Typically a person who owns a significant amount of photography equipment may depend upon their Homeowners policy (including Condo and Renters) to provide protection. However, this is a poor alternative. Unless the coverage has been modified, a Homeowners policy only provides a modest amount of coverage (around $1,000) and no protection applies if the equipment is used for a business reason. The best coverage option may be a Camera Floater policy.
The Camera Floater insures photography equipment against loss or destruction. Camera Floater insurance indemnifies the insured for loss or damage to scheduled property for all risk of physical loss. The policy applies to property of the insured or property of others in the custody or control of the insured while that property is located anywhere in the world.
Coverage typically extends to:
The policy may not be used to cover:
The Camera Floater does not insure against loss or damage caused by wear and tear, gradual deterioration, insects, vermin, and inherent vice.
As is the case with other types of insurance policies, a loss creates obligations for both the insurer and the insured. The property owner must quickly report claims involving scheduled cameras. When a loss is reported and substantiated, the insurance company then has a given amount of time to reimburse the loss.
While floater coverage is a good way to protect such property, there are still many instances that don't qualify for coverage such as business activity involving the following:
How is the equipment used?
Normal, personal use is expected; not typically involved in pursuing dangerous photos (tornado chasers or seeking fame by being amateur news-hounds . A much more common concern is whether the use is professional; which represents a higher chance of loss than is handled by personal, camera coverage.
What is the type of equipment?
Again, equipment that is used for regular purpose is desired. Persons who own equipment that may represent unusual use would not qualify for coverage.
What is the value of the equipment?
Persons who own many thousands of dollars of equipment that is new and state-of-the-art may be a warning flag. It may indicate a professional photographer who needs to buy commercial insurance. A part-time or free-lance professional photographer should not be written under a personal camera floater policy.
What is the extent of the equipment?
An unusually high amount of processing equipment and materials indicates a professional situation. Even you are an avid amateur an insurance company may shy away from, or seek much more information before offering coverage. They may want to know if there is a separate darkroom. Where is it located? Are processing chemicals stored safely? Is the equipment operated safely?
Another consideration is how a person handles their camera equipment. An insurance company will treat an owner who keeps much of his equipment in full display in his home and garage, and one who installs a central alarm system and keeps all of his equipment in a room dedicated to his hobby.