View Full Version : Laser Insurance

Russell Ludwick
09-14-2010, 1:35 PM
As I get closer and closer to buying a laser engraver, I am trying to cover all my bases before buying one. What do I need to know about insurance of the laser?

I will probably have to rent a small office/shop space to have the laser, lets say 300sqft. I have been told I need a 1 million dollar policy or something like that. Could anyone point me in the right direction?

What are good companies to insure me I could call up to get quotes? How much insurance do I need? What types of insurance? What should I know?

I am more concerned about liability insurance than, losing the engraver itself. Like in case of a fire or something, burning down the building.

Joe Pelonio
09-14-2010, 3:41 PM
When you lease commercial space you normally will be required to have the 1 million with the owner named as an additional insured. You should get business insurance that takes care of that, plus your own liability, and coverage of any tools, materials, supplies and equipment. I had about 1,900 sf and was paying about $300/month but had 2 million
coverage since I did a lot of installation work at customer locations.
Basically I would be covered if I dropped a big sign on the head of a passerby, or if the laser burned down the building I rented.

I thought that was a lot of $ and did some checking but found it (State Farm)to be less than many other companies including some that specialize in business insurance.

Robert Walters
09-14-2010, 4:33 PM
Be sure to inquire about REPLACEMENT, not just depreciated value for equipment, inventory, software, supplies, furniture, loss of revenue, establishing a new location (if needed), etc.

READ AND UNDERSTAND everything in the policy.
They make their money on legalese, ask for a copy of the policy before signing. Ask questions, give them scenarios "What if...." and see what they say. If you don't understand just keep asking until you do.

I found out that cameras weren't covered directly, but they have an "add on" thingy (I can't remember the exact term they used) that covers cameras against everything, including accidental damage. Be sure to include accessories in the inventory: batteries, chargers, memory cards, cords, cables, software, carrying cases, tripod, lights, backdrops, and all other accessories.

When my car was broken into, my entire camera gear was stolen with everything in it. While I was covered for $3000, it still didn't come up to full replacement value as I forgot a few things that were in the bag and didn't account for that when I purchased coverage.

Ironically, it's the little things that add up.

If you have a pencil cup on your desk, add up the replacement cost of everything in it, including the cup itself at today's prices including shipping and sale tax. Mine adds up to $65 and there's really nothing in it.

If you don't have a pencil cup, just add everything on your desk (less computer/monitor) and see what the replacement cost at today's prices are.

Don't guess, but look up current pricing on the web. Inflation.

Also, video tape everything as a record for inventory.
If something happens, you'll never remember every little thing, be sure to open drawers, boxes, storage cabinets, etc.

Keep the tape/dvd OFFSITE (multiple copies is always a good thing)
Nothing worse than having a fire/theft and your inventory video is gone too.

Updating the inventory video once a year is a good idea, things change.

Martin Boekers
09-14-2010, 6:58 PM
I believe it's called a "rider" for additional coverage.

Make sure you get replacement cost, luckly I had it when my car and house were broken into quite a few years back. Even though I had replacement cost the insurance company sent a check that only coverd about a third
of the actual value. When things got a bit heated they said they would replace everything through a contracted company, but they wouldn't send me a check for the value. That was fine with me! That's all I wanted.
The best part is I worked the the replacement company and they arranged for everthing to be replace and to send it to my home or work. No running around getting qoutes and shopping to replace it all they had the list and they took care of it! Everything replced with new with in 30 days.

So replacement costs is great and hopefully it doesn't happen to you but if it does ask about their contacted company to do the replacing.


Richard Rumancik
09-15-2010, 3:26 PM
Just a couple things . . . you may want to consider having them indicate that equipment/material at a second location (eg your house) is an insured location.

Also, when you get the laser shipped - usually you own it when it leaves the factory/dock/warehouse. So make sure you are insured for that. It may be a one-time thing, but if no insurance they will give you about $2 a pound for the broken laser, should it fall off the truck.

Mike Christen
09-15-2010, 5:49 PM
I have a 1 million dollar policy through travelers, covers building, equipment ($60,000), liability, etc. It costs me about $780 a year. I rent about 1000sqft.

Shawn Conklin
09-20-2010, 8:53 AM
My policy is a rider on my business policy. Covers replacement cost. I think it was an additional $500 a year.

I got an "Inland Marine" policy. That means I can take the laser whereever and its still covered. My business policy is the same, this way if we hit a show or something we are covered for loss of equipment but also if some dingbat trips on a cable of ours or something we are covered.


Russell Ludwick
10-04-2010, 9:41 PM
So after talking with a couple agents AAA and state farm, both said they couldn't insure me due to me working with wood. It seemed like as soon as I mentioned cutting wood with the laser, they just didn't want to talk to me any longer.

They were also extremely weary by my CAD work designing parts. They said that they don't want to insure me because if I design a machined part that fails and kills someone, they have to cover the bill for getting sued. I can't even explain how low of a percentage that would be in my line of work, but they don't see it that way i guess.

Is this typical? How should i word it to them? I thought getting insurance for my engraver would be one of the easier parts of the process, but right now it seems like its the biggest roadblock. Can anyone recommend me a company that I can go to?

bill gervais
10-04-2010, 10:12 PM
Russel, I had State farm for 30 years autos only. Wanted to add laser equipment and woodworking equipment to home owners policy. they wanted nothing to do with either.

bill gervais
10-04-2010, 10:16 PM
Not sure why I got cut short, fat fingers this time of night I guess. I now have Peerless with a full woodworking shop and laser and they are fine with it after i answered a few questions for them.

Scott Challoner
10-04-2010, 10:53 PM
I have State Farm and they've never given me a hard time.
You may also want to get set up as an LLC or S-corp if you aren't already. That way if something does go wrong, anyone suing can only go after the business and not your personal assets.