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#1 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 10:24 AM

Having my own equipment, I have not really rented anything in years.  As I am about to start renting grip & lighting equipment out, I wanted to ask everyone how it works at the respective places you've dealt with. 

 

Do some charge an extra 10%-15% on top of the total rental fee.  Do others ask for a certificate of insurance? (I seem to remember dealing with the former.)  And what do you find to be the most streamlined process?

 

Thanks for any feedback.


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#2 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 10:48 AM

I've owned a camera rental house for the past 26 years. It can be a very tricky, cutthroat business. My company rents to mainly studio feature films, television as well as other rental houses who sub rent from us. We always insist on signed rental agreements and certificates of insurance for protecting the gear and liability. One of the key components of the agreement specifies the terms for lost and damaged equipment with the clause for replacing any items: "without deduction for wear and tear". That means brand new equipment. Otherwise, you will receive the dollar amount for the depreciation value for your missing or destroyed gear. I'm not sure what market you are going after but I would at least have some form of an agreement for the terms of rental.

G

Edited by Gregory Irwin, 05 March 2015 - 10:49 AM.

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#3 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 10:58 AM

Hey Greg, thanks for your reply.  I completely forgot you owned a rental house.  Yup, I am looking at a lot of different rental agreements and I will make sure I have one that covers all the bases.

 

One of the key components of the agreement specifies the terms for lost and damaged equipment with the clause for replacing any items: "without deduction for wear and tear".

 

I wasn't sure how to word that in the agreement, so thanks!


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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 12:06 PM

Insurance is often the problem, not because there's any particular problem with insurance per se, or even because it's expensive, but because the amount of grief and hassle it involves. Often the insurance can take a day or more to organise and involve several stages of receiving, signing, scanning and sending documents around, and if there's an international aspect to it, things can get even more complicated ("what do you mean, you don't have a French address?"). One understands why, of course, but if there's any way of building it into the rental cost, so that it becomes a single transaction, that's enormously helpful.

 

Of course on the sort of big studio stuff that Greg's talking about, it's an entirely different situation and the equipment insurance is just a small part of an enormous, probably six-figure deal with an insurance company that serves that sort of scale of show, but if you want to rent small amounts of stuff to independent producers, the situation is rather different.

 

P


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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 12:49 PM

Camera rental insurance is usually included in production insurance. If you own equipment (in the UK at least), you can have rental insurance added to your equipment cover.


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#6 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 01:16 PM

And just to add to all of the above, I also cover my gear with liability and worldwide replacement cost insurance. Extremely expensive but worth every penny.
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#7 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 01:22 PM

One understands why, of course, but if there's any way of building it into the rental cost, so that it becomes a single transaction, that's enormously helpful.

 

Would that be the "Insurance is an additional %15 on top of the rental fee" kind of transaction?...


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#8 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 01:29 PM

Would that be the "Insurance is an additional %15 on top of the rental fee" kind of transaction?...


It doesn't work that way. Your prices will have to be competitive in a competitive market. Your clients will have to provide their own proof of insurance and you may want to also have a redundant insurance of your own. Especially liability coverage to protect yourself from lawsuits stemming from someone getting injured from use of your gear. Cost of doing business!
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#9 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 01:48 PM

It doesn't work that way. Your prices will have to be competitive in a competitive market. Your clients will have to provide their own proof of insurance and you may want to also have a redundant insurance of your own. Especially liability coverage to protect yourself from lawsuits stemming from someone getting injured from use of your gear. Cost of doing business!

 

I've already lined up an insurance policy for my own gear and I have an accountant I'm working with on this.  I'm just trying to understand how the insurance gets "built-in" to the rental cost to make things as streamlined as possible.  When I was in college and used to rent from some places here in NYC, I never provided any proof of insurance, but I do remember paying an extra fee for that.  That's basically what I'm asking about.

 

Also, in the rental agreements I've seen, it states that the client will not hold the rental company responsible for any injury that may occur during operation of the rented equipment.  But based on your statement Greg, I'm guessing even when people sign that contract, they still try to blame the rental company...


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#10 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 02:08 PM

Also, in the rental agreements I've seen, it states that the client will not hold the rental company responsible for any injury that may occur during operation of the rented equipment.  But based on your statement Greg, I'm guessing even when people sign that contract, they still try to blame the rental company...


You bet! Nothing is that easy. I'm dealing with this right now with a large package that was just returned from a movie in New Orleans with considerable L&D. At the same time we have gear on a few TV shows in LA and we're about to ship out gear to Canada, Singapore and Dubai. Who knows what's in store with all of that. I should clarify that my company is doing all of that work. Fortunately, I'm out of town on a movie and am just getting all of those reports! :) But in reality, it's still my problem and responsibility.

Your insurance needs are probably much simpler, no? God, I hope so! ;)
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#11 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 02:41 PM

You bet! Nothing is that easy. I'm dealing with this right now with a large package that was just returned from a movie in New Orleans with considerable L&D. At the same time we have gear on a few TV shows in LA and we're about to ship out gear to Canada, Singapore and Dubai. Who knows what's in store with all of that. I should clarify that my company is doing all of that work. Fortunately, I'm out of town on a movie and am just getting all of those reports! :) But in reality, it's still my problem and responsibility.

Your insurance needs are probably much simpler, no? God, I hope so! ;)

 

Very much so.  I only have a small amount of gear, but it's enough to rent out to thesis students and low-budget indie filmmakers, which is the market I am initially going for.  We'll see how it goes from there. 

 

But thanks for all of the tips, Greg (and everyone else.)  Much appreciated!


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