Topics

Owning gear: questions about insurance


Luc Ung
 

Hello there,

I've been reading CML on a regular basis for a year now and wanted to begin by expressing my gratitude to this group. It's been a wonderful learning platform!

I'm currently looking into investing in a used Alexa Mini and have been adding up the numbers, between the body, the accessories, the case etc. One thing I've been struggling finding answers for is the insurance side of owning gears. I'm looking for answers for the following questions but would also love to hear any advice regarding this matter.

- Which insurance companies would you recommend me to look into?

- What type of insurance should I look into?

- When getting a quote from an insurance company, should I give them the replacement value for the used price or price of the new product?

- If I intend to rent out the camera, should I get another type of coverage as well? How about the renter?

Thank you all in advance for your precious help.

Luc Ung
New York City
www.lucung.com


Denny Clairmont
 

Hello,
For insurance contact Taylor and Taylor with offices in New York 212-490-8511 and California 818-981-9700. They can answer all your questions about equipment insurance.

Taylor and Taylor provided insurance for Clairmont Camera and many rental people.
                                         Denny Clairmont 

In a message dated 12/24/2019 5:42:28 PM Pacific Standard Time, ungluc@... writes:

Hello there,

I've been reading CML on a regular basis for a year now and wanted to begin by expressing my gratitude to this group. It's been a wonderful learning platform!

I'm currently looking into investing in a used Alexa Mini and have been adding up the numbers, between the body, the accessories, the case etc. One thing I've been struggling finding answers for is the insurance side of owning gears. I'm looking for answers for the following questions but would also love to hear any advice regarding this matter.

- Which insurance companies would you recommend me to look into?

- What type of insurance should I look into?

- When getting a quote from an insurance company, should I give them the replacement value for the used price or price of the new product?

- If I intend to rent out the camera, should I get another type of coverage as well? How about the renter?

Thank you all in advance for your precious help.

Luc Ung
New York City
www.lucung.com


Axel Gimenez
 

The replacement value should be the list price of the equipment. 


the people that rent from you should have production insurance and supply you with a COI - certificate of insurance. The COI should have a high number for rental equipment coverage like a million or more. If it has just $100k, that might cover your package but they most likely are also renting lights, grip and lenses that total well over 100K. And if they lose or damage all that gear and only have 100k in coverage, who’s gonna get paid?

another thing about insurance- years ago I was a touring musician and had insurance covering my gear. Over the years I had two claims. After the first claim, my rates went up. After the second claim, they would no longer insure me. The lesson: don’t file a claim on your insurance unless absolutely last resort. 

if you have a good relationship with a rental house, I would suggest sub-leasing you camera through them. That’s what I do with my mini and it works out well. Production have lost parts of my kit and the rental house took care of it, no problem.


lastly, and this could be controversial, I’ve heard that ARRI has announced that they will be releasing an updated S35 mini in 2020. So, it may be worth holding off investing in a mini now unless you have an immediate need. 

--
Axel Gimenez

Commercial Auteur
NYC
https://axelgimenez.com/


Jan Klier
 

I’ll second Taylor and Taylor. I’ve had my coverage through them for quite some time. Tatiana at their California office is very quick to respond and very helpful on all the needs I had. Keep in mind that with this type of insurance it’s not just sign-up and forget, but you regularly deal with them to get the various insurance certificates for various projects. So customer service is critical.

You want to get equipment coverage, rental coverage (in case you have to supplement your kit from rental houses), general business liability that covers locations you shoot at, as well as any workers comp / disability your state may require. The total coverage will depend on the needs you have and the amount of bookings you have. They can work with you on finding the right policy for your needs once they understand your business.

Jan Klier
DP/Colorist NYC

On Dec 24, 2019, at 9:42 PM, Denny Clairmont via Cml.News <dennyclairmont=aol.com@...> wrote:

For insurance contact Taylor and Taylor with offices in New York 212-490-8511 and California 818-981-9700. They can answer all your questions about equipment insurance.


John Tipton
 

Ive got a lot of gear and have been dealing with these issues for a while. There are a lot of variables.
If you want, call me and we can discuss. I'd be happy to download my experience.

John Tipton
DP
LA

John Tipton
Cinematographer
213-268-4210
John@...
www.johntipton.com


John Tipton
 

I've used Athos insurance for years. Katherine Wong is the boss. She's awesome. 

https://www.athosinsurance.com/buy-equipment-insurance

John Tipton 
DP
LA

John Tipton 
Cinematographer 
213-268-4210
John@JohnTipton. Com


Mitch Gross
 

Also note that some insurance covers only when the gear is out on a job. Your home owner’s insurance does not cover your gear (business property) unless you specifically add that clause, and then you will likely need to submit an itemized list with serial numbers & descriptions. And that’s just for storage in your home. 

When anyone else uses the gear or you use it on someone else’s production you should absolutely have them provide insurance. You or your corporate entity (ownership is another matter) needs to be listed as a LOSS PAYEE. Liability insurance is not the same thing. 

A company such as Taylor & Taylor can explain this clearly. 

For years I carried only storage insurance as an add on to my home insurance policy. If the gear went out the door it was on someone else’s policy. 


Mitch Gross
Cinema Product Manager 
Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America
New York

On Dec 25, 2019, at 10:26 AM, John Tipton <john@...> wrote:


I've used Athos insurance for years. Katherine Wong is the boss. She's awesome. 

https://www.athosinsurance.com/buy-equipment-insurance

John Tipton 
DP
LA

John Tipton 
Cinematographer 
213-268-4210
John@JohnTipton. Com


Jan Klier
 

And one more thing to add to Mitch’s check list: If you plan on renting out your gear to others, it’s usually not covered under your policy for that. So you must make sure your renter provides you with an insurance certificate for the rental. You can look up the term ‘voluntary parting’.

Jan Klier
DP/Colorist NYC

On Dec 25, 2019, at 11:25 AM, Mitch Gross <mitchgrosscml@...> wrote:

Also note that some insurance covers only when the gear is out on a job. Your home owner’s insurance does not cover your gear (business property) unless you specifically add that clause, and then you will likely need to submit an itemized list with serial numbers & descriptions. And that’s just for storage in your home. 

When anyone else uses the gear or you use it on someone else’s production you should absolutely have them provide insurance. You or your corporate entity (ownership is another matter) needs to be listed as a LOSS PAYEE. Liability insurance is not the same thing. 

A company such as Taylor & Taylor can explain this clearly. 

For years I carried only storage insurance as an add on to my home insurance policy. If the gear went out the door it was on someone else’s policy. 


Mitch Gross
Cinema Product Manager 
Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America
New York

On Dec 25, 2019, at 10:26 AM, John Tipton <john@...> wrote:


I've used Athos insurance for years. Katherine Wong is the boss. She's awesome. 

https://www.athosinsurance.com/buy-equipment-insurance

John Tipton 
DP
LA

John Tipton 
Cinematographer 
213-268-4210
John@JohnTipton. Com


Fahnon
 

I’ve been using Athos for the last three years. Haven’t had to file a claim yet, but the customer service has been fantastic. 


On Wed, Dec 25, 2019 at 10:26 John Tipton <john@...> wrote:
I've used Athos insurance for years. Katherine Wong is the boss. She's awesome. 

https://www.athosinsurance.com/buy-equipment-insurance

John Tipton 
DP
LA

John Tipton 
Cinematographer 
213-268-4210
John@JohnTipton. Com

--
Fahnon Bennett
Filmmaker/Photographer
Brooklyn, New York
323.375.4332


John Tipton
 

Yes voluntary parting can add a substantial additional premium. But if you are renting to others, even if they send you a coi, it's highly recommended to have it.

You might also want to consider liability coverage as well.

Keep an eye out for the clauses regarding loss inside an auto. Some policies have a stipulation that if the vehicle is unlocked, coverage does not apply. Or they may even not have coverage at all for gear in a vehicle.
Having an alarm system and cameras where you store your gear can also reduce your premium, if I'm not mistaken.

Regarding consigning gear, some people seem to have had good results. Personally, I consigned a set of summicrons to 2 different LA rental houses and it was more trouble than it was worth. Every time I needed them they were out on a job so I had to rent a set for myself. But the rate I was paying was more than they were renting my set often.
It seemed to me that they were saving the consigned gear for the heavily discounted jobs so the return was not great. But it depends on what's consigned and how much demand there is.

Tippy
DP
LA



John Tipton
Cinematographer
213-268-4210
John@...


Luc Ung
 

Thank you all very much for your insight. I will look into Taylor and Taylor as well as Athos.

John I'd love to further discuss this matter on the phone with you. I will send you a text right now.

Axel, thank you for the warning about the new Alexa camera. I know we're not supposed to discuss internet rumors here but I don't think this would qualify as rumor because it was posted on Arri's website. It seems like their new 4K S35 is getting postponed, thus my decision to look into a used Mini:

"This ARRI S35 4K camera will have a new S35 4K 4:3 sensor and the size of the body will be close to the ALEXA Mini LF. It will be compatible to the MVF-2 viewfinder and will support CODEX Compact Drives which have been introduced with the ALEXA Mini LF.

In order to implement additional ALEXA Mini LF features and to deliver software updates for our existing customers, the launch of the S35 4K camera will not take place in 2020, as originally announced." (source: https://www.arri.com/en/learn-help/learn-help-camera-system/frequently-asked-questions/alexa-mini-lf-faq#accordion-84196 - under the "Will there be another Super 35 ARRI camera?" question)

Thank you all again.

Luc Ung
New York City
www.lucung.com


Marty Oppenheimer
 

Luc

Lots of good comments here, but this is a complicated subject and what coverages you require will vary with how you intend to do business.  For instance, if you're going to "park" your gear with a rental house, you probably only need minimal coverages as they should be fully covering you.  If you'll be renting the gear out it gets much more complex.  And if you're the only one using it, you're somewhere in between.

I second Denny's recommendation of Taylor & Taylor.  They've covered us for about 20 years and it has all been good, even when when we had a break in that made off with 3 Alexas, 2 Epics, 2 F55's, an SR3 and lots of glass.  BUT having Scott Taylor backing me when we had issues with our insurer made a HUGE difference.

You want "Replacement Cost Coverage" under any circumstances.  You want to be sure that the gear is covered "in transit" whether you're shipping to your next shoot, or shipping to Arri for service.

I agree with most of the rest of what has been said.  With 40 years in the camera rental business, I've encountered a lot of what might happen.

IF you'd like to chat, I can be available for you.  And, yes, Taylor & Taylor will be a great help in sorting out what you need.  How you intend to use/rent/subrent/park the gear will make a significant difference in how you need to cover it.

Cheers
Marty Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer Cine Rental
Oppenheimer Camera Products
Seattle
206-467-8666

On 12/24/2019 2:13 PM, Luc Ung wrote:
Hello there,

I've been reading CML on a regular basis for a year now and wanted to begin by expressing my gratitude to this group. It's been a wonderful learning platform!

I'm currently looking into investing in a used Alexa Mini and have been adding up the numbers, between the body, the accessories, the case etc. One thing I've been struggling finding answers for is the insurance side of owning gears. I'm looking for answers for the following questions but would also love to hear any advice regarding this matter.

- Which insurance companies would you recommend me to look into?

- What type of insurance should I look into?

- When getting a quote from an insurance company, should I give them the replacement value for the used price or price of the new product?

- If I intend to rent out the camera, should I get another type of coverage as well? How about the renter?

Thank you all in advance for your precious help.

Luc Ung
New York City
www.lucung.com


Dan Winckler
 

Happy new year!

Late addition to this thread: we’ve had production insurance through Epic (previously Integro, previously Ventura) for years, ever since we needed coverage for a production in DR and Haiti (and discovered that State Farm wasn’t truly covering us for our type of work!). Their NYC office has always been prompt in responding to questions, COI requests, and custom quote requests, etc. The premiums are reasonable and on occasions when we need to add increase coverage for particular shoots (drone stuff, demanding locations, etc), the additional fees are not bad, either.

Dan Winckler
DP
NYC


Dan Winckler
o: 347-867-8626 | c: 917-586-5213 | he/him
    



On Wed, Dec 25, 2019 at 11:56 PM Marty Oppenheimer <marty@...> wrote:

Luc

Lots of good comments here, but this is a complicated subject and what coverages you require will vary with how you intend to do business.  For instance, if you're going to "park" your gear with a rental house, you probably only need minimal coverages as they should be fully covering you.  If you'll be renting the gear out it gets much more complex.  And if you're the only one using it, you're somewhere in between.

I second Denny's recommendation of Taylor & Taylor.  They've covered us for about 20 years and it has all been good, even when when we had a break in that made off with 3 Alexas, 2 Epics, 2 F55's, an SR3 and lots of glass.  BUT having Scott Taylor backing me when we had issues with our insurer made a HUGE difference.

You want "Replacement Cost Coverage" under any circumstances.  You want to be sure that the gear is covered "in transit" whether you're shipping to your next shoot, or shipping to Arri for service.

I agree with most of the rest of what has been said.  With 40 years in the camera rental business, I've encountered a lot of what might happen.

IF you'd like to chat, I can be available for you.  And, yes, Taylor & Taylor will be a great help in sorting out what you need.  How you intend to use/rent/subrent/park the gear will make a significant difference in how you need to cover it.

Cheers
Marty Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer Cine Rental
Oppenheimer Camera Products
Seattle
206-467-8666

On 12/24/2019 2:13 PM, Luc Ung wrote:
Hello there,

I've been reading CML on a regular basis for a year now and wanted to begin by expressing my gratitude to this group. It's been a wonderful learning platform!

I'm currently looking into investing in a used Alexa Mini and have been adding up the numbers, between the body, the accessories, the case etc. One thing I've been struggling finding answers for is the insurance side of owning gears. I'm looking for answers for the following questions but would also love to hear any advice regarding this matter.

- Which insurance companies would you recommend me to look into?

- What type of insurance should I look into?

- When getting a quote from an insurance company, should I give them the replacement value for the used price or price of the new product?

- If I intend to rent out the camera, should I get another type of coverage as well? How about the renter?

Thank you all in advance for your precious help.

Luc Ung
New York City
www.lucung.com