We have learned so much from our experience. It put this website back over a year, lost us our high ranking in Google (not enough updates etc as we had no equipment and subsequent hacking from the criminals) and has caused so much financial damage producing new features has taken a huge hit. Our planned trip to the States was cancelled and overall it's been a horrible time. Having all of your gear that you've built up over many years stolen is bad enough but the real effects can not be seen at first.
Eventually, after a very long time we managed to sort things out with our 'specialist insurer'. More on that later. We would caution anyone going with the first insurer that they find or the one that does the best price. Sure, you may be able to save a bit of cash now but if you get hit, as we found, a good insurer can make way more difference. Please, don't skimp and go for the cheapest offer without doing some very thorough research.
And that's the problem really isn't it? Who can be bothered spending time on the boring stuff like insurance? I mean, you've not had anything stolen before so you're probably lucky and will get away with it? Err, maybe but don't bank on it.
So, why go with a decent insurer? We get no back handers from any insurers, we speak from bitter experience:
Once you have decided what company to use be very sure that you are not under insured. It's pretty easy to add up the cost of all the equipment you own but is it the replacement value? The gear you bought years ago may now be worth ten times what you paid. If you get hit and put in a claim they will come and add up these numbers.
That's ok, just a few things were stolen, the mixing desk was too big to take away so my insurance will still be ok. Err, if you're under insured no. As mad as it seems, if you are insured for say $100,000 of cover for equipment etc and $10,000 worth gets stolen you may still only get a fraction of the loss. Why? Say the equipment cover needed is $90,000 and you've rounded up to be safe but you didn't realise that some gear was much more valuable now, or worse, the insurance company sees that you have only covered a portion of your equipment you will only be paid at a percentage, you may only get $1,000 for your $10,000 loss.
Insurerers are in business. Most don't really care about you. If they can minimise their costs they will. They are hard people and in my view, nearly as bad as the criminals that stole the equipment. They don't wear the comic book stripey shirt with a bag of swag, they wear suits and seem like decent people but they can be just as destructive as the thieves - you foolishly thought that if the worst happens they will look after you. Don't bank on it.
In our case, we were correctly insured, had updated our inventory as and when equipment was changed etc etc but we had a very, very long battle to get what was due. Even when you can clearly show you're covered it doesn't mean that they won't try. With us they tried and tried and then kept trying.
Make sure that every year you check that you are not under insured and even add a bit on top just to be safe. It costs a tiny amount more upfront but could make a massive difference later.
Finally, you hardly find mention of this when looking for and maintaining cover. This is obviously one of the insurance industry's big get out's and saves them a lot of money so it's not in their interest to double and tripple check with you that you have sufficient cover!
On a brighter note
So, all of the above is doom and gloom. The good news is that not all insurers are the same. Not all insurers are crooks themselves, some are very good. That's why we are keen to show how bad the bad ones can be. It's very important to find insurers that are the good guys.
As an example, we had some personal items stolen as part of the theft and damage with doors etc etc. The good insurer paid us within 3 days and we had such a good experience we will only use them now. The less good insurer paid in the third month after a huge amount of pain.
As we have found ourselves, there are some good ones there. As we are a website based in the UK we can't run a list of good insurers around the World so it's up to you to find people in the same industry that have had to make a claim. Don't bother listening to people that are happy with their broker or insurer if they've not made a claim, pointeless. Get as many opinions as you can and then, when you are talking with the insurer of choice, be explicit with your equipment and invite them to visit and run through the gear you have every year. Get them to confrm you are fully insured, in writing.
Increase your security. Make sure that you have visible and working alarms and ensure that you have good locks, ideally more than one! There's a lot of bad people out there.