Capturing you next big adventure on camera? Find travel insurance to cover your GoPro.
The GoPro has become an essential item for the modern traveller, with it's ability to film your adventures on the fly. While the GoPro is small in size, the price tag is not so modest: models range from $199.95 up to $749.50.
Can travel insurance cover my GoPro overseas?
Travel can cover you if, due to circumstances outside of your control, your GoPro is:
- Permanently lost
- Accidentally damaged
Is the full value of my GoPro covered?
Most travel insurance policies have a cover provision for lost items and stolen items and specifically, cameras. The lowest camera cover provision for policies available on finder.com.au is $1000. This limit is enough to cover the highest end GoPro: the HERO4 Black, which comes in at $749.50. Note: Some policies will apply depreciation to damaged and stolen items.
|Hero 4 Silver|
|Hero 4 Black|
|Standard camera value covered by travel insurance|
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This is what determines if you are paid for you lost or stolen GoPro. For example, you will not receive any cover for loss or damage if your GoPro is left unsupervised in a public place or if it’s left overnight in a motor vehicle. On the other hand, if you are robbed and your GoPro is taken, then you'll be covered.
If your claim is accepted, your insurer will pay either the cost of
- Repairing your GoPro
- Replacing your GoPro
Be aware of depreciation and excess
When calculating how much to pay for your claim, the insurer will apply depreciation. This takes into account the age of your GoPro and any wear and tear, and can reduce the overall amount paid. Policies can also make you pay an excess when you claim, which will also reduce the benefit you're entitled to.
It’s always a good idea to check the list of exclusions that applies to the luggage and personal belongings cover included in your travel insurance. Here are some common situations when your lost and stolen items are unlikely to be covered:
- Damage from water. This is not covered under some policies
- Damage from scratching or denting. This is usually not covered unless it causes your GoPro to become unusable or the lens of the camera is damaged
- Leaving your GoPro unattended. This includes public places
- Leaving your GoPro in checked baggage. If you travel with your GoPro in checked baggage rather than in your hand luggage
- Confiscation by customs. This includes police or another relevant authority
- Wear and tear. This includes gradual deterioration and mechanical faults
- Leaving your GoPro behind in accommodation. This includes a motel or hotel room after checking out
- Leaving your GoPro behind in transport. No cover if you leave it behind in a taxi or on public transport
- Leaving your GoPro behind in motor vehicles. No cover you leave your GoPro unattended in a motor vehicle (except if it is in a concealed storage compartment in a locked vehicle)
The circumstances that could result in damage to your GoPro vary widely and your insurer will typically assess each case individually.
In most cases, if you accidentally damage your GoPro while you’re using it you will be covered by your insurer. For example, if you’re filming a taxi ride in Rome and the cab you’re in is involved in an accident, which results in a busted camera, your insurer should be able to cover you. If you however damage your GoPro by recklessly holding it in you hand and dropping it as you rock climb, you may not be covered. Water damage may also be covered if it’s caused by circumstances outside your control.
Hold on to the damaged GoPro
Remember, you may need to hold onto the damaged GoPro and allow your insurer to assess the damage when you make a claim.
GoPro products and accessories come with a warranty that protects you against manufacturing defects for one year from the date of purchase. Unfortunately, no cover is included for damage to your GoPro while in use.
However, if this happens, you should be able to receive financial protection from your travel insurance policy.
- Contact your insurer and explain the situation. Do this as soon as possible.
- Gather any supporting documentation required. For example, you may need to provide proof of ownership and details of the event that led to your claim, such as a letter from a tour operator explaining the rollover of a tour bus you were travelling in while using your GoPro.
- Fill out a claim form. Submit it to your insurer along with all supporting documents.
- Notify your insurer as soon as possible. Insurance providers usually have a maximum time frame during which they must be notified, and they will also be able to tell you what documentation you’ll need to provide so that your claim can be processed.
- If you’re a victim of theft, get a police report. Report the theft to the police or other relevant authority within 24 hours and obtain a copy of that report. You may also need to gather other documentation to support your claim, such as receipts or proof of ownership.
- Submit a claim form. You’ll need to provide your policy number, full details of the incident that led to the claim and any supporting documents requested by the insurer.
While you won’t be able to make a travel insurance claim in this sort of situation, all is not lost. There are several steps you can take to improve your odds of being reunited with your lost GoPro.
Before you travel
- Label it. A simple sticker or mailing label with your name and contact details could help your GoPro find its way back to you.
- Digital label. Another clever idea is to write out your name and contact details on a piece of paper and then capture a clear shot of the paper on your GoPro. That way you can save your details on the memory card.
- Consider a tracking device. You might like the security of attaching a third-party tracking device to your GoPro, so search online to see what’s available.
If it's already stolen
- Look online. GoPros are becoming increasingly popular among travellers, and there are even websites dedicated to helping reunite owners and lost GoPros. Getting in touch with the venue where you lost the camera is also a good idea, as is posting on forums that could be frequented by regular visitors to the park, beach or tourist area where you and your GoPro parted ways.
Unfortunately, travel insurance will not provide cover for claims resulting from the mechanical or electrical breakdown of your GoPro. Such claims are usually listed in a policy’s general exclusions.
Fortunately, GoPro products and accessories come with a one-year guarantee against manufacturing defects. In the event of such defects, GoPro will “repair or replace the defective part or product with a comparable part or product”.
If you wish to make a claim under your warranty you will need to:
- Contact GoPro’s Customer Support Team. You can find the relevant details through the ‘Support’ section of the GoPro website.
- Await assessment. If the Customer Support Team decides that your problem qualifies for coverage under warranty, you’ll be given a Return Merchandise Authorisation (RMA) number.
- Return your camera to GoPro. Ensure the RMA number is written on the outside of the package.
There are no strict rules when it comes to water damage to your GoPro and the cover you can receive. GoPro does not typically cover water damage to its cameras; in many cases, this is caused by customer error rather than manufacturing defect. But the company will consider your circumstances, so it’s a good idea to get in touch with GoPro’s Customer Support Team and provide details of the damage to see if any warranty cover is available.
Some travel insurance providers will cover your luggage and personal belongings against accidental water damage. However, whether or not this is covered and under what circumstances differs between insurers, so check the policy fine print or contact the insurer directly for more information.
Borrowed and then stolenIf you borrow your friend’s GoPro to go travelling and it’s then lost, stolen or damaged, don’t expect any cover from your insurer.
Travel insurance only covers your possessions, not items owned by someone else, as Rodney discovered on his recent trip to Thailand.
Rodney took his housemate’s GoPro HERO4 Session along for the journey to film some of his beach adventures, but the GoPro and his backpack were stolen from his grasp by thieves in Bangkok. Although shaken by the experience, Rodney believed he would be covered by his travel insurance policy.
He reported the theft to the police and provided a receipt from his housemate to provide proof of ownership. He also admitted to the insurer that the GoPro didn’t belong to him. As a result, Rodney’s claim was rejected and he had to buy his friend a replacement GoPro out of his own pocket.
Cost of the GoPro
Amount paid out
- Label it. Either sticking a physical label on your GoPro or taking a photo of your written contact details could save you a whole lot of stress.
- Mount it securely. However you choose to mount or use your GoPro, always check that it’s attached as securely as possible and is unlikely to get lost.
- Get a carry case. A specially designed carry case for your GoPro can provide safe storage and help prevent damage.
- Dry it. Even though your GoPro may be waterproof, drying it after it gets wet can minimise the risk of water buildup.
- Don’t mistreat it. GoPros are durable and can withstand a fair bit of punishment, but don’t bash your camera around any more than necessary.
- Clean it. Get some special camera lens cleaning cloths to prevent damage to your GoPro.
- Don’t flash it around. GoPros can be a pretty tempting target for thieves, so don’t flash your camera around in front of strangers.
Is it worth getting travel insurance to cover my GoPro?
Think of GoPro cover as a bonus included with travel insurance. Travel insurance is primarily designed to cover costly travel mishaps including
- Emergency medical expenses
- Cancellations and lost deposits
- Personal liability