" My Gear Was Stolen..."

on September 13, 2015

We hear this from clients quite regularly and note internet warnings about stolen photo equipment every month. Insurance companies contact us for quotes to replace cameras and lenses. It is really becoming a series of horror tales.

We cannot say who steals the stuff, nor can we say what becomes of it. Anything that is presented for sale or trade here is VERY thoroughly scrutinised by the tech staff, the sales staff, and our second-hand expert. Then it is vetted by the WA Police through their computer and investigative services. So far I have only seen one instance where our commercial vigilance needed the attention of Mr. Plod, but when it did, the response was fast and magic.

Unfortunately we often hear that photographic equipment has been stolen from motor vehicles while the owner is off taking pictures. This would seem to argue that some of the more popular photo locations have a population of thieves that monitor who is visiting. and what they have in their car. We all have a tendency to take more than we use, and if we leave it unattended it seems to become attractive to the crims.

Perhaps the answer is to take only what we can carry - this is my approach - and guard it zealously. At least do not be sen unpacking a tempting camera bag and then stowing it in the back seat of the car under a jumper. Or leave someone on guard with a cutlass and pistol.

The other place things get stolen from are homes. Not studios as much - perhaps business premises have more security. The home break will look for money, jewellery, salable electrical gear, and apparently cameras. It is a reasonable thing these days to install a safe for this sort of thing and to lock the valuables inside it whenever they are not being worn, used, or spent. You might still lose the television but you need not lose the camera.

Does your household insurance cover this sort of thing? Probably, but not anywhere near the real cost of replacement - unless you are sustaining a massively expensive premium each year. Can you get professional loss insurance for photo gear? Yes, there are firms that do just this but remember the phrase "expensive premium' when you do your enquiries.

Note: There is also the business of loss whilst things are in transit. If you can insure for this with your travel agent, do so. There are any number of hands through which your parcels and baggage pass and it is wise to armour yourself against the possibility that some of them are malign.