Insuring a musical instrument is important because it can frequently be one of the most valuable possessions someone owns. Homeowners and renters insurance both cover a policyholder’s personal property – including musical instruments – but coverage is often limited. While you can increase the coverage somewhat, musicians, collectors, and even some hobbyists should consider whether they need to purchase a policy.
If you’re not sure you really need to insure that musical instrument that cost you thousands of dollars – whether it is a cello or a baby grand piano – consider just a few of the ways people experience loss or damaged to their instruments each year:
- Overexposure to humidity
- Water damage during storage or from burst pipes and flooding
- Being dropped – for example, by a baggage handler at the airport
- Damaged or lost during transportation
- Lost or stolen while you’re traveling or on vacation
- Destroyed in a house fire or other disaster
Musical Instrument Insurance Coverage
Musical instrument insurance doesn’t just cover the replacement cost of items damaged or lost, it can be customized like most other insurance policies. Policyholders can typically choose the amount of coverage they need, their deductible and the policies are relatively comprehensive. Insurance for a musical instrument covers the instrument itself, chords and other equipment that accompany it and even sheet music.
General Categories of Musical Instruments Insured
|Classical strings (violin, viola, cello or similar)||Percussion (orchestral, timpani, bells, marimba or similar)|
|Acoustic strings (guitar, banjo, mandolin)||Percussion (acoustic or electric)|
|Electric strings (guitar, electric bass)||Recording equipment (remains at studio)|
|Reeds (clarinet, oboe, bassoon or similar)||Recording equipment (travels with instruments)|
|Woodwinds (flute, piccolo)||Electronic Instruments (synthesizer, keyboard, accordion)|
|Woodwinds (saxophone)||Electronic gear (amps, midi, mixing equipment or similar)|
|Brass (french horn, trumpet, trombone)||Harp or similar|
|Brass (tuba)||Double Bass, Upright Bass, non-electric bass|
|Piano, harpsichord, clavichord or similar (non-electric)|
Musical Instrument Insurance Coverage Benefits and Features
Unlike a blanket homeowner’s policy, purchasing violin insurance from a dealer who specializes in it allows you to take advantage of safeguards that are relative to performing music. Most every plan will include repair and replacement coverage that includes:
- String instruments that are accidentally broken
- Flood and earthquake damages
- Professional usage risks—accidents that occur during transit or at performances
- Guaranteed replacements costs—the value at which you insure your violin is the value you collect if you have a claim
- Replacement instrument costs—so that you don’t have to miss that important audition from a lack of instrument, and so that you can still fulfill your various playing obligations
- The ability to cover all of your accessories—you can include your bow, music stands, and other equipment, even your sheet music in the coverage amount
With many plans, you can also choose the right to repurchase your violin (such as if the instrument is stolen or lost), and the right to retain any salvageable parts. Many people form a strong connection with their violin and for sentimental reasons would want to retain any undamaged parts. With an instrument insurance program, you’ll probably have that option.
Moreover, most policies offer very affordable rates. They are typically priced anywhere between $0.75-$2.00 per $100 in coverage, and minimum coverage amounts usually start at $500.
Where to Get The Insurance
Fortunately, there are many companies who would offer musical instrument insurance. These companies specialize in instrument coverage for students, student musicians over 18, and professionals, as well as offering special policies for dealers and luthiers. They know instruments and can therefore offer better service. These companies all offer competitive rates and have a list of respected endorsements:
- Clarion Insurance. Based in New York, this company provides a variety of program and services.
- Heritage Insurance Services, INC. This Pennsylvania company also delivers a number of policy options.
- Anderson Group: Musical Instruments Insurance Solutions, LLC. Is an international company that has low rates.
- Music Pro Insurance. This company offers tons of resources and ideas for keeping your instrument safe.
You can also use a third party recommendation to search around between companies to find the best coverage for the value. Sites like Trusted Choice will walk you through an entire Q&A to discover the best policy for your individual needs.
Your violin is an investment, one that you take care for constantly; therefore, it’s important to keep it as safe as possible. And although there’s no way to prevent an accident (that’s why they’re accidents), you can ensure that the repair and replacements costs for your valuable instrument won’t come out of your pocket by purchasing the right violin insurance for your needs.