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Do I need musical instrument cover?
If you're on this page you probably love making and playing music and see your instrument an investment -- perhaps even a priceless companion! Whether or not you need musical instrument insurance is really dependent on how much you cherish your equipment and instruments. A lot of musicians assume that their standard home insurance policy will cover their prize and joy, but this is often not the case. Many home insurance policies will exclude very valuable items, so if your instrument is worth a lot of money, considering instrument cover is well worth it.
It also depends completely on what you use your instrument for. If it's there for a quick play through occasionally, that's fine, but if you're using a violin or guitar day in day out and touring with a band or orchestra, or playing solo gigs, covering it for repairs or replacement if it is destroyed or stolen is well worth the small fee.
Thieves are more and more often targeting gigs and concerts as a place to make a quick buck. Most instruments can be easily stolen and then sold either to pawn shops on auction sites such as eBay -- it's very hard to get an instrument back once it's been passed to a new owner.
Is there specific musical instrument policy features to look for?
Most musical instrument brokers can cover all kinds of instruments, be it orchestral woodwinds, reeds and brass pieces or standard pop and indie-rock gear such as electrical guitars, amps and drum kits. Some brokers will also have specific policy additions for digital equipment used in music production, such as synthesizers, drum machines and computers.
Replacement and repairs
Most people, whether they play at home or publicly, will be looking cover their instrument for replacements and repairs.
If an instrument is damaged, generally -- providing it is not a "write off" -- musicians will want to repair it as it's easy to become attached to your guitar... even if there are other similar models out there. Repairs can be expensive and one of the perks of musicians cover is your policy will most often pay for these repairs. Repair work can also take time, so some brokers will offer to pay the cost of renting a replacement whilst the work is being carried out.
Sadly, if an instrument is destroyed completely or if it is stolen and untraceable, it may need to be replaced. If this is the case then the broker will need to know the precise model and year of manufacture of your instrument so that it can be replace accurately. If the model is no longer available then a replacement model may have to be found. If you're using a very rare or antique piece of equipment, many brokers will offer financial protection to ensure that you will receive a lump sum of similar value to the instrument that was lost. Whilst this may not replace your beloved Stradivari/Amati/Stainer, it will help you to find another suitable instrument and pay for the loss of an antique.
If you are insuring a very new musical instrument, it is worth asking your broker about new for old cover. Whilst this is only available for a short period of time (perhaps a year or two) it could be money well spent if you experience a total loss and your broker's payout takes depreciation into account. It's worth noting that some brokers will expect you to pay a small excess when making a claim.
Room only cover
Of course not all equipment will be played in public and many instruments may be kept in a bedroom or recording studio for their entire working-life. If you're favourite Fender Telecaster never leave the studio, let your broker know. Room only cover can save you money as the instrument faces a much lower risk of theft and damage.
Anything that the gigging musician should look out for?
If you're playing gigs with your band or concerts with an orchestra there may be a few other additions to your music insurance policy to consider.
When there's a lot of equipment around accidents can happen. Space is tight on stage and you could easily knock a mic stand into the crowd or knock a monitor of stage. With this in mind PL cover could be a good idea. Public liability can protect you from financail loss if your actions on stage lead to somebody getting injured or any property getting damaged.
If you're leaving musical instruments in the back of vans and cars it's always worth making sure they're covered during transit, as well as when the vehicle is left stationary. Many standard car insurance policies won't include this kind of insurance. Brokers will also want to know if you'd like this cover exclusively with the UK or across Europe and further afield.
The above information should cover most things a musician will want to know about musical instrument insurance. However, it is worth talking to your insurance broker in detail to make sure you find the right amount of protection.