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 most musicians don’t consider the significant loss if something were to happen.
This gear took time and money to get! It 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 have to worry about! Luckily, there are companies who provide insurance for very reasonable prices. Let’s take a look into this.
Musical Instrument Insurance For Musicians
Companies and brokers provide musical instrument insurance for musicians. Most have very reasonable annual rates. These premiums are usually based on a percentage of what the equipment is worth.
These instrument insurance policies can provide coverage for your specific equipment and situation. Some include general losses like fire and theft. Depending on the coverage you select, it can also include vandalism, water damage, and more.
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 are liability concerns. Should you play a gig and damage the venue, 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!
We all enjoy performing in public and gaining fans at local venues. But sometimes the worst can happen. Even by accident! You can be responsible for the fees if a bar or venue alleges damage to their business.
Depending on the claim, this could potentially become a nightmare for you or your group. Although most musicians don’t think about this kind of stuff, it is indeed possible.
This may be even more crucial if your band is on the road. If a band does not have some kind of public liability insurance, several venues will not let them perform. And while this is normally negotiated when the gig is booked, you don’t want to be caught off guard.
Having a form of public liability insurance protects you from costly legal fees. But it also opens up more opportunities.
Band liability insurance covers you for any damage, performance, or patron injury claims. It also sets a professional signal about your group. If you take your music business seriously, insurance is just part of the gig.
Club or venue owners are also willing to take you more seriously if you carry insurance. This is because it protects them as well. In some cases, they will not book groups that do not carry insurance. This can make it difficult to play large gigs that might bolster your career.
Insurance for Musician’s Hands
A musician, who earns a living from music, would suffer huge losses from an accident to their hands. If you have not considered this, then perhaps it’s time to think about it. There are some agencies that 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 conditions 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 are as well. And the cost of insurance is relatively the same for both policies.
Renters Insurance for Musicians
If you are renting, you will want to make sure you are insured. There are some renters policies that will cover instruments like:
- Guitar pedals and accessories
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, they are covered. Some policies have maximums that may not include vintage or collectible instruments fully.
Renters insurance is very important, especially if you leave your equipment at a jam space. Most bands will rent a space to play in and leave their gear. Sometimes they are shared with others. In this case, insurance is a must!
Insurance Premiums for Musical Instruments
The premium is a critical aspect to take into account when insuring your musical instruments. This is the yearly cost of maintaining your insurance coverage. The type of instrument, its value, and the level of coverage you require are some of the various factors that may impact premiums.
Some common base premiums come at the cost of around .50 – $.65 for every one hundred dollars of insurance. Base premiums also have limits of around $25,000 USD. This means that you can’t use a base premium for anything higher than this amount. There is also normally a policy fee built into the price.
The terms and conditions of your musical instrument insurance policy should be carefully read. It’s important to understand what is covered, and what is not. Some policies could include extra options for coverage, including theft or accidental damage protection. But this comes at a higher cost.
A deductible is the amount of money that you are required to pay when you make a claim. This means that you are responsible for paying a certain amount before your policy covers the cost. Deductibles are typically expressed as a flat dollar amount.
They can vary depending on the type of coverage you have and the policy you have chosen. Insurance with a higher deductible, for instance, can have lower premiums. But you might have to pay more out of pocket if you need to file a claim. Some pretty standard deductibles for decent premiums are in the range of 100 – $150 USD.
The Value of Your 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 on the value of your gear. So having 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.
Therefore, make an effort to be as accurate as you can to assure the ideal strategy to cover the equipment! You might even want to seek a replacement estimate from the equipment manufacturer. This will be the best means of making sure you get back the exact instrument.
Finding a dealer and obtaining the current value would be another fantastic consideration. Just make sure the item is not currently on sale. It is best to get your instruments appraised if they are vintage and cannot be replaced.
In some cases, this will be required by the insurance company is the instrument is valued above $15,000 USD.
Record Your 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. This can help to 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. This is a benefit with or without insurance!
Consider Your Insurance Needs
Before going to see an insurance broker about an estimate, you will want to make sure you know what you need.
I mentioned a few basic methods for loss, like theft and fire, but there are other 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 get them back. This is where you 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.
Does Home Insurance Cover Instruments?
There are many musicians who assume that their homeowner’s insurance will cover 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.
Are you gigging with the equipment? 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.
Speak With An Insurance Agent
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.
There are insurance companies in your city that would provide you with amazing policies. 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. They will get 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.
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 instrument insurance being so affordable, there is no reason to leave it to chance. 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. It’s heartbreaking to say the least.
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!
Here are some commonly asked questions about musical instrument insurance.
Can I insure my musical instruments?
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’s best to speak to your insurance broker to make sure your plan currently includes them. If not, ask to have them added, as the costs will be negligible.
How much should I insure my instruments 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.
Do you have instruments that are expensive or collectible? Then you will want to have them appraised and insured for the estimated value. But if your instrument is worth $10,000, then insure it for that. You will find that you only have to pay a premium of $175.00 annually to cover it.
Isn’t Insurance Expensive?
Another assumption is that musical instrument insurance is going to be expensive. 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!
In most cases, a musician will own 15 to 20 thousand dollars worth of gear. But only need to spend 3 to 5 hundred annually. It all depends on your needs, of course.