Nick Carver Photography Blog

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Should You Get a Camera Protection Plan?

Camera Protection PlanI'd have to lose all this gear more than once every 10 years
for a camera protection plan to be worth it.

Every now and then I get asked about a camera protection plan. You know, one of those photography insurance policies that covers against mechanical failure, natural disaster, fire, theft, accidental damage, meteors, sun flares, and the apocalypse.

I don’t have one.

I’m not a fan of investing in a camera protection plan. I think the customer will almost never come out ahead with one. How can they? After all, the insurance company is in business. They aren’t in business because they’re sending out big checks to their clients. And not only are the insurance companies coming out ahead, they’re coming out way ahead. Insurance companies are hugely profitable and their product is pretty much just peace of mind - it’s not even a product you can use!

Here’s another dead giveaway that these insurance policies and extended warranties are a rip: the people selling them really want you to buy. You don’t peddle products that hard unless the profit margins are huge. I swear there are more commercials for Geico Insurance on TV than every other commercial from every other company combined. They really want your business. They want it because it’s easy money.

Alright, alright. Maybe I’m being a little unfair. Not all insurance is bad. Auto insurance is good.’s good so long as you aren’t the one who made the mistake.

Okay, forget my logical idealistic embittered views on insurance. Let’s look at it logically.

A camera protection plan will cost you around 10% of the coverage cost per year. In other words, if you want to protect your $1,500 camera, you can expect to pay about $150 per year. So that means you’d have to lose or accidentally destroy your camera at least once every 10 years just to break even.

So what are the odds you’ll need to file a claim more than once every 10 years? I’m betting the odds are actually much, much lower than you think. People baby their gear. When you spend that much money on a camera, you tend to not be careless with it.

I’ve been shooting for 13 years and I’ve had the same DSLR for 7 years with nary a problem. I’ve never even come close to losing or destroying any single item in my collection. If I’d insured all my gear over that 13-year period, I’d be a sucker. And if I wanted to start insuring my gear now, I’d need to file 2 claims before the 20-year mark! I’m afraid I’m just not that careless!

So I say “play the odds.” What are the odds you’ll need to make a claim for the full value of the camera in a 10-year period? Looking back at your life, how many claims would you have made in the past 10 years? 20 years? 30 years...?

Be realistic about this camera protection plan stuff. Don’t let your fears dictate your decision. Let logic guide you.

Besides, you know how insurance companies work. It’s lots of fear mongering and promises in the beginning, but when it comes time to file a claim, oh you can bet they’ll find a reason you’re not covered for that kind of damage.

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