Here's an alternative....self insure. Take some small amount of money out of every pay check and set it aside. Put it in a special savings account or buy us savings bonds. Do something with the money that will prevent you from spending it. After a while you'll have saved well enough to cover any loss...take care of your gear and you'll come out way ahead.
Speaking fromexperience, a rider on your homeownerspolicy is inexpensive andnearly useless.
the policy I had with state farm covered my gear anywhere whether it was lost, stolen, damaged. $100 deductible.
Something tells me that Benjiboy is not exactly stupid.
Face it folks, insurance companies, especially the 'mass market' ones like State Farm or others similar to it are going to give you a surprise if enter a claim for items that are: 1) used 2) not bought often 3) have little market value.
MY PROBLEM: even if they did pay $25 for each and every used Spotmatic body that I own my dilemma is that with many, many cameras and lenses I spent yeoman's hours doing repairs and those hours of work are not going to manifest with any settlement. Yes, again, I think that Benjiboy is more focused upon the 'real' world and not the theoretical one.
Decades ago when Travelers Cheques were in vogue American Express was very efficient with refunding lost Cheques. NOW...I have heard horror stories with refunds being denied. They can AFFORD to reneg on this because it is not a major part of their business any more. The point that I am making is this: learn to differentiate between theory and practice. I sounds nice to 'know' that you are insured but I want to see the real claim and see what results.
I have about 800 cameras and about 1000 lenses. NO WAY am I going to get an average of about $20 times 1000 = $20,000 for my items if a flood 'happens' or a theft 'happens'. My stuff is in about four locations, so I am 'insured' against all of it being taken at one time. Insurance premiums have a habit of encouraging insurance companies to commit the crime of 'puffery'. Those companies are not in the business of telling the dire truth any more than is legally necessary.
Oh yes, let me tell you about the 6000 classical music 33 rpm LPs that co-exist with the cameras. Those should also get a handsome reward if stolen! -David Lyga
Can I come to your estates sale?:p
Originally Posted by David Lyga
The best is to speak honestly with your insurance agent about the actual value of the items and if they are worth insuring - I know some of mine cameras are not worth the minimum premium they are asking. Where you get in trouble is when you assume that you spent $1000 of a camera that the insurance will pay you $1000 for a replacement - a replacement for that exact one is probably $300-400. Where you really get in trouble is when you over-insure an item (say it is worth $1000 when it is worth $50 at the time of the insurance policy purchase) since the insurance company calls fraud, denies the claim and does not return any premiums - plus you are forever in the database as a cheat and no other insurance will take you on (happened to a co-worker).
Also, when I worked at the camera store, people would come in with a claim for a Nikon D200 and be looking for a quote for a D60 - the insurance company said the D60 had more megapixels and thus would be a more realistic replacement than a D300 - they don't understand one is an amateur and one is a semi-professional.
Yes, over-insuring is analogous to gambling and is both illegal and claims will not be paid.
But why is it so hard to find straight talk about 'replacement value' insurance. Go to the average State Farm or other home owners policy agent and you will get blank stares. For example, are heirlooms insurable? I am certain that Lloyds of London would have a carrier that would insure, but why do you have to go to that esoteric level? Why does the claim always have to be 'what you could get for that' and not 'what you would have to pay in order to replace that'?
This camera hoarding is a sickness and I admit that I am sick. These were bought, however, at extremely good prices and I rarely buy anything that I cannot sell immediately for virtually the same price. So this illness is tainted with logic. I cannot get these cameras or lenses out of my blood. - David Lyga
So, there is no Camera-Specific insurance firm that aren't a bunch of morons with regards to knowledge about gear?
I don't think that the problem is specific to cameras. It strikes me that even car insurance - which is exceedingly common - works the same way. if you wreck your car, you never really get enough money to buy a new one....if you get anything, you get "what it was worth" according to the insurance company. Since the insurance company says "What it was worth", the value they fix need not have any relation to actual market value. What we consumers have to realize is that the insurance company doesn't like to loose money (and they almost never do).
I'll also notice that here in California, it is fairly common for an insurance company to cancel a homeowner's policy for any claim....which also makes it not such a good idea to add you r gear as a rider on the homeowner's policy.
Originally Posted by David Lyga
David, you could also look at it as investing in hard assets as a hedge against inflation....:)
For business and personal I have found out that Insurance is a necessary evil, and totally worth having.
As well as a good accountant/bookkeeper and Lawyer.
I have had three major insurance claims in my career and each time my insurance agent / agents were first class and
provided me complete satisfaction.
BradS: Actually I have not lost money...until you factor a bank hit by a hurricane last year and flooded three large safe deposit boxes I had there!!!
Life itself is a gamble but it is true in that many think that they are insured. The moment of rekoning comes when the claim is filed. Replacement value policies are quite rare. - David Lyga