Protecting Your Assets

Last week, a friend from work had his car broken into.  In, of all places holy in the world, his driveway.  And every last bit of his photography and computer equipment that tucked in the trunk was stolen.  (Except for the tripod… if I heard correctly.)  A hard drive, among the bundle of electronics, held hundreds of his personal images.  All gone.  Being that the theft took place on his property, his home owners would cover the replacement of his equipment but not without a rather high deductible.  Boo.

I tell you this because we never know when something will happen.  That’s why we have insurance to begin with.  Home owners, auto, medical – all there “just in case.”  We can sometimes forget about our personal effects.

Even after months of Mrs. Rev telling me about insuring her photography equipment, I didn’t do it.  Until we heard a story on the news.  About a tribe of assholes in St. Kitts who cut down a tree to block the road from a bus of tourist from Celebrity Cruises. This tribe then proceeded to strip them clean of anything of value.  At gunpoint.

That was one of the islands we were going to.  That was the cruise line we were aboard.

Not my ideal vacation, if ya know what I mean.

Fear set in – I called my insurance agent that week to see what I needed to do.  It turns out it was easy.  Super easy.

I took out a personal articles policy.  Covering personal articles from damage and theft.  Meaning that if anything were to happen, they’d try to repair or replace the items under coverage.  With no deductible.  For less than $50 for the year.  In case you missed it: no deductible.

I started pulling out every bit of my equipment.  Every box, lens, battery and memory card.  Possibly even that little prick of an accessory flash I have.  I listed them all out in a spreadsheet.  I included original costs, serial numbers if I could find them, provided copies of my receipts.  If I didn’t have receipts, I scoured the internet for replacement cost.  It took me about three hours to do this.  I couldn’t believe the final number.  But less than one email to my agent and a $50 premium later, everything was covered.

My dSLRs, Paco, my extra batteries, both multi-gig memory cards, interchangeable lenses.  Possibly even that little prick of an accessory flash.  All were accepted, inflation coverage applied, no questions asked.  I was told that some things could be rejected once reviewed but they saw no problem and gave it a stamp of approval.

Think it over.  Call your agent.  If you can swing a few hours and few extra bucks, do it.  It’s peace of mind.  And, I repeat, it’s no deductible.

Note: I do not work for an insurance company.  I didn’t even remark the company I use.  It’s only the casual passing along of helpful information.  It’s how I roll.

To learn more about Brooke and see her recent work, visit her new site at brookemurphyphoto.com. Follow Brooke on Facebook or Twitter.

February 3, 2011 - 8:44 am

Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon - Better safe than sorry. Thanks to the magic of flickr, my images are backed up online. But man what a pain it would be to have to replace all my gear.

February 3, 2011 - 8:55 am

Mr. Rev - This works for jewelry and phones as well. What happens when you break that sweet smart phone and the phone company won’t give you another subsidized price and you have to pay the full $600 retail for a new one. As the Hubs would say, “its stupid cheap”.

February 3, 2011 - 9:09 am

Elizabeth - What great advice. I, like you, have not covered my equipment…I guess since I’m going to snowed in this afternoon and tomorrow, I should probably spend 3 hours to protect my assets.
E.

February 3, 2011 - 10:03 am

Mrs. Rev - It’s peace of mind knowing I have that policy. It also makes me more comfortable taking my equipment on adventures. I bought it to use it and if it has an accident I don’t have to worry about it…too much. I would probably still cry if something did happen. :)

February 3, 2011 - 10:43 am

Debbie - Thanks for such sound, timely advice! You’re right — none of us knows when disaster will strike. Same thing goes for backing up computer programs, Websites, etc. Secure online backup, flash drives, external hard drives, whatever — do it before you lose it!

February 4, 2011 - 1:10 pm

Denise - I’m totally looking into this now. Thank you.

February 5, 2011 - 11:19 am

Tom B. Taker - Good post and good advice. People like those assholes are why I no longer trust anyone.

February 7, 2011 - 10:48 am

Doug Ford - Good reminder to inventory my stuff and get the insurance up to date. Except for the tripod. People just don’t like tripods, eh?

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