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FishFood
09-06-2007, 18:40
Simply put, is it a good investment to insure your camera equipment? If so, who with?

RonFrank
09-06-2007, 19:14
The poll is a bit too simple. Insurance is a VERY good idea as long as the expense of the insurance is not more than the expense of replacing the camera. There are a lot of options and policy types that one needs to evaluate before just say it is or is not a good idea. One must also consider how much they are diving, and the expense of the equipment to be insured as well as the deductible, exclusions, and payout options if something does happen.

There are a few carriers. They are generally DEPP, DAN, alternative types like what Nikonians offers, and then there is a home owners/renters insurance riders and personal articles policies.

I use State Farm and have a separate Diving equipment and camera personal article policy. This insurance works great for me. It costs me 1% annually to insure my dive gear and photo equipment against ANYTHING. There is no deductible, and the gear is insured at NEW equipment replacement value. So if I loose my D1x, I could replace it with a D3... nice. If I drop a lens, it's covered. If the airlines looses my gear.... covered. If it's stolen out of my car.. covered. If I drop it into the abyss... covered. You get the idea.

DEPP and DAN are popular options but one will not cover loss of gear, and DEPP I believe does not necessarily replace gear rather they may choose to repair gear, or pay you cash based on the current market value minus a hefty deductible. This is certainly better than nothing, but no where near as good as the insurance that I have that costs less, covers more, and pays me the replacement value I specify (generally the new cost).

People will need to do their own homework as it's been too long since I was evaluating the options, however hands down, if you can get a personal property articles policy from your current home owner or renters insurance that is generally going to be a better option. At least it was for me.... by far.

BobArnold8265
09-06-2007, 21:25
I think it's always best to check with the insurance company that holds your auto or home owner's insurance first. They often can offer you a "personal articles" policy that will cover your UW photo gear and usually will give you a discount since you have other policies with them. My house is insured with State Farm and they had the best deal for my photo gear as well (both land and underwater equipment)

I checked into DAN and thought it was a bit pricey but that was a few years ago so they might be worth checking out as well.

MEL-DC Diver
09-06-2007, 22:13
No - I choose to live dangerously (with everything but my health). Sometimes even that gets called into question.

wxboy911
09-07-2007, 07:27
If its high end stuff then its worth the extra cash-a lot of my stuff is older so I don't bother for now. I guess it something happened it would force me into an upgrade.

bversteegh
09-09-2007, 00:17
I also have a personal property rider on my homeowners. Very affordable (like $ 55 year) for replacement value - I insure my camera, housing, strobes, and lenses.

I have never had to use my insurance, my only concern is whether multiple claims would ultimately impact rates on the primary policy. When I asked my agent (who I have used for 20 years), he told me worst case would be cancellation of the rider - would not impact the homeowners policy.

DevilDiver
09-10-2007, 21:51
I also have a personal property rider on my homeowners. Very affordable (like $ 55 year) for replacement value - I insure my camera, housing, strobes, and lenses.

I have never had to use my insurance, my only concern is whether multiple claims would ultimately impact rates on the primary policy. When I asked my agent (who I have used for 20 years), he told me worst case would be cancellation of the rider - would not impact the homeowners policy.

Did you make sure that your personal items were covered if traveling outside the states? I know my diving insurance covers my equipment when traveling but have heard that homeowners won't cover outside the US.

PlatypusMan
09-10-2007, 22:00
Did you make sure that your personal items were covered if traveling outside the states? I know my diving insurance covers my equipment when traveling but have heard that homeowners won't cover outside the US.


This is a very good point.

Considering the international nature of scuba travels to find the next perfect dive site, you should check ALL your insurance coverages to make certain whether they extend past the borders of your nation.

Plus, what restrictions, if any, are you subject to that might deprive you of coverage(s)?

There was a Briton not too long ago who got hit with a huge chamber bill that his insurer refused to pay, and the courts backed them up--because his policy stated that he could not exceed a certain maximum depth while diving. You guessed it--his dive computer detailed he regularly went below that 'approved' level.

The same could happen with certain types of camera housings, I suppose.

jwdizney
09-10-2007, 22:02
I think DAN is a good option. you may find 'cheaper' insurance, but when claim time comes, you'll be glad you're dealing with a company that understands the equipment.....

DevilDiver
09-10-2007, 22:08
I think DAN is a good option. you may find 'cheaper' insurance, but when claim time comes, you'll be glad you're dealing with a company that understands the equipment.....

I have Dive Assure and the contract clearly spells out the coverage and where any limitations are. Have not had to use it but i know whwere I stand.:smiley20:

bversteegh
09-10-2007, 22:44
I also have a personal property rider on my homeowners. Very affordable (like $ 55 year) for replacement value - I insure my camera, housing, strobes, and lenses.

I have never had to use my insurance, my only concern is whether multiple claims would ultimately impact rates on the primary policy. When I asked my agent (who I have used for 20 years), he told me worst case would be cancellation of the rider - would not impact the homeowners policy.

Did you make sure that your personal items were covered if traveling outside the states? I know my diving insurance covers my equipment when traveling but have heard that homeowners won't cover outside the US.

Yes, the gear is covered against theft, accidental damage, and at replacement value - regardless of where the damage/loss occurs.

With any policy, read the fine print and ask questions. At least one of the "dive specific" policies only cover accidents that occur underwater - so for example, a camera that falls overboard because it wasn't secured properly on a pitching boat, and drops to the bottom of the Cayman trench isn't covered (a thread on Wetpixel describes this happening - and the insurance company not paying). Also make sure your policy will replace both camera and housing if a flood takes out the camera - which is now obsolete (average digicam is only available 12 - 18 months normal retail). Getting a new replacement camera that doesn't fit your housing is potentially a huge expense (housing can easily be 2x the cost of the camera).

CompuDude
09-11-2007, 00:57
Yes. Get the insurance.

It's not IF you'll flood something expensive, it's WHEN.

And the better the camera, the more YEARS of insurance payments will get justified WHEN that happens.

RonFrank
09-11-2007, 11:03
I was in Coz last January, and at that point I reviewed my State Farm personal articles policy to add and remove a few items I'd bought and sold, and I made sure it covered me outside of the US. It does.

The only real downside with this policy is that one has to list EVERY piece of equipment separately. I would be much nicer if I could have a general STUFF loss for maybe $500 just to cover all the little junk that I have accumulated. Unfortunately that is not the way it works, so I have all my big hit items covered, and if I loose say a reg bag that is not covered, well that is a risk I take. It *might* be covered under my general homeowners (in fact very likely) but that does have a deductible I believe.

CompuDude
09-11-2007, 11:31
I was in Coz last January, and at that point I reviewed my State Farm personal articles policy to add and remove a few items I'd bought and sold, and I made sure it covered me outside of the US. It does.

The only real downside with this policy is that one has to list EVERY piece of equipment separately. I would be much nicer if I could have a general STUFF loss for maybe $500 just to cover all the little junk that I have accumulated. Unfortunately that is not the way it works, so I have all my big hit items covered, and if I loose say a reg bag that is not covered, well that is a risk I take. It *might* be covered under my general homeowners (in fact very likely) but that does have a deductible I believe.

DAN's equipment policy is set up in just such a way... you can designate up to $500 for small accessories and such.

Note there is a much larger deductible for photo equipment than the rest of the gear, however. (or is flood vs. theft/loss? it says in there somewhere, be sure to check)

Capt Hook
09-11-2007, 11:41
Check with your homeowners policy, ours is covered under personal property.