Musical Instrument Insurance

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Topic Author
Calico
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Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by Calico »

I am looking to get insurance for my daughter's musical instrument and wondered if anyone had any suggestions for reputable insurance companies. I think I found a couple, but just want to shop around a little to make sure I find the best fit.

I checked with my homeowners insurance and it's not covered unless I get a special rider and a certified appraisal. There are also independent insurance companies that just cover musical instruments. Coverage though these companies seems pretty comprehensive, a little cheaper, and a lot less hassle (I can't find any company requiring me to get anything professionally appraised like my homeowners insurance is asking I am hoping this means they will accept the purchase receipt as proof of value).

I also asked on her high school band Facebook page and I got a couple of suggestions, but just it was just the two and neither person actually used that insurance.

The reason I am doing this is because my daughter's instrument is large and expensive ($6,000) and she is doing a tour next year with an honor band and her instrument will be checked as luggage on airplanes and transported in a truck at various times. The people in charge of the band tour highly recommended getting some kind of insurance because, while rare, instruments have been lost or damaged in the past during transportation.
EagertoLearnMore
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by EagertoLearnMore »

Having been in the position of a parent attending honor band concerts, I will tell you that you absolutely need to consider damage to an instrument that is not in your daughter's sight at all times. Fortunately, we never had any problems, but the instrument was small enough to put in its carrying case and hand carry EVERYWHERE, not leaving it in any practice room ever.

We did hear of instances where instruments were damaged while being moved and the damage was significant enough to prohibit its use during the concert. Another person checked their French Horn and the special "bell" was dented and damaged somehow. It was a significant amount to repair the damage and I don't know about insurance or filing a claim with the airline.

Maybe you could contact a music teacher or instrument store and inquire about insurance with them.
feehater
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by feehater »

How recently did you purchase it and what kind of instrument is it? I'm surprised your homeowner's company wouldn't accept a receipt if it was purchased relatively recently. Almost every instrument insurance company is going to require either an appraisal or a receipt...but they might vary on from how far back they will accept a receipt, and some might have a floor below which they won't care. That floor might be 5 or 10k. In the world of musical instruments, 6k can actually be pretty low to some of these companies.

The upside is, good instrument insurance covers you for everything, no matter what, even internationally, etc. I wouldn't think you'd need to pay more than $100-150/yr for it. Clarion is a well known one, although I know there are others too. (The other upside of instrument insurance as opposed to a homeowners rider is that the minute she teaches her first lesson or plays her first paying gig, some homeowners companies will call her a small business and refuse to cover her instrument, which you won't find out til they refuse a claim.)

Lastly, since you said band and large instrument, I'm assuming it's something that won't fit in an overhead like a tuba or bass trombone, but if there's any chance she can carry it on, she should do everything possible to make that happen.
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Michael Patrick
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by Michael Patrick »

I lot of guys on the guitar gear forums I frequent use Heritage Insurance.

https://musicins.com/
Topic Author
Calico
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by Calico »

I was surprised too that my homeowners insurance required at professional appraisal. I even said I have the receipt, but they said no, that's not acceptable.

The instrument is a euphonium. It's smaller than a tuba but bigger than a bass trombone. The case is about 16 x 20 x 34 (too big for a carry on unfortunately).

Thanks for the suggestions. Clarion was suggested on the band Facebook page too. But I ran into a problem when doing their online quote request (it asked what professional musical association my daughter belonged to and wouldn't proceed unless I picked one. She's just a high school student). I will give them a phone call I guess.
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dm200
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by dm200 »

Calico wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:43 pm I was surprised too that my homeowners insurance required at professional appraisal. I even said I have the receipt, but they said no, that's not acceptable.
The instrument is a euphonium. It's smaller than a tuba but bigger than a bass trombone. The case is about 16 x 20 x 34 (too big for a carry on unfortunately).
Thanks for the suggestions. Clarion was suggested on the band Facebook page too. But I ran into a problem when doing their online quote request (it asked what professional musical association my daughter belonged to and wouldn't proceed unless I picked one. She's just a high school student). I will give them a phone call I guess.
Does this instrument need or get any regular repairs or "maintenance" issues from time to time? If so, I would inquire of that musical repair place about such insurance.

My wife has a musical instrument (not an expensive one, though) that, by the nature of the instrument, needs to have some regular work done from time to time. It seems that these places that sell and fix musical instruments have a lot of knowledge and "connections" relating to such instruments.Perhaps such a place could provide an acceptable and reasonably priced appraisal for your homeowners insurance to cover it. I also believe and understand that an "investment" in a quality musical instrument (depending on the instrument) is often a financially sound one - and that quality instruments tend to maintain their quality and value.
sport
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by sport »

If you bought the instrument from a music store, ask them for an appraisal. They should do this as a courtesy for a customer. I carried a trumpet back and forth to school every day for 5 years. IIRC, the cost for a rider on my parent's HO policy was 1% of the insured amount per year.
sport
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by sport »

Insurance companies are sometimes unreasonable. I had to get an appraisal for replacement value for an antique that was not replaceable. I offered the price for a new item of equivalent value. Nope, not good enough. I had to pay for an appraisal, which was just the appraiser's opinion.
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dm200
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by dm200 »

sport wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:05 pm Insurance companies are sometimes unreasonable. I had to get an appraisal for replacement value for an antique that was not replaceable. I offered the price for a new item of equivalent value. Nope, not good enough. I had to pay for an appraisal, which was just the appraiser's opinion.
How much did you have to pay for this appraisal?

I also wonder if this "appraisal" requirement also better documents the actual item itself - reducing the opportunity or incidence of insurance fraud?
Topic Author
Calico
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by Calico »

Thanks. I plan on stopping by the store I bought it from this weekend. I want to see if there is a travel case with TSA locks (was thinking that might make a nice Christmas gift since she's getting a lot of travel stuff for this upcoming trip--she's really looking forward to it). Her case locks, but I don't think it has TSA locks. I will see if they can do an appraisal. I am also going to ask them about insurance too.
Billionaire
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by Billionaire »

I own a vintage guitar and when I started playing out more and more, I decided to buy a less expensive guitar to play at performances. The back-up does the job. I just play local gigs and have seen instruments get their fair share of dings and the like. That's what happens.
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dm200
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by dm200 »

I cannot think of any alternatives to such insurance, nor any ways to safely protect against theft or significant damage - nor to "self insure".
Topic Author
Calico
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by Calico »

dm200 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:22 pm I cannot think of any alternatives to such insurance, nor any ways to safely protect against theft or significant damage - nor to "self insure".
I am just going to have to get insurance I think. I just need to figure out what companies are best. So far I have quotes from $120-$250 for the year (with Clarion being the most recommended, but the most expensive). Homeowners rider falls in the middle of that range. Interestingly, I think I need to get an appraisal for Clarion too. They said they would take a receipt of purchase on "company letter head." The receipt isn't letterhead, it's on receipt carbon paper. But it has the store name on it, so maybe they will take it.

Others mentioned getting a cheaper instrument, but the reality is even a cheaper or used one is going to cost more than the insurance. Plus, the student instruments don't have the sound quality that my daughter's has. It's would be like stepping down from driving a Lexus GS to a Chevy Spark. So I might as well just get insurance and let her use the high quality instrument she's used to.

Mostly I am concerned about the instrument being damaged at the airport because while it's a big case like a suitcase, it's lighter than clothes and would be easy to "toss." I am looking into travel cases made specifically for flying as well as insurance (again, still cheaper than a cheap second instrument).
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dm200
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by dm200 »

Calico wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:46 pm
dm200 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:22 pm I cannot think of any alternatives to such insurance, nor any ways to safely protect against theft or significant damage - nor to "self insure".
I am just going to have to get insurance I think. I just need to figure out what companies are best. So far I have quotes from $120-$250 for the year (with Clarion being the most recommended, but the most expensive). Homeowners rider falls in the middle of that range. Interestingly, I think I need to get an appraisal for Clarion too. They said they would take a receipt of purchase on "company letter head." The receipt isn't letterhead, it's on receipt carbon paper. But it has the store name on it, so maybe they will take it.
Others mentioned getting a cheaper instrument, but the reality is even a cheaper or used one is going to cost more than the insurance. Plus, the student instruments don't have the sound quality that my daughter's has. It's would be like stepping down from driving a Lexus GS to a Chevy Spark. So I might as well just get insurance and let her use the high quality instrument she's used to.
Mostly I am concerned about the instrument being damaged at the airport because while it's a big case like a suitcase, it's lighter than clothes and would be easy to "toss." I am looking into travel cases made specifically for flying as well as insurance (again, still cheaper than a cheap second instrument).
I have zero musical knowledge, experience or competence! However, my wife does and she has explained to me about the quality (and other aspects) of student instruments vs better quality ones. A musician cannot do or learn certain important things on a lesser quality instrument. Are there any choices of a deductible that will lower your premiums? I might lean towards the Homeowners insurance for several reasons: 1. You know the company and the company knows you. Seems like claims might be easier and more streamlined? 2. If there is a claim where both the instrument coverage and normal homeowners coverage come into plan, coordinating those might be better. For example, this might be theft of many things from your home, including the musical instrument OR home damage (fire, flooding, wind, tree falling, out of control car, space aliens, etc.) that includes the musical instrument.

For parents is aspiring musicians, maybe(?) if you have influence over what instrument you child takes up, consider and evaluate your/their total costs of instrument ownership including, if needed, musical instrument insurance. A coworker of mine years ago had a daughter that played the flute. I recall his telling me how expensive a good flute can be. Many thousands of dollars - and this was many years ago. I believe a good part of the cost of an expensive flute is the very expensive metal that is used in high quality flutes (gold or silver as I recall).

Many teenagers, as well, can be, for a variety of reasons, careless or forgetful with such things as a musical instrument - although many might be vary careful.
heidim
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by heidim »

I use Huntington T Block musical instrument insurance for my violin. My instrument is valuable enough that I don't consider going without it, and the price seems very reasonable. I did get a professional appraisal, which I should actually get updated sometime soon. I chose this company based on my professional musician brother's recommendation. I wanted a company that understands instruments, not a homeowners insurance company.
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dm200
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by dm200 »

heidim wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:21 pm I use Huntington T Block musical instrument insurance for my violin. My instrument is valuable enough that I don't consider going without it, and the price seems very reasonable. I did get a professional appraisal, which I should actually get updated sometime soon. I chose this company based on my professional musician brother's recommendation. I wanted a company that understands instruments, not a homeowners insurance company.
OK - very good point.
heidim
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by heidim »

More specifically, I wanted assurance that my instrument was covered in all settings and for any kind of damage. It's frequently away from my home, and sometimes is out of my possession (like at the luthier's for a repair). I didn't want any risk of having to argue with my homeowner's insurance company about it being covered. My instrument is much more valuable than a normal beginning student's violin, but insurance cost will scale with value.
GmanJeff
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by GmanJeff »

My instruments are covered under a rider with my homeowner's insurance with no appraisals required, just brand and model. For replacement value, that's all that's needed. I could see the need for an appraisal for a unique instrument where replacement cost is not readily apparent from the market.

You could probably have a flight case custom made for the instrument, if you're unable to identify a commercially available case which fits or which can be made to fit with foam inserts. A caveat is that flight cases tend to be heavy, and you still probably need insurance on the contents. It's even conceivable that an insurer might require the use of a ATA flight case for transportation as a condition of coverage. Here are a few companies which will custom make whatever you want:

https://www.roadcasesusa.com/

https://cases2go.com/Road-Cases.aspx

https://www.calzoneandanvil.com/portfol ... struments/
Topic Author
Calico
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by Calico »

Those links to the ATA cases are very helpful. Thank you so much! I found one for a euphonium and I should be able to get it in time for a Christmas gift.
GmanJeff
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by GmanJeff »

Calico wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:01 pm Those links to the ATA cases are very helpful. Thank you so much! I found one for a euphonium and I should be able to get it in time for a Christmas gift.
Great - I'm happy to have been able to help!
teniralc
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by teniralc »

Calico wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:42 am I am looking to get insurance for my daughter's musical instrument and wondered if anyone had any suggestions for reputable insurance companies. I think I found a couple, but just want to shop around a little to make sure I find the best fit.

I checked with my homeowners insurance and it's not covered unless I get a special rider and a certified appraisal. There are also independent insurance companies that just cover musical instruments. Coverage though these companies seems pretty comprehensive, a little cheaper, and a lot less hassle (I can't find any company requiring me to get anything professionally appraised like my homeowners insurance is asking I am hoping this means they will accept the purchase receipt as proof of value).

I also asked on her high school band Facebook page and I got a couple of suggestions, but just it was just the two and neither person actually used that insurance.

The reason I am doing this is because my daughter's instrument is large and expensive ($6,000) and she is doing a tour next year with an honor band and her instrument will be checked as luggage on airplanes and transported in a truck at various times. The people in charge of the band tour highly recommended getting some kind of insurance because, while rare, instruments have been lost or damaged in the past during transportation.
Many musicians in NYC use this company: https://www.clarionins.com/
investingdad
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by investingdad »

My recently acquired violin was appraised by the luthier from whom I purchased it as a 12k replacement value.

My homeowners policy covered it under separate rider for $40 a year.

They required the appraisal, my luthier obliged.
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JMacDonald
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Re: Musical Instrument Insurance

Post by JMacDonald »

I was just on an airplane flight and the high school student next to me had a cello in a case with him. He bought a ticket for the cello. It had its own seat. Maybe that is the way to go for your daughter.
Best Wishes, | Joe
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