You’ve heard the saying before, “My instrument is my baby.” It’s common to feel a connection to an instrument, and with good reason. Musical instruments are expensive and both professional and amateur musicians spend a lot of time practicing and playing.
That level of care and dedication required to master an instrument and become a musician is just as important when protecting your instrument. With these helpful hints for buying the best musical instrument insurance, you’ll have all the tools necessary to find the perfect insurance to cover your instrument.
#1. Check Existing Policies
Before we get started in this process, the first step is to check if your instruments are already covered. It’s not uncommon for homeowners’ or renter’s insurance to cover some musical instruments in their general policies. Before looking for additional coverage it’s a good idea to read the fine print to see what you’re already covered for if you have either of these policies. There’s no reason to double up.
These may or may not be enough for you depending upon the musician’s level. Typically, homeowners’ and renters’ insurance have quite a few restrictions, so a professional or aspiring musician will need something a little more specific.
#2. Location: Where do you live and play?
Where you live and where you plan on playing your musical instrument are other important considerations to think about before deciding on a plan. If you’re busking, playing gigs, or just backpacking the world with a guitar, your actual location plays a major factor in your instrument insurance.
If you plan on moving, your insurance policy needs to reflect this. Insurance providers deal with damage and loss at home and damage and loss while traveling completely different, and you should be aware of the procedure.
#3. Type of Instruments: What do you play?
There are lots of different types of instruments out there and the best musical instrument insurance for a tuba might not be the same for a saxophone or a viola. Think about your instrument classification as most musical instruments fall into one of seven major categories: brass, woodwind, percussion, bowed string, keyboard, electronic, or guitar family.
There are several different companies that specialize in either a particular instrument or a category of instruments. If you fall within their specialty, they may offer a better deal than an umbrella policy.
#4. Rent or Own?
Renting a musical instrument is an economical way to learn to play or to have access to some higher quality equipment that you don’t necessarily want to outright buy. Rental companies usually offer some kind of policy but if their terms aren’t favorable, it’s better to be safe and cover yourself rather than open yourself up to liability.
Companies that rent or even lease musical instruments may even have programs where you can rent to own over a set period of time. Make sure to consider your rent/own/lease situation when you begin researching the best musical instrument insurance for you.
#5. Skill Level: How do you play?
Don’t worry, there’s not going to be a test to get your musical instrument insured – but an amateur vs. professional musician is going to have vastly different insurance needs. Professional musicians tend to have a lot more equipment needs than your average player. In addition to traveling with gear, professionals also have to deal with thieves and transportation.
Consider your skill level and how you use your musical instrument – whether for work or play – to determine the best policy for your needs.
#6. Insurance Deductibles
Now we get down to the nitty-gritty. Deductibles are always important to check with any kind of insurance, not just musical. If you’re using renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance to cover your instrument, determine what your deductible is for both your policy and a rider, and compare that to a specialized policy.
If your policy’s deductible is higher than the value of your instrument, the insurance may not be beneficial for your situation. So, before you buy, make sure to check your deductible and coverage and compare it to specific instrument insurance. From there you can do the math to determine which one is right for you.
#7. Who’s on the other end?
The best insurance policy in the world doesn’t mean anything if the company providing the service isn’t reputable. Make sure you know who’s on the other end of the line and their process for actually filing a claim. If it’s not easy to use, then you’re going to have problems down the line if you need to file.
Another helpful hint is to check reviews or ask forums to see if anyone has any first-hand experience working with the company. Talk to your musician friends, band members, or anyone you might know in musical circles to find out whether they have insurance and how they go about protecting their instruments.
Lastly, can you call them to clarify your policy? Many larger companies use AI bots or vast customer support systems to limit the number of actual calls and emails they receive.
How easy is it for you to get a representative on the phone or respond through an email? Do you even know their email, or do you have to submit a support ticket that will be responded to in 4-8 business months?
Protecting Your Instruments
Musical instruments, especially if they are antique or hand-crafted, can be very expensive. Just as with any other valuable possession, it’s important to protect your investment with a great insurance policy.
There are many factors involved in finding the right insurance for your musical instrument. Not only that but there are also different facets of musical instrument insurance to consider before buying, such as travel, theft, touring, transporting, and liability at venues.
So, whether you play, build, repair, or collect musical instruments, be sure to consider all of these elements before purchasing musical instrument insurance to ensure that you get the best policy for your instrument, your lifestyle, and your personal circumstances.