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Equipment insurance for hobbyists

StephenStephen Member
edited March 2012 in general photography
I am not a professional photographer (no formal or informal business), but I have a sizable amount of gear. Am I forced to buy business-level insurance to cover the equipment? In an older thread, I read that one poster advised not using a rider on your homeowner's/renter's insurance, because the insurer has a tendency to drop you on the first claim.


  • very interesting question! i would love to know the answer also what kind of insurance do photographers use and how they go about getting it, and whats the cost?
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited March 2012
    It depends on the company that insures you. You need to check it out. I just have a rider on my gear. Not at a pro level. If I do use my gear professionally then it is at my own risk. Any other time I'm covered. My insurer will not dump me if I I make a claim but but fees will go up.

    It may pay to look into a reputable company that insures your gear outside the home policy. If you make a claim then your house insurance does not got up and if they dump you who cares. There are other companies out there.

    My boat is insured separately in case I hit a rock, etc and my home insurance will not be effected by a claim. When I'm up for home renewal I may look into it for my camera gear. My home insurer set my up with my boat insurance so things are easier.

    I know I read about a company that specializes in camera insurance but I can't remember the name. If I come across it I'll post it.
  • StephenStephen Member
    edited March 2012
    Last year, I did have a policy separate from my homeowner's insurance, but I used the same insurance company. That policy was an "inland marine" policy, which covered equipment and liability, but it was business-level insurance. At the time, it was about $150 per year. However, this year, that insurance product was discontinued and replaced with another one, but it cost $350 a year. I could afford the $150 price point as a hobbyist, but at $350 price point or more, it was less appealing.
  • Liberty Mutual has a category called "occasional professional use." A rider under homeowners (with the possible problems that the original poster raised). The gear needs to be itemized (model #s, prob'ly serial numbers, and also sales receipt or other proof of value). Not too expensive.
  • I'm very interested in this question also. What do freelance journalists do?

    You could say I'm over invested in camera gear, because the combined value of all my other possessions combined is less than the gear. One reason for that is that I live in a country where foreign residents aren't allowed to have local credit cards, can't own property, and in many cases are un-insurable (we tend to die in scooter accidents at an abnormally high rate).

    I would be willing to submit to almost any condition an insurance company might levy, and pay exorbitant fees, if it meant I could go to interesting places without fear of becoming destitute if I'm mugged or pitched off a boat.
  • I would have to think that freelance photojournalists are "professionals" and get the business-level equipment and liability insurance, because they would derive their income from photography.

    DuaneD, my insurer does not have that product, but thanks for that information.
  • k8etk8et Member, Moderator
    I got a rider on State Farm that covers my equipment, and I'm a hobbyist.

    "The rate for camera equipment is $1.49 per $100. So if you had $4000 of equipment, it would cost around $60 to protect your equipment for the year. " (I don't think it goes less than $60 a year if you have less equipment)

    I was told that no matter what happens, it's covered - drop, theft, lost, malfunction, damage, etc.
  • StephenStephen Member
    edited March 2012
    Hi k8et,
    Is that a rider on your homeowner's/renter's insurance?

    I remember one of the posters here saying that is not the way to go.

    As soon as you file your claim, they drop you (and possibly your homeowner's/renter's insurance as well).
  • Hey guys....although I have not yet joined I know a lot of photographers have and take advantage of the $15,000 photography gear insurance offered through Professsional Photographers of America (PPA). Here is the link to the site:


    Add a post if you join and what you find out....I am in the middle of tax teason and have not had a chance to join...Anthony
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