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You don't have to be a professional photographer or own top-of-the-line equipment to want to protect your camera. The good news is that you may be able to protect your camera against certain risks by simply having a renters insurance policy.

When you buy your camera, the retailer or sales person may ask whether you’d like to add insurance to your purchase for a set monthly amount or a one-off payment.

The costs and levels can vary massively from provider to provider, so while this may seem like the easy option you could end up paying over the odds for a policy that won’t cover you in the way you need.

Compare and shop around before you decide – look at general providers and specific camera insurance providers, depending on the value of your camera.

What does camera insurance cover?

If you think you need a dedicated camera insurance policy, check what’s included thoroughly before taking out cover. Camera

For example, one of the main reasons to take out cover is to quickly fix or replace your camera if you accidentally drop it, but not all policies offer this as standard. Some may take weeks to fix your camera, or may try to replace it with a refurbished second-hand model instead of a new version.

Accidental damage

Consider whether you want to include accidental damage cover for your camera. This may not come as standard with some policies and some insurers may explicitly exclude it, but you’ll want to make sure you have it as cameras can be especially vulnerable.

If you were to walk down a busy city street carry $4000 in your wallet, you would be forgiven for feeling a little nervous. Yet many of us are quite happy to walk down that same street carrying $4000 worth of high tech equipment in a bag that shouts photographer. What would happen if that bag was stolen? Could you afford to replace? Worse still, if you make money from your cameras, you may be jeopardising your livelihood. Today we are going to take a brief look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of camera insurance.

Risk Assessment

Deciding whether to take out dedicated insurance on your camera is a matter of evaluating the risks that you and your equipment are under. If you live in a high crime area or routinely shoot in locations that are even at a moderate risk to crime then it is worth considering. If you live in a low crime area, spend time shooting landscapes in remote areas then it may not be a priority.

The value of the equipment and your financial ability to replace it are also consideration. If you are shooting with very expensive cameras and lenses in any location, then insurance should be an important consideration. If you are a professional, having insurance is not even a question.

What Type of Insurance?

For many people, normal household insurance maybe sufficient. Check your policy very carefully or speak to your broker as to what is actually covered. You may find that there is a sizable excess to pay, or that your camera equipment is not insured abroad or even outside of the house. You will need to name all your photographic items, so when you buy that new lens, make sure to add it to your policy. Some general purpose insurance companies now have special policies to cover gadgets, understandable given the amount and value of of the electronic items that we carry on a day to day basis. For the casual photographer with lower priced equipment this might be the route to take.

If you are a non professional but with high value equipment, you might take a look at dedicated photographic insurance. These are provided by specialist brokers that deal with the specific risks of camera equipment. A Google search will reveal a multitude of these brokers but as with all purchases do your research before committing. Make sure that you get a comprehensive policy that covers not only theft but accidental damage, travelling and all the sundry items that you need to carry.