Picture this: You trek to Antelope Canyon to capture its curvy red rocks with your DSLR camera. After snapping some shots, you head to a local coffee shop to sift through your photos. But when you reach to grab your camera, you realize it was snatched while you were ordering your latte. Ouch!
If the pain of losing your pictures wasn’t bad enough, you also need to buy yourself a new camera. But here’s the good news: You can get it insured through your renters or homeowners policy, which can make this situation a little less painful.
Why? Turns out, your policy can insure your camera for a wide range of scenarios, from theft to accidental damage. Andrew Y., a Lemonader from Brooklyn, covered his Sony A7II and lenses with his Lemonade policy:
“Photography is my passion and outlet. It gives me a reason to go out and explore wherever I can. My camera helps me capture moments in a single frame, so I can go back and relive those moments in the future. I wanted to insure it so I can focus on getting the perfect shot.”
But does renters or homeowners insurance cover you if you break your lens? Or leave it on the subway? Or damage a camera you use professionally?
The truth is, camera coverage can be confusing. To answer your most common coverage questions, we’ll take a deep dive into all things camera insurance:
Does renters & homeowners insurance cover cameras?
But if you also want to insure your it against accidental damage (like cracks in your lens) and mysterious disappearance, you’ll need to get Extra Coverage (or ‘scheduled personal property coverage,’ in insurance speak).
What’s Extra Coverage? It’s additional coverage for your valuable items, such as your camera and equipment worth over $250, that offers extra perks, including:
- Coverage against accidental loss (aka, mysterious disappearance)
- Coverage against any accidental physical damage
- Zero deductible
So if your lens cracks or you leave it in a Lyft, your Extra Coverage may cover the cost to get your camera repaired or replaced. Plus, you won’t have to pay a deductible, so your insurance company can pay you the full replacement cost, deductible-free!
When we asked why he insured his camera, Peter G., a Lemonader from Brooklyn, NY, told us:
“I have quite valuable gear and love taking pictures of wildlife, so I want peace of mind knowing my gear will be covered in case of accidental damage or theft. That way, I can take pictures of mountain sunsets in the Alps, green turtles swimming at the bottom of the Red Sea, or polar bears in the Arctic, without worrying about my camera.”
In addition to wildlife videography, Peter also enjoys making short films:
“Last year, I made a documentary, and filmed the entire short while riding a bicycle. I would not have felt comfortable filming from a bike in NYC without accidental damage coverage!”
Can I insure my camera gear or equipment?
You sure can! Any camera gear you own – such as a tripod, remote shutter release, lens, or external flash – is automatically covered under your base home insurance policy for theft, fire, vandalism, etc. But if you want to add Extra Coverage for your gear, you’ll need to schedule your equipment separately from your camera.
Josh W., a Product Designer at Lyft from San Francisco, got Extra Coverage on a few lenses in addition to his cameras:
“I carry a camera every day so I can document my life, take pictures of the beautiful city I live in, and take photos of my one-year-old son as he grows up. I have a photo blog I like to post to, and upload my photos to Unsplash to let people use them however they want.”
And Kristen L., a long-time Lemonade user, said:
“I dropped my camera while in Yosemite. I was glad I had Extra Coverage, but skeptical about whether Lemonade would actually ‘work.’ Well it did… and very well! It was easy to file my claim, easy to understand the process, and my claim was approved!”
Can I insure my camera and gear as a professional photographer?
If you use your it professionally, insuring your camera with renters and homeowners insurance is a whole different ball game.
Most home and renters insurance policies can cover your professional camera and gear up to a certain amount (in insurance speak, this is called a ‘sublimit’). If you’re at home, it will be covered up to $2,500, and if you’re outside your home, it will be covered up to $1,500.
So if someone breaks into your home and steals your $3,000 professional camera, your insurer can pay you back $2,500 (minus your deductible). But if someone snatches it while you’re taking professional shots of street art, your insurer can only pay you back $1,500, minus your deductible.
Take note that the camera you use professionally will only be covered for ‘named perils,’ including theft, windstorm, fire, vandalism, etc. – you can’t get Extra Coverage if it’s used for business purposes.
If you need more robust coverage for your professional camera, you may want to look into a business owners policy, which is a commercial policy for small and freelance business owners. That type of policy is better suited for business property.
Lemonader Brannon N. from San Francisco uses his camera professionally only from time-to-time, so a Lemonade policy was a good fit to insure it:
“I use my camera primarily to document my travels in videos and still, but once a month I shoot portraits, random stock images, and create short videos for clients who are interested in my style.”
How much does it cost to insure a camera?
The cost to insure your camera with renters or homeowners insurance depends on the type of coverage you get, how many you insure, and their value!
If you don’t get Extra Coverage for your camera, it will be covered under your basic personal property coverage.
Basic policies typically start with $10,000 worth of personal property coverage- meaning, if a fire destroyed your apartment and stuff, your insurance company could pay you a maximum amount of $10,000 to replace all of your stuff, such as your clothes, couch, laptop, phone, camera, etc.
If you think your stuff is worth more than $10,000 (which it probably is), you’ll want to increase your personal property coverage. Here’s a helpful guide to figuring out how much your stuff is worth.
Depending on your insurance company, increasing your personal property coverage will probably tack on a few dollars a month to your premium.
If you want to add Extra Coverage for your camera, it will probably cost a few more $$ per month, since it provides an extra suite of perks.
How much will it cost? It really depends on the its value- it can cost anywhere from $2-$10/mo.
For Raghav M., a Lemonader from Newark, getting Extra Coverage didn’t add much:
“When I added my camera and lens to my Lemonade policy, it cost me $2.51 extra per month. Photography is my hobby and passion. Being able to have peace of mind and keep all of my equipment protected lets me shoot without worrying about my gear.”
How do I insure my camera?
Protecting your camera with Lemonade renters or homeowners insurance is easy!
If you aren’t looking to get Extra Coverage for it, all you need to do is get a basic insurance policy, which takes less than 2 minutes: Download the Lemonade app, answer a few questions about your home, and get insured in seconds.
And if you want to get Extra Coverage on your camera items, just follow these additional steps:
1. When getting your Lemonade policy, tap ‘Activate Extra Coverage.’ (If you already have a policy, head to Lemonade app and tap the Extra Coverage button under ‘Add-Ons.’)
2. Open up the email you get from Maya, and click ‘Add Extra Coverage’
3. Answer a few questions, and send over:
- A pic of your camera/gear
- A pic of the receipt
- A pic of your item on top of the receipt
Btw, if you don’t have a receipt, it’s no problem! Rachel E., one of Lemonade’s Customer Experience specialists, let us know that:
“You can send in a picture of the model and serial number on your camera along with a screenshot of a link online showing the current value of that same camera. This way, we can still determine its replacement value.”
4. Our Customer Experience (CX) team will let you know via email once your stuff is covered! Btw, you can always add more items later.
Take note that if you decide to add Extra Coverage when you get your policy, Lemonade will automatically grant you temporary EC for 14 days. This will give you time to send over the necessary info, and for our team to review it. If you can’t submit your info within 14 days, you can still add on the Extra Coverage yourself after it expires.
How much is my camera worth?
If you’re getting Extra Coverage for your camera, you’ll need to provide its exact worth.
The best way to figure out how much your it’s worth is to check your camera’s original receipt. Lemonader Alex V. of Jersey City told us:
“When insuring my camera and lens, I pulled the receipts from my purchases to determine their value. I accessed my receipts via email, since all of my equipment was purchased online.”
Take note that Lemonade accept receipts that are up to 5 years old. If you can’t find your receipt or bought your camera more than 5 years ago, your next best bet is Googling your camera’s serial and model number, and checking out how much retailers are currently selling it for.
When Brannon N. was figuring out how much his is worth, here’s what he did:
“I went on Amazon to see how much my camera and equipment cost. Fortunately, the items were relatively new, so I didn’t worry too much about depreciation.”
If your cameras are a few years old, note that their value might have decreased over time. For example, if you’re looking to insure your $3k camera that you purchased back in 2013, you might find that its current listing price is $2.5k. If this is the case and your it gets snatched, Lemonade may only be able to pay out $2.5k since that is the current cost to replacement (aka, the replacement cost).
Insure your camera in a snap!
Cameras can be expensive. After shelling out $$ on your camera plus its equipment, the last thing you’ll want to do is replace it after things go sour. As Lemonader James A., Head of Innovation at Cloudfare, told us:
“The problem with cameras is that they’re expensive. If I was worried about how much they cost all the time, I wouldn’t take them with me — which completely defeats the purpose!”
Luckily, getting your camera and gear insured is easier and faster than you’d think- take Lemonade for a spin – it’ll take you less than 2 minutes.