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Jesse Flaitz

Insurance claim for damaged gear help

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So finally happened, Critical Content/Quidnet Media decided to keep shooting in the remnants of hurricane Barry in NYC.  Torrential down pour with my wireless on talent.  My company is a loss payee on productions insurance, but I've not filed a claim like this before and I want to make sure I do it right.  I've run into serious friction with the production and I'm not trying to let them screw me out of replacement transmitters.  After the most shit show of a day I've seen in a while I told production not to hire me again, and the next day they fired the main mixer on the show who brought me on in the first place.  So I'm not interested in helping them out.

 

4x SMQV and 1x ZMT were in the rain.  I've had the transmitters on rice for 48 hours (unplugged lavs, and removed battery doors) and I'm about to go through and test all the transmitters and lav mics.  Regardless of functionality I'm pushing to have them all replaced.  If there is the slightest issues I'm sending them back to Lectro and Zaxcom for repairs.

 

As a loss payee on insurance can I file the claim myself? or do I still have to go through production?  The PO is in NYC so worst case I can walk into their office and make them file the claim if I run into the smallest issue on my end, but I'd like to not have contact with them if I can help it.  Any tips on insurance claims are very helpful, thank you much.

 

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I‘m not all that familiar with how it works in the States (or where you are based), but over here in the EU I would insist that the production company replace all my gear that got damaged. I do that even for small items. They insisted to keep working so they broke your gear. They also have to pay the deductible if there is any, and they have to go through the hassle of the paperwork. How I do it is I talk it over with the production company, armed with a quote for full repair. Had that with a transmitter recently that got dropped into a toilet. They replaced all internal components. Still cheaper than getting a new one. I also needed pictures of everything. Lectro or Zax or whatever can do that when they‘ve got the tx. 

I then add the repair cost  to my invoice or write a separate invoice with just the repair AND my time getting it organized and p&p etc. Production can then argue with their insurance company, that’s not something I care about. Sometimes I know that they don’t bother and just pay it

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Jesse,  Please share the name of the production company so we can have a heads up. Or, feel free to name the show if you feel comfortable disclosing the info. As a professional community we should stand together. Sorry this has happened to you and I hope you’re able to recover your loss/damage.

 

Good luck!

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I must say once again how impressed I am with the manufacturing quality of our sound equipment.  Despite being sopping wet in 30 minutes of torrential downpours, after putting them on rice for 48 hours I only lost one COS-11.  Everything else works fine.

 

I only had nexcare tape on the TA5 and SMA connectors for sweat protection.  ZMT and SMQVs working perfect, bravo to Zax and Lectro.

 

At this point they'll just hand me $400 cash for a new mic and that's it.  A bit underwhelming, kinda wanted some SMWBs ;)

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When this happened to me (more accidentally) I was on good terms with the prod co.  We settled for sending everything to Lectro (it was all Lectro gear) and they went through everything, and that gear is still working.   That was cheaper than full replacement, so there was no pushback from production.  In the OP's case, since you are not on good terms with production, I'd try to find out what camera and G+E are doing about this incident--they must have had gear get wet too.  Most camera rental contracts are pretty tough about this kind of thing.  Question: how dirty was the water that got onto-into your wireless stuff?  If it really was rainwater (ie the gear was not dropped into a puddle  or etc) then probably you gear can be repaired just fine.   But it's all gotta go to the factory!

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7 minutes ago, dsound said:

Jesse,  Please share the name of the production company so we can have a heads up. Or, feel free to name the show if you feel comfortable disclosing the info. As a professional community we should stand together. Sorry this has happened to you and I hope you’re able to recover your loss/damage.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Added it to OP, critical content/quidnet Media

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2 minutes ago, Jesse Flaitz said:

I must say once again how impressed I am with the manufacturing quality of our sound equipment.  Despite being sopping wet in 30 minutes of torrential downpours, after putting them on rice for 48 hours I only lost one COS-11.  Everything else works fine.

 

I only had nexcare tape on the TA5 and SMA connectors for sweat protection.  ZMT and SMQVs working perfect, bravo to Zax and Lectro.

 

At this point they'll just hand me $400 cash for a new mic and that's it.  A bit underwhelming, kinda wanted some SMWBs ;)

If your gear really got soaked you should really consider having it opened up and looked over by a tech, if not the factory.  We had gear that got wet that we did not do this for and it all eventually failed in some way....long after any claim could be made.  Having that many TX looked over by Lectro (with a few new components probably, and some "why not?" wear and tear fixes) will cost much more than $400.  They owe you this.

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1 minute ago, Philip Perkins said:

When this happened to me (more accidentally) I was on good terms with the prod co.  We settled for sending everything to Lectro (it was all Lectro gear) and they went through everything, and that gear is still working.   That was cheaper than full replacement, so there was no pushback from production.  In the OP's case, since you are not on good terms with production, I'd try to find out what camera and G+E are doing about this incident--they must have had gear get wet too.  Most camera rental contracts are pretty tough about this kind of thing.  Question: how dirty was the water that got onto-into your wireless stuff?  If it really was rainwater (ie the gear was not dropped into a puddle  or etc) then probably you gear can be repaired just fine.   But it's all gotta go to the factory!

 

Thanks Philip, in addition to the COS-11 I'll have them send my transmitters back to be inspected just to be sure.  Shouldn't cost them much.  I will be in contact with camera dpt, they lost a camera and some monitors/teradeks

Just now, Philip Perkins said:

If your gear really got soaked you should really consider having it opened up and looked over by a tech, if not the factory.  We had gear that got wet that we did not do this for and it all eventually failed in some way....long after any claim could be made.  Having that many TX looked over by Lectro (with a few new components probably, and some "why not?" wear and tear fixes) will cost much more than $400.  They owe you this.

 

Copy that, makes a lot of sense.  Thank you.

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That sucks.  More that you had to do a work day in the pouring rain than the transmitters. 

 

Good to dry them out; maybe in a cabinet drawer with a low watt light bulb even.  Remember, it's just ("just") rain water and pretty harmless to Lectrosonics overall.  I think if you dry them out carefully, and put them back into service.  Maybe have them checked at Lectro, or not.

 

Now, I still think you should get the cost of repairs and/or replacement units from the Production.  That's just the way it works when gear gets abused on the job due to Production negligence/stupidity/ignorance.  That's what Production insurance is for.  Did the camera department file a claim (and their gear is much more susceptible to water damage than Lectro xmitters)?

 

Go get 'em.

 

D.

 

Oh, just saw about the cameras and monitors.  Well, we know now that they have a general claim going for certain.  Jump on.

 

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I've been told many times that when a piece of electronics gets soaked during production (particularly in salt water, but generally speaking) it should be replaced by production because its lifespan has been significantly reduced. 

 

Sorry you're in the tangential middle of a crapstorm. Not the optimum place to be for sure. Please let us know how it shakes out for you.

 

Here's how I handled the recent event of boom operator being taken down by an ocean wave. This was a union, narrative project.

 

Everything was photographed then rinsed with production-provided distilled water and placed in rice. I knew none of the items would survive but...due diligence and all...

 

Wrote to the APOC with cc to our Gotham Sound Sales King informing of the incident and asking for a quote for replacement CMIT5U, 7506 and R1a. APOC took care of approvals, issued PO's and arranged with transpo to pick up the pieces.

 

In the interim, I made sure I intersected with UPM with a brief verbal sketch of the event and officially presented her with the dead CMIT5U.

 

This was "on production" in any event but the accident happened because the scene was supposed to be shot in thigh-high water (for which everyone prepared) but kept moving ever-deeper until eventually the wave / human ratio became too steep.

 

nk beach damage_4561 low rez.jpg

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Many long shoots usually accept straightforwardly that gear cover is part of the deal,

some by automatically presenting a copy of their $5m insurance cover or at least by negotiation.

 

Always supply a list of gear supplied cost of replacement and serial number.

 

If no such deal has been discussed then in the case of loss or damage negotiate, do not demand.

A 1 on 1 discussion with a PM is the best way to reach an amicable agreement without making enemies.

 

mike

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Thanks for the advice and experience from everyone.  As it stands they will replace the damaged lav and pay for inspections/repairs at the factory.  If it had been salt water I would have demanded replacement of all equipment full stop.  As it was rain water, and I'd reasonably waterproofed the TX as best I could, I don't think I'll be able to justify the $10,000 to replace everything.  I might be able to if I pushed really hard, but I'm not sure it's worth it in the long run.

 

Probably $2000 total in repairs and replacements and production is paying out of pocket.  I'm sending receipts with ACH info and will be paid via direct deposit.  I offered to pick up the check in person and drop off the damaged COS-11, but I think they'd prefer I not come around their office hah.

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Good. Sending in to the motherships for a real inspection, cleaning and possible repair is the way to go.

 

On a side note; rice is relatively ineffective at absorbing liquid from the air and may not be as much help as people think. In an emergency situation, it’s probably better than nothing, but there are better desiccants, like silica gel...

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Anytime a tx or rx of mine gets wet, ie; dropped in toilet or pool, production is buying me a new one.  I don't want it repaired, I want a new one.  If it still works now, it will fail on another show.  There is no negotiation on this.  That equipment is compromised and will fail.

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8 hours ago, Mirror said:

That equipment is compromised and will fail.

 

well, strictly speaking all equipment will fail at some point, even if you keep it locked up in perfect storage conditions and never use it.

the question is will it do so before it has payed itself off through rental? rather tricky to estimate I guess, but it has most likely lost more value then through normal wear and tear.

 

 

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15 hours ago, chrismedr said:

 

well, strictly speaking all equipment will fail at some point, even if you keep it locked up in perfect storage conditions and never use it.

the question is will it do so before it has payed itself off through rental? rather tricky to estimate I guess, but it has most likely lost more value then through normal wear and tear.

 

 

The real question is, "Did it die because of water damage in the past".  Water damage is not normal wear and tear.

I've even had production buy me a new transmitter because the sets were so hot causing the actress to sweat so profusely that her sweat permeated the control touch pads and corroded the circuit board of the SMA.  Lectrosonics confirmed that was the cause of death and that those blister button control pads are susceptible to sweat. She wore it on her bra strap antenna down which put the SMA control pad next to her skin.

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Sorry to hear all your hassle with production.

 

I recently did a shoot on the north shore here in Hawaii.  I sent 4 surfers out with 4 zaxcom TX with 4 countryman.  The TX were in aquapacs.  I warned production before the surfers went out that we have a high chance that due to impact from a surfer falling etc, that one or 2 may go down.  1 went down when a surfer went airborne and must of landed directly on the side the aquapac was strapped on,  the water busted the seal and filled with water.     

 

This is probably worst case scenario since it's surfing with professional's.  I invoiced and they paid out of pocket for a new LA2 since it was under their deductible amount.   

 

This is the first time I've lost a pack with aquapac on, but I had a feeling that at least a couple might go down under the circumstances.  I made production agree to replacement if that happened before they entered the water.  They gave the go ahead and out they went!   

 

Like previous comments,  water damage will likely reduce the life of the TX,   better to get them replaced. The good thing for you is it was fresh water.  Salt water submersion is worst case.

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