Jump to content
Jesse Hanna

How do you rent a camera, when it requires $20,000 insurance or deposit?

Recommended Posts

I'm new here and not sure where to post this, so I'm sorry if this is the wrong spot. But I've seen a lot of camera rental places offer relatively cheap rates for cameras, but then require insurance or credit card charge with somewhere upwards of $20,000. My school had an insurance program that worked with some local rental houses, but not with others. Is there a way around this or do you just not rent from certain places? When I say "around this", I don't mean illegal, but are there someplace that don't actually expect you to have $20,000 and just want to make sure you're responsible for possible damages. 

The places I was looking at were larger rental houses like, Lens Rentals or Borrow Lens, GearRental.com (Local Rental House) and Kitsplit.com, or sharegrid.com which are local and individual people you rent from. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some places will do an "insurance waiver" and charge you 10-20% more for the rental. Depends on the place. You can also get one-off insurance pretty cheap, like $200-$300 or so for a $20,000 rental. I used this website once. 

https://www.insuremyequipment.com/Home/PolicyInfoDetails/2?Program=REF

The rental house will also have suggestions for insurance. Also look into getting a yearly policy if you're gonna be doing regular renting. Sharegrid has a good deal on an Athos policy if you sign up through the sharegrid website. That's what I have right now. I think it was $400 for either $20,000 or $30,000 in coverage (and that's for unlimited projects through the whole year).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you not just - you know - get insurance?

I appreciate full production insurance is ruinously expensive in the USA; it's one of a very small number of ways in which we do better in the UK. I can cover a couple of days' work for all the usual stuff (workers' and public liability, gear, etc) for £200 or so. An annoying expenditure, since you're invariably paying people for nothing, but it does give you a lot of legitimacy with regard to locations and so on.

P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of the reason I'm asking this is because I had a camera reservation ( few years ago) at film independent and when I came to pick up the camera they wanted to charge thousands on my credit card in order for me to rent it, so I wasn't able to and had to make do with a camera a friend of mine had on such short notice. 

Places like sharegrid and kitsplit offer insurance you can buy, but I don't know if they're expecting you to have 20,000 in collateral or something like that. I just wasnt sure how other people check out equipment, if they're not on larger productions with larger budgets. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never been asked for a deposit on kit hire. the big companies will just want proper insurance insurance , proof of ID and some cases references. For instance they may want to know that your going to look after the kit, so with expensive cameras/lenses they might want to know who the DOP/1STAC is. 

As others have said some hire companies will offer insurance at a rate of 10% to 15% of the cost of hire. This is sensible if your overall hire is quite small. But is usually cheaper to get your own insurance cover on larger hires, or get annual insurance cover if your doing more then one project. 

You ask the hire company what the kits worth and then get an insurance quote to cover that amount for the duration, pretty simple. You don't need collateral, thats the point of insurance.

Its not that expensive. The most expensive bit of kit I've ever hired was the prototype Arri D20 and ultra prime set, i didn't need a deposit. Just £300,000 of insurance cover, which cost about £500 for a weekend, which I got through a media insurance broker. 

I did a short last month - it cost £400 to insure for a 4 day shoot. For that I got £30,000 equipment insurance, £5 Million public liability insurance and £10 Million employers liability, Well worth it and meant was fully covered. Lots of locations will want to see your've got public liability and if you are hiring cast or crew (even if they work for free) you do not want them suing you if they get injured, hence having employers liability. 

Some smaller places do ask for deposits (in the UK hireacamera.com do). They allow you to hire without insurance but want a large deposit, I avoid them, I don't want a big charge sitting on my credit card and I don't want to risk loosing the money if anything happens. I wouldn't hire kit without insurance (unless its something small i can afford to replace), its not worth the risk. 

I guess its more expensive in the US, because people are more litigious and more likely to sue you in the event of injury etc... so its probably even more important to have enough cover. 

With my producing hat on, I sometimes just hire DOP's who have their own gear/insurance as a job lot - its one less thing to worry about and can work out cheaper. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There isn't a rental house here in Australia that will rent gear to you for the first time without a hefty deposit. After that first successful rental (i.e. you bring the stuff back) they "verify" you on their books, and don't charge you deposits any more. 

It's just a safety measure (and not unreasonable really, given the high price and portability of the gear).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don’t have your own equipment insurance policy, or you can’t team up with a production company that will use their policy to cover your project, then you’ll probably have to stick to renting from the rental houses that your school will work with. 

An equipment insurance policy is one of those things that you generally must have if you want to use a rental house. If you are renting a grip truck, you will also need full production insurance, which includes worker’s compensation, liability, vehicle insurance. The latter is more expensive, but will allow you to do more things like rent locations, hire and payroll crew, etc. But if you just want to rent a camera, lenses, some basic lighting and grip, then a simple equipment insurance policy should suffice. As others have mentioned, there are short term policies you can purchase just for the duration of your project that are less expensive than an annual policy.

It’s tough when you’re a student, or just starting out and wanting to produce your own content - which is why a lot of people start out buying their own gear or renting/borrowing gear from friends. I did that for many years while building my reel, even though I was working as an AC on commercial productions and had my hands on expensive rental house gear on a daily basis that the production company had rented - I was not able to rent that equipment myself. As a DP, I was able to team up with directors and producers who would take care of that for me.

The good news is that professional quality equipment is so affordable now that most people can buy their own camera, cine lenses, monitors, gimbal, wireless follow focus, etc. It was not really that way 15+ years ago when I was a student.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Phil Connolly said:

I did a short last month - it cost £400 to insure for a 4 day shoot. For that I got £30,000 equipment insurance, £5 Million public liability insurance and £10 Million employers liability,

So, you are saying for £400 if anything goes wrong with equipment the insurance got you covered up to £30.000,
something happens to location or in public you got covered up to £5 Mills and (God protect) some crew/talent is injured up to £10 Mills are there for compensation?

£400 for that peace of mind is a steal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, I was happy with the price - buying insurance by the day worked out pretty affordable.

We had to have public liability insurance to secure the main locations £5mill is demanded by council owned properties. Our actors were with big agencies and a stipulation about adequate insurance cover was included in the contract 

We also had a couple of camera trainees from the local University and their placement office wouldn't have sanctioned the placement without employers liability insurance. 

So not just peace of mind,  the film couldn't have happened without it, we wouldn't have got the actors or location permits. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bad things can happen to cameras, it's much cheaper to get some kind of legitimate insurance than to have to come up with $30,000 when the PA backs over the camera in his car. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Sharegrid in LA all the time for gear. Rented a Red Gemini not too long ago. When you pay for their coverage, you don’t have to provide a deposit. The individual renter may not approve the rental if you have no history, though, because rental fraud and the “voluntary parting” loophole are a problem.  There are rental houses on Sharegrid which are an option too.

Also, short term production equipment insurance isn’t terribly pricey; do a quick look at insuremyequipment.com. If you plan on a lot of producing, look at a yearly policy. 

Tristan 

Edited by Tristan Noelle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Metropolis Post



    Tai Audio



    FJS International



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Ritter Battery



    Abel Cine



    G-Force Grips



    Glidecam



    Just Cinema Gear



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Paralinx LLC



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Serious Gear



    Visual Products



    Wooden Camera



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    CineLab


×
×
  • Create New...