Why is it so difficult to find short term insurance for a very short time?

I have recently been asked whether it is possible to find insurance to cover camera equipment for only 2 days. A very close friend has discovered his passion for photography and wished to capture the rugby at Loftus with some of the more expensive equipment. He rented the equipment  – worth approximately R100,000 in value and wished to insure this for the 2 days before returning the equipment.

I approached several insurers and would like to extend a word of appreciation to OUTsurance, Hollard and Discovery Insure for providing some answers with insights as to the difficulty in finding insurance for such a short time.

I would like to share some of the most important comments received:

What are the problem areas making such insurance difficult and expensive?

  • The risk with insuring for such a short period is that there is no history on the item
  • It is difficult for the insurer to determine an appropriate premium for such a short period.
  • There is a perceived higher risk of damage or negligence to an item that is not owned.

Insurance to cover items rented out

Normally the company hiring out the equipment would have business insurance which would cover the item whilst it is on loan to you. A good example is car hire, where the insurance for the car hire is normally provided for by the hire company and they charge the client explicitly for this insurance. When hiring the equipment it is worth it to ask the company whether or not they have insurance as usually they do.

It might be worthwhile to consider the insurance options offered by the equipment renting company. Unfortunately this could be fairly expensive with a first amount payable.

Is there an insurable interest?

In the example mentioned there would be insurable interest as the person renting the items would suffer financially if the items were damaged or stolen. Generally insurers will give cover provided that you have an existing short term insurance policy with the relevant insurer.  If you don’t have an existing policy they could say ‘no’ or charge an excessive premium for the insurance.

Most insurers would only provide the cover if you have an existing policy with such an insurer.

If this is purely a hobby and not a commercial endeavour and you have an existing domestic policy, the lenses could be added to the same for a short-period.

OUTsurance confirmed that for business clients, where they might rent items for a particular event, it could be covered under Commercial Out and About or stock.

Camera Insurance Solution:

My friend managed to add these items under an existing policy. We would like to share confirmation received from his insurer:

As per our telephonic conversation, is noted that we are holding cover on camera equipment on a no claim no pay basis for the period of 24/03/2012 – 26/03/2012. Please note that in the event of a claim on the Canon 40mm F2.8 the excess will be R1000.

Equipment breakdown –

•             Canon 7D Body – Valued at R 15,000.00

•             Canon 400mm F2.8 – Valued at R 97,000.00

•             Nikon 70 – 200 F2.8 – Valued at R 24,000.00

The interest of ODP – Outdoor Photo is noted.

In the event of a claim, the premium due will be R 566.67 for the above mentioned equipment.

Should you require any further assistance or have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Advice and suggestions:

In order to get the items covered, it is best to contact your insurance company and arrange the cover. They will determine an appropriate price for the items and period of cover, which will then enable you to decide to accept or decline the offer of insurance.

It is always best to build up a solid insurance portfolio with an insurer and maintain a long standing and as far as possible claims free history. Your insurer will always keep this in mind the next time you wish to add equipment to your insurance portfolio and may be able to provide you with affordable premiums.

Also view:

Smile – but only if your camera and equipment are insured!!

Zoom in on Camera Insurance even if you care for your equipment!!

For more on Cameras, Photography and Insurance also view:


It is our pleasure to include 2 photos captured by my friend James Loretz from Rugby15 with the above equipment:

Photo of passionate spectators at Loftus in photo by James Loretz/ Rugby15
Focused attention by Morne Steyn in photo by James Loretz / Rugby15

Pin It on Pinterest