always come up with at least twenty good reason why they won't pay out, and employ people especially for that purpose, What do you think ?
     
  2. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    You better have a look at your insurance policy. Chances are that the times that they might be 'willing' to pay anything should something happen have ended long ago already.

    I stopped paying insurance a long time (about 30 years) ago, because the insurance company depreciated the value of the equipment every year (while prices - even what i would have gotten if i would have sold the kit i had used - only went up) and what i had to pay remained based on the valuation of the equipment when i got the insurance policy.
    In effect, after only a few years, i would have gotten absolutely nothing at all from them should i lose anything, yet was still expected to pay the premium every year.
    So i told them they were nuts, and started paying the premium to myself. With them not paying anything, i would be the one taking the risk anyway. So a true no-brainer.

    It worked out fine. Saved me quite a lot of money.
    Now only when something out of the ordinary would occur will i consider insuring equipment. And only for that occassion.
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Since I am living in two locations and travel back and forth I got an addition to my State Farm policy that covers replacement costs.

    Edit: I sent copies of the purchase of the equipment from Samys and KEH. The agent said that that is better than an estimate.

    Steve
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2010
  4. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    benji, do you have a link?
     
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Yes, look at Kelly Flanigan's post-http://photo.net/canon-fd-camera-forum/00Wh0p
     
  6. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Let me see if I can confuse the issue a bit. In my experience, most policies for camera equipment pay "actual cash value" for as opposed to replacement cost. When you suffer a loss of a 5 year-old digital camera, you have lost a camera which can not be replaced with new as it is no longer available, so the insurance company will pay you what it would cost to buy another used 5 year-old digital camera. Same would be true of a 25 year old film camera or lens. The trap we set for ourselves is not keeping our items insured at the proper amount on our schedule. For example, you buy a lens for $400, insure it for that and several years later have a loss. Lets say in the current market for the lens might be $650 to replace. The maximum you are going to get paid is the $400 for which you insured it. Before anyone gets all disturbed about not being paid "replacement cost" for their camera gear, I would assert that "actual cash value" and "replacement cost" are in fact the same thing for obsolete cameras that you actually replace. I know this may not be what you want to hear, however I'd suggest you read your policy to see what it says about how things are covered. Yes, I know they are difficult to understand, even for those of us who sell insurance. The information one gets from a phone call to their agent's office can also sometimes be confusing and sometimes even wrong. If the equipment you have insured is only covered on your homeowner'sd policy and is used professionally, it may not be covered away from you resisdence.

    Please don't take this posting as either legal or insurance advice, other than I am suggesting you read your policy to better understand what is covered. Bill
     
  7. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    How does a vintage lens factor with insurance ?

    Say a big ol' fast Petzval worth anywhere up from $800 to thousands - already 140 years old...
     
  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    My dilemma is is it worth paying premiums on equipment that's more than twenty years old that was paid for and forgotten about years ago that could be replaced on Ebay for very little.
     
  9. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    one needs to have their equipment re-assest every few years as the company bases their payout out on the receipts you provided at the time the equipment was placed on the policy (or at least that is how my company works) The reality is ; check the cost of insurance based against what the equipment can be purchased for at this time (as the above fellow has suggested)
     
  10. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    In my case, i didn't think it was very confusing, Bill.

    Since the insurance company proposed to reimburse what they call 'current value', depreciated the value of the equipment by a considerable percentage every year, set by themselves without any regard for 'market value/replacement value' (i had stuff that actually would have brought in more money, had i sold it, then i had paid for it new - not according to the insurance company though), yet had me pay a premium based upon the value originally insured, i simply decided it was a bum wrap, and walked away from it.

    Doing the sums, considering the money i saved by not paying insurance fees, i could have had all my stuff stolen and replaced by brand new equipment at my expense, and still have money to spare.

    It will be terrible should i have it all stolen today or tomorrow, having to cough up a huge amount at once to replace it. But in the long run, i'm extremely happy. :wink:


    But my happiness aside, do have a look at what "replacement cost" actually means according to your insurer.
    In my case, back then, it would have meant "nothing at all", after only a few years.
     
  11. clayne

    clayne Member

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    QG, I take it you still insure the home itself, right?
     
  12. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    That doesn't cover any of it, i'm afraid.
     
  13. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Insurance is the biggest rip-off industry going. Second only to big banks. I wouldn't pay extra for any coverage I didn't need, they will always find loopholes to avoid paying. Slimy business. Personal experience.
     
  14. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    My personal experience is that in the past 26 years as an agent for a very large insurance company, I've found the company I represent to treat people
    fairly and strive to pay every penny they owe. I recently had about $8,000 dollars worth of camera equipment stolen and was very satisfied with the way the claim was handled. There were a couple of pieces I had under-insured, however I feel I was paid everything I was owed for those pieces.

    Insurance is the kind of thing you don't need, until you need it. Most honest folks can not tell you when a loss will occur.

    My experience in dealing with people who are disgruntled with a claim experience and paint the industry with a rather broad brush is that they generally do not share the entire story about what happened. At least that has been my experience over the past 26 years.

    There are two ways to cover your personal camera gear in the state in which I live. First, you can have it covered as contents of you home under your homeowners policy. Second, you can buy a seperate policy that covers specific pieces of camera equipment. This is an "all risk" policy rather than the more limited coverages offered by the homeowners policy. Fot folks who are taking their gear away from home much of the time, this is how they might best be covered. Bill