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Thread: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

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    Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    Hi guys,

    This question must have been addressed somewhere else. But since acquiring a Leica S2 camera and two lenses, this question suddenly became quite obvious. I also have a number of M camera and lenses.

    I am not a pro, but do travel internationally. Also I would like to have insurance against my own potential misfortunte, like felling off the ground and breaking the camera or so.

    Can you tell me your choice of insurance and your experience with claims?


    Thank you very much!!

    Best,
    George

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    George,

    I make my living as an attorney, but I started a photography limited liability company-- it really is as simple as filling out a couple forms and paying $50.00 per year for the business license ( in Michigan at least)-- tax wise, it's part of my normal income tax filing, effortless.
    You do have to show a profit most years to avoid having it declared a hobby, but that has never been a problem.

    The main advantage to me is that it allowed me to insure about $35,000 worth of gear under an Inland Marine Policy --- I'm covered for drops, slips, everything except for
    theft from a vehicle. The policy runs about $300.00 per year.

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    Mark, would you be able to share where you were able to lock in an Inland Marine Policy without having to acquire any other policies, such as commercial liability?
    --Mike

    My Flickr

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    Quote Originally Posted by yudafu2 View Post
    Hi guys,

    This question must have been addressed somewhere else. But since acquiring a Leica S2 camera and two lenses, this question suddenly became quite obvious. I also have a number of M camera and lenses.

    I am not a pro, but do travel internationally. Also I would like to have insurance against my own potential misfortunte, like felling off the ground and breaking the camera or so.

    Can you tell me your choice of insurance and your experience with claims?


    Thank you very much!!

    Best,
    George
    Thanks for raising this question George. I've recently updated my homeowner's insurance to ensure my camera equipment is listed separately along with our jewelry. But I need to confirm exactly what they will cover in all instances as I too travel every other week and take my standard two lens kit along with my M-E on every trip.
    Duane Pandorf
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    Blog | Portfolio |

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    Quote Originally Posted by MCTuomey View Post
    Mark, would you be able to share where you were able to lock in an Inland Marine Policy without having to acquire any other policies, such as commercial liability?
    Hey Mike,

    My policy is through Allstate-- I don't know if it helped, but I also have 2 homeowners policies, and 2 auto policies with them.

    I looked at adding the gear on a homeowners rider, but the commercial policy was so much cheaper, and the terms -- like replacement coverage vs depreciated made it impossible to choose otherwise.
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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    I have mysterious disappearance insurance on all my cameras and lenses. Not cheap, but covers anything that mgiht happen.

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    I have mysterious disappearance insurance on all my cameras and lenses. Not cheap, but covers anything that mgiht happen.
    Who do you have this through?
    Duane Pandorf
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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    I was looking the PPA care plus. Not cheap, premium being 1.75% of the value. They do cover mysterious disapperance. I am also wondering about State Farm's personal articles policies, which the agent told me was a standalone policy rather than a rider to a home policy. The downside of the state farm policy is that any item over 5000 dollars needs appraisal. It is quite a hassle.

    I am interested in whether any one has any experience of claim with any of the insurance policies on cameras?

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    I looked at PPA also, just didn't feel confident with them.

    Whew, 1.75% is double what I'm paying.

    I did have a claim about 10 years ago, no issues with payout, although I did have receipts for most things, and all serial numbers on file with the insurance company beforehand.

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    I have a personal articles policy through State Farm. I think I had receipts for everything except an f/1 Noct I bought off ebay years ago. For that, Don Goldberg, who'd done a CLA, wrote an appraisal that was accepted by State Farm.
    Ed

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Pandorf View Post
    Who do you have this through?
    PM sent Duane.

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    PM sent Duane.
    Would you mind PM me the info as well?

    Thank you very much.

    Best,
    George

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    I also have a policy from Inland Marine through Traveler's Insurance (I write the check to Traveler's).

    It is a Commercial Policy titled "Store Pac" Portrait Studio. It has commercial liability coverage and some structure coverage which is a nominal fee in order to get to the gear coverage which is comprehensive.

    Gear coverage consists of a blanket amount you set for all items individually valued less than $6,000 with a $500 deductible per item, and mandatory listing of scheduled items valued over $6,000 with no deductible (almost anything for the Leica S system).

    Appraisal of scheduled items was not required. You set the replacement value, provide a product description and include the serial number of each item. The value you set is the basis of the premium paid. That way, you can determine if you want to list a new replacement value or a used price replacement value. For example, I list new replacement for some Leica S lenses, and used for others, or in the case of the CS70/2.5 I don't schedule it at all because I can get a replacement for less than $6,000.

    I got this policy through my insurance agent who handles all of our home, auto and personal liability coverage. This policy is NOT linked to our personal coverage, and is done through the Agency's Commercial division.

    To date I have not had to make a claim on this policy, so cannot speak to that process or how easy/hard it may be. I trust my long time agent to pick reliable and responsible carriers for us.

    WARNING:

    A Home Owner's rider will not cover any claim if there is any form of compensation or intent of compensation involved. A Commercial Policy will not cover any claim if the gear was used for non-commercial reasons (like a vacation).

    Claim adjusters WILL ferret out exactly what you were doing when the loss happened. Trust me on this. Contrary to all the warm and fuzzy TV commercials designed to lull you into trusting them, most Claims Adjusters are paid based on how much they can save an Insurance Company in claims paid.

    IMO, if you peeled the onion on the origins of the insurance industry, at the core you'd find the Mafia Luciano Inc. being the holding company.

    - Marc

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    I was just reading some online biographies on Luciano, thanks to Broadwalk Empire. Here he comes again.

    Thanks, Marc, for such detailed instruction.

    I am not a pro, and I do not make any money from photography. So I probably cannot buy such policies and file claims since none of my activities can be considered business use. That is great reminder.

    Best,
    george

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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    Quote Originally Posted by yudafu2 View Post
    I was just reading some online biographies on Luciano, thanks to Broadwalk Empire. Here he comes again.

    Thanks, Marc, for such detailed instruction.

    I am not a pro, and I do not make any money from photography. So I probably cannot buy such policies and file claims since none of my activities can be considered business use. That is great reminder.

    Best,
    george
    Well, the problem is getting decent coverage for personal use. So called "all inclusive" homeowner rider's are fraught with fine print and conditions that don't come to light until you make a claim. I once shot a close friend's wedding for free, except they paid my expenses. I had an accident while shooting and needed a repair. The Insurance Company "adjuster goon" denied the $1,700 claim against my all inclusive homeowner's rider because I received $100 in expenses. (BTW, lying to these people isn't worth the potential fraud charges.)

    Conversely, a pro friend of mine who paid a fortune in business insurance for his huge commercial studio was robbed at gun point in Jamaica while on vacation. To add insult to injury, they denied his claim because he wasn't shooting on a job.

    However, in the USA, you can form a LLC fairly inexpensively and pay your State's Department of Commerce an annual fee (in Michigan it is $25 annually). Then everything you do photographically can legitmately be aimed at building a Stock library to sell rights to use any of your photographs or to sell prints which is not a bad idea for people who travel a lot, since getting there is the biggest expense. Just add a price list to your website.

    - Marc
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    Re: Experience with Insurance on Leica Gear

    Thanks Marc,
    You're right, the fee on the LLC is $25.00, not $50.00 as I stated.

    I grilled my agent before doing an Inland Marine Policy, even though my primary concern was theft from my home--- I pelted him hypotheticals ranging from armed robbery to "what if I drop it into the briny depths of the Marianas Trench?"

    Once assured the only exception was theft from vehicle, I moved ahead.

    As Marc said, I have to schedule each item over a fixed amount ($4000.00) for my policy-- each time I pick up a new piece of gear, I simply email my agent with the serial number and replacement cost.
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