Insure Your Stuff — It’s a Bargain

For over a year, I’ve been thinking about insuring some of my expensive photography and computer equipment. I’m getting ready for a three-week trip to the Middle East on Sunday, and since I’m taking some of that pricey camera gear, I finally decided to check this off my to-do list. Insuring this stuff turns out to be fairly simple and surprisingly inexpensive.

The hard part was the inventory. I created a spreadsheet with all the descriptions, serial numbers and purchase prices. Although it wasn’t necessarily for some items, I tracked down all the invoices. (Most of it was purchased from Amazon.com, who allows you to re-print the invoices for anything you have ever bought from them.) I put it all into a PDF and sent it to my State Farm Insurance agent, where their underwriter picked through it, item-by-item.

Bottom line: This is a terrific deal. For a cost of only $1.25/year per $100 of value, they will insure against any loss or damage with a zero deductible. I’ve got almost everything covered: not just cameras and lenses, but expensive filters, accessories and even my backpack. I can update the inventory at any time. I’ll eventually add other items like my wife’s jewelry, artwork, etc. I haven’t insured my computer gear yet, but my agent says that will cost even less. The underwriting is detailed to the extent that they won’t insure iPads, for example. The losses and risks are just too high. But they had no problem with any of the photo stuff.

The only other restriction is that this is for amateur photographers only. A pro will have to pay a higher rate. (Probably a completely different policy.) I haven’t seen the details, but I think this is an add-on to my homeowner’s insurance.

So if you’ve been putting this off, particularly if you’re planning a trip to a far-away place, call your insurance agent now and check it out.

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