As professional photographers and videographers, we spend a small fortune on cameras, lenses, lighting gear, and essential accessories. The tools of the trade are what capture the winning shots or scenes that allow us to get paid, retain clients, and expand their businesses. It is also directly related to paying bills and putting food on the table. As for some of us, we take up photography as a hobby or pursuit that we are enthusiastic about and willing to spend cash on. Cash is not always easy to come by. Yet, we make it work and buy that new DSLR, mirrorless camera, or big zoom we have had our eye on for some time.
To spend that kind of money is cause for consideration and evaluation. Part of that evaluation should be this; if I have just spent thousands of dollars on new gear, why wouldn’t I spend a little more to insure it?
The reality is that we are often so excited about picking up a new piece of kit that we forget about insurance coverage. No one likes to imagine the worst-case scenario, but the reality is bad things happen, and sometimes our gear pays the price. For many of us, the cost of repair or replacement is out of reach- it’s one of the most significant advantages of an insurance policy.
Loss and Damage – It Hurts A lot
We don’t know a photographer or videographer who hasn’t had a mishap or unlucky near miss with their gear. We’ve all been there, out on a shoot, and we place a piece of gear down, thinking it is secure only to watch it fall, slide or roll away. The reality is, as active photographers out and about in the world, our gear is at constant risk of a perilous outcome.
Some of those perils come from our own misguided belief that we won’t drop, bump or scratch a precious piece of camera gear. Other perils come from traveling in locations that are sketchy, dangerous, or even just a little too adventurous for us to watch our gear 100% of the time.
Professional Level Insurance
Professional photographers and videographers must opt for additional protection when considering their insurance cover. While gear damage and loss coverage are essential, they also need to think of a much bigger audience. It’s becoming more common for event venues to require photographers and videographers to have Liability Insurance. Corporate event spaces, wedding venues, and chapels require professionals to have appropriate insurance coverage. Aside from insuring your gear, you have to insure yourself too!
Liability and Equipment Insurance is a necessary evil that protects the photographer or videographer from the risk of liabilities, lawsuits, and other similar claims. The last thing any professional content creator needs is a lawsuit due to a wedding guest tripping over a camera bag or suffering a concussion from a falling light stand. A worst-case scenario is dealing with a disgruntled customer because you lost their photos due to a storage failure. Professional Liability Insurance can range in price depending on your needs, mode of transportation, etc.
How IE Photo Rentals Handles Insurance
IE Photo Rentals doesn’t offer or provide insurance to our customers. However, we offer some sound advice on how to handle insurance. We recommend that all of our customers purchase Third Party Insurance and provide us with a copy of the policy (COI) document. In obtaining Third Party Insurance, you must list IE Photo Rentals as an Additional Insured and Loss Payee – both must be listed. The insurance policy must also be year-long and list the coverage as property of others. We may waive our deposit requirement up to $10,000 of your coverage amount with this.
Additional Insured covers IE Photo Rentals as a business entity with liability exposure as part of the rental agreement and relationship. Loss Payee grants IE Photo Rentals first rights on insurance claim payment after property loss or damage.
It’s important to consider that should an item be returned damaged, we will place a hold on your card for $250.00 until we can assess the item and determine an accurate quote for the cost of repair. You may be liable for the full replacement value of the item. It’s why insurance makes sense.
On average, photographers and videographers can expect to pay around $400 annually for the comprehensive insurance of their photography or videography gear. That’s an estimate entirely dependent on your region, the gear you want to insure, and the insurance company you deal with.
IE Photo Rentals does offer a damage waiver for accidental damages – necessary to note that it doesn’t cover water, sand, lost, or stolen items. Damage waiver equates to 1% of the retail value of your order amount. If the item or items are damaged, you will be responsible for no more than 10% of the damage cost or replacement value. The damage waiver is not insurance coverage, and you are still liable for lost or stolen items. For more information on our processes and policies, please check out our FAQ Page here.
Just Because You Have Insurance…
Insurance is by far the best way to financially protect yourself, your camera gear, and your business against loss, damage, or liability. It assures that no matter what comes your way, you are covered. Should the unthinkable happen, there is a little grief but not nearly as much as experienced when you don’t have insurance to replace or repair your camera or lenses. But, just because you have insurance doesn’t mean you can be reckless or uncaring about your photography or videography gear. Professional photographers and videographers can rarely be without their pro-grade equipment for long – let alone waiting for an insurance claim to clear.
Precision-engineered camera gear is super expensive and deserves to be treated as such. We can all take many practical steps to self-insure against life’s unexpected events and outcomes. Put simply, take excellent care of your gear or loan gear if you rent from a business like IE Photo Rentals. Here’s a couple of quick tips to get you started in caring for camera gear:
Keep It Clean
Keeping your gear clean and free of dust, moisture and grime is a fundamental part of camera gear care. Plus, it’s less likely to cause problems when you need your gear to be operating at its best.
Cap It and Protect It
Lenses spend their days and nights hanging off the end of our cameras exposed to the world. There are two simple and inexpensive things you can do to protect your lens. The first is to fit an inexpensive UV or Protector Lens, and the second is to always place the lens cap on when not in use.
Strap It and Secure It
Let’s face it, we ALL drop stuff when we least expect it. A high-quality wrist strap or shoulder strap provides comfort and security when handheld shooting.
When on assignment or traveling, it’s essential to travel-wise. Be aware of the locations you are heading to, and the temperament of the location is likely to be. Use a camera strap, keep gear in a secure bag and never put your camera or bag down somewhere you don’t have close eyes on.
Insurance Makes Perfect Sense
Whether buying or renting expensive and essential camera gear, it just makes sense to take out insurance. By definition, insurance is the coverage by contract where one party agrees to reimburse the other for loss within the terms of the contract. Put simply, if something happens to your gear, you get your money back.
Photography gear insurance makes perfect sense to anyone planning on making the most of their photography or videography kit. At IE Photo Rentals, we value the efforts made by customers to obtain the very best protection for the gear they rent. If you want to learn more about how IE Photo Rentals handles equipment rental, insurance, and damage, head to our FAQ Page or get in touch with us today.