Most musicians finally find their tone when upgrading to some of the best gear available to them along their journey.
Some of this equipment only becomes available with time and saving many pennies. This can take a long time and musical instrument insurance is the last thing on your mind.
But once the gear is yours 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.
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
Insurance 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 cover you for 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!
Home Insurance Coverage
There are many musicians who assume that their homeowners or rental insurance will cover their musical 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 grey 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 home owners 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 is best to look into your policies 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 Insurance Is Expensive
Another assumption is that musical instrument insurance is going to cost thousands of dollars.
And your 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 dollars annually.
All depending on your needs of course.
Value Of Instruments And Equipment
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 its 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 its not on sale.
If your instruments are vintage and cannot be replaced, its best to have it appraised.
Instrument 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 of your gear.
Keep it on a hard drive with your serial numbers to protect yourself should something happen with or without insurance!
Consider Musical Instrument 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.
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 great pricing for some great policies.
There are also insurance companies and brokers in your city that would probably provide you with some great policies or information at the very least.
If your in a band, you may want to look into band 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 insurance, personal insurance and medical insurance will all be something to consider.
But your organization will more than likely suggest this to you and know how to go about it.
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!