One of the top reasons many professional photographers join PPA, aside from the great educational and business benefits, is PhotoCare equipment insurance. PhotoCare offers up to $15,000 of photographic equipment insurance coverage, the premium has been paid for by PPA. PhotoCare covers loss due to fire, theft, water damage and breakage for U.S. and Puerto Rico-based Professional Active and Life members. This great member benefit protects you from the unexpected, but not the avoidable. And with summer in full swing, it seems like the prime time to share some theft prevention tips so you're not caught paying out of pocket for some pricey equipment.
Tip #1: Don't leave your windows open. That means your car, your office or your home. Seriously. We understand a cool breeze feels great on a warm afternoon and it's cheaper than air conditioning, but PhotoCare doesn't cover negligence.. Take preventative measures, such as closing (and locking) your windows to ensure your gear doesn't have an impromptu or mysterious disappearance.
Tip #2: Lock your doors. Whether it's your studio, vehicle or house, locking your doors is imperative to keeping thieves at bay. Even if you're gone for a minute, your thousands of dollars' worth of equipment can walk off and you'll be left footing the hefty bill.
Tip #3: Bring a trusted friend. Never leave your equipment out in the open, or with a stranger. If you're on location for an assignment, try leaving any piece of equipment you don't need right away in your (locked) vehicle or find a secure room on the property to leave your things.
What's the big picture? Don't tempt thieves. Take all the preventative measures you can to ensure you have the strongest case, should anything happen.
What happens if despite your best efforts, the unfortunate does happen? Remember to keep a running list of your equipment (complete with serial numbers) and proof of purchase. Insurance claims will move much quicker if you're prepared with the necessary paperwork.
If you've damaged your gear and have potentially lost data, file a claim with the Indemnification Trust. What's that? It's like malpractice insurance that will save you (potentially) thousands of dollars (check out our post about it here!)
PhotoCare covers the most common things, over the broadest spectrum that can happen to a photographer. If you feel like your business needs more coverage, Lockton Affinity also offers PhotoCare Plus which includes up to a whopping $100,000 worth of insurance, PLUS mysterious disappearance and unlocked-door theft (yep!). See our handy-dandy chart for a side-by-side comparison to see which policy might be right for you!
If you have any questions or comments about PhotoCare or PhotoCare Plus, do not hesitate to contact PPA! We are your advocates in this process and bear no judgment in the decisions made by Lockton Affinity (the brokers of the PhotoCare policy). Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 800.786.6277.