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Thread: Camera gear insurance for international travel

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    Member Thor's Avatar
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    Camera gear insurance for international travel

    So my question is to those of you who have travelled abroad with thousands of dollars in camera gear.

    Do you insure it when you travel? partially cover it? or do you just wing it?

    How did it all pan out?

    Thanks in advance

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    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    I would never travel OS without adequate travel insurance and that includes my camera and lenses. Depending on how much you take or its value you may need to increase the $ amount of the valuables cover, supply serial numbers etc. To date (knock on wood) I've never had to make a claim so can't comment on that aspect.
    Glenda


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    Ausphotography Regular Euskadi67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor View Post
    So my question is to those of you who have travelled abroad with thousands of dollars in camera gear.

    Do you insure it when you travel? partially cover it? or do you just wing it?

    How did it all pan out?

    Thanks in advance

    I've always taken out insurance on [all] my camera gear that I'm taking with me at the time - not always that cheap, but the downside of not insuring really isn't worth it...

    Touch wood, never had to claim, but then, I'm pretty OCD about safeguarding my stuff - the bastards can steal or damage anything else, but as long as my passport, credit cards and camera gear are ok, I'm not too phased about the other stuff I'm taking with me! It's all still insured, but I'm less precious about losing it...

    Edited: I go through Insurance House (Brokers), and my policies are with QBE/Allianz; I've claimed on travel thefts (non-camera related) and bicycle equipment (local, bike crashes, not theft), and have received full payouts, without too much hassle.
    Last edited by Euskadi67; 28-02-2016 at 12:48pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    Gidday Thor

    First thing to do is ring your insurer. Our opinions are all worthless until you know what you are already insured/not indured for!

    Insurance policies require very careful scrutiny. If you aren't sure, ask someone you know and trust to read it for you, AND ask your insurer to clarify anything that is not clear IN WRITING! I cannot stress this last too much.
    Regards, john

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hmm! Must admit, I never covered any of my stuff. Few 1000s worth, too!
    What about travel insurance? If you take out a separate travel insurance from your house and contents,
    it would be worthwhile ascertaining any cover.
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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I have insurance that I add to my business insurance which covers all my gear anywhere, anytime.

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    Ausphotography Regular kwaal's Avatar
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    Hi. I have not specifically taken out travel insurance stating my camera gear and have made one claim for a flooded camera housing that killed my camera. With a letter from the dive company the camera was fully covered. I would suggest checking with your insurance company to see exactly what is covered. I have recently had a travel insurance claim rejected (mechanical issues on my flight from Melb which led to missed flight connections and then a missed tour connection - the insurance didn't cover implications of mechanical reason for delay). Has made me more cautious now in checking the fine print!

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    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    My household insurance covers my gear when OS or even in the back yard ( yes have claimed for damage in Italy).
    Never had a problem with travel insurance, and I require several inclusions with mine.
    Regards
    John
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    Member spootz01's Avatar
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    I have been in the insurance industry for quite a few years now so I like to think I'm somewhat knowledgeable in this particular situation.

    Firstly, trying to get camera gear covered properly (anything more than a P&S) is hard with specific travel insurance. Usually the limits in general aren't that great and the limit for electronics is even worse. The flip side to that is that finding cover for that under home insurance isn't easy either. Most direct insurers don't offer OS cover for anything more than jewellery so you're better off contacting a broker as they have access to several different policy wordings and have greater negotiating power than you would.

    As John said above, contact your insurer first and find out what their take on the situation is.

    As a quick side note, consider asking about covering your gear in the country as well. A standard contents policy (furniture clothes etc.) WILL NOT cover items away from your home. I see several people every week who get caught out by this it's scary. Usually it isn't that expensive but as Euskadi said above, the downside of not being insured is worth thinking about.

    I know this might be sounding like a sales pitch but im not going to mention any companies and I will say if anyone wants any specific help with insuring their gear in or out of Australia I am more than happy to assist, I'm only a PM away.

    Cheers,

    S.
    Last edited by spootz01; 29-02-2016 at 8:51am. Reason: Correction
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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    I am another one who would never go OS without any Insurance. Hubby is Welsh so I have been overseas a few times seeing we get free accommodation in a few places in the UK.
    Also been to other countries on the way to the UK and back, and found hotel rooms have safes in the wardrobes for smaller valuables.
    The limit for our travel insurance for camera gear last time we went in 2010 was $3000 that did not even cover my new at the time Canon FF camera and L lens and I took lots more gear.
    We were able to up it to $5000 by paying more, and away for between 2-3 months it can be expensive though worth it for peace of mind.

    I shoot with Canon And Olympus Cameras



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    Hiya. Thankyou for the overwhelming responses, thats given me a bit of an idea as to what I should be doing/shouldn't be doing and what not.

    Currently the QBE insureance will cover $4k worh of gear on the essentials plan. The premium is cheap, I thought, for the time we will be away at $150pp. The great thing is that there is no excess on this plan.

    The next plan is $300pp which covers 12k.

    Touch wood, nothing will go wrong.

    EDIT: QBE insureance will cover $4k worh of gear
    Last edited by Thor; 29-02-2016 at 3:44pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hmm! Nevertheless, and as aforesaid (somewhere above), HAMMER it out with 'em.
    - The fine print!

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    I will talk with them.

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    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    I have military insurance and they do a great job at getting insurance coverage, problem is you have to be or have been in the Services.

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    All insurance is a gamble and you have to weigh up your own personal risk profile and how much impact loss would have on your personal finances if it happened. You are betting you might have to claim, and the insurance company is betting you won't.

    When I travel I take out medical insurance , as the cost of being stuck in hospital in another country can be exorbitant ( particularly US ) .

    I never take out insurance over possessions , camera or other , as I can afford to replace it if I have to . I don't take out the option on extra insurance on hire vehicles either , and over time I am well in front. On our last trip a mountain biker did crash into our hire car on one of those narrow lakes district roads. He broke a front headliight and dented a front panel and the bonnet. The hire companies cost for repair , worked out to be less than the amount we would have paid if we had taken out the extra daily insurance cost.

    I don't insure my car here in Australia ( other than third party property) and over ten years have saved more in insurance premiums than the car is worth. If it gets damaged or stolen I can afford to replace it or fix it .

    I do insure my house , as replacing that would put a dent in my budget , but I don't insure contents. I don't have anything that expensive that I could not replace it if needed. All of it if required including my camera gear.


    This is my personal situation but as I said , everyone is different , but if you are prepared to take the risk , then over time you will end up in front. If you did not I think insurance companies would go broke.
    The name is Brad ......

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcys1961 View Post
    All insurance is a gamble and you have to weigh up your own personal risk profile and how much impact loss would have on your personal finances if it happened. You are betting you might have to claim, and the insurance company is betting you won't.

    When I travel I take out medical insurance , as the cost of being stuck in hospital in another country can be exorbitant ( particularly US ) .

    I never take out insurance over possessions , camera or other , as I can afford to replace it if I have to . I don't take out the option on extra insurance on hire vehicles either , and over time I am well in front. On our last trip a mountain biker did crash into our hire car on one of those narrow lakes district roads. He broke a front headliight and dented a front panel and the bonnet. The hire companies cost for repair , worked out to be less than the amount we would have paid if we had taken out the extra daily insurance cost.

    I don't insure my car here in Australia ( other than third party property) and over ten years have saved more in insurance premiums than the car is worth. If it gets damaged or stolen I can afford to replace it or fix it .

    I do insure my house , as replacing that would put a dent in my budget , but I don't insure contents. I don't have anything that expensive that I could not replace it if needed. All of it if required including my camera gear.


    This is my personal situation but as I said , everyone is different , but if you are prepared to take the risk , then over time you will end up in front. If you did not I think insurance companies would go broke.
    To add to the confusion I was sent an email with official pricing for QBE international travel insurance..The first time I was told these prices over the phone and the prices were considerably differing.

    The QBE premium prices page says if I want to insure for $2000 worth of camera equipment my premium will be $383pp no excess on their ''international comprehensive policy''. Their international essentials cover costs $210pp but it only covers $500 for camera equipment which also has no excess.

    If I take out 2 premiums with me and my GF then I will get a $4k coverage.

    We are going away for just over a month. We are careful but I don't know if everyone else is.

  17. #17
    Member spootz01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor View Post
    If I take out 2 premiums with me and my GF then I will get a $4k coverage.
    The problem is in industry culture around travel insurance. As a general rule insurance companies HATE travel insurance. Absolutely hate it. The problem is the loss ratios (the $$ you pay out compared to $$ in premiums) are astronomically high. Last financial year my company only made less than $100k from travel insurance and yet we're one of the biggest providers in the country. That's why companies have absurd limits in regards to who they insure and how much for.

    That is why doing what you have suggested is fraught with danger. When it comes to travel insurance claims most companies with do literally anything to weasel out of paying a claim. If they can find some barely tangible piece of evidence that your claim is even slightly below board they will deny the claim.

    Depending on when you're travelling it pays to take some extra time and do some research about what is covered and compare what really matters to you (camera gear by the sounds of things). There is no point trying to beat an insurance company at their own game, it wont happen. If someone tries to tell you that they did it, it's only because it would have cost us more to deny than to pay.

  18. #18
    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spootz01 View Post
    The problem is in industry culture around travel insurance. As a general rule insurance companies HATE travel insurance. Absolutely hate it. The problem is the loss ratios (the $$ you pay out compared to $$ in premiums) are astronomically high. Last financial year my company only made less than $100k from travel insurance and yet we're one of the biggest providers in the country. That's why companies have absurd limits in regards to who they insure and how much for.
    So why do they provide it? You would think those that hate it or don't make money from it would get out of the market and leave it to just a few companies prepared to specialise , price correctly and make a profit from it.

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    Member spootz01's Avatar
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    They do it to keep customers. If someone has car and home insurance through a specific company 9 times out of 10 that company will be the first place they call for any additional needs. It goes like this;

    Bob has car insurance through ABC insurance.
    Bob needs travel insurance so he calls ABC insurance
    They tell him they don't to travel insurance so he calls XYZ insurance
    They issue him a travel policy he is happy with so he asks for a quote on his car insurance
    They provide him with a better quote than ABC so he changes over.
    ABC insurance have now lost a customer because they didn't offer travel insurance
    Now ADC insurance start offering travel insurance even though they don't want to so that that doesn't happen again

    That's the main reason companies provide travel insurance even though there isn't an overly strong business case to add it the portfolio on it's own merits, however, when possible loss to other portfolios is taken into account it makes business sense to expand the product offering.

    I hope that has cleared things up.

    Cheers,

    S.
    Last edited by spootz01; 01-03-2016 at 1:30pm. Reason: Gramatical Errors

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    Member Morgo's Avatar
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    I used these guys when traveling to Africa

    http://www.photoinsurance.com.au/

    Never had to make a claim so can't really report what they are like in that regard.

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