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Telescope Insurance ? - How / Where ?

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im setting up my garden summer house into a observatory and i was wondering how i can insurance my scope & mount and where i can do this.

I would imagine some of you have done this in the uk, so any advice would be very much appreciated.


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I had my mine insured around 4 years ago before I sold everything and moved house. I'm pretty sure it was insured with Liverpool Victoria, just called LV now. My stuff was in an observatory in the garden and the premium was around £100 per year extra on top of my house contents insurance. The amount insured was £15k-£20k worth so not a bad price to be honest.

Edited by Wizz
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In all cases, speak to your household (contents) insurers first. DO NOT get sucjered in by so called 'specialist' astronomy policies!

You're contents insurers will quite happily increase your cover to include items stored in an observatory, shed, outhouse etc - often for only a small increase in premium. They will want to know that the storage area is secure as well, so make sure it's all locked up safe.

Ensure that the limit they offer is adequate to cover all the equipment stored. Always better to have a little bit more than a little bit less (remember all the manufacturers putting their prices up last year? You want to cover against that!) If your £500 scope suddenly becomes £650 to replace, you'll have to find the extra £150 at least if you're underinsured. Insurers will penalise you for being under insured, but don't mind if you're over insured (funny that!)

Some insurers will insist that you specify single items over a set amount (usually £1,000 or £1,500). Always best to do that. Also ensure what they class as a single item (it differs from company to company!) Is the whole set up (OTA, Mount, Tripod, hand controller) one item or do they class it as 4 different items?

Take photos and keep receipts. A nice photo of you standing beside your scope does wonders in proving that you had one to loose in the first place if you ever need to make a claim. Always store the photos somewhere other than the observatory laptop!


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Good advice...

I just compared the meerkat, and saved £200 on my Halifax policy (who refused to insure the obs) switching to another, who did, on a high risk item basis and garden items basis..

...amazing really just how bad Halifax are..

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Don't get me started on The Halifax. Will NEVER have another product from them as long as I live grrr...

As to insurance, mine is with Aviva (ex Norwich Union). They are the only ones with a sesnible enough policy on things like hi-fi where the only individual limits are on what they term "valuables". You can choose your cover level for external things and away from the home at £500 increments if I remember correctly....

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Well I was told by DirectLine that all my stuff was covered. Just prior to last years SSP I decided to double check to be told 'nope - we wont cover any expensive gear if it cant be worn or carried' so camereas no worries but they said 'telescope - dont be silly we wont insure that - its too big a risk'

Weird old world aint it ? - You could have all risks for a PC, a camera, a mobile phone - all covered by contents and far more nickable that a telescope but the scope was a no no.

Soooooo I called up a 'specialist' astronomy insurer who advertises in SaN. They said 'of course we will insure them out and about BUT only so long as its in a locked car' uh-huh so of what use is a telescope in a locked car ? Kind of reveals how much they know about astronomy.

Back to various house contents insurers most of whom would cover all risks IN the house none of them (nada, nilch, zip, zero) would cover the scope out in a public place.

So as it stands they arent insured when out and about - if anyone does actually know someone who WILL insure I'd be interested to know.

Most of the insurers I call all make reasuring noises - when I send them a manifest and ask for sign off they start saying 'oo-umm-errr' usually followed by 'no'.

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Ive got my astro and photography gear insured on my house insurance, they said no problem and insure the lot for £3000. Just like Mel i double checked before i went to Salisbury. Yes they are fully insured out and about but drops to £1000 max if nicked from a locked car!

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Mostly the problem is "away from home" or in the garden. They simply won't touch high value items like scopes (but as stated, will happily do laptops)

My take on this is that for star parties etc, the small kit comes, the nice toys always stay in the locked, alarmed and remotely cam monitored observatory

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