One minute you're in the middle of photographing one of the most beautiful landscapes you've ever seen. The next minute your camera is on the ground, broken.
A gust of wind lifted your tripod off its feet and sent the camera to its death. You don't have a second body (because let's face it, gear is expensive) and you have no money to buy another right away. The closest thing you've ever had to a child just died, and now you're screwed. What do you do besides immediately break down into a swimming pool filled with your own tears?
You should have insured your gear.
Unfortunately, this story isn't fiction. Just two years ago this happened to me. I was photographing winter's transition to spring from New York's eleventh tallest mountain. The air was relatively calm, and it was even slightly warm for a mid-march Adirondack day. I had just set up my tripod and was about to capture a new composition when a group of hikers reached the summit after completing one of the gnarlier routes up Mt. Colden. They were stoked and I was stoked for them.
"Hey, would you mind taking our picture with my phone?" one of the men asked nicely while staring wide-eyed at my "big fancy camera."
"Yea, you look like you know what you're doing!" another exclaimed.
Hah, I thought I did!
I had turned my back on my tripod for just one second in order to take a picture of the hiking group with different scenery behind them. As soon as I started walking toward them to give the phone back, their eyes darted beyond me and looked startled.
"OHHHHH NOOOO!" was all they yelled.
I didn't know what was happening until hearing a small crash as I turned around to see my camera smash into the rocky summit while the lens flew off in the other direction.
I hiked the entire eight miles back to my car while recounting every second leading up to the moment of my camera's death. Normally I would've weighted the tripod or set it down on a flat surface before walking away. I honestly would've done literally anything to reverse what ended up being reality.
I even shed a tear or two. I was a nearly-broke college student. I just spent almost all of my savings on the gear (probably not the smartest decision but... priorities) and had no money to buy a new camera.
And then I remembered my gear was insured! The day was saved! My insurance company reimbursed me for the broken camera and lens, and a new baby was purchased (Because kids, that's how babies are made).
I learned from my mistake and can now confidently say I never have or never will again turn my back on my mounted tripod.
Moral of the story: It's not fun watching your camera - possibly your most prized-possession and money-maker - shatter and become inoperable. Insure your gear.