You don't have to be a professional photographer or claim ownership of the most expensive equipment in the world to want to protect your camera. Some cameras can cost thousands of dollars. Any precaution taken is an intelligent move. The good news is you can get affordable camera insurance simply by buying a renters insurance policy, as it will oftentimes cover your camera as well as a wide range of your other personal belongings. Here's how it works:
With renters insurance, your camera may be covered whether it's in or away from your home. This means that if your camera is damaged, destroyed or stolen while you're on vacation in the Bahamas, you may still be covered, just as you would if the same were to happen in your very own home.
But, there are a few differences you'd be wise to pay attention to when deciding which coverage options will work best for you.
Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost coverage? In the event of a loss, renters insurance policies will either pay you the Actual Cash Value or the Replacement Cost of your property, so make sure to select a policy that works best for you.
- With Actual Cash Value coverage, the value that your insurance claim typically pays out is calculated by factoring in replacement cost minus depreciation. Here's an example: Let's say a fire in your apartment damages your camera to the point that it is useless. With Actual Cash Value coverage, you'll typically receive reimbursement equivalent to what your specific make and model of camera would fetch if you were to sell it to someone else, used. It doesn't factor in what you actually paid for it, or how much money you'll have to part with in today's market to replace it. So, if you paid $1,000 for the camera brand-new just a couple of years ago, you may only receive a few hundred dollars in reimbursement.
- Replacement Cost coverage works a bit differently. With Replacement Cost coverage, your insurance will usually pay what it costs to buy the same camera new at the time of the claim. There are a few limitations, of course. For example, the replacement has to be equivalent to the camera that you previously owned. Also, Replacement Cost coverage will typically cost you more in premiums than Actual Cash Value. But, that difference could turn out to be pretty negligible if you're insuring a camera that's worth thousands of dollars.
Should you get additional insurance coverage for a high-priced camera? It depends. Some policies may limit the amount you can be paid for a camera or camera equipment. Other policies may not offer a personal property limit high enough to cover your expensive camera and all your other belongings. Make sure any policy you buy has limits high enough to cover all your belongings, including your camera.
If your camera is worth a lot more than the maximum coverage limit allowed for an individual item, find out if you can raise the limit. This is called Scheduled Personal Property coverage, and it can be assigned to individual items as well as groups of items, like your camera and the various lenses you use to take photos or other related photography equipment.
Do you get nervous just pulling your camera out of its case for fear it'll come to serious damage? If so, a renters insurance policy may be just the thing you need. Visit Allstate.com's Renters Insurance section for more information.