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What is musical instrument insurance?
A finely crafted antique violin can represent a significant amount of money. Taking care of it is not juste about removing the dust from under the bridges. Indeed, you may want to protect your beloved instrument against any accidental damage, theft or loss; or you also may want to protect yourself against any accident that may happen to you while you are performing, especially if you are a pro.
This is what musical instrument insurance is for.
Why do I need musical instrument insurance?
You may ask yourself whether getting a dedicated musical instrument insurance really worths it?
Yes, it does. As any insurance product, whether you are a beginner or a pro, taking out an insurance will cover you in case bad things happen to your instruments or to you while playing it.
It will be particularly useful though, if:
- you are a professional musician and you make a living out of performing. In this case the loss or theft of your instrument can have significant repercussion on your earnings. Musical instrument insurance can cover the ‘New-For-Old’ replacement of your equipment as well as any loss of earnings involved;
- you often fly overseas with your instrument or equipment. The more you move, the more your instrument can be damaged or stolen. If you often travel for tours, concerts etc., then purchasing a dedicated insurance is a necessity;
- you are the happy owner of high-value instrument(s) / equipment. As long as you can not afford replacing your equipment with your own money if anything happens, then taking an insurance is definitely a good idea.
You need cover for your whole instruments and equipment value.
|What if…||Included in musical instrument insurance|
|I had my violin stolen in the orchestra hall||yes|
|I dropped a glass of water on my mixing console||yes|
|I broke my guitar||yes|
|A fire spread in my studio and my music equipment is destroyed||yes|
|I have a voice extinction and can not perform as a singer||yes|
Always check the single item limit value included in your cover. You may have a total equipment cover up to £30,000, and a single item limit of £3,000.
How much music insurance cover do I need?
If you are asking yourself how much cover do you need, we would advise you to insure your instrument or music equipment for the usual new (not discounted and including VAT) replacement cost from a reputable UK music dealer.
What does musical instrument insurance cover?
Musical genres are numerous and types of cover needed are not the same depending on if you are a solo player or if you run a studio for your living. You’ll find below which covers are typically included as standard in music insurance policies, or available as optional extras.
|What is covered?||Basic plan||Premium plan|
|Accidental damage||Covers your instrument if damaged accidentally.||Up to equipment value limit||Up to equipment value limit|
|Loss||Covers your instrument if lost.||Up to equipment value limit||Up to equipment value limit|
|Theft||Covers your instrument if stolen providing there is evidence of forced entry to or from any premises, concert venue, dressing room or any securely locked locker or other similar place of storage. You may need the optional ‘unattended vehicle’ option.||Up to equipment value limit||Up to equipment value limit|
|New-For-Old||Covers the replacement of your instrument by a new one if it lost, stolen or damaged as long as it is not older than the number of years defined in the policy.||Up to 3 years||For life|
|Worldwide||Covers you and your instrument if something happens overseas for X days, while you are on a tour, on a concert, or performing.||x||Included as standard |
for 90 days
|Public liability||Covers you against accidental damage caused to someone with your instrument while performing on a private or public stage for instance.||£1,000,000||£5,000,000|
|Personal accident||Covers you against any accident while performing (loss of a limb, loss of your sight, become disabled, die etc.).||x||£20,000|
|Unattended vehicle||Covers you if your musical instrument has been stolen from an unattended vehicle.||x||Up to equipment value limit|
|Replacement hire||Covers hire of replacement equipment whilst yours is being replaced or repaired for a certain number of weeks.||x||£700 per week |
Up to 4 weeks
|Loss of Earnings||Covers you in case your instrument is damaged, stolen or lost or if you get injured while playing and can not attend a paid performance.||x||52 weeks cover|
|Data recovery||Covers the payment for a data recovery specialist when data relating solely to your musical equipment or musical instrument has been lost or corrupted.||x||£400|
You will need to show proof of your equipment value in case of a claim. The best way to be sure you will be reimbursed in case you can not perform during a tour for instance, would also be to test your instrument before playing and record that.
At most insurers, you will be able to take only standard policy and add additional extras depending on what you need. If you are an amateur playing guitar as a hobby, you may not need for instance data recovery, loss of earnings, replacement hire, worldwide cover, public liability etc.
What does musical instrument insurance not cover?
Most insurers won’t give you money for:
- overseas professional use over days limit per trip;
- the breakage of replaceable items such as guitar strings, drumheads etc.;
- the loss or damage of insured items when they are out on a loan;
- the loss or damage of your equipment as a result of climatic conditions, sunlight etc.;
- the loss or theft of any musical equipment left unattended providing there is no evidence of forced entry or exit to or from any premises (concert venue, dressing room or other similar place of storage);
- the loss or damage of your instrument arising from a transit by air unless the music instrument or equipment insured is carried as hand luggage or check in by you, and secured in an appropriate locked case;
- any cost of estimation of your instrument before repairing or replacing it.
Data recovery is, often, exclude from policies.
How much is musical instrument insurance?
Musical instrument insurance starts as low as £1 per month and does not increase that fast with the purchase value of the instrument. For instance, with The Insurance Emporium, you will be asked to pay £2,01 per month for a £100 guitar, and £3,73 for a £1000 one.
|Music Equipment value of £500||£28,32|
|Music Equipment value of £2,000||£57,03|
|Music Equipment value of £10,000||£213,14|
|Music Equipment value of £50,000||£1,345,02|
Even though each specialist insurer uses its own algorithm to calculate your premium, most of the time, factors affecting the prices are:
- the total equipment equipment value you’d like to cover;
- where you live, and your age;
- which options you’d like to get (personal accident, worldwide cover, professional use, public liability).
If you are part of a band or of an orchestra, you may benefit from significant group discounts.
What instruments are covered by musical insurance?
Musical instrument specialist insurers cover any instrument or musical equipment whether you are a professional, semi-professional, amateur or student. People getting music insurance are:
- Instrument players (professionals, amateurs);
- Singers and orchestras;
- Music teachers;
- Music students
They are often split between four big categories:
|Music equipment categories|
|Traditional instruments||Including instruments we all know like guitar (acoustic or electric), clarinet, flute, drums, piano, saxophone, violin, strings etc.|
|Stage equipment||Including microphones, lighting and smoke machines, speakers and PA equipment etc.|
|Studio||Including vinyls, mixing consoles, laptops and monitors, CDs, record equipment, microphone stands etc.|
|Music accessories||Including amplifiers, distorsion pedals, earphones, drum sticks, microphone stands, adaptors, bows etc.|
Not all insurers cover any kind of instruments. Especially if you are the owner of a high-value or an antique instrument, make sure your equipment cover includes it.
Can I be covered for my musical instruments with my home insurance?
Some home insurers may include musical instruments in their single item cover (or in personal possessions cover, often available for an additional extra with standard level of policies).
Get to know more on single item and personal possessions cover of home insurers reading our reviews.
However, you must know that most home insurers exclude musical instruments from their contents policies or only cover them partially (if they are kept at home for instance). If you play as a pro, or are the owner of high value instrument, we would advise you to take a dedicated policy.
How to compare best music insurance policies?
Nothing simpler. Use our comparison tool above. It will provide you with main information of each insurer in less than 10 seconds including:
- excess you’ll have to pay in case of a claim (standard);
- worldwide cover;
- accidental damage, theft and loss limit;
- new-for-old cover;
- public liability;
- personal accident etc.
The best way to benefit from a great value for money deal is to never stop shopping around challenging price vs. cover and do not auto renew.
Top 6 tips when buying musical instrument insurance?
- Check with your home insurer if you are covered for musical instruments while you are at home / away from home. Compare best home insurances here. You must know however that home insurers will never provide you the same level of cover than a dedicated music insurance.
- Only get covered for what you really need especially regarding worldwide cover, personal accident, hire equipment, loss of earnings (if you are not a pro) etc.
- Check the value of your instrument before buying a policy. Single item limit applies as mentioned in our comparison tool above.
- Always check the exclusions of each policy before buying it. All insurers have their own set of exclusions depending on the claims they had to pay out in the past. Pay full attention to exclusions mentioned, limits as well as circumstances in which claims are accepted or not.
- Keep your receipts! Or get a professional estimation of your equipment / instrument value especially if you are a pro. You won’t regret it in case you need to claim for loss, theft, accidental damage on your music insurance policy.
- Benefit from group or bands discount, and choose higher excess if you want to pay less for the same level of comprehensive cover.