There are a lot of balls to juggle with being a video producer. No matter the scale of your production you need to deal with schedules and budgets and locations and people and gear and all of the little and big demands of each. Some things have easy solutions. Some can be delegated. One thing that can be a major snag for any production is gear insurance.
Recently we shared some handy information to help you compare the options on KitSplit as well as those beyond, you can check that out right here.
Whether insurance for your own gear or insurance for gear rented for your production, it can be tough to know what you need covered, when, and how to get covered. Even once you have coverage sometimes it can be hard to understand what a policy covers and what it doesn’t. So, we’ve put together this handy list of 9 things you need to know about gear insurance.
1. As a Gear Renter You Don’t Have to Have Your Own Annual Insurance Policy
There are very good reasons to have your own annual insurance policy as a gear renter. Having a policy that covers gear rental and other aspects of production is always a good idea. If you’re not producing videos on a regular basis, though, that may not be cost effective for you.
For video producers who don’t have an annual policy many gear rental marketplaces offer the opportunity to opt for damage waivers or short-term insurance to cover a rental. Alternatively, renters can opt to put a temporary hold on their credit card for the full value of the rental if they would prefer not to exercise these insurance options.
2. There May Be Geographic Restrictions on Coverage
Always check to see if there are any geographic restrictions on an insurance policy for gear rental. Some policies may only cover the United States. Others may offer worldwide coverage. Even with worldwide coverage, however, that coverage may be restrictive based on the insurance provider. For example, KitSplit Instant Insurance covers you worldwide except in regions that may be under a trade embargo or similar economic restrictions imposed by the government of the United States.
3. Some Kinds of Gear Aren’t Covered by All Insurance
Always check to be sure the gear you’re renting is covered by the insurance you are using and to make sure you understand what parts may or may not be covered of otherwise covered gear. For example some policies don’t cover drones, underwater equipment, or one-of-a-kind gear. Many policies don’t cover lighting bulbs, expendables, or other items that may in the natural course of their use become unusable.
4. Traditional Rental Insurance Doesn’t Cover a Renter Not Returning Gear
While it is an unusual occurrence, sometimes a renter doesn’t return the gear they rented. Traditional gear rental insurance doesn’t cover these instances, because the renter is the one who purchased the policy and is the individual covered by the policy. For it to be covered in those policies insurance companies would be agreeing to pay the renter for replacing gear they have and have not returned to the owner.
These incidents are referred to in the insurance industry as voluntary parting. Voluntary parting is a rare occurrence on most rental platforms because renters and owners are vetted to prevent criminals from fraudulently renting gear and not returning it. Voluntary parting is never covered under insurance purchased by a renter.
Gear owners have traditionally had to be responsible for purchasing their own insurance that covered voluntary parting. Now, KitSplit and other gear rental marketplaces have chosen to offer Owner Guarantees to gear owners on our platforms to make sure that they are covered for just these kinds of rare occurrences.
5. Loss of Income Isn’t Covered
Losing income because your gear is unavailable isn’t covered by most insurance policies. Nor is a loss of income due to the gear being damaged or lost.
6. Drones May Not Be Covered for When They are in Operation
Many policies don’t cover drones particularly when they are in operation. Check the policy to see if damage incurred during the operation of the drone is covered. You may need to purchase specific coverage for renting a drone to cover anything that might happen to it during normal operation.
7. When You Have Your Own Insurance You Have to Provide a Certificate of Insurance
This one doesn’t always occur to new producers. You have to provide verification to the owner that their gear is covered. In addition, you need to inform your insurance company whose gear they will be covering. This is accomplished with a Certificate of Insurance (COI) requested from the company which includes the name and address of the gear owner and a description of what is being rented. The renter then sends the COI to the owner to provide proof of their insurance.
8. Renters May Not be Covered for Theft if the Gear Wasn’t Secure
If you don’t take care with the gear you’ve rented, the insurance company may opt not to pay to replace the gear in the case of theft. If gear is stolen from an unlocked vehicle, for example, and you haven’t explicitly opted for insurance that covers these instances, then the insurance company won’t reimburse for the cost of the item.
9. Nuclear Armageddon isn’t Covered
Insurance policies may not cover “Nuclear Activity.” So, if they press the button and the majority of civilization is consumed in atomic fire, it’s unlikely the insurance company will reimburse for the replacement of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K you were using at the time. You’ll just have to pay back the Lord Humongous in hand-crafted hockey masks yourself.
We know a lot about gear insurance here at KitSplit, but you should always consult with your insurance broker for the most accurate information about your insurance policy. If you’d like more information about an annual insurance policy, get in touch with our partners at Heffins!
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