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Travelling with camera gear? Here’s how to find the best camera insurance.

Given the amount of camera gear I travel with, it’s no surprise that people often ask me about the best travel insurance for camera equipment.

The short answer is there’s no simple one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to insuring your camera gear for travel. However, it doesn’t need to be half as complicated as the internet might make you think.

As a travel blogger, I’ve been travelling with camera gear for more than seven years. I’ve tried all kinds of travel and camera insurance – and been through my fair share of insurance claims, too! 

Here are the travel and camera insurance policies I recommend for every type of travelling photographer.

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TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

 

 

At a glance: the best camera insurance for travellers

When I first began travelling full time, it took me AGES to find camera insurance that would work for me. So believe me, I’ve seen many of them! After years of travelling with camera gear – and more claims than I’d like to admit – there are two insurance companies I use and recommend. 

The first is World Nomads. I use World Nomads primarily for my general travel insurance, including health cover. However, I also know that my smaller valuables are covered under my policy, meaning I don’t need to add these on to my gadget insurance.

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For gadget insurance, I use Protect Your Bubble. I cover my laptop and other work equipment as well as all of my most expensive camera gear with them.

You can insure items individually, which has never cost me more than £9 per month per item. Or, you can save money by insuring up to three items on a single policy for just £15.99 per month. The items can be anything, but the first must have been bought within the last 6 months, the second within the last 12 months and the final item within the last 3 years.

I use a combination of individual and multiple item policies, updating them as I change my gear. I’ve never had any issue with changing the equipment on my policies and the claims process has been pretty painless every time.

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Do you need camera insurance? 

Before you rush out and buy insurance for your travels, you might be wondering if you even need it. 

Good question! Unfortunately, only you can make that decision. Insurance isn’t a necessity, but many people (including myself) would consider it a travel essential.

Insurance is a funny thing. It’s the only thing we spend money on in the hope of never using. If you do end up using it, though, it’ll be well worth the cost.

I can tell you from experience that, should need to make a claim, you’ll be glad you didn’t take any chances!


RELATED READ: Claiming on my insurance in Peru.


And if you never need to claim, that’s even better news! You may feel like it’s a “waste” of money because you’re getting nothing to show for the pennies you spend. But you’re not really getting nothing for it – you’re getting peace of mind while you travel. And that’s pretty priceless. 

Some people prefer to take a risk and travel without insurance – and that’s totally fine if that’s you. If you’d rather pay for a new lens or camera than go through the (often lengthy) insurance claims process, perhaps it’s not worth taking out insurance.

 

 

 

If you’d rather avoid the risk of replacing pricey gear, though, it’s 100% worth it. 

Personally, I would never ever even consider travelling without insurance. And I’d certainly never take thousands of pounds worth of camera gear out without knowing the risk is minimised!


Camera accessories for travel blogging and vlogging


Camera insurance or travel insurance?

So, you’ve decided to take no risks and get insurance? You’ve made a good decision and I’m SO happy you did!

The next step is figuring out which type of insurance will be best for you. This is where it can get tricky, so let’s keep it simple… 

Most of the time, you’re going to need camera insurance that’s valid for travel overseas.

However, you may be able to include your camera equipment on your travel insurance and save on additional costs.

Some travel insurance policies, like the ones by World Nomads, offer the option of adding valuables. This makes it easy to add your camera gear on to your regular insurance. Not only can you then be sure that your camera is fully protected abroad, but you only need to worry about one policy for everything.

There is a catch, though. Many travel insurers will place limits on how many valuables you can insure. World Nomads, for example, sets a limit of £400 per item on their Standard policy and £750 on their Explorer policy. There is no option that includes higher value items than this.

If, like me, much of your camera equipment costs more than this, you’re going to need to look for specialist camera insurance for travel.
 

 

landscape photography in Iceland
Battling the elements in Iceland!

What to look for when buying travel insurance for camera equipment

When choosing a travel insurance policy for your camera gear, there are a few things to look out for.

You want to make sure you’re covering the full price of your gear, for the situations you’ll be in and the countries you’re visiting. After all, there’s no point coughing up the price of a new lens if you’re not going to be fully covered. 

Every photographer and traveller will have slightly different needs. Here’s what to look out for to make sure you’re buying the best travel insurance for you.

Gear it covers

Some insurance policies will quote based on the items you wish to cover (and their respective value). Most, though, offer blanket pricing or tiers.

That means that if you have super expensive gear, you could save money by buying a one size fits all policy. If this is the case, I recommend Protect Your Bubble. which covers all items for a very affordable set fee.

 

 

 

Length of time 

When selecting your camera insurance, you’ll need to decide how long you’d like the policy to last.

Generally speaking, longer policies offer much better value for money. That means that, if you have two trips coming up, it might make sense to take out one long policy that covers two trips, rather than a shorter policy for each trip. This is especially true if you’re taking out dedicated camera insurance for your travels.

If you’re taking out regular camera insurance that covers travel, it will usually be best to get the longest term possible. If you plan on changing your gear during the duration of the policy, make sure there’s an option to do this.

If you’re taking out travel insurance, you’ll only want to take out a longer policy if you have multiple trips coming up. If you have a large gap between trips, it’s usually cheaper to buy a policy as and when you need it. Just make sure the terms haven’t changed when it comes to renew it!


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You usually need to buy insurance at least 24 hours before travelling. One of the unique selling points of World Nomads is that you can buy or renew your policy on the road, but this isn’t the case for most.


Type of travel 

You don’t just need to look at which countries you’ll be covered for, but also which activities. World Nomads have a fantastic search function you can use to check for certain activities. It’s amazingly comprehensive and covers everything from hiking various distances to scuba diving and yoga.

If you’re travelling to the icy mountains of the Lofoten Islands or taking your camera underwater in the Philippines, you can check if it covers you – and add on any extras you need! 

 

 

 

Loss and accidental damage

Some insurance policies automatically include coverage for loss and accidental damage, but many don’t.

When taking out a new camera insurance policy, this may be an option. I always include it because nearly every claim I’ve ever had to make has been my own fault (oops!). From dropping your camera to leaving it on a plane, I’d rather not have my own stupidity to blame! 

Whether you include these is up to you. It usually doesn’t cost much extra, though, so I’d highly recommend it. 

Excess fees

If you need to claim on your camera or travel insurance, you’ll need to pay an excess fee. Again, this could be a flat rate fee or it could vary based on the items and/or circumstances.

Make sure you check this before buying your policy. If you have a lens that cost £120 but the excess fee is £100, you may not want to insure it. If you had to claim, you’d go through a lengthy process and increase the cost of your next policy for the sake of saving £20.

Generally speaking, I only take out insurance if it would save me at least £200-300 on replacement gear. Otherwise, I’d rather just take the risk and keep my premium as low as possible.
 

 


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