Insuring all of my equipment

On and off over the past few weeks I’ve been hunting for the perfect insurance policy. Yes, it’s totally boring and also totally necessary, if for no other reason than saving us from worry. After all, I don’t want to have to actually use it – that would mean I was in a situation that sucked.

We need decent medical policy, particularly for travelling to Thailand and the US, but there are hundreds of companies offering backpacker insurance that will cover that. What’s been incredibly difficult has been finding a policy to cover my laptop. If I don’t have a laptop, I can’t work. And if my laptop gets stolen or lost, I’ll be pretty screwed and have to fork out a large chunk of cash to replace it.

I thought that finding insurance would be easy. I was completely wrong. I started out searching for backpackers insurance that covered £2,000 of valuables, but the problem is that most baggage cover has a single item limit of around £250. There are some with more but nothing that would stretch to cover my laptop (and camera, and iPad, and phone, etc).

With backpackers insurance ruled out, I looked instead at gadget insurance from companies like Protect my Bubble. While these guys did offer laptop insurance, it would only cover me for a 90 day trip overseas, which isn’t much use since I’ll be away for a year.

I was getting totally exasperated by the process. It seemed impossible to find someone who would insure my laptop so that I wouldn’t be in a permanent state of anxiety over it. Then I came across Glover and Howe. They actually specialise in photographic and any associated equipment. It’s the any associated that’s the important bit. I called them up and asked if they could insure my laptop. The lady that I spoke to on the phone was friendly and helpful, which is always a good sign. I explained the situation to her. She just asked if I had a camera I wanted to insure, I said yes. And we were good to go. All of my electronic equipment came under associated equipment. I was able to insure the following:

  • Panasonic GF1
  • My Macbook Pro
  • D’s Macbook Air
  • My iPad Mini

The total for this was around £210, which is a lot of money, but for £17.50 a month all of our most important equipment is covered. Besides, Protect my Bubble would have cost £24.87 per month to cover the same items and it wouldn’t cover me worldwide for the year.

Of course, it’s hard to tell if an insurance company is any good until you’ve had to make a claim. I was able to find some discussions on photography forums about them and they seem to have a good reputation. If I do, I’ll report back!

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