An airport more dangerous than Death Valley

As far as Insurance Companies are concerned, Airports can be a greater risk than some of the loneliest places on the planet.
Airports in the UK lost a million items of luggage last year, and that was just for the holiday makers.
We know of a claim, which cost an Insurance Company over one hundred thousand pounds, when camera equipment being returned from the Middle East, on its way back to France for servicing, had the misfortune of having to travel via Heathrow, from where it was stolen from the bonded warehouse. As you would expect, Heathrow, under their terms and conditions would not accept any responsibility.
A director travelling to a film shoot, with his laptop, on going through security, placed his laptop on the scanner, having been checked through the security arch, he then found his lap top had already been stolen, from the other end of the scanner. Of course the security personnel had no idea where it had gone, it was not their problem.
So often, the risk to film kit, is not from the obvious. A well wrapped camera, left in the middle of the Amazonian rain forest, or in the shade of a rock, in Death Valley, Nevada, will still be there a week later, but walking from your Hotel, in down town New York, to your cab, you run the risk of thieves pounding past on roller skates, and grabbing any item they can get hold of, like a very valuable tripod, that was taken from a client.
It has been estimated, that for every thousand pound, paid out by insurance companies, for claims on professional kit, the thieves only manage to raise one hundred and ten pounds on its sale.
A two thousand pound lens stolen from the back of a car, when the cameraman was standing only one hundred yards away, turned up many months later, when another cameraman saw it for sale in a second hand shop, for twenty five pounds. Having gone in the shop, to enquire about the lens, he took a note of the lens number, contacted the manufacturers to ask who it had been sold to, and then contacted our client, requesting a hundred pound reward, if he told our client where it was for sale.
Needless to say the Insurance Company paid the ransom, and got the lens back.
From experience the self employed cameraman or photographer, owning his own kit is usually a good insurance risk, for the last thing they would want to happen, is to loose the kit they have become used to, they know every foible of the kit, so its loss would represent more than just money.
Insurance does provide an element of comfort, but the inconvenience and time lost, and even the chance of a lost job, when kit has been stolen, should encourage every one to watch out, unless they are in Death Valley.

Tags: insurance | death valley | claim | airport | iss017 | self employed | N/A
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