Importance of Musical Instrument Insurance For Musicians

Most musicians finally find their tone when upgrading to some of the best gear available to them.

Some of this equipment only becomes available with time and saving money. This can take a long time and musical instrument insurance is the last thing on your mind.

But once the gear belongs to you, and your rig is complete, minus a few more guitars of course, a hefty investment was surely made to get it all!

But what most musicians don’t consider is the significant loss should something happen to that equipment.

Insurance for Musicians

This gear took time and money to acquire and would not be replaceable very easily if the proper arrangements are not made. Can you imagine if one day it went missing or was destroyed?

This would be a life altering experience that no musician should ever need to worry about dealing with! Luckily, there are companies who provide insurance for very reasonable prices. Let’s take a look into this.

Insurance For Musicians

Companies and brokers provide musical instrument insurance for musicians and have very reasonable annual rates. These rates are usually based off of a percentage of what the equipment is worth.

Their musical instrument insurance policies can provide coverage for your specific equipment and situation, which normally includes general losses like fire and theft. Depending on the coverage you select, it can also include vandalism and water damage, among other types of loss.

We live in a world where anything could happen at any time. Many musicians have lost some substantial equipment and were not covered. This was a total loss that would take an incredible time and more money to replace.

In some cases this is the livelihood of a player and can change life in a large way!

Then there is liability concerns. Should you play a gig and damage the venue, chances are they will hold you accountable and seek retribution!

What about your hands? If you earn a living with your hands playing guitar, are you insured if you hurt yourself? There are many types of insurance options that a musician should consider!

Liability Insurance For Musicians

While we all love to play public gigs and build fans in local venues, sometimes the worst can happen, even by accident. If a venue or bar should claim damages to their establishment as a result of your band’s load in, you could be held liable for the costs.

Depending on the claim, this could potentially become a nightmare for you or your group. Most musicians do not consider this sort of thing, but the truth is, it could happen.

If you are a touring band, this can be even more important. Some venues will not allow a band to perform if they do not have some form of public liability insurance. And while this is normally negotiated when the gig is booked, you don’t want to be caught off guard.

Having some form of public liability insurance not only protects you and your group from costly legal fees, it also opens up more opportunities.

Band Insurance

Not only does band liability insurance cover you for any damage, performance or patron injury claims, it also sets a professional signal about your group. If you take your music business serious, insurance is just part of the gig.

Club or venue owners are willing to take you more seriously if you carry insurance, as it protects them as well.

In some cases, they will not book groups that do not carry insurance, which can make it difficult to play large gigs that might bolster your career.

Insurance for Musicians Hands

If you are a musician who earns a living from your art, then you may have considered how detrimental an injury to your hands might be. If you have not, then perhaps it’s time to think about it. There are some agencies who offer protection should the worst happen to a musician.

Full-body insurance plans are also something that could benefit a musician, just in case sickness or any other condition may arise. It’s a great idea to consider income protection, especially if you have loved ones who depend on you.

This way, not only are your hands insured, but the rest of you as well. And the cost of insurance is relatively the same for both policies.

Renters Insurance for Musicians

If you are renting and have a fair amount of musical instruments, you will want to make sure you are insured. There are some renters policies that will cover instruments like:

  • Guitars
  • Amplifiers
  • Guitar pedals and accessories
  • Sheet music and books
  • Stringed Instruments
  • Pianos
  • Violins
  • Flutes

And much more depending on what it is you play. You will also want to make sure that if you have some high ticket items that they are covered. Some policies have maximums that may not include vintage r collectible instruments fully.

In this case, additional stand-alone policies for musicians are a great way to make sure you are covered. And if you play shows or gigs, you must make sure that the instruments are covered if they are taken from your place of residence. Not all policies will cover this if they leave your rented space.

Does Home Insurance Cover Instruments?

There are many musicians who assume that their homeowner’s insurance will cover their instruments.

And in some cases, this will be enough to cover some or all losses. But depending on how you use your equipment, this can put you in a gray area when it comes to insurance.

If you are gigging with the equipment or making an income with it, this could put you outside the homeowner’s insurance policies. There are also some situations and types of loss that might not cover your instruments.

Some policies may not cover you for an earthquake or a flood. It’s best to look into yours and talk with your broker to make sure you know what they cover.

This way you will know what you DO need in case of a loss. You do not want to wait until the damage is done, and it’s too late.

But Isn’t Insurance Expensive?

Another assumption is that musical instrument insurance is going to cost thousands of dollars. And you are right, it just might if you own over $100,000 worth of equipment. And in this case, you darn well better have insurance!

But in most cases, a musician will own 15 to 20 thousand dollars worth of gear and only need to spend 3 to 5 hundred annually. All depending on your needs, of course.

What Is Your Gear and Equipment Worth?

One of the first things you need to do before looking into policies is to get a total value for your equipment. Most of the policies you will look into will be based off of the value of your gear.

So to have this information will be a crucial part of getting an accurate policy. Normally, the cost of insurance will be a percentage of the total of each piece of equipment.

So try and make sure it’s as accurate as possible for the best plan to cover the equipment! You may even want to contact the manufacturer of your equipment and get a replacement value.

This will be the best means of making sure you get back the exact instrument. Another great way would be to find an online dealer and get a good idea of the current value, just make sure it’s not on sale.

If your instruments are vintage and cannot be replaced, it’s best to have it appraised.

Musical Instrument insurance

Collect Serial Numbers

 Another thing you will need to provide will be serial numbers. Every piece of gear will more than likely have one and should be recorded.

Your insurance company will want to keep these recorded and included in the policy.  Even if you don’t plan on getting insurance, you should have the serial numbers recorded anyway.

This can help you if something does go missing. You will be able to provide serial numbers to pawn shops or online communities in your area to help find missing gear. 

Another thing that you should do is take pictures of your equipment. Take pictures of flaws or anything that can prove a piece of gear is yours and build a picture library.

Keep it on a hard drive with your serial numbers to protect yourself should something happen, with or without insurance!

Consider Your Insurance Needs First

Before going to see an insurance broker about an estimate, you will want to make sure you know what you need.

While I mentioned a few basic methods for loss, like theft and fire, there are some things that need to be considered. If you are a touring musician or gig regularly and something gets stolen, you might not be covered.

Some policies will require that the equipment never be left unattended. So in the case of leaving your instruments for a while at a gig, and they go missing, you may not be covered.

This is where you really need to consider whether saving a couple of bucks on insurance is worth the risk.

There are a lot of insurance policies that are built around your needs and wants.

So if you sit down with a broker, just make sure you really give it some thought beforehand and know what you need.

Theft doesn’t happen in front of you and catches you off guard when it does. So make sure it doesn’t leave you with regrets about what you should have in your policy.

Insurance Contract

Speak With An Insurance Broker

Once you have considered your needs and gathered data on your equipment, it’s time to get an estimate.

There are many ways to go about this, and shopping around is suggested. Look online for companies that have great track records and pricing for some policies.

There are also insurance companies and brokers in your city that would probably provide you with some amazing policies or information at the very least.

If you are in a band, you may want to look into insurance across the board, which might make it more affordable.

A touring act will want to look into potential blanket policies that cover the group.

If you are part of an organization that protects the rights of musicians, you may also want to see if they can suggest insurance.

In some cases, organizations will be partnered with insurance companies and are offered deals for their members.

So if your career has you in this type of position, insurance is a no-brainer.

In fact, if you are a member of an organization for musicians, you will want more than equipment insurance. Liability, personal and medical, will all be something to consider.

But your organization will more than likely suggest this to you and know how to go about it.

Conclusion

We insure many things that we own, while normally leaving out our musical instruments. These pieces of equipment in some cases are closer to us than family.

And with musical instrument insurance being so incredibly affordable, there is no reason to leave it to chance. Depending on your situation as a musician, you might want to consider taking care of the equipment that makes it all possible.

If it all disappeared tomorrow, what would it mean to you? How would it affect your life and your wallet? I have seen many musicians lose their equipment without being able to get it back, and it’s heartbreaking.

If this is your passion, then I recommend you consider insurance for your instruments. Even if your instrument is only worth 1000 dollars. It may be the best money you have ever spent!

FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about musical instrument insurance.

Can I insure my musical instrument?

Yes you can! Most instruments can be covered under home or rental insurance. If they do not, stand-alone insurance is also another option. It is best to speak to your insurance broker to make sure your particular plan currently includes them. If not, ask to have them added, as the costs will be negligible.

How much should I insure my instrument for?

At the very least, you will want to make sure your instruments are insured for their retail value. This means that should you lose or have something go missing, it can be easily replaced with a new one.

If you have some instruments that are high ticket, vintage or collectible, then you will want to have them appraised and insured for the estimated value.

Can you insure your guitar?

Yes, you can and should! If you have a guitar that is quite high in value, contact your home or rental insurance provider and make sure it’s covered. Some policies have limitations that might not cover the guitar completely if it’s higher in value.

Normally, guitars will be covered in your current policies, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure!

Photo of author

Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear.I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!