Sunday, 17 August 2014

Why you need insurance for your camera... or "clunk clunk clunk smash"

Yesterday while shooting with friends on a private theme shoot for "Gluttony" I dropped my L 100mm macro. It's quite dead with the internals having come adrift from the inside. While this is a horrible experience and is going to cost me money, it did not ruin the day for me because the lens is insured. This meant I could brush off the loss and continue shooting with my friends instead of curling up in the corner like a monkey in a small cage.

Because I'm not a professional it's covered under my house contents insurance. I've got an IBNA gold level policy which covers me for theft, accidental damage, electrical and mechanical failure. It will still cost me money to make the claim because I've got a $400 excess on the policy. So replacing this lens will cost me $400 instead of $1500. This is fair because it stops me making frivolous claims.

This insurer also purchases through an Australian brick and mortar store so I know I will get a Australian marketed version of the lens which always makes warranty support from Canon more plausible should the need arise.

If you don't already have coverage for your gear built into your contents policy, you should consider it. By the way, if you're in Australia check on your policy as you may find you're already covered for some of the above. Electrical and mechanical normally have to be added to the policy and often you need to add "transit" which covers you when your gear is not inside your house (which I did my moving to a gold level).

Note that if you are considered professional by the insurer you'll need to buy separate insurance as your house content policy probably only covers amateurs. It's worth finding out what your insurer considers to be "professional" too as they'll each have their own standards.