Your facial expression as camera equipment worth thousands of pounds falls to the ground: Priceless. For everything else there is Mastercard insurance.
I went to grab the camera bag from the car boot, and as I pulled the bag towards me, gravity pulled the bottom part of the bag towards the concrete underneath. The bottom part is a separate bag that is normally held in place with strong velcro, but something must have gone wrong, because gravity won the very short battle (yes, the manufacturer of the bag will hear from me).
When I checked the camera, the lens had its mount lose, and there was no electrical contact to the lens. At first I thought the camera itself was undamaged, so I swapped to my tele lens and took the pictures I had come to take. When I post processed the pictures at home, I noticed that the focus was “off” in most of them. Later I found out that this was due to the bayonet on the camera having been knocked during the impact (so I guess the lens register distance had become slightly different from what it was meant to be). Needless to say, the event was marked by a choice selection of swear words in multiple languages!
When I bought my D700 last year, I also bought a camera insurance from Aaduki. It sounded like a decent company, and the price was reasonable. Of course, we all know that the proof of the insurance pudding is in the claim eating, so to speak. So Monday I phoned Aaduki and explained what had happened. They emailed me a claim form, which I filled out and returned. While they processed the form, I took the camera and lense to Fixation for a repair estimate.
The repair estimate arrived Wednesday, and by the following Monday I had an okay from the insurance underwriters to go ahead and have the camera repaired. Fixation got the nod the same day, and Tuesday afternoon they called me to say it was ready. To avoid delay between the insurance company and the repair company, I picked up the camera on Thursday and paid cash, and then faxed my receipt back to Aaduki the following Monday. On Saturday I received a reimbursement cheque in the mail.
So as far as timelines are concerned:
- Responding to claim: a few hours
- Providing a repair estimate: two days
- Agreeing claim in principle: three days
- Fixing camera and lense: one day
- Actually paying out: four days
As far as insurance companies and repair shops are concerned, I think this is excellent service! Had I been able to get in to London to collect the camera right away, the entire process from initial contact to Aaduki until I had my repaired camera back would only have taken six working days.
Michelle from Aaduki deserves special mentioning. This was (fortunately!) my first (and hopefully also last) insurance claim. She helpfully guided me through the process, answered all my questions and proactively kept me informed of the status of the claim.
Some things cannot be replaced – but for the things that it would be excessively expensive to repair or replace, there is insurance.