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Walking on the Moon

Astro Kit Insurance


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I just started to add up the value of my Astro Kit (including what i am about to add) :shock: :shock: :shock:

Is there a Specalist Insurer out there that will cover scopes when outside using them ???

The value came to more than the valuse of mine and my wifes cars added together btw !!!!!

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Just before I renewed my Household Buidings and Contents Insurance, I wrote to the company (Legal & General), listed all my gear with values and explained how it was kept. (Pernenent set up).

They wrote back confirming that everything was covered.

(I wanted it in writing).

Hope this helps.


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I recently insured with Glover Howe. I paid an annual premium of £52.50 for up to £2000 of kit. That's the lowest price band and they go up in bands after that, but I don't know what the premiums are for the higher bands. That price covers the kit at home and away at star parties etc.When i spoke to them on the phone, they were helpful and knowledgable, and there don't appear to be any surprises in the policy.


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Hiya Kai

yes there most certainly is an insurance company .

They are called JTL online i have all my kit insured with them including my laptop my lense kits and all the other bits and bobs and it even comes with £1,000,000 of public liability insurance and all that for just £48.00 a year which i choose to pay off on a monthly basis. they were a lot cheaper than glovers who wanted over £68.00 for similar but without the public liability and hugely cheaper than adding to my house contents insurance and you can do it online with them you just choose exactly what you want to cover and the amount you want to cover it for and away you go easy peasy www.jltonline.co.uk/ here is the link to their site if you're not sure about anything just give them a call they are really friendly and helpfull regards Pete

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Do not buy 'specialist' insurance to cover your scope! It is a good way of getting you to part with your hard earned money, but it many cases you do not need it.

First thing is first - check with your contents insurance company. In most cases they will provide cover for you equipment already or for a small additional charge, often less than a 'specailist' insurer. If you have a lot of expensive equipment, check your cover carefully. A lot of UK insurers will apply a limit on cover for items outside of the 'house' (permanent buildings) but within the boundaries of the 'home' (i.e. the garden). For example, if you're insured with the Pru or Churchill, you will possibly only have £300 of cover for items in the garden. Most insurers will up that limit if you ask them.

If you have an observatory or store the items in a shed or outhouse, it is worth telling your insurers to make sure they are aware and providing enough cover. Some insurers have limits on contents in a shed and they will class an observatory as a shed. I will refer to all with the encompassing 'outhouse' for clarity.

Insurers may impose a security warranty on your outhouse (i.e. insist that you put certain locks on or install an alarm). Make sure you do this and advise them when done as they will restrict cover (or not provie any at all!) if you fail to comply. Always lock your outhouse/set the alarm when not in use (common sense this!)

Away from home - again, your contents insurers will provide cover for items away from the 'home' if you ask them They often do this in multiple of £500, so £500, £1,000, £1,500 etc) for a small extra charge. Make sure you have more than enough cover to include ALL the equipment you take plus everything else (mobile phone, wallet, watch etc)

If you have particularly expensive items (often a single item worth £1,000+) you may need to specify it on your policy - check with your insurers first - or it might be subject to a limit. It's always a good idea to keep original purchase receipts for all items in case of a claim to prove ownership. If you don't have receipts, take some photos (but don't store thme on the computer in your outhouse!) Photos of you with the equipment are often better than just a picture of the scope (shows it was yours and not just taken off the web!)

Note that if you have a 'new for old' policy, it is worth ensuring you have enough cover to replace the item at current prices (not just what you paid for it). Especially important with all the warnings from First Light about forthcoming price increases!

If you're taking equipment away to a star party, check your cover first. Some insurance companies will not cover items unless they are stolen from a 'locked building'. Tents do not fall into that catagory!

As always, it is best to speak to your insurers BEFORE you have any problems to make sure you're adequately covered.

Remember, it is YOUR responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover in force BEFORE a loss occurs! Insurance companies are NOT charities, they are businesses and people who work for them look forward to a pay rise as much as you do!

I know it was said in jest, but don't even think about lying on a claim. You WILL be found out and face criminal prosecution and possibly a jail sentence. Also, you're just pushing the price of insurance up for everyone else (regardless of whether they've made a claim or not!) Also, you will find it impossible to get cover in future for anything else (that includes motor insurance!)

Finally, having worked in insurance claims and loss adjusting for over 20 years, in and around the South East, I have yet to deal with a claim for loss of astronomical equipment, but there is always a first time, especially in the current economic climate.

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I have a permanent setup in an observatory and I sometimes take my smaller scope off site, such as star parties. All my equipment is covered under my house contents insurance. I have to pay a additional premium of £13 to cover my main scope in the observatory because it's replacement cost is greater than the £2500 unspecified items cover that is an integral part of my contents insurance. I too got my broker to confirm that all was covered in writing. In particular, I got written confirmation what level of security they required for the observatory (locked), the permanent attachment of high value items (main scope attached to the pier with bolts) and whether they classed the two scopes attached to each other (refractor piggy-backed on SCT) as one item or two for the purposes of whether they were unspecified/specified items.

The observatory structure itself had to be put on my buildings insurance as an additional item, this cost an extra 78p!

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i think for my home insurance, i have personal insurance of £2500 which is ample to cover much equipment. Typically this is for in case you damage your satnav/ or a laptop if you carry one. I asked and it also covered telescopes, which is handy since my pst goes most places with me, along with my LX10.

Not sure about covering telescopes in the garden though.

hope that helps

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My insurer covers "optical instruments" to the tune of £5000 inside the home (as long as no individual item is worth more than £1500), £1000 worth of cover if left unattended in the back garden, up to £5000 if attended (i.e. locked in a shed/garage or with me standing nearby :? ). I'm also covered to the same amount if I'm away from home with the kit.... this in effect means that unless I come to a special arrangement with them I'm only covered for £1000 at a star party.

I've since sorted this out and have paid slightly more on my premium but I don't recall how much more. My insurance is with Nationwide...


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I use Marks and Spencer for my home insurance. With them I have my watch listed as an extra item, due to its value, but I also have specified something like £10k worth of cover for items away from home. Another company worth trying is Hiscox as they specialise in providing cover for things of high value.

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