BO__einG
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Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:35 pm

Hi All,

I have not been posting here for a while due to some changes in my life. Some troubling changes that is..

A few months back in June my condo flooded and I lost my entire aviation photo collection that I shot on film spanning over 10,000 photos and across the first 9 years or so with professional film. Many of my pictures on this site are from scanned negatives which I kept in sealed bags archive in hopes of professionally scanning them in the future should I decide to reupload some pics or deal with a commercial use. My place flooded for about 10 days before the waters receeded and the bags (ziplock) could not hold up during that entire duration, and the fact that the place was submerged in 10-15m of silty debris fillled water did not help as soon as I opened one of the bags, the negatives all had been ruined beyond fix. Maybe unless extremely costly and tedious process of cleaning each strip over thousands of rolls, I threw my archive to the dumpster.

I am now in the process of having my claims reviewed by insurance but I think I am stumbling upon a roadblock as they seem reluctant to cover anything with my photo collections.
I was aware that this would be in a grey area from the start as it is fairly difficult to determine an exact amount of loss but I gave in a conservative estimate of $10,000 over 9 yrs. (counting in film, processing, commute, etc.)
There are a few thousand dollars in publications but because they were from a long time ago I do not have invoices or proof.
I feel as if I need to declare this as best as I can and hope the insurance has discretion to cover these losses although I worry they may just say no, even though I classify this as a collection, personal property.

Any thoughts for what I should do and how to properly communicate such a matter in order for the insurance to pay out almost a decades worth of lost work and revenue? I still get the odd publication request for my film images but now will have to decline all future offers meaning more loss on me.
Are there any weblinks that may touch upon this type of topic and what to do to get the insurance to recognize this as part of my physical property/direct loss..
Many of the film span from late 1990s-early 2000s and included many airliners/aircraft retired, special events, first picts of new plane/airline etc.

I also lost my entire flight training documents including my flight equipment, medicals, certificates and ppl licenses and worst of all my pilot logbook, that too has become difficult to prove to the insurance company as I also have to declare this to the best of my knowledge. They are asking how exactly does this count as a loss? Its just a logbook and some documents.
This is despite sending digital pics of my ruined flight gear and photo archive during salvaging to back up my claims form.

These past events were so traumatizing that I have now given up planespotting altogether realizing now all those years and cost of pursuing something I thought I loved has become a total and complete loss for me emotionally, financially and created a sense of resentment towards aviation nowadays.


Regards,
A dejected Bo..
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eksath
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RE: Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:51 pm

Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
Are there any weblinks that may touch upon this type of topic and what to do to get the insurance to recognize this as part of my physical property/direct loss..
Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
A few months back in June my condo flooded and I lost my entire aviation photo collection that I shot on film spanning over 10,000 photos and across the first 9 years or so with professional film.
Quoting BO__einG (Thread starter):
These past events were so traumatizing that I have now given up planespotting altogether realizing now all those years and cost of pursuing something I thought I loved has become a total and complete loss for me emotionally, financially and created a sense of resentment towards aviation nowadays.

This is indeed a sad set of circumstances. I am sorry to hear this. I hope,with time, you will recover. Your response is understandable.

I think it is going to be hard putting a value on a collection because you are assuming each photo will sell.

My only suggestions is to use a portfolio collection like that of Bruce Drum's site to benchmark a price for your picture and extrapolate a $. Assuming that your type of collection was similar in type. Just a quick suggestion.

http://airlinersgallery.smugmug.com/


Good Luck!
World Wide Aerospace Photography
 
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acontador
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RE: Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:51 pm

This sounds terrible, I hope you will recover from this soon.

I am sorry but unfortunately I don't think I have good news for you...but in any case, it will all depend on your insurance policy and your local insurance law.

First, one thing is your physical property, another totally different are any economic losses arising from the loss of that physical property (which is called "business interruption" in insurance). As a standard in insurance, you are insured only against the specific perils indicated in your policy, and only the matter insured in it. So, I hope you have flood as a peril insured against in your policy (we should know the origin of the flood, but from your description sounds like a natural origin). Then we have to look into what matter exactly you actually included in your policy.

Another standard thing in insurance is that you are insuring the material value of things. In other words, in your case the negatives are insured for their material value, not their sales value. If anything you are insuring is more worth than the material it is made of (for example your negatives, a money bills collection, etc.) and/or each item is worth more than X dollars (depending on your insurance company), then you will need to declare each item, clearly identifying it, and assigning it a value.

Then another completely different type of insurance is the economic loss arising from the physical damage you suffered, that is something you have to have explicitly in your policy. If you have this coverage, you would need to prove your losses, that is show that had the loss not happened, you would have earned Y dollars, which minus non-incurred expenses and plus any additional working expenses due to the loss, should roughly be your claim.

To me it all sounds like you have a substantial claim, thus seeking professional help is probably not a bad idea at all (though you should previously asses the cost of doing so v/s the potential gains).

Cheers,

[Edited 2013-11-02 07:07:39]
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BO__einG
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RE: Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:27 pm

Thanks for the input both of you. I will look into all options available including your suggestions and although I am hoping for the best I will prepare myself for the worst. It is indeed difficult as it feels like I have to simply 'make up' a value for the amount to my archive lost including my flight training. I may declare this basing on the best of my knowledge and see what they will say. Worst case I will get some money but it will be substantially smaller than what I would hope had the two items be considered. The property loss has a maximum of $30,000, the policy seems to consider these items as my property but I think it will be up to how the insurers interpret the rules for my situation.

I dont think I will quit spotting as I bought a new step ladder to replace the one that got lost, but take a 1 year or so break to get back on my feet.
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GuitrThree
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RE: Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:10 pm

Hate for your loss. Must be devastating. You can always find something good that comes out of everything, and I hope people reading your horrid experience and are 100% digital (most people here) realize an online backup service is EXTREMELY cheap insurance and should be used without question. Don't mess with external backup drives, etc.

I pay around $50 a year for backup of all my stuff. If you are digital and aren't doing this go back and re-read the original post and think about it for about 5 seconds and find yourself a backup service. I'm not going to plug who I use, that's not the point. Just find one that works for you and do it. Now.
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ckw
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RE: Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:06 pm

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 4):
realize an online backup service is EXTREMELY cheap insurance and should be used without question. Don't mess with external backup drives, etc.

Don't fully agree with this - my entire archive (full res scans and RAW files) amounts to several terabytes of data. Now I do use cloud storage for certain files, work in progress etc. (I have around 100gb), but I think you need to consider the practicalities of the service you are using. I have tried a couple in the past where the upload was fine, but the download was awful. Currently I'm reasonably happy with Google Drive for some material, but a recent restore (why? well if you don't test it, how do you know it's reliable) took a few days to complete. I think you would need to spend serious money for a good system capable of dealing with large data volumes effectively.

Personally for full backup I save incrementally to hard disk - either external drives or, more recently, standard SATA drives via a disk caddy. These days cost per gigabyte is extremely effective. I also make 2 copies, one kept at home, the other held off site.

Anyway, for those who are using some form of cloud storage, I strongly recommend you simulate a disaster recovery - ie. downloading all the data onto a different computer.

As to the OPs question - genuinely sorry for your loss - I've been going through the processing of scanning all slides and negs for sometime now, but I would still hate to lose the originals. I did go and have a look at my insurance, and I doubt I could make much in the way of a claim unless I declared my material in advance as "collectables" (like stamps or coins), which would need to be independently valued (if that's even possible).

I certainly couldn't claim in terms of lost income from sales, as this would need to be done via a business insurance policy - in fact, I suspect that attempting to make a business related claim on a home insurance policy may put at risk other aspects of the claim if the insurance company decided you were running a business from your home.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
GuitrThree
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RE: Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:29 am

Quoting ckw (Reply 5):
I have tried a couple in the past where the upload was fine, but the download was awful. Currently I'm reasonably happy with Google Drive for some material, but a recent restore (why? well if you don't test it, how do you know it's reliable) took a few days to complete. I think you would need to spend serious money for a good system capable of dealing with large data volumes effectively.

Maybe in the UK, but not here. Upload is the long process. Downloads are as fast as your broadband allows. And if you want to spend the extra money, most services here will write everything you have as is onto a HD and overnight it to you. Place in Computer, and everything's there. Instantly, no downloads... Most cases under $200/year for this service.

Quoting ckw (Reply 5):
Personally for full backup I save incrementally to hard disk - either external drives or, more recently, standard SATA drives via a disk caddy. These days cost per gigabyte is extremely effective. I also make 2 copies, one kept at home, the other held off site.

Which is great, if you want to carry a HD back and forth to onsite/off site. I prefer to do it automatically.

All that said, if it works for you great. Not questioning the method of backup, do what works. JUST DO IT!
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BO__einG
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RE: Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:03 am

I have a portable hardrive which is a terabyte for backup and I archive all my other items but sadly, a little late for the negatives. I think I do have a bunch lying around somewhere when I used to scan these with my old HP S20 back in the days which might offer some consolation but not the best resolution. If only I had saved up to get a better film scanner sooner, damm me.

Anyway tomorrow I send my final responses to explain more with the costs of this hobby as well as back up my reasoning and will wait and see what they will say. Even if they were to offer half of my targeted value, I may accept as it would only be a few thousand dollars.
It will be interesting to see what my insurance company says regarding this being interpreted as personal property affected by direct loss in a flooding event. Many of my neighbors claimed sporting and outdoor items with success.
I'm also claiming another chunk for my flight training. Maybe just maybe they may compensate me enough to make it worthwhile to go back to flight school even if they were to help foot a portion of the expense. Here in Canada a PPL program is about $20-30,000 so definitely not cheap! Maybe I can fast track at the best case scenario.

Ironically my property value went up this year so I am paying more taxes for it despite being flooded out. Worst comes to worst I'll just sell my place and move somewhere away from the river.

[Edited 2013-11-04 23:21:22]
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Flyingfox27
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RE: Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:59 am

Before i moved to Digital i was on film and mine and several other peoples film cameras were destroyed in a processing accident when someone working there turned a light on at the wrong time, but the camera shop gave me £100 compensation, now these were aviation photos im sure others had more sentimental value. With this £100 i bought my first digital camera and never looked back or went back to film.

I know theres some people who want to keep film alive but realy, digital is so much more worth it.
 
ckw
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RE: Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:08 am

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 6):
Downloads are as fast as your broadband allows.

You'd think. In practice that's not always the case - downloads are as fast as the service allows which is not necessarily the same as your own broadband speed. If you have a service that works, great, but I strongly suggest you test the recovery process - don't just assume it will be OK. Upload is less of an issue as this tends to be incremental.

Of course having a good backup process always seems to mean you won't need it! I have stacks of CD's, zip drives, tapes etc. etc. which never got used apart from the initial write. As faster/bigger storage become available I just recopied everything to the new system. And of course this is a big plus for the cloud - you don't need to worry about legacy technology - but at the moment I don't think it's cost/speed effective when dealing with terabytes.

The other plus for the cloud is you can access your data anywhere on anything - the use I do make of the cloud allows me to run my business from a mobile phone.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
GuitrThree
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RE: Claiming Destroyed Film For Insurance Possible?

Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:32 pm

Quoting ckw (Reply 9):
The other plus for the cloud is you can access your data anywhere on anything - the use I do make of the cloud allows me to run my business from a mobile phone.

My backup service has this feature. It is nice to have.
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