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A Guide to Protecting Your Hired Equipment

In many industries, hired equipment is vital. Whether you’re planning a film production or putting on a large-scale event, you’ll likely be considering hiring in equipment to get the job done. But hiring equipment doesn’t come without an element of risk. 

Hired equipment is often incredibly specialised, and it can be hugely expensive. This means that the risk to both the hiring company and the hirer is significant, particularly if equipment will need to go out on location for a period of time. Equipment can be damaged, lost or stolen, no matter how careful a company is. And that’s why equipment hire insurance is so important. 

If you’re thinking about hiring equipment and want to make sure your company is fully protected against every eventuality, you’ll want to make sure you have the best possible coverage for the job. Take a look at our brief guide to protecting your hired equipment, and we’ll tell you all you need to know. 

How Does Equipment Insurance Coverage Work? 

Insurance policies can be written for hired equipment in any industry. To write these policies, insurers will analyse the risks involved in the project, and go on to design a policy with the specific exposures in mind. 

The cost of the policy will be dependent on the specific equipment being hired, and the expense of repairing or replacing these items. Costs also vary according to the location of the project, and may increase if equipment will need to be transported before being used. Some insurers will cover equipment travelling internationally, but usually this incurs an additional fee. 

The period of time for which coverage is required will also affect the cost of the insurance. Typical equipment hire insurance coverage ranges from policies which cover equipment exclusively for the period of time which it will be used for, to ongoing coverage for companies that hire equipment very regularly. 

Can All Hired Equipment be Insured? 

Insurance policies will cover almost any piece of equipment that a company needs to hire. Typically, hired equipment insurance policies focus on technical media equipment, so you can expect to find a good range of policies centered on insuring camera equipment, video equipment, photographic equipment, lighting and sound recording equipment. 

There are also many equipment hire insurance policies designed for those working in the film industry. These tend to cover editing and post-production equipment, as well as any other audio-visual equipment that might need to be hired for the filming project. PA equipment is another popular item requiring hire insurance, and a good range of creative-focused insurance companies provide coverage for this. 

Do I Need Insurance for Hired Equipment? 

If your company intends to hire equipment for a job, then the chances are you’ll need insurance for these items. The costs involved in damaging or losing any hired equipment  are of course considerable, but that’s not the only reason you might want to take out an insurance policy. 

The vast majority of companies hiring out equipment won’t let their property out of the building without first checking that the hirer has comprehensive insurance to cover the goods should anything go wrong. Expect insurance policies to be checked in detail before any hire is agreed. 

The monetary cost of the equipment itself isn’t the only thing companies need to consider when hiring items for their projects, either. If a piece of equipment is damaged, lost or stolen during the period its been hired for, its owner will be unable to hire that piece out to companies that might have booked it in the following weeks and months. Therefore, there is a loss of earnings to consider too. 

The hire company won’t just be expecting the equipment itself to be replaced, they may also be entitled to compensation for their lost earnings during this period. And that’s why insurance is crucial for companies hiring in expensive pieces of equipment. 

The Risks Equipment Insurance Covers:

Equipment hire insurance provides total protection for the most common risks companies face. These range from accidental damage to other significant risks such as loss, theft and fire. Take a look at some of the most common risks and consider whether or not your project might face these exposures before contacting your insurance company to discuss coverage. 

Accidental Damage

Equipment can be accidentally damaged in no time at all, so it’s important that any equipment being used in a project is fully insured against this risk. Whether an expensive piece of equipment leaves your HQ or not, there is always a chance that it might be damaged through carelessness, or something as simple as an accident. Unfortunately, there’s no way of being certain that accidental damage won’t happen, so it’s always worth making sure that this risk is fully covered by your insurance policy. 

Theft 

While there are steps that you can take to strengthen security while you have expensive, specialised equipment in house, there’s no way of knowing whether or not your company will be targeted by criminals. 

Theft is a significant risk for companies that hire equipment regularly. The more expensive this equipment is, the more likely it is that you may become a target. For this reason, equipment hire insurance policies cover theft, provided that your company adheres to a certain level of security while hired items are being stored, transported and used. 

Fires, Floods and other Risks   

Fires, floods, storms and other unexpected events can quickly spell disaster for a company, and if hired equipment is lost any resultant costs can soon spiral out of control. Equipment hire insurance policies therefore cover companies should an event like this occur.

Policies are designed to provide fast relief in these situations, so that any projects that are put on hold can get moving again. Comprehensive coverage ensures that the impact of an event is limited, and that teams are able to get back to work as quickly as possible. The costs of repairing or replacing damaged equipment are covered, meaning that interruptions to ongoing projects are minimised. 

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Hired equipment provides endless opportunities for companies to go above and beyond, creating stunning productions to impress clients and competitors alike. But hiring equipment can be a risky business, particularly when adequate insurance isn’t obtained beforehand. 

Make sure your company’s hired equipment is fully insured for the duration of your projects, to avoid the crippling costs of having to replace items that are damaged or lost through no fault of your own. For more information about equipment hire insurance, get in touch with our team.

Read more about our film equipment and production insurance here.

Posted: November 23, 2020 | Categories:

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