Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Keeping the insurers happy

All the equipment we hire out comes, by default, with insurance which is good for up to 60 days worldwide. There's a bunch of small print in the insurance policy, as you'd expect, but the only bit that really matters, for most purposes, is this:
The Insured must take and cause to be taken all reasonable precautions to avoid injury, loss or damage; and take and cause to be taken all reasonable steps to safeguard the items insured from loss or damage.
So what is a 'reasonable precaution'?  This is starting to sound like one of the questions asked by the jury in the Vicky Pryce trial, and the obvious answer is this:
a reasonable precaution is a precaution which is reasonable
But we do have some constructive suggestions (some of which are courtesy of EOS magazine) for things you can do to minimise the chances of having a bad hire experience.
  1. Always use a neck strap with your camera. It will save the camera and lens from damage if it slips out of your hands. A camera should only fall into a river or the sea if you fall in with it!
  2. If you use a tripod, always make sure it is heavy enough to avoid being blown over by a strong gust of wind. Many tripods have hooks to which you can attach weights to make this easier.
    The tripod wasn't stable enough
  3. Never let the equipment out of your sight in a public place.
  4. Never leave your equipment in your car where it is visible.
  5. If you need to put a camera bag on the ground as you take a picture, always keep it in front of you, preferably with your foot on the strap. 
  6. If you sit at a pavement café, avoid tables next to the road. Thieves can snatch your camera and be away before you realise what is happening. Choose a table closer to the café for safety. 
  7. Remember to pick up all your camera equipment after shooting! 
  8. Do not use the boot of your car as a camera case, returning to swap lenses or accessories. If thieves are watching, they will see that you have valuable goods and clear the boot while you are away for a few minutes. 
  9. Always take cameras and lenses into a hotel if you are staying overnight. Many hotels offer safe deposit boxes for valuables, either in your room or at the reception area.
  10. Never leave valuable items in your car overnight.
  11. When using a multi-storey car park, find a space in the middle of the floor, away from pedestrian exits. Thieves prefer to target cars near to staircases where they can escape quickly if challenged. 
  12. Do not cover your camera bags with badges which shout the name of your camera. Some photographers have stopped using camera bags because they are obvious targets for thieves. A rucksack or holdall can be safer, but make sure there is enough padding to protect the camera and lenses. Use padded lens pouches (fortunately all our lenses are supplied with these!), or wrap lenses in soft cloths. 
  13. Always report any loss or theft to the local police. If you are travelling, report the loss at your next stop. Record the details of the police station, together with the name of the police officer and the police case number (if any). This information may be required when you make a claim. 
Hope this helps.  Keep safe!

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