Do you know what you agree to when you sign on the dotted line? Many of us spend little time reading the terms and conditions in our insurance policies. We often blame the insurers for so-called “fine print” in contracts – yet, the font and letter size are exactly the same everywhere in the policy that we have so swiftly signed and agreed to!

Photographers are very professional and diligent when it comes to focus and “zooming” in on a specific object through the lens. We would like to advise the same diligence when it comes to reading the insurance policy.

We need to understand the terms and terminology and important aspects such as “exclusions”. On Phototalk we would like to provide some guidance in a series of posts on camera insurance. This guidance could leave our photographers with some peace of mind when it comes to securing and protecting their property, and allow them to focus on what they are capturing in their photos!

What are the terms and terminology to be found in camera insurance policies? We would lie to share some of these terms provided by specialist insurer Artinsure:

Accident:             A sudden and unexpected event which happens by chance during the period of insurance.

Accidental Damage:       Sudden and unforeseen accidental damage to the Property Insured or third party property not otherwise specifically excluded under this policy.

Amount Insured:             This is the most We will pay for a valid claim as shown in and determined by the Schedule and which may be represented by the Basis of Settlement as the context may indicate in this Policy.

Basis of Settlement:       The calculation of Value as set out in the Schedule by which We will determine what We must pay you for a valid claim under this Policy in the absence of an Agreed Value or other value as this Policy may provide for, and subject always to the Amount Insured for that particular section of cover in terms of which the valid claim is brought by You.

Commencement Date   The date Your cover shall start as shown in the schedule

Coinsurance       The percentage of each claim (in addition to the policy excess) for which You shall be responsible for Property Insured older than 24 months from the date of original purchase as new.

Data:     Information stored by or on a computer, Laptop, Palmtop, documents, manuscripts and business books.

Depreciation:    The reduction in value of a laptop which will be deducted from the sum insured for wear and tear for laptops that are older than 24 months from the date of original purchase as new.

Endorsement:   Any amendments made to the Policy which attaches to the policy and which has been made by Us and sent to You in writing.

Equipment case:              Either

1. A purpose designed hard case, where the interior has been specifically formed to fit the cameras and equipment contained therein; or

2. A purpose designed proprietary padded case bought from a recognised supplier of photographic equipment.

Evidence of ownership:                Original purchase receipts showing; date of purchase; price paid; details of the Property Insured; name and address of seller; or other evidence which clearly demonstrates ownership.

Excess: The amount for which You are responsible as the first part of each agreed claim.

Film stoc:k Including, but not limited to the collection of Photographic Transparencies, Disks, Digital Images or Imagery, Negatives or Prints (either complete or in the process of completion), all belonging to You or for which You hold yourself responsible

Forcible and violent entry:          Entry evidenced by visible damage to the fabric of the building, room or vehicle at the point of entry.

Laptop: Portable laptop computers and notebooks

Laptop Accessories:        Adaptors, cards, cases, data storage devices, input devices, networking accessories, docking stations, security devices and webcams that are used with Your Laptop.

Locked Luggage Compartment:

(a) a locked car boot

(b) a locked rear storage area of a hatch-back, four-wheel drive, estate car, MPV or SUV subject to a factory fitted cover being in place, and where not available, kept out of sight

(c) a locked rigid bodied van, mini bus or campervan providing the windows have been obscured and providing the item of Property Insured is in a compartment of the vehicle not accessible from the driver’s area or, where the compartment is accessible, kept out of sight.

(d) a rigid body fully enclosed trailer attached to a vehicle by a shackle bolt Policy The insurance contract in place between You and Us consisting of this Policy wording and the Schedule and any Endorsements or amendments as may be made to it from time to time.

Policy Associate: means fellow photographers or an assistant in the production of photography or filming who are named on Your Schedule other than You, and who have paid an additional Premium to extend the benefits of cover under the Public Liability Section only

Portfolio: Your collection of photographic prints and laminates but only for the value of the materials together with the cost of re-duplicating or re-laminating and re-printing but not for the value to You of the information contained therein Premises The buildings at the address (es) specified in the Schedule, including the storerooms and outbuildings but not the gardens or grounds.

Professional Photographer:        a person who derives more than 50% of their income from photography or associated photographic activities other than working in a retail photographic store

Property Insured: Property including but not limited to camera, video and computer equipment, lighting and props as specified on the schedule and the unspecified limit amount.

Fair Market value: The value of replacing the item in the current market involving an arms-length sale between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

Period of Insurance: The period shown in the Schedule for which You have paid or have agreed to pay and We have accepted or agreed to accept Your premium and in doing so We have agreed to provide the insurance as set out in and subject to the terms and conditions of this

Policy Schedule:              The Schedule sent to You or Your broker or agent when We accepted this insurance and any subsequent amendment thereto, whichever is the most recent, showing information, included but not limited to Your name and address, the amounts insured and Period of Insurance which forms part of and is issued in accordance with the Policy.

Theft:    The unauthorised dishonest appropriation or attempted appropriation of the Property Insured by another person with the intention of permanently depriving You of it

Unoccupied:      Not attended by You during normal working

Unattended:      Whilst the Property Insured is not being used or held by or on You or an adult who is responsible for the safe keeping of the Property Insured unless the Property Insured is at or in the Insured Location, locked room or locked cupboard or Locked Luggage Compartment

Unspecified: Any item over R300 and under R1,500 included as Unspecified Items within the Sum Insured

Specified:  Any item over R1500 that has been specified on the policy Value

a) the usual new undiscounted replacement cost (including VAT) from a reputable dealer as at the Commencement Date of the Period Of Insurance, or

b) for collectable, rare or vintage items having a Value greater than usual replacement cost new, a sum as evidenced by a valuation by a competent reputable source undertaken not more than 12 months before the Commencement Date of the initial Period Of Insurance of the item and thereafter every three years

You or Your: The person, company, institution, partnership, membership organisation or entity named in the Schedule as the Insured

If you’d like to know more about Artinsure, visit their website at

Or Call 086 1111 096

086 1111

[Authorised Financial Services Provider FSB License Number 36954, Underwritten by Hollard Insurance]