What You Need to Know about Musical Instrument Insurance
Musical instruments, especially if they are finely crafted, can be very expensive. And just like everything else, they can get damaged, lost or stolen, and replacing or repairing them can cost you a pretty penny.
Therefore, if you play, own, sell, build, repair or even collect musical instruments, then getting musical instrument insurance is very important. Here is what you need to know about musical instrument insurance.
Musical Instrument Insurance offers you cover in case your musical instrument (or instruments) gets damaged, lost or stolen. When you have this kind of insurance, the cost of replacing or repairing that instrument is taken care of by the insurer.
Not everyone who owns a musical instrument needs to get insurance. But if you are a professional musician or music is your business, then this coverage is a must. The repairs, renting of a temporary instrument, or even buying a new one can be covered by your musical instrument insurance policy. Such policies become even more important if you travel with your musical instrument since the possibility of your instrument getting damaged, lost or stolen is higher.
Another set of people who should get such insurance are collectors or those who own rare or expensive musical instruments. Such instruments can sometimes be irreplaceable, but your insurance policy will cover the cost of repairs as well as the depreciation in the musical instrument’s value due to the damage it has suffered.
Those who make, repair or buy musical instruments should get commercial musical instrument insurance to protect their products from theft or damage. Those who organize festivals, concerts and other music events should also be getting music festival insurance coverage.
The type of musical instrument insurance you choose will depend on what your needs are. Here are the different types of insurance available in the market today:
Did you know that you can get musical instrument coverage as a part of your homeowners or renters insurance package?
Not all homeowners/renters insurance policies will cover musical instruments, so if you are looking for a package deal, then it is best to ask if the policy will also cover your musical instruments.
The downside to getting this type of insurance is that the coverage offered will be lower than the actual value of your musical instrument. Furthermore, most homeowners/renters policies will only cover named perils damage (fires and thefts) but not damage caused by floods.
You can, of course ask for a rider or endorsement, which is basically an add-on, which will give added coverage for specific valuables – like your musical instrument. You need to pay extra for this endorsement, but you will also usually get all-risk coverage.
A homeowners/renters policy may not offer coverage for instruments that are used professionally.
If your musical instrument or instruments are very expensive, rare or used professionally, then it is best to get customized coverage. There are insurance companies that specialize in covering musical instruments, and they understand the value of these tools and insure them accordingly. They can customize your policy based on the value of your musical instrument.
They also offer insurance coverage for the accessories that go along with the instrument. This covers all the equipment and gear that you would need to create your music.
Such insurers can provide musician insurance too. You as a musician will be covered for public liability, whether you need band public liability insurance for 1 day or 1 year. There are so many people who sue for the most frivolous reasons that even musicians are no longer safe from lawsuits. Therefore, if you are a professional musician, then getting this kind of coverage will protect you from the cost of expensive lawsuits.
And finally, this type of insurance can also give you coverage when traveling with your musical instrument. Insurers know that musicians, like other artists, need to travel not just domestically but even internationally. During these times, the probability of your valuable violin or classic trumpet getting damaged, lost or stolen goes up.
As a professional musician, you will also need to play at concert or even arrange your own concerts – or you could be a concert organizer. You will need to find the perfect location, find event coordinators, sell tickets, and so on. It’s a complex business, made even more difficult by the risk factors involved – large crowds, expensive equipment, food services and alcohol.
Because of the kind of risk involved in holding concerts, you may also consider getting concert insurance or festival insurance. Music event insurance (also referred to as concert event insurance) protects you in case something unexpected takes place during the event.
This type of coverage can give you public liability insurance for music events, which is also known as music liability insurance, concert ticket insurance for people that attend your events, concert promoter insurance, music equipment insurance, vendor insurance for festivals including food vendor insurance for festivals and concerts.
The average concert insurance cost is $0.25 per person, depending on the concert type.
There are also times that concerts or festivals may get cancelled for reasons that are out of your control. So, it would be a good idea to also ask if your insurer can provide concert ticket insurance, concert cancellation insurance or festival cancellation insurance for you and for the people that plan to attend your event.
When you get insurance for fairs and festivals, you know that you will be able to rest easy and concentrate on what everyone came to see - your music!
The type of insurance that will suit your needs best will depend on whether you are a collector, a music shop owner, an instrument maker, a professional musician or just a hobbyist.
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Generally speaking, music insurance companies divide musical instruments into specific categories and the policies are structured around those categories. Here is the list of categories:
Classical Strings: Coverage for all string instruments such as violins, violas, cellos, and so on.
Acoustic Strings: Coverage for mandolins, guitars, banjos and other acoustic string instrument.
Electric Strings: Coverage for all electric string instruments.
Percussion: Percussion instruments are divided into two categories:
Acoustic or Electric
Studio: All equipment that is used for recording and is fixed in a studio falls into this category.
Travel: All recording equipment that you take with you to a location where you perform comes under this category.
Reeds: Bassoons, clarinets, oboes are a part of this category.
Woodwind: Woodwind instruments are also divided into two categories:
Flutes and piccolos are a part of this category.
Saxophones are the second category of woodwind instruments.
Brass: There are two categories of brass instruments:
French horn, trombone and trumpet
Acoustic Stringed Keyboard: Pianos, clavichord, harpsichord and other stringed, keyboard instruments are a part of this category.
Harps and Other Stringed Instruments like it.
Electric: Accordions, synthesizers, keyboards, etc.
Electronic Gear: All the electronic gear you need for your music such as amps, mixers, midis and so on are a part of this category.
Most musical instrument insurers offer coverage for the following types of issues:
Damage caused by humidity and changes in temperature
Damage caused by floods or water
Tornados, Windstorms or hailstorms
Damage caused during shipping
Damage due to a collision
Baggage check during air cargo transportation
Consignment and Entrustment
Poor workmanship during repair
Breakage and repair
Repair or breakage which includes compensation for the resulting loss of value of the instrument
This is not an exhaustive list, so it is best to check with your insurer the kind of cover it provides as part of the insurance policy.
Here is a list of things not covered by your musical instrument insurance policy. While this list is not exhaustive, it will give you a good idea of what you should not expect:
The government seizing or confiscating your musical instrument(s)
Loss due to war or insurrection
Damage due to dry or wet rot, or from mold or rusting
Deterioration of the instrument due to time and wear and tear
Damage caused by insects, vermin, etc.
Illegally trading in or transporting musical instruments
If there is an inherent defect in the instrument
There are many factors that influence the cost of insurance for your musical instrument. While each insurer will have their own criteria, here are the most common factors that they keep in mind when calculating the cost of insurance:
The Instrument Itself
The most important factor that influences the cost of your insurance is the instrument itself. Musical instrument come in a range of values, so the cost of insuring one instrument may be dramatically different from the cost of insuring another.
For example, it may cost only per year $300 to $500 to insure your guitar, but it may cost more than $3,000 to have your piano insured!
Usage and Condition of the Instrument
Another factor that insurers take into consideration when calculating the cost of insurance is how frequently the instrument is used and what its condition is at the time of getting it insured.
An instrument that is not in very good condition to begin with will have a lower value than a brand new one. And a more frequently used instrument will be more expensive to cover than a seldom used one.
Gear You Need Covered
The cost of insurance will also depend on the amount and kind of gear (accessories) you need covered. The more the gear is, the higher will be the cost of music gear insurance.
Is It Used Professionally or as a Hobby?
A professionally used instrument is more expensive to insure than one which is used as a hobby. Of course, professional musical instruments are also usually more expensive than those that are used by hobbyists.
As mentioned earlier, this is just a short list of factors that are taken into consideration when your insurance cost is being calculated. To find out the exact details, it is best to have a detailed discussion with your insurer.
Points to Keep in Mind When Choosing Musical Instrument Insurance
When you are deciding on which musical instrument insurance to buy, here are a few factors that can help you with your decision making:
If you travel to other locations for performances, then you need to make sure that your insurance policy covers damage, loss or theft during these times. There are many insurance policies that will not offer coverage for musical instruments if you travel since the chances of them getting damaged, lost or stolen are higher.
The Value of the Instrument
This is a tricky subject. Regular insurance policies such as homeowners or renters insurance will have a cap on how much they will pay out for such valuables.
Specialized policies will use different methods to value your musical instrument. The calculation will depend on how you wish to have the value of your musical instrument calculated:
Do you wish to be paid based on the value of the instrument at the time of loss?
Do you wish to agree upon a value upfront when you sign your contract?
Do you wish to be paid your claim based on the value of the instrument at the time that you sign your contract?
If the cost of the policy is more than the actual value of the instrument, then getting a specialized policy may not be the way to go. Instead, it would be a better idea to go for an add-on in your homeowners/renters policy.
Choosing the Right Insurer
Just because an insurance company offers musical instrument insurance doesn’t mean that you pick their policy. While such policies may work for regular musical instruments, it may not be a good idea to settle for such coverage if you own a rare or expensive instrument.
If you do have a very valuable musical instrument, it is best to find a specialist. There are insurers that specialize in musical instrument insurance and therefore will be able to evaluate your property much more accurately than regular insurers.
If you use your laptop or computer to create music, then it would be a good idea to check with your insurer whether this piece of equipment can be insured. Most insurers will not insure computers as part of their musical insurance package. You may have to ask for an add-on to cover your state-of-the-art laptop and music software.
It is never a good idea to settle for the first musical insurance policy you come across. It is best to get quotes from multiple insurers so that you can compare the costs, the benefits being offered and the amount of coverage you will get.
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Just like any other insurance product, there are advantages and disadvantages to buying musical instrument insurance. Here is the list of pros and cons of getting your instruments insured:
The biggest advantage to getting your musical instruments insured is peace of mind. Even if you never have to file a claim, at least you know that your instrument is protected – and so is your wallet!
Another advantage to getting your instrument insured is that you can customize your policy to suit your needs. Companies that specialize in insuring musical instruments will be able to give you coverage that covers the entire value of your instruments – and the accessories.
If your musical instrument isn’t too expensive or you don’t use it very often, then getting insurance is not worth it. Furthermore, you will be expected to pay a deductible in case you do file a claim. Many times, that deductible is more than the actual cost of the instrument.
Insurance companies also will not approve claims for instruments that have been damaged from neglect, daily wear and tear and poor storage.
Created by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 2000 in partnership with SterlingRisk to provide cheap and friendly insurance for all music professionals, including musical instrument insurance for students, music teachers, recording studios, sound engineers, temporary musical instrument insurance and even hobbyists and collectors.
ASCAP Music Pro Insurance is the music industry’s main choice, and has around 7,000 customers, from music students to very popular musicians and bands that have over $2.5 million music gear value.
ASCAP MusicPro insurance coverage cost starts at $150 per year and it covers your instruments around the world.
ASCAP Music Pro Insurance has a very user friendly, fast and easy sign up process which is can be done fully online, from quote to payment. Once your application was submitted and paid for, it is normally approved and processed on the very same day.
Our rating: 10/10
To get started please visit: https://www.musicproinsurance.com/
Clarion music insurance is an insurance brokerage that assigns music insurance with an insurance company as per your needs.
Clarion is very user friendly for musicians and have industry expertise to answer musicians requirements in the best way.
Application and on boarding is as fast as one day.
Its average cost is $200 per year for a $35,000 coverage (including accessories) with no deductible, and as long as each musical instrument of yours does not cost over $5,000 they don’t require much paperwork and documentation.
Great coverage and value for money overall.
Our rating: 9/10.
Deciding on the right kind of musical instrument insurance can be a difficult task. If you do decide to go ahead and spend that extra money on insuring your instrument, take the time to read the fine print. Remember, the policy comes with terms and conditions, and if you break any one of them, you may not get your claim approved. Also take the time to get your musical instrument or instruments properly valued – this will make a huge difference in case you need that insurance at any time.
And finally, just because you now have insurance doesn’t mean you get careless! Remember, the insurance company will not pay for a damaged instrument if they deem that that damage was caused because of your carelessness.
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