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Author Topic: UK Insurance - recommendations after PhotoShield debacle  (Read 5179 times)
carl dw
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« on: April 06, 2011, 04:15:43 AM »
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My insurance is due for renewal soon. With about 18 years of paying insurance and not a single claim, insurance companies love me - almost as much as I resent having to think about them and waste my time writing this. Hopefully, responses may help others too.

If you're in the UK you may have used "PhotoShield" formally administered by Winsover Howden and underwritten by Sterling. If you did, I'm sure you'll have been bemused on receiving letters and emails from both Winsover Howden and Sterling informing you that each was suing one another for breach of contract. I can't see the point in going into further details but at least one party wasn't straight with me in these letters and that, quite reasonably, made me question the integrity of the PhotoShield brand.

I'm sure it would be of interest and helpful to others (as well as myself) to hear of your experiences with other insurance companies and insurance claims.

Who are you insured with in the UK and would you recommend them?

If you have made a claim, how was it dealt with?

I know it's not the most exciting or creative aspect of photography - but it is making a bigger impact on the bottom line than ever before and it would be nice to think that if things went wrong you would get the response you thought you had paid for.

Many thanks,

Carl
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Owin
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2011, 02:18:17 PM »
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I'd be interested in hearing this information too, as I am about to stump up some readies for some new kit, which I will need to insure.
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gazwas
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 12:06:23 PM »
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I've used Glover and Howe which were great to deal with and while I never had a claim, know others who had and never had a single problem.

For the past few years I've been with Towergate Camerasure. They used to be very expensive but in the last few years have given me the best deal with lowest excess including many standard options that others charge for. I used to work at a studio who'd used Towergate for years and they made quite a large claim with them without a hitch.

Horrible but essential.  Sad
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trying to think of something meaningful........ Err?
John S C
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 12:41:43 PM »
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Opted for Towergate as they seem to offer policies that tend to appeal to Professionals, particularly regarding kit in car. Worth a call. Also look at Aduki, but check car cover, as they initially restrict type of car ( cars without true boots such as 4x4). They  also have restrictions as to the lateness of the cover for gear in car. However you can get waivers for both these if you query it.
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Rob C
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011, 10:37:52 AM »
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I remember having pro cover whilst the business was still UK-based, and I would extend it as required to give me travel/film/processing and reshoot cover too, but that was so long ago I no longer have the paperwork from which to quote names for you. All I can do is tell you that in the UK you are still fortunate: here, in Spain, even as a lowly retired snapper I can only get cover whilst the equipment is at home! Even jewellery is covered only whilst in a safe, and should I be mugged in the streets of Palma, the Rolex stolen and my arm broken in the excitement, I could sing for all the good it would do. (As I can't sing, I suppose that remains academic.) I no longer wear a watch if I know I have to go to the Big Smoke. Fun days in which we live.

Rob C
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bradleygibson
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 10:53:55 AM »
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Have you considered self-insuring?

If you can estimate the probability of incurring a loss greater than your deductible (say, once every 10 years), you might find that it makes sense to pay yourself those premiums, depending on what the companies are charging (I'm not sure what you're paying for insurance relative to the replacement value of your equipment).

One concern is that should a catastrophic loss happen tomorrow, you have to find the cash somewhere to cover replacement, as your "insurance fund" hasn't been built up yet.  But obviously this is somewhat unlikely given your 18-year track record.

One advantage is that you can be sure that your new "insurance company" will look after you very well!  Smiley
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 10:57:57 AM by bradleygibson » Logged

Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2011, 11:01:06 AM »
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I use Photoguard. New for old policy is standard, they paid out very quickly and nicely when I had a lens stolen. Full worldwide cover, full vehicle, and the bit I like is that up to about 15K of gear they don't even have locks requirements, etc.
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carl dw
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2011, 01:16:03 PM »
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Thanks to everyone for your replies.

Despite solicitors and insurance companies working hand in hand to drive up insurance premiums and cream cash from overinflated claims and premiums it seems that we are still quite cosseted here in the UK, sorry to hear the situation is worse in Spain and elsewhere in the world.

I would love to chance it with Brad's self insurance idea.... unfortunately with 18 years of no claims behind me I just know it would be tempting fate a little too much at this stage..

I'm going to get quotes from Aaduki, Towergate, Photogrard and Risk Alliance.


If anyone is interested, I'll post my findings.

Thanks,

Carl

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Paul Barker
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2011, 05:18:03 PM »
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Yes, I'd be interested in your findings Carl.
Cheers
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Owin
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2011, 08:55:05 AM »
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I too would be interested in your findings Carl, thanks.

Owin
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carl dw
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 01:18:19 PM »
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Paul, Owin and anyone else who's interested.

I basically needed cover for over 35,000 of kit in two locations with public liability, professional indemnity, legal cover, europe/boot of car cover etc.

The results...

Morgan Richardson - will only cover one location

Photoguard - will only cover up to a limit of 25,000

Towergate - quoted 690, but said I should get back to them if I got a better price (ye, right - why not just give me a honest, decent price in the first place?)

Aaduki - I left a message with reception saying I was after a quote, I was told someone would call back but it never happened. (If they can't be bothered to call back for potential business I can't imagine they'ed be interested calling back if I needed to make a claim so they were deleted from my list!)

Risk Alliance (new owners of the Photoshield brand name....) - quoted 380

After much discussion of detail (and considering the impending re-newel date along with the contents of my wallet) I came full circle and went with Risk Alliance.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Carl




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Owin
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 02:13:30 PM »
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Thanks for the info Carl.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 02:31:14 PM »
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Is that per month or yearly?
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carl dw
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2011, 03:40:49 PM »
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Is that per month or yearly?

Yearly
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Paul Barker
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2011, 05:42:07 PM »
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Thanks Carl, that's interesting. I was paying more, for less cover, with Williamson Carson, so maybe I'll give Risk Alliance a try. Of course with insurance companies, the proof is in the pudding, if you need to make a claim, something I've never done.

Cheers.
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carl dw
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2011, 12:46:30 AM »
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Thanks Carl, that's interesting. I was paying more, for less cover, with Williamson Carson, so maybe I'll give Risk Alliance a try. Of course with insurance companies, the proof is in the pudding, if you need to make a claim, something I've never done.

Cheers.

It seemed a good price to me, but they are all relative to personal circumstance. My studio is in a relatively crime free area, it's well alarmed, secured with steel bar gates behind the entrance and my expensive, smaller kit is kept in a 5ft x 2ft safe which isn't going anywhere in a hurry.

Also, I've never made an insurance claim and I've been with Photoshield for a couple of years prior to the change in brand owner.

If you took my exact same business and moved it to Brixton I guess the premium would be a different story!

Cheers,

Carl



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Paul Barker
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2011, 05:57:14 AM »
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I'm pretty much the same. Share an alarmed studio in a rural location. Only keep lighting there and an iMac for shooting too. Cameras, laptops etc, always stay with me and have a large safe built to shotgun security standards bolted to the wall at home for them. Never made a claim, of any description, in my life. But wouldn't mind saving some money in these times!

Cheers.

(P.S. can't comment specifically about D1s, but have been very happy with Profoto gear for over 8 years now)
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carl dw
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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2011, 02:06:53 PM »
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I'm pretty much the same. Share an alarmed studio in a rural location. Only keep lighting there and an iMac for shooting too. Cameras, laptops etc, always stay with me and have a large safe built to shotgun security standards bolted to the wall at home for them. Never made a claim, of any description, in my life. But wouldn't mind saving some money in these times!

Cheers.

(P.S. can't comment specifically about D1s, but have been very happy with Profoto gear for over 8 years now)

I think I'm talked into the D1's! - Thanks, Carl
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2011, 01:23:50 PM »
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Sorry to post late to this;

Give Insight a call
 
Insight Insurance Services, PO Box 4114, Cardiff, CF14 2YB
02920 619207

The policy reads very well with none of the nasty exclusions that might make other policies unacceptable.
I haven't had to make a claim, but the people who recommended them  to me say they're good dealing with claims.

HTH
Paul
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