This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
The Value Of Old Negatives. The greatest difficulty in adjusting the fire claims of a studio usually occurs with the negatives. Old negatives may have a special value to the photographer and are frequently one of his best assets, but the insurance companies will not consider them as worth much more than old glass, and the best value that can be obtained for them is usually not over fifty cents apiece, and generally under that figure. If the insured is carrying less than that total of 80% insurance (in other words, carrying part of the insurance himself), and in the division of the amount to cover the various items of property only a small portion of the amount is devoted to negatives, the chances are that the loss on the negatives will be quite considerable.
Uninsurable Property. Accounts, bills, currency, evidences of debt, money, notes or securities are uninsurable. and the following items of property are not covered by your policy unless specifically mentioned therein: Awnings, bullion, casts, curiosities, drawings, dies, implements, jewels, manuscripts, medals, models, patterns, pictures, scientific apparatus, signs, store or office furniture or fixtures, sculpture, tools or property held on storage or for repairs.
Notice Of Loss. If a fire occurs it is the duty of the insured to immediately notify the company in writing, cither direct or through your agent. Failure to notify the company within the time specified will make your policy void. Verbal notice to the agent is not sufficient.
988. A good form to use is as follows:
National Union Fire Insurance Company.
You are hereby notified that my property, in-sued under your policy No. 582, was, on the 10th inst., at about 5 o'clock p. m., damaged (or destroyed) by fire. Please send your adjuster as soon as possible, advising me who will represent you and when he will be here to take up the adjustment of the loss.
After A Fire. After a fire it is the duty of the insured to separate the damaged and undamaged property; to put it in the best possible order, and to make a complete inventory of the same. Don't imagine you can sit still and do nothing, and that the insurance company has sixty days in which to settle your loss. The case is the reverse. You have sixty days in which to present your claim, according to the directions in your policy.
Protect Yourself. Have your premises and property carefully examined by fire insurance experts and see that your policy is correctly written. Protect yourself to the full extent of the 80% clause and read your policy carefully so that you know where you stand.
991. Above all, do not fail to be insured.