Imagine the following scenario: You’ve finally leaned into your approaching middle age and along the way, you’ve discovered your love for hiking (it’s just walking, but in nature!). You’ve set off on a hike in picturesque Saxon Switzerland, camera in hand. You snap some shots of the Bastei, an impressive rock formation that has been known to trigger extreme FOMO when it comes up in your Instagram feed. Now it’s your turn to experience it. Click.
During lunch, you look forward to going through all the shots on your DSLR camera. As you set down your sandwich and reach for the camera, it’s… not there. It’s in that moment that you realize someone must have snatched it while you weren’t paying attention. Oh no.
It’s bad enough that all of your photos are lost, but the cost of replacing your Canon will definitely put all of your future hiking trips on hold.
But there are ways to avoid paying out of pocket for your stolen camera. Find out about the different options below.
Here’s a little preview of the topics we’ll be covering:
Is damage to your camera covered by contents insurance?
Do you already have home contents insurance? If so, you’re one of the over 50 million Germans whose stuff is covered. Good for you! Since your camera is considered one of your belongings, it also falls under this coverage.
In case you need a refresher, your insurance usually covers damage caused by the following:
|Fire, smoke and explosion
|Windstorms and hail
|Water damage (by burst pipes or appliance leaks)
What does contents insurance not cover?
If you cause damage to your own belongings, it isn’t covered by contents insurance. This is called “first-party loss”. So, if you accidentally spill your latte on your camera, or drop it in a canyon when you try to capture that perfect shot – it’s not covered.
Also, if you use your camera for business-related purposes, then damage probably isn’t covered by your insurance either.
How much is the refund?
Home contents insurance is a so-called replacement value insurance. That means, in the event of an accepted claim, you would be reimbursed for the replacement value, which is the amount the same camera would cost in the store if you were to buy it again today.
What if something happens to my camera when I’m away from home?
Another big advantage of house contents insurance is off-premises coverage.
Off-premises coverage is part of your home contents policy, and it covers your stuff if it’s stolen or damaged outside of your home. For example, if someone snatches your camera from your locked hotel room, you’d be covered.
Worth noting: Off-premises coverage is usually limited to 10% of the total amount insured. So if you have 30,000 euro of coverage, the external insurance will only cover up to 3,000 euros.
What happens if someone steals your high-quality camera from inside your car?
In most cases, electrical equipment, including cameras, aren’t included in car burglary coverage. However, it’s important to read the fine print of your insurance policy to really understand your coverage.
The Lemonade Anti-Theft Package
If you buy a Lemonade contents policy, you can easily add the Anti-Theft Package for a few additional euros a month. With this add-on, your belongings, including your camera, are protected against theft from anywhere in the world. If your claim gets approved, you’ll get reimbursed for up to the amount insured.
It makes no difference to Lemonade what type or how old your camera is when you apply for coverage. Your stuff is covered from theft from the moment you buy the package, and your stuff will even be covered for up to three months during international travel. BTW, with Lemonade you can choose a deductible from 0 to 300 euros.
Apart from household insurance (with or without the Anti-Theft Package) – it’s worth checking if the camera company or distributors might cover damage to your favorite camera. More on this topic below…
What does the distributor’s warranty & manufacturer’s warranty cover?
Here’s the good news: Because your digital camera is considered an electronic, it comes with a distributor’s warranty of 24 months. But what exactly does that mean?
A distributor’s warranty generally covers production, material, and design defects. But this warranty only applies if your camera was defective from the start. If you bought a defective item, the refund falls under the responsibility of the seller or distributor, like Media Markt or Amazon. You can contact the store and request a repair, or if it’s completely defective, you can request a new device entirely.
Pretty straightforward, right?
If it’s been less than six months since you bought the camera, you shouldn’t run into any problems with the distributor. After six months, however, you will be required to demonstrate that the camera was defective from the start, which could be tough to prove.
What about the manufacturer’s warranty?
You usually get a manufacturer’s warranty on an item for either one or two years – but the specific terms of the warranty are unique to the manufacturer.
If something happens to your camera within the first one or two years after purchase (including any damage you may have caused yourself), you can contact the manufacturer. Rechargeable batteries are usually excluded from this warranty.
That brings up to the question you’ve all been waiting for:
So, what does camera insurance cover?
Here’s what’s covered by camera insurance: Your camera, portable video equipment (digicam and camcorder), and photography equipment, such as lenses, shutters, and tripods.
In addition to your personal cameras, coverage often includes cameras and photographic equipment used purely for business purposes.
What type of damage is covered?
Usually, camera insurance covers your camera for the following:
- Drop and breakage-related damage
- Liquid and water damage
- Operating errors
- Short circuit, lightning strike, fire & overvoltage
- Construction defects
- Theft, burglary, and robbery (some providers require that the camera was stolen from a secure area for this coverage to apply).
With any insurance coverage, it’s important to check the terms and conditions of the policy to decide if the coverage makes sense for you.
Find coverage that fits your lifestyle: If you spend a lot of time outdoors, it doesn’t make sense to choose insurance that doesn’t cover breakage.
Know when coverage starts: Check if there is a 4-week waiting period between buying the insurance and activating the coverage.
Good to know: Cameras older than 12 months don’t qualify for coverage from most insurers.
Before we go any deeper, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- How much did your camera cost? Would it be worth it for you to invest in insurance on a monthly basis to cover it?
- If your camera was damaged or stolen, how devastating would replacing it be financially?
And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for:
Is it worth it to get camera insurance?
According to experts, if your camera isn’t worth more than 500 euros, special camera insurance is probably not a savvy financial move for you.
According to Chip, the insurance only becomes worth the cost when the value of the camera is over 1,000, if not 1,500 euros. Professional photographer David Köster agrees, saying that the insurance only really becomes necessary when the value of the camera plus the camera equipment is in the four-figure range.
It’s not just the price off the shelf that counts, it’s also about how much gets reimbursed if you file a claim. When figuring out your coverage, make sure that you get back the replacement cost. With some insurance providers, after two years they will only reimburse the actual cash value. You can think of that as the Ebay price of your camera.
As you may have guessed, the difference between replacement value and actual cash value can be pretty significant.
And while you’re comparing policies and crunching the numbers, be sure to check if your insurance includes a deductible or not.
Some professional advice: Photographer David Köster has found himself in a number of situations where camera insurance came in handy. If you’re a landscape photographer and spend time outdoors all year round, special insurance could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. David is a landscape photographer, and dropping and damaging his camera in the great outdoors happens pretty often. (Check out David’s Instagram page, which is full of his stunning nature photography.)
If you have a very expensive camera and accessories that you often use outdoors, then special camera insurance might be worth it for you. Be aware of the limitations of camera insurance coverage and don’t be shy to discuss coverage directly with your insurance company if you have any questions.
If you have a mid-priced camera, the coverage provided by the distributor’s and manufacturer’s warranty in addition to your contents insurance policy is probably enough.
Lemonade doesn’t offer specialized camera insurance at this time, but if you’re looking for contents and anti-theft insurance, Lemonade has got your camera covered.
And here’s a bonus for making it all the way to the end of this article: Three photography influencers you should follow right now…
Max Münch: Max is one of Germany’s leading outdoor photographers, according to t3n. His weapon of choice for several years? The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.
Jörg Nicht: The Berlin-based photographer and Instagram influencer is particularly fond of street photography.
Laura Zalenga: The portrait artist from southern Germany teaches hands-on workshops, if you’re looking to learn.