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Camera Insurance/Camera Theft while Traveling

Hi guys, I’m not a very experienced international traveler so I have a question about camera insurance/camera theft. I’m taking a trip to the Philippines next month for vacation (not on assignment) but plan to shoot one or two essays while there. I’m staying/traveling with a friend who is a native, savvy and familiar with the areas we will be however, I’m still a little worried about having my gear stolen. I don’t really have any flashy or super expensive gear, but I would still hate to loose it and have to save up $$ again for months to replace it. So I’m wondering if anyone can recommend any kind of camera specific insurance/traveler’s insurance that would be of help in the event of a robbery or accidental damage. Any leads would be greatly appreciated, thanks for reading and good shooting!

by Daniel Brennan at 2011-12-07 23:49:54 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Daniel, I currently do not have any insurance for my cameras or belongings and currently live in Vienna, Austria. Living here seems to be more secure, but while traveling in Austria en route to Switzerland, I got my backpack stolen from a night train compartment recently, so I can understand your concerns.

I used to live in the US and if I remember correctly when I was renting there I had an insurance with State Farm who gave me a rider on my renter’s insurance policy for my camera equipment. That seems to be an economical option.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 10 Dec 2011 18:12 | Vienna, Austria | | Report spam→
Thank you for sharing your experience Tomoko! Sorry to hear about your bag getting nabbed, I will look into State Farm asap. Happy New Year!

by Daniel Brennan | 03 Jan 2012 04:01 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Along the same lines as Tomoko, I am not a professional, but travel a bit and also most always have a camera with me. My homeowner’s insurance, USAA, allows a Valuable Personal Property coverage for individual items, including camera gear. It is for replacement value. I pay about $600 per year for about $20,000 worth of coverage for bodies, lenses. I have used it a few times already, not for theft, but for damage; dropped my bag at an airport and smashed a lens, bent over and smacked my M6 agains a wall a bit and bent the rewind lever, small, but still covered. I am not sure if it would be different for a professional, but it gives me great peace of mind to use my gear wherever and for whatever and not worry about costly losses. Give your insurance company a call.

by Christopher Scrivens | 04 Jan 2012 16:01 | New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→
Word to the wise – Insurance companies don’t like paying claims. Especially claims on tens of thousands of dollars of camera equipment. So while they might well be willing to charge you extra for the rider coverage, the minute you file a claim, they’re going to make sure that you were eligible for the rider coverage.

Business property is almost never covered under homeowner’s/renter’s insurance, and insurance companies will do everything they can to prove that the lost property was not for personal enjoyment. I know a guy, a hobbyist cum wedding photographer that was denied an $8,000 claim after his kids took his camera swimming in the family pool because he had a website advertising wedding photography. Without the website, it would likely have been a covered claim.

Both the National Press Photographers Association and TCP Insurance have plans for professionals. I’ve found both to be good (in that they actually cover claims) and reasonably priced.

by Will Seberger | 04 Jan 2012 19:01 | Tucson, Arizona, United States | | Report spam→
Good advice Will; I thought this might be the case for professionals. My largest claim was for $1500 for a damaged lens. No problems and quick service, but I wonder about a larger claim. It probably varies a bit by company as well.

by Christopher Scrivens | 04 Jan 2012 19:01 | New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→
It probably does. I’m with State Farm for personal vehicular and property, and they’ve been great about fixing wrecked cars and house disasters. I even sat down with my agent about business and business property to see if I could get everything through one company, and after a few weeks of back-and-forth, he suggested I find a company that deals with photographers more specifically given that companies like SF like predictable businesses, and this is anything but.

I use TCP presently, and have been quite happy with them. It’s a very scalable plan and covers everywhere (didn’t need to fill out forms or beg permission for Sudan).

by Will Seberger | 04 Jan 2012 19:01 | Tucson, Arizona, United States | | Report spam→
Thank you all for the great advice. I think I will look into the insurance offered by NPPA as I plan to continue to invest in new lenses and other equipment. Happy New Year!

by Daniel Brennan | 04 Jan 2012 20:01 | New York, United States | | Report spam→

Not insurance as such, but great for peace of mind when you need to sleep on a train, bus, bench or bathroom. Adds a bit of weight to the bag but better than no bag at all.

by Jeff Holt | 05 Jan 2012 11:01 (ed. Jan 5 2012) | Hanoi, Vietnam | | Report spam→
+1 for TCP. My camera insurance is also with them. Their service is excellent and their coverage is international.

by Jack Kurtz | 05 Jan 2012 13:01 | Phoenix, Arizona, United States | | Report spam→

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Daniel Brennan, Photographer Daniel Brennan
New York , United States
Tomoko Yamamoto, Multimedia Artist Tomoko Yamamoto
Multimedia Artist
Vienna , Austria
Christopher Scrivens, Pastor, Missionary Christopher Scrivens
Pastor, Missionary
(Rank Amateur)
Chester, Nj , United States
Will Seberger, Photojournalist Will Seberger
(Freelance Visual Journalist)
Tucson, Arizona , United States ( TUS )
Jeff Holt, Photojournalist Jeff Holt
Dhaka , Bangladesh
Jack Kurtz, Photojournalist Jack Kurtz
Bangkok , Thailand


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