Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Camera Insurance for College Students

A few days I posted a blog about camera insurance. It was inspired by what happened to some of my friends covering the Olympics in London.

A few days later I realized there is a group out there where they are the most vulnerable. These are college students.


Before you go off to college you need to have a conversation with your parents about their homeowner insurance. Do not talk to your friends and listen to what their insurance covers and assume it is the same for you. Every single insurance company does things differently and even the same company has many different variables to write a variety of policies.

You want to know about the fine print in your policy, so talk the the agent about some possible scenarios to be sure you are covered.

Possible Scenarios
  • The amount of gear you have, is it covered or do you need more coverage
  • If you work for the college newspaper will this affect you being considered a student or professional.
    • Some college papers pay their staff and this could affect your insurance
  • Renting of equipment. Can you rent something and still be covered.
  • You live in a dorm verses at home.
  • You live in an apartment off campus
Since these are all possibilities don't hold back. Ask them to give you ways you are not covered.  Your idea is to know now before anything happens.  You would hate to have all your stuff destroyed in fire, stolen or while shooting a football game it gets damaged and find out it isn't covered. 
Renters' insurance

It may be the best thing for your family for you to have a separate policy. The odds of you being robbed on campus may be hirer than home. Once you file a claim it may make it more difficult for your parents to find a insurance carrier.

The renters' insurance is similar to a homeowners' policy but only covers the contents and not the structure of the apartment. Some insurance companies may let you while you are a student have this policy and just add your camera gear to this.

Professional Organizations

As I mentioned in the first article on camera insurance you may be better off buying camera insurance. As a student you can join the professional organizations at a lower rate than pros and still get access to some of the benefits like insurance.

What to insure

It is recommended you take pictures of all your gear, have copies of all the receipts to show purchase price and write down the serial number. I would recommend making a spreadsheet to show:
  • the name of the gear 
  • the price of the gear (either paid or replacement cost)
  • the serial number
  • date purchased
Most policies that specialize for the photographer will include your computer gear as well. For your computer gear list things like:
  • Computer
  • External hard drives
  • Software
    • Adobe Lightroom
    • PhotoMechanic
    • Microsoft Office
    • ftp software
    • Adobe PhotoShop
    • Final Cut Pro
  • Monitor Calibrator
  • Card Readers
Think of your computer as a digital workstation and list everything you bought to work on it. If it is stolen you need to replace all that software and hardware.

Worst Situation

The absolutely worse situation to be in is having all your gear stolen and you don't know what is covered. Call today and find out what is covered, you may need to buy a separate policy.

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