Instruments and other music related gear can be serious investments. They are also in a high risk category for breakage and theft, the risks of breaking or damaging them can be too high for the average musician to bear. That’s why musical instrument insurance is something you might need to consider.
As with any type of insurance: Make sure to read all relevant policy details before purchasing any policy. Make sure you understand all exclusions, excesses, or any action or behavior that might void your policy in the event of a claim.
This article is not intended to be taken as expert insurance advice, but it should offer some helpful tips for musicians or bands looking to insure their equipment.
Types of insurance
There are several different ways you can insure your instruments and all of them have their pros and cons. Most notably, you should check if and to what extent your instruments are protected under your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy. Most of these insurances have insurance for your instruments but only to some degree and are insured for only several major situations – fires and burglaries.
Because of that, you can check with your insurer to see if you can upgrade your policy to include your instruments to their full value or to cover additional insured situations.
With musical instruments insurance, you get almost everywhere the full value of your instrument back in case something happens to it. Damage is normally determined by instrument appraisal at the time of signing the policy and your insurance sum is equal to your instrument value. If the value of your instrument goes above some number (usually 50,000$) you will get specific policies according to your instrument value.
If you make a living out of it, it makes perfect sense to get your instruments insured. But you should know that there are different types of insurance and different types of coverage they provide.
Firstly, most of the insurances will cover you on the road, which is of great help if you’re constantly touring. Secondly, most of the insurances will not cover your computer gear (but there are some that will) and some of the really delicate instruments like string bass or harp (usually insured with much higher cost).
You can check for different insurances if you’re a player, collector, studio and music shop owner, with different policies and different protections you’re being offered. Also, if you have a band or orchestra, group insurance is definitely going to provide you with discounts, so make sure to check that too.
For clarification further down the line, there are three main methods of how insurance companies determine the value of your insurance claim: Actual cash value, Replacement cost value and Agreed value.
Actual cash value is such value when you give your estimate of the market value of your instrument to your insurance company and they accept it if it falls within reasonable market range.
Agreed value is a value agreed without appraisal of your instrument between you and your insurance company and you’re sure to get whole of the agreed sum if anything happens to your instrument. Usually, this is used for less valuable instruments.
The replacement cost value is the type of value determination where you get paid for the actual cost you had for replacing your instrument. If you buy same instrument and the cost has gone up then the value of your old instrument, you will still get the full value you paid for the new, replacing instrument.
With so many options of insurance on the market, we tried to sum it up and make a list of several insurance companies we think will provide you with the best music instruments insurance in the USA.
This is not a definitive list – there are many other providers in the market. Make sure to do your research prior to choosing an insurer.
1. Heritage Insurance Services Inc.
Heritage Insurance Services is a US company that specializes in musical instruments insurance. They offer standard instrument insurance that covers all risks that can happen to your instrument including loss or damages which occurred while traveling, theft, fire and flooding damages, etc. The insurance can be based on three different value methods: Actual cash value, Agreed value or Replacement cost value. The good thing about this company is that it offers insurance for both players and collectors as well as to studio and music shop owners.
2. MusicPro Insurance
MusicPro Insurance is an insurance company created and owned by ASCAP, the music performing rights organization in the USA, and as such it covers all of the risks you can imagine happening to your instrument. Apart from instruments, this insurance covers recording equipment, computer hardware and software, sound and lighting equipment and miscellaneous accessories which are connected to musicians.
They offer two different insurances based on if you’re a classical music player and/or composer (or orchestra) or standard player and equipment musician. Their policies start at 150$ per year and depending on if your instrument was replaced you will get replacement value or actual cash value if the instrument was not replaced.
3. Clarion Associates Inc.
This company is one of the oldest providing musical instruments insurance in the USA. With more than 40 years of experience, this company can provide you with really great insurances, that can be tailored to your needs and are sure to help you get paid if some unplanned damages happen. These policies include All Risk policy, where the name says it all, Worldwide policy, Business interruption endorsement, which is great to help you recover from canceled performances, Newly acquired instrument or borrowed instrument policy and much, much more.
4. Anderson Group Inc.
Andersons Insurance company is probably the most noted and famous on this list. This company will provide you with all of the insurances you may need, from base instrument insurance (starting at $.575/100$ premium rate) to all of the possible insurances. These, of course, include DJ insurances (laptop theft or damage, software insurance), performance interruption policies, rental reimbursement for renting instruments while you get a new one or your old repaired and standard All Risk, Agreed Value worldwide policy, which includes shipping if it is done by the shipping standards.
5. Marsh Advantage Insurance
Marsh Advantage Insurance is an insurance company that provides insurance for musicians, music teachers, DJs, sound engineers and pretty much everyone connected with music. They offer two different insurances. With the Accidental damage& Theft you get insured worldwide for the standard theft and damage set of situations. A general liability policy will provide you with care from risks connected to your occupation – damages you personally suffer from your occupational hazard or from a third party during your work. Also, you can get a quick online policy, so there is no need to fill out paperwork or visit their offices personally.
We hope that this list has helped you with choosing the right musical instruments insurance for yourself, or your band/orchestra. There are many other insurance companies out there on the market, so make sure to do your research before choosing your provider.
Of course, there is number of different insurance policies and risks you can suffer from, so be sure to check with your insurance policy all of that so you can get the best deal for yourself and your instrument. Also, try and get several policy proposals from different companies and try and take the time to compare them and carefully choose which one is the best for you.