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Camera and Equipment Insurance

by Lisa Surati, June 1999 (updated January 2007)

Good camera equipment is not cheap. Most photographers spend years acquiring theirs. If you had to replace all your equipment at once, or even a portion of it, would you be able to? What would you do if faced with such a situation? Settle for a fraction of the equipment you once had? Stop taking pictures altogether and pick up a cheaper hobby?

None of the above sound appealing? Consider insuring your equipment. If your equipment is insured, check the coverage and exclusions of your policy to make sure you have the coverage you need. If you lost all your equipment tomorrow, would your insurance company pay for the replacement value of your equipment? Would you face exclusions if you receive photography-related income? Understanding your level of coverage today could save you from being unable to shoot pictures tomorrow.

What type of policy do I need?

The type of policy you need depends on how you use your equipment. If you do not make any money through the use of your equipment, a standard homeowners or renters policy should cover against theft and fire, even when your equipment is outside your home. Typically, standard homeowners and renters policies cover you against named perils only. They also typically have deductibles. If your equipment is accidentally damaged, for example, you drop it, chances are it will not be covered under a standard homeowners or renters policy.

If you use your equipment for non-commercial purposes, another alternative is buying an "all-risk" floater. This attachment to your homeowners or renters policy includes a schedule of covered items. An all risk floater generally covers the scheduled equipment against everything except specifically excluded perils stated in the policy (e.g., acts of war). So if you're walking down a street and you accidentally drop your camera and a car drives by and runs it over, smashing it into pieces, it's covered unless that situation is specifically excluded in your policy.

If you use your equipment primarily for business purposes, you should be insured by a commercial inland marine policy. A commercial policy offers all-risk coverage for equipment, eliminates the potential of exclusions if equipment is used professionally, and offers a variety of optional floaters designed to insure against the liabilities faced by a professional (e.g., someone trips over your tripod).

What type of policy do I need if I occasionally use my equipment for commercial purposes?

That's a difficult question to answer. Some photographers who generate revenue from their work, even if it's not their primary source of income, need a commercial policy. Commercial policies are generally more expensive than personal policies and might be required depending on the value of your equipment and the level of income you generate from photography. It's not unusual for a photographer to talk with two different insurance agents and be told by one that they require a commercial policy while the other says a personal policy is sufficient. Your best bet is to talk to a number of insurance agents representing different companies and see which company will offer you the best deal. Remember that misrepresenting your information could cause your coverage to be denied. Worse, if you are offered a policy, misrepresenting your information could cause your claim to be denied, even though your policy is fully-paid!

Due to interest from the community, photo.net has arranged for a special photo equipment insurance program available exclusively to photo.net members. The program offers photographer's insurance at a heavily discounted rate as a photo.net subscription benefit. Click here to view a document outlining the coverage levels, benefits and associated costs for the insurance. If you're already a photo.net subscriber, you can access the insurance application form in the Subscriber Services section of your personal photo.net workspace page. If you aren't currently a photo.net subscriber, you can click here to subscribe.

I want to add a floater to my homeowners or renters policy

Items of value, including photography equipment, that are not covered or have limited coverage on standard homeowners policies may be scheduled on a personal articles floater. Rates for insuring your equipment on a personal article floater vary among companies. Generally, you should expect to pay about $1.35 - $1.75 per every $100 dollars of equipment with no deductible. Coverage is usually in addition to your unscheduled property, giving you more coverage if there is a total loss. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies provide coverage against named perils only. If your camera falls off a shelf and breaks, it is not necessarily covered. Personal article floaters are usually written on an all-risk basis, meaning your equipment is insured against everything except specifically excluded perils. So, if you're leaning over the side of a boat to get the perfect shot, your strap breaks and your camera falls to the bottom of the ocean, it should be covered unless that peril is specifically excluded in your all-risk floater or if you intentionally threw the camera overboard. With a personal article floater, the burden is on the insurance company to prove that a claim is not covered. With a standard homeowners policy, the burden is on the insured.

Personal article floaters provide broad coverage, usually with no deductibles. Generally, you're agreeing on the value of your equipment prior to loss. When you apply for a floater, your insurance broker will ask you to list all your equipment, the market value/replacement cost, serial number and other information on your equipment. The market value of an item is the replacement cost of the item in its current state, not a new piece of equipment. Generally, insurance companies replace insured equipment and do not pay cash for the value of the item. If you want cash to replace the item yourself, generally you will have to negotiate with your insurance provider.

Personal article floaters can also cover items you've bought even if you have not told your agent. Policies can provide coverage for newly acquired items for up to 30 to 90 days if you pay a pro-rated premium.

I need a commercial policy

If photography is your primary income, or a source of income, a commercial policy might be right for you. Generally a commercial policy is more expensive than a personal article floater attached to your homeowners or renters insurance policy. You should expect to pay between $1.75-$2.25 per every $100 dollars of equipment with a deductible between $250-$500 per claim. A commercial policy offers a similar level of coverage for equipment as an all risk personal article floater, but eliminates the potential exclusion of equipment if used professionally.

Additional coverage available on a commercial policy includes general liability, commercial property, workers compensation, commercial automobile coverage and umbrella liability to name a few.

Most states require you to carry workers compensation insurance(they're so good in Massachusetts of keeping track of this even photo.net had to comply when sent notice after only a month of incorporation). Professional photographers operating a studio with employees could be liable for any and all costs associated with injuries in the event fo an accident. Professionals not only face this liability with full-time employees, but also with anyone they have hired for an assignment. Carrying workers compensation protects you from personally being liable for such costs. General liability insurance further protects you from third party bodily injury or property suits.

Bottom line

The bottom line is that you should get the type of coverage that best fits your needs before you're faced with the strain of having to pay for equipment, injuries, or other liabilities. If your equipment is insured, check your policy and make sure you have the coverage you need and that you will not face exclusion if you receive income from your photography.

Photo.net Survey Results and Insurance Program

We ran a survey on photo.net to determine both if there was interest from the community for a photo.net insurance program and the level of demand. There is great interest as we received 699 responses. We determined the average amount of equipment users wanted insured was $8,452 and the median was about $5,500. 15% of users reported greater than $20,000 dollars worth of equipment to insure.

As a result, photo.net has arranged for a discounted photographers insurance program to be available exclusively for photo.net members (view details). As a photo.net subscriber, you can access the insurance application form in the "subscriber services" section of your personal photo.net workspace page.


  • Business forum (check the "uncategorized" archived threads for a lot of discussion about insurance)

Readers' Comments

Add a comment

Jay J. Pulli , July 10, 2000; 08:35 P.M.

A note about "theft" versus "mysterious disappearance." You may have theft insurance with your homeowners policy, which will cover your cameras if you are held up, robbed, or put in bodily harm in exchange for your property. But if you place your camera on the park bench next to you and three seconds later it is gone (stolen), it is not considered theft, but is termed "mysterious disappearance" by your insurance company. In this case, theft insurance will not cover you. If your camera is stolen from your office while you are out at lunch, theft insurance will not cover you. This is where the additional insurance discussed on this page will (hopefully) come into effect.

Marika Buchberger , July 12, 2000; 08:08 P.M.


I'm not sure if I totally agree with your definitions of "theft" and "mysterious disappearance".

I ran an insurance agency for 8 years here in New Jersey and what the insurance companies REQUIRE is a police report. If my camera is with me at work (as it always is), and it disappears from my bag, I have to contact the police to report a theft. I receive a report from the police, detailing the theft, which I then turn over to my insurance carrier who then pays me according to the terms of my policy. While the camera may have "mysteriously disappeared", it did not jump out of my bag and walk away on its own. Someone, a person, had to remove it without my knowledge. That's theft.

"Mysterious disappearance", while it can apply to missing property, almost always applies to life insurance policies where the insured has "disappeared", usually without a trace. Under those circumstances, the insurance company can withhold payment until they are reasonably satisfied that the insured had passed away, and is not just simply hiding in a cave on an island somewhere out in the Pacific. One famous example of a "mysterious disappearance" was Amelia Earhart, the pilot. Although the Navy searched extensively, neither Ms. Earhart nor her plane were ever found.

According to Black's Law Dictionary, "Mysterious Disappearance" can also be the loss of property under unknown or puzzling circumstances which are difficult to explain or understand. Leaving your camera on a bench and then finding it has disappeared is not exactly mysterious, puzzling, difficult to explain or understand. Either the camera fell off the bench in which case it should be on the ground near the bench, or someone removed the camera from the bench and this is then clearly theft. Now whether the insurance company decides to pay you for the missing property is another matter but again, if you produce a police report, the odds are clearly in your favor that the company will pay you, assuming of course, you have not filed 200 previous claims for theft of equipment. This is also a good reason to remember to READ your insurance policy carefully and thoroughly and consult with an attorney on any segment(s) of the policy that are not clear to you.

A better example of "mysterious disappearance" as it relates to property, is if you come home to your apartment and find your stereo, computer and television set are gone and yet there are no signs of forced entry into the apartment. You will have a very tough time proving to the insurance company that those items were stolen from your apartment unless the police can trace the items back to someone who may have had access to your apartment such as a superintendent or landlord. Insurance companies want to see proof in the form of a police report, that clearly indicates broken doors, broken windows, or some other form of forced entry into your premises before they will pay you for a claim of theft. If the lock has been picked on your apartment door, the police can usually tell, and will or should include this in the report. (Meanwhile, head down to your locksmith and pick up a MEDECO lock)

According to Black's Law Dictionary, Theft is defined as, the felonious taking and removing of another's personal property with the intent of depriving the true owner of it; larceny. Anytime your personal property "disappears", the insurance company has to assume the property was stolen and pay you according to your contract if you supplied them with the necessary documents to prove rightful ownership of the property and a report from the police indicating that the property has "disappeared" in a manner consistent with "theft"; you are innocent until proven guilty. Again, the key here is to read your policy and thoroughly understand what is expected of you in the event you have to file a claim with your carrier. Additionally, many states have laws which require insurance carriers to finalize all claims within a certain time frame. Check with your state insurance commissioner for details or again, speak with an attorney.

Steven Hallbert , July 17, 2000; 08:49 P.M.

I have owned an insurance agency in California for the past twenty years and want to help my fellow camera enthusiasts.

Most homeowner policies have SEVERE limitatins on "business" personal property. Some companies offer the option to purchase higher coverage and most of them will stop at $2500 with a 10% coverage off premises. They provide NO coverage for loss of income or extra expense. They are designed to cover only non-business exposures.

Before you consider purchasing "commercial" insurance you should ask your agent or broker to see if you have options available on your existing homeowners policy. You may have to contact several different carriers to get the coverages you need.

One company my agency is contracted with is Allied Insurance, a member of Nationwide Insurance. Allied offers a Home Enterprise Program (available in 10 states) which is designed to provide most of the coverges needed by the typical small business being operated from the residence premises. It combines personal and commercial coverages on one policy. It is designed for exposures such as barber and beauty shops, dog and cat grooming, florists, photographers, music instructors and tutoring, etc.. Professional Liability is specifically excluded. Other companies may have similar products available.

Also, Personal Inland Marine Floaters, Personal Artical Flaoters, Scheduled Personal Property Endorsements are designed to add "all risk" coverage to specific personal property owned by the insured. This coverage is so broad as to include loss caused by accidently dropping a camera over the side of a boat. Don't wait until a loss occurs to find you have little or no coverge.

Dan Carey , July 24, 2000; 03:15 P.M.

For underwater gear I've been insuring through a company called DEPP, or Diver's Equipment Protection Program, and been happy with the coverage. The deductable is low and they cover most losses including flood insurance. Not cheap, but worth the money to me. www.ProgramServices.com

Michael Borisko , August 01, 2000; 01:50 P.M.

I have an F1n outfit. I have valued the replacement cost today at $3725 Canadian. When i phoned my household insurance agent he ask me to register the serial numbers with the carrier. He explained that the equipment would be added on as a named risk. This would ensure that there was no confusion with the carrier. I dropped off the info and a picture of all the equipment as well and left it with him. Four days later i recieved the updated policy and to my surprise discovered that there was a ZERO deductable and it was a no hassle coverage ( As i requested ) and get this $26.00 per year on top of my home policy. Good deal or what?

Ted Harris , August 04, 2000; 11:56 P.M.

The original article discused costs for personal articles floaters/riders on a homeowners policyin the range of $1.35 to $1.75 of value. I suspec that rates such as that are for urban areas where the acturial risks are relatively high. I mentionthis because the rates I have paid for years are much lower. Currently I am paying $0.13 per $100 of value for photographic equipment. Check with yoru insurance agent or broker. Even at $1+ this is relatively inexpensive insurance.

Steph Thompson , August 10, 2000; 12:09 P.M.

I'm a "wanna be" professional photographer, still in the infancy stages of building a business. I contacted our personal insurer - USAA - about covering my gear. They don't insure equipment or inventory for business, so transferred me to their "General Agency" division. Their base coverage was $350 a year, and covered up to $15.0 at CASH value, not replacement value, with a $250 deductible. any suggestions who to call?

I also hadn't even thought about insuring the office equipment! I've just added a CD RW and a photo printer. Guess I better check those out also.

Marika Buchberger , August 11, 2000; 05:50 P.M.

If you are not using your photographic equipment as "professional" equipment, you can add it to your homeowners/renters policy as a rider, usually with little or no deductible but it's only covered if it's "non-professional use" and it's covered for it's stated value so make absolutely certain you know what it will cost you to replace the equipment. Keep this clearly in mind if you decide to go this route.

Jim Vanson , September 21, 2000; 04:11 P.M.

I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada, a great city albeit one with one of the largest hard drug user populations in the western world. When you have a large group of addicts around you’ll realize they need a lot of money to support their habits. Two weeks ago my beloved GR1s and a T90 were ripped off when my apartment was broken into. I consider myself lucky...this is the first equipment loss I’ve had in 25 years. Since then I’ve tried to get all risk insurance to cover the $20K worth of equipment I use (as an amateur)...no luck: either the premiums are to high or I’m laughed out of the office. Phil how about trying to organize some kind of policy in Canada....Anyone else: do you insure in BC? With whom? Thanks Jim

Jim MacKenzie , September 28, 2000; 01:59 P.M.

Jim, if you use your gear for personal use only, a standard tenant or homeowner's policy will cover it. Just watch for what the perils you are insured against are, and check to see if there's an off-premises limit.

I'm an insurance broker in Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada), and the carrier I've chosen to insure my home has no off-premises limit on personal property. I pay a $500 deductible, but given the value of my gear, that's okay.

John Pickles , December 10, 2000; 11:45 P.M.

If insurance is an issue with you NANPA members have an insurer who writes Commercial Inland Marine Policies for members. I assume that there is a lower rate for NANPA members. I found that my homeowners insurance limits would not come near covering a major equipment loss even if I didn't have related income. This policy is all risk and covers me in most foreign countries. The NANPA website is www.nanpa.org

Michael R. Amodeo , February 16, 2001; 02:12 P.M.

My Insurance Company will list camera equipment in excess of 200.00 as scheduled items on my homeowner's policy. Items with a value less then 200.00 default to my standard homeowner coverage. This coverage is not as good as a scheduled item.

Now, I have a lot of "stuff" with a unit price less than 200.00 when added together would be a great loss to me. Am I being too picky here or is there another way to insure my equipment?

NK Guy , June 12, 2001; 04:22 A.M.

I recently had my residence burgled and most of my camera gear stolen. This was the first time I've had to deal with insurance companies, and I have to say I learnt a lot from it. Here are some comments for fellow naive insurance customers.

The first thing is that I didn't think through my policy. My insurance policy covers camera gear up to $3000 Canadian. I'd bought all my stuff used and didn't think it was worth that much. Of course, the insurance covers replacement cost of new items. And a local camera store valued the stolen goods at $4600. Plus tax on top of that. My $3000 coverage doesn't even come close to covering all the items I lost. So when calculating the replacement cost of your gear remember to factor in both new cost and taxes.

Second, the policy replaces stolen equipment with the rough equivalent that's sold today. Sometimes that worked out to my advantage. I had an old Canon T50 camera stolen that was pretty well worthless. But the camera shop rated its replacement as the cheapest Canon SLR sold as a body (not a kit) - the Rebel G. A Rebel G replacing a T50 is a pretty darn good deal.

However, I also lost a 30 year-old Pentax Spotmatic that was in excellent condition. Having that replaced with a Pentax MZ-7 is kind of sad. It's like saying, "Okay - your beloved 1965 Ford Mustang, your first car, is gone. Here's a shiny new 2001 Mustang!" It's not exactly the same thing.

Finally, be absolutely sure to record every single item you own in a spreadsheet, with serial numbers for everything with serial numbers. And keep receipts and proof of ownership. Otherwise the insurance company may turn down parts or all of your claim.

So. Yes, I had insurance. Did it help me? Well. Kind of. I can't replace much of what was stolen, and I'm not sure if I will. I could obtain a cash settlement, but it's not going to be a $3000 cheque or anything - the cash value is depreciated too.

Still. If I get burgled again at least this time there isn't much to take. :)

Jared Zimmerman , June 17, 2001; 09:28 P.M.

I know this is really stupid of me but i don't have the receipts of many of many of the higher priced items that i own, and also one or two was given as a gift sans receipt ( Mamiya 645 outfit ) is there anything i can do besides photos and serial numbers that will be adequate proof to the insurance companies of my actual ownership of these items?

Jon Dubovsky , June 21, 2002; 04:05 P.M.

For all the people in the US having trouble getting the non-commercial insurance they want: The property/casualty division of the very large and famous insurance company with an umbrella for a logo (you know who) has been very helpful with my all-risk personal article floater. Theirs is a replacement policy, so you don't have to provide any info beyond the total insured value. Keep your records in a safe place (or better yet, two copies in two places), and when something gets stolen, stepped on, or dropped, you provide a copy of the receipts (or merely good documentation of the items, such as pictures, serial numbers, model numbers, and brief descriptions). They will reimburse you, up the total insured value that you specified when you bought the policy. No hassles, nice people, and fair cost (right within the range quoted in the above article).

Marc Williams , July 19, 2002; 04:12 A.M.

Here is a cautionary tale: A professional photographer secured an all risk commercial policy for his gear. While on vacation in the islands he was held up at gun point and striped of all his Nikon equipment. He filed a local police report and reported the loss to his insurance agency. The company denied his claim because he was not using the gear for commercial purposes at the time of the theft. Conversly, I had a so called "all risk" rider on my homeowners policy. I specifically asked my agent if occassional jobs for money were still covered. Their reply was that it was an all risk policy. While shooting a wedding, I had a misshap resulting in a damaged Hasselblad. Claim denied because at the time I was working for money. The insurance Companies are Legalized Racketeers, and I suspect were one to trace ownership of insurance holding companies, one would find the headquarters on Mulberry St.

Josh Root , August 19, 2002; 09:29 P.M.

SWEET CHRIST, whatever you do, DO NOT get a "all risk" rider under your homeowners policy. Especially if you use State Farm.

If you have a lot of camera gear and tend to travel or use it in dangerous situations DO NOT insure it under your homeowners policy. I purchased a seperate "all risk floater" from state farm for all my camera gear, and because of 2 losses in three years they dropped my homeowners policy completely. Not just the aditional floater, but the entire homeowners policy. Now I have to spend at least three years with a sub-prime insurance company paying triple my previous rates before I can get one of the big-boys to insure me again (because of having been refused insurance). Mind you, I never had a claim on the house policy itself, just on the camera floater. My local agent had told me it was okay to make the claims, I made them. And then when it came time to renew my homowners policy 2 months later, State Farm said, "Sorry, we're denying you homeowners coverage because you had too many losses on your policy" Even though it was on a completely SEPERATE policy (the floater, NOT my homeowners policy). You are basically throwing your money away by insuring with State Farm, they will jerk you around. And I suspect that there is a good chance of this happening with any homeowners company. I now use Traveler's insurance group for a professional photographers insurance package. Which is quite reasonably priced. That reminds me, I need to pay that bill.

V S , April 09, 2003; 12:13 A.M.

Ritz Cameras sold me insurance for Canon EOS 10D (1500$)- 150$ a year or 277$ for two years. It covers all damage to camera ( but not theft or loss) So it sounds like about 10% in a year. Probably expensive. What do you think ?

There are some Mack insurance in Adorama, no loss or theft, and no drop, but like extendd manufacturer waranty : 100$ for 4 years for 10D.

What do you think about this rates and conditions ?

Julius Grocholski , January 31, 2005; 03:30 P.M.

I do not have any of my camera gear insured (~$2,500 worth). I keep all my camera stuff next to my hunting rifles in my gun safe. I'd like to see someone break into that thing. My gear is safe at home when I am not around, however, going abroad well then I use common sense and keep my camera and lens (I usually just bring one lens, 70-300) around my neck at all times! Common sense will prevent any theft, but insurance does help.

teseo fournier , May 15, 2006; 04:41 P.M.

I tried to read most of the coments but nothing seems to give my particular case any help. I travell a lot and in not so conventional methots, eg, planes or payed transports. I sometime will take a bus, a plane but a lot of my travlling is done hitchhicking. I have never been muged, but then again, my equipment until a little ago was only a good laptop and a film point and shoot worth $80usd new. If I had lost any piece of this equipment on any road it would off been horrible. ofcourse I can alweys get a cheap 35mm and just devellop and scan to digital all my rolls and put in a cd case. a bit more money, in some countries even a whole weeks worth of living. but recoverable. now ive spiked my equipment a tone and loosing it would be going back almost two years. I'm not one to be too shy of my camera if I like and old building or a good image, but ive found i can be reciliant about taking a picture i would like to take because i dont want to expose my new nice gear, ofcourse all this gear is made to look as shity as possible, black tape covering all blinking red light and fanfare, but worrie hampers my habillity to take pictures, or to take all the pics i see. yes, i can, i do have, a "shitty backup camera", but i want to just insure the whole lot of this under 5000usd equipent to not worrie about it and be able to flow better... any companies that you might know?? also, i only own a car as a "under my name" possible recidence. insuring under a home address is impossible. insuring must be done as a premium only deal, where i can pay a yearly bond and that warranties in any country of this our planet, the recovery of my lost equipment within a reasonable time span. Now that im writing this it seems to me a bit over the top, but thats the reallity of this your humble servant. please infor in this panel and/or by writing to my email ta much.

Kate Cumming , November 18, 2006; 11:49 P.M.


I am new to this site and to the world of the canon 400d. i am about to buy the camera in K.L Malaysia, and i need to get insurance quickly.

I have read your comments about insurance and it all seems to stem from house hold insurance. as i am do not own my own home and i am travelling for 1 year around the world, i need to purchase individual camera insurance (my travel insurance will only cover upto 250 uk pounds for electricals).

Has anyone else been in a similar situation or know of a good insurance web site i can check out??

I really dont want to carry the camera around until i have insurance.

Also is 450 (uk pounds) a good price for the canon 400d, the standard lense, 1 gig memory card, and carry case?

Any help from those 'in the know' is much appreciated.

Many thanks, Kate

Ryuji Suzuki , May 20, 2007; 03:28 A.M.

I have been looking for an insurance that covers both owned equipment and rented equipment. I still shoot film primarily, for which I own all necessary equipment, except for some studio lighting, but there are a few times a year when I need to shoot digital due to high volume, such as friend's wedding and performance events. Since it makes more sense to pay a couple of hundred bucks to rent the latest equipment when I need them, I was looking for a personal insurance that covers both types of equipment. Based on what I found so far, it seems that personal policies such as renter's policy do not cover the rented equipment, particularly off premises. I was told that I had to get an inland marine floater or another commercial policy, which would at least 3x the premium. Does anyone know if there's a good insurance for such a scenario?


Andrew Prokos , September 23, 2007; 11:04 A.M.

I'm glad to see a good discussion on insurance for photographers. A typical homeowner's policy will not cover professional use of your equipment or liability. You may be able to add a separate home business policy which will cover all of your camera and office equipment while it is in your home, but not on location...so this is of limited use for location photographers or anyone who travels often on assignment. Most of the major photographer's organizations offer custom tailored policies. ASMP has several options to choose from, but they aren't by any means cheap. It would be interesting to hear from photographers who have found reasonably priced insurance policies from reliable companies. --Andrew

Edward Kang , November 15, 2007; 03:39 P.M.

Also in line with Josh Root's (unfortunately first-hand) advice, I heard from my own State Farm agent that attempting to file claims on homeowner policies and their "floaters" can and probably will result in cancellation of the homeowner policy itself (or, at the very best, denial of coverage renewal).

Jenny Loi , April 20, 2008; 12:33 P.M.

Thanks for your blog. I have a quick question about insurance though. We're doing a photo shoot next week and the photo rental store asked if we have "rental property insurance." How do you obtain this for just a one shoot? THanks again!

Michael Willems , May 21, 2008; 07:21 P.M.

Mm. I am Canadian also (Ontario). Had $6,500 of gear stolen the other day at a photo show. In spite of a rider, the insurance company (Desjardins) is treating me quite badly: they say "no receipt, no payout". So my Canon batteries, 580EX flash, etc are not covered. My loss with the $1,000 deductible is over $3,000.

So much for a rider. makes me "not happy".

Aaron Feinberg , December 17, 2008; 05:37 P.M.

Good information here and good rates...although I would have liked the photo.net to have just equipment available and no liability.

My questions is that nothing I have found covers the equipment for international trips. Anyone with any insight here? Shoot me a message if so!

Much thanks


sanjay lalwani , March 15, 2009; 10:59 P.M.

Hi Aaron,thank you dude for such a great blog. This information will very helpful to me,because in next week, I will buy some Camera and other equipments. Again Thanks man. Have a nice day !

Angela M , April 06, 2009; 05:10 P.M.

Here's a question I've got. I've been looking into scheduling our camera/camcorder/laptop equipment thru our insurance agency. In order to schedule it, they require appraisals. Wouldn't it be hard to get an appraisal on camera equipment that's now 3 years old? I've got original receipt/invoices for all my equipment. Wouldn't those suffice for the insurance coverage I'd like to get?

jeff lamarca , July 05, 2009; 04:34 P.M.


I'm an amateur photographer and if possible, I'd like to make a little income from renting out my 5D mark ii and other equipment to professionals. This camera rents for around $200 a day in nyc and I would rent it out for half that.

Of course, this carries the risk that someone just never returns the camera. I would naturally have someone sign a contract and photocopy their ID and file a police report if someone failed to return it, but I still wouldn't do it without some type of insurance coverage. And no renter would probably want to be responsible for damage if it was not covered by insurance. I am not concerned with wear & tear.

Does anyone know any insurance that would cover this?


KATRINA FRIES , September 20, 2009; 01:27 P.M.

I found this company: www.packagechoice.com

Maybe it will be of some help for some of you. They offer coverage for rental equipment and international coverage, as well as a variety of other coverages for the pro photographer. I'm a hobby photographer and I was looking into insurance myself as I'm thinking about investing in some equipment. I haven't requested a quote yet but it looks like a company that offers pretty comprehensive coverage for the avid photographer. They work with companies like Zurich, Hartford, Travelers, etc.

Robert Pallini , December 22, 2009; 04:32 P.M.

There is affordable General Liability and Equipment Insurance for professional Photographers offered through Photo.net. To learn more about this coverage please go to http://einsurance.hrh.com to review the policy specifications and to complete an application.

V K , January 17, 2010; 10:43 P.M.

I added my equipment to my homeowner's policy through Traveler's insurance, but for non-pro use. I'm not a "pro" but would like to dabble in selling some of my work to subsidize what has become an expensive hobby 8-). Although based in the US, most of my photography is travel/nature/landscape photography outside the US. I was looking at the policy described in the above article, as it may be cheaper, but the photo_insurance_specs.pdf file that it links to says:

"Coverage territory is all of the USA, Canada, and all United States territories and possessions"

So that kills it for me 8-( Pity.

SamsonEnzo E. , March 07, 2011; 02:38 A.M.

Its good for the owner's security. The cost of insuring a vehicle or a driver could be lowered in some regions. All you've to trade, though, is privacy. An insurance coverage product called pay-as-you-drive or usage-based insurance can reduce costs. These savings could be as high as 30 percent. Saving that 30 percent however, requires moment-by-moment tracking of driving habits.

Monte Stinnett , February 08, 2012; 12:10 A.M.

I would highly reccomend insurance for your equipment, as i recently had about $15000 in equipment stolen from my car in a local park. Looking at photo.net's insurance application, it asks for business information. I don't have a business and just want personal coverage for my gear. Perhaps someone could clarify.

Andres Escobar , May 22, 2012; 05:05 A.M.

Any one have and advice for an armature photographer who is living in Egypt? I have a house in the US but I am not sure how it would work since I am living in Egypt for another 1-2 years.

The option of insurance though an Egyptian company is a joke.

Chet Frias , February 13, 2013; 01:19 P.M.

good read. it is true. there is a big difference between personal use for camera equipment, and using for your business. homeowners policies can cover for personal use, but if it's for commercial use you might want to try insuremyequipment.com or www.tcpinsurance.com . they helped explain that to me. homeowners will very often exclude any way they can. i would talk to your agent to make sure that your favorite camera is insured.

Gary Bridger , May 29, 2013; 08:31 A.M.

So after reading most of this and looking through the links, i still have not found where i can get camera insurance here in Borneo, one of the lowest crime rate,safest places to live. And you cannot get camera insurance. Come on you companies , Wake up. You have a country here flooded with photographers and crazed on digital.  need a reasonable cover . 

Gary Bridger , May 29, 2013; 10:30 A.M.

Yep So far I've gone through it and still bitter the way insurance companies are racing in far to much. What they need to do is keep policies and the money that come from them separate, insurance has gone through the roof. if your out of work and not got an income, I mean, All the photography i have done from the day i went digital, income $3.60 from stock. About a 1000 rm for events. Yes ! its pretty poor. And don't tell me I should market better. Other then doing my own. I lost allot of money marketing and listening to all these on line marketing guru's 

So again is there an insurance company that puts their moony and policy where their mouth is. And does not underwrite a load of bull? 

A policy like I used to have from Nowitch Union. Or Refuge .... where they cover for loss or damage. Accidentally damaged cover repair or replacement. Cover for up to £10,.000  For travel and come , in car. If you have your equipment damaged beyond repair or stolen, they will replace it. Or refund what it cost at the time of purchase. Providing a one person said above. A report can be given. This cover would be low risk. As for a country like Borneo. The risk and crime rate is low. Cost annually $60.00 Providing you income from use of equipment for any professional work does not exceed. $6000 a year. Something like that. 

A cover that also cover for loss or flooding for underwater equipment, This cover having a higher risk has a 25% penalty or you can pay a higher premium.   

Eric Gzimalowski , June 07, 2013; 12:44 P.M.

I have owned a 5D Markiii for the past 8 Months - I have an extended warranty on it that covers manufacturers defects but nothing for drops and theft. I shoot professionally and get paid but not full-time. What is my best move on getting my camera covered for accidental drops and who should I contact with best reviews?

Savannah Nadeau , June 13, 2013; 10:59 P.M.

Hi, I am a student photographer building my business plan and am wondering what companies offer this insurance?

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