Motorsport Photography Tip: The Importance of Insurance
Following on in my series of Motorsport Photography Tips. I thought I’d write about something that affected me recently, damaging my gear. Which brought to my attention the importance of having insurance and spare gear.
If you read my recent blog post from Wakefield Park, you’ll know that I struggled in the wet conditions. I ended up slipping and dropping my cameras. While I managed to grab the 7D Mark 2 with the 100-400 attached. I missed the 5D Mark 3 with the 70-200 attached and it fell to the ground. That’s over $6000 worth of gear gone in an instant.
To try to avoid things usually use a Blackrapid double strap to so that my cameras can’t slip off my shoulders. Just something I’ve been really conscious of for a long time. But when I have the wet weather gear on, I have to use the straps included with the wet weather gear to maximise the weather protection. They aren’t bad straps but they just don’t have the security of clipping together.
It’s just one of those unfortunate things, everything was a bit wet, and I slipped. Which is not entirely uncommon for me. That combination of factors lead to me to situation where I was down a camera. Not ideal at all.
The incident did bring to my attention the importance of having my gear insured and having spare gear to fall back on should something unfortunate happen like this. Hence the writing of this blog post.
Luckily I do have my gear insured. I use AON insurance to cover myself and my gear should something unfortunate like this happen. Much like all insurances, you really don’t want to be in a situation where you need it and don’t have it.
It’s something I’d highly recommend all photographers have. Especially when you start to pick up paid work.
Instead of being out of pocket the cost of repairs to the 70-200 and the replacement of the 5D Mark 3. Which could have been quiet a significant amount of money, $6000. I only needed to cover the cost of the insurance excess. It’s a bit easier to find $250, a much more reasonable outcome for my business.
The incident also highlighted the importance of having spare gear. Since I make my living with my camera gear. Not having cameras would have been devastating. Especially being on the road for two weeks and having two events back to back. Trying to cover last weekend’s Virgin Australia Supercars would have been impossible if it wasn’t for the spares. Especially if I had dropped both cameras (Note to self: Don’t do that!)
It was fortunate that I still had the old Canon 60D I started with, that could use as my second camera over the Supercars weekend. Just had to dust it off and work within its limitations while my insurance was sorted out and I sourced replacement body. Again not ideal, particularly with the limitations of the 60D, but I could still deliver high quality images to my customers.
Not having a 70-200mm was also inconvenient. It’s my go to lens. But having a good spread of lenses, meant I wasn’t limited by not having it with me while it’s being repaired. I could easily cover the range with the 100-400 and the 24-105 lenses that I have.
My recommendation when purchasing gear is to keep that in mind. Make sure you cover yourself and have spares. Particularly of consumable things like flashes and memory cards. But also camera bodies and lenses, just to cover yourself. As my case indicates, accidents do happen.
If you’d like to know more about the gear I usually travel with, check out my what’s in my camera bag blog post.
I thought other people might be able to benefit from my misfortune. Also a timely reminder for up and coming photographers to make sure you get insurance. You don’t want to be in a position of having a paid job but not having the gear to cover it.
I’ll keep putting together more specific Motorsport Photography tips through out 2016. Particularly when things like this happen. If you haven’t seen my previous posts, head over to my Motorsport Photography Tips page.