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Renting your gear?

Jason Hinkle RIP

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Just wondering if any of you guys get asked to rent your gear and, if so, what's your response? I don't really need rental income, but I do like helping my friends and also being able to call upon them for a favor sometimes on my crew or whatever. The problem is that people wanting to rent from me are not likely to have production insurance, and definitely wouldn't be able to replace, for example, an expensive lens, let alone an entire kit.


Basically I want to help out friends when I can but it feels like I'm just taking all the risk when loaning out equipment this way. I'm just curious how other people handle it, particularly when it is a friend or associate who is asking to rent or borrow the gear?

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Don't hire your gear if it's not insured. It's a standard part of a rental agreement and accidents can happen at any time.


Lending gear has the same risks, although you could check with your insurer about coverage in this case, since it's not a commercial relationship. If they have equipment, perhaps they could add your kit to their insurance for a short period.

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I've had an HD camera come back near destroyed - the complete chasis needed replacement ...


No insurance, but the hirer paid eventually.


Bolexes have come back with destructive modifications.


Factor this stuff in your hirage and insist on insurance.



When all is said and done I've paid cameras off this way, and they aren't too shabby once they've done so - maybe I'm lucky ;)

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I never let anything expensive go w/o insurance, but I have no problem letting someone taking out some lights for a few bucks or a case of beer from time to time as generally I can fix a 650 pretty easily and the replacement parts aren't that expensive that I worry a friend won't be able to pay. Now, that's just me, and eventually I'll get screwed by this-- but it works for me.

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I only rent or lend to fellow professionals who are experienced with handling gear, and who own expensive gear themselves, so they know what they are dealing with.


Typically it's a quid pro quo...I loan out my glidecam for a weekend, and the other fellow lends me his EX1 for a day.

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I have insurance for the gear I own AND gear I rent. I have it to provide to "official" rental houses and to friends who own gear. It's the only way to do this and protect myself and them. Nobody plans on accidents or theft. That's the point of having insurance.

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Thanks, that is helpful. I guess asking for insurance for especially valuable or fragile gear should just be my policy. I don't mind loaning out dolly, grip and light gear so much, but perhaps for cameras and lenses I should be "official" about it.


I have rented to friends who I very much trust. However they take it on a shoot with a larger crew and I have noticed that some professional crew expect their gear to be indestructible and they treat it as such. Not being malicious, but perhaps expecting old or off-brand gear to be as solid as top-of-the-line pro gear. So you would think the more experienced the crew, the nicer they will be with the gear but I have sometimes found the opposite to be true.


I can't imagine my film camera being returned to me with a bad modification made to it. Who would do that!?

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