blog entry

Rip-off Britian strikes again – Business Insurance

As a professional event photographer, good insurance is vital. Event photographers probably carry more equipment around than any other branch of the industry – we’ve got cameras, we’ve got lights, we’ve got computers, we’ve got printers and so on. As a quick reckoning, we take somewhere around £18,000 worth of equipment out with us when we are doing a large job.

 Yesterday I had a phone call from the company which currently takes care of my business insurance – Towergate Camerasure – to see if I was going to renew my policy with them. Towards the end of 2011, I’d received a renewal notice from them but rather than simply renewing – the easy, lazy way, I decided to shop around. In the end I managed to organise a better level of cover for £180 less than Towergate’s price. Naturally, I decided that I’d take my business away from Towergate.
why on earth would I consider giving business to a company that was perfectly happy to try and rip me off to the tune of £180
The lady that called me yesterday was very pleasant and explained that I’d found a better level of cover for £180 less. She then politely asked if I’d be interested if Towergate matched the price.

I am not sure what planet she lives on, but why on earth would I consider giving business to a company that was perfectly happy to try and rip me off to the tune of £180. If they were prepared to charge me less when I asked, why didn’t they simply offer me the best price originally? Is the sudden offer to reduce the premium supposed to make me think better of them? If so, it doesn’t work! It just makes me think that they were taking me for a mug!

I had also had correspondence with Aaduuki insurance about their policy and was left rather underwhelmed. One of the key things for me is to be able to insure the bulk of my equipment when left unattended over night in the van. There are times when the events we cover finish very late (or very earlier depending on your point of view!) Some times we don’t drive back afterwards, preferring to stay in an hotel. Aaduuki’s policy wouldn’t cover the equipment to be left in the van – we’d need to take it into our hotel room.

There are times when the hotel we stay at isn’t the same as the location of the event we are photographing. Aaduuki’s policy restriction means that after an event, we would need to tear down the kit, load it into the van, drive to the hotel, check in, unload the van and move the kit into the hotel room, all in the small hours. I am sure that the other guests would love us banging around in the corridors. When asked about this, Aaduuki’s reply was:

What we DO NOT cover for is equipment left unattended in a car overnight whilst your in bed or a hotel and we have no plans to extend this. Whilst we are happy to work with photographers we do all need to recognise there is still a duty of care and everyone should act as if they are uninsured.

A duty of care??? The equipment would be left in a locked, alarmed van. It isn’t as though I was going to be leaving it unattended and unsecured. To be honest, I think that their attitude of “we don’t offer it and we won’t change our policies” stinks of arrogance. If a customer thinks that your product could be improved, and they are willing to pay a premium for it, then you are being stupid not to offer what they want!


It made a refreshing change when I spoke with Steve at Cliik insurance. He listened to my requirements, he asked pertinent questions and he understood just what it was that I needed. What’s more, he was cheaper too!

The moral of the story is don’t be lazy, don’t just renew: shop around. You might be surprised by what you find!


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