Musical Equipment Insurance

A musician without her or his instrument can be torturous, so it is imperative to prevent that. While musical equipment insurance cannot prevent loss or damage to your gear, it can decrease how long you go without it.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Musical Instruments?
Yes, but there are caveats. Homeowners insurance provides coverage for personal property, including musical instruments, if a covered event causes the damage. The trouble is that the coverage limits are typically so low that a homeowners policy is not enough for costly equipment.

The sub-limit for musical instruments under home insurance is usually around $2,000. Therefore, the value of your gear, and your deductible, determine whether your homeowners policy is enough.

For instance, if you bought your musically inclined child a relatively cheap guitar for practice, your homeowners policy probably provides more than enough coverage. Also, those who only have one or two instruments with a low value might be good to go, too.

There are several times, though, when additional coverage is necessary. Some examples include the following:

  • Your child takes an instrument with her or him to school or music lessons
  • Your musical instruments have high price tags
  • You are a collector with expensive and rare instruments in your home
  • You are a professional musician
  • There are several instruments in your home
  • Or you travel with your musical instrument

Consider, too, that many homeowners policies require a deductible for musical instruments when you file a claim. Your deductible can be as high as $1,000. Depending on the value of the instruments, this deductible may cancel out the benefits of the coverage.

If your homeowners insurance policy does not provide enough coverage, adding a scheduled endorsement or floater is often your best bet.

Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement
You can schedule personal property onto your homeowners insurance policy for additional coverage. Scheduling property means that you list specific valuable items, such as jewelry and musical instruments, on your policy's declarations page.

Scheduling your musical instrument covers its retail value. Let's compare a guitar claim under your standard homeowners policy vs. a guitar claim under a scheduled personal property claim.

Example claiming your guitar under your homeowners personal property policy:
Say you have a guitar worth $5,000. If your home insurance coverage only covers $2,000 for personal property, you will be responsible for the other $3,000. If that same policy has a $1,000 personal property deductible, you are liable for $4,000 of the repairs or replacement cost and your insurer will give you only $1,000.

Example claiming your guitar under a scheduled personal property endorsement:
That same guitar is worth $5,000. If your scheduled personal property endorsement covers $5,000 for your guitar, you will be responsible for the other $0. Typically, scheduled property policies have no deductible.

Additionally, a standard homeowners policy only provides actual cost value (ACV) coverage, meaning depreciation gets factored in. In the end, you might find yourself liable for nearly the entire cost to replace or repair your instrument.
Instead, you could get a scheduled endorsement for the full $5,000 value of your guitar and get the full amount if you ever file a claim.

A scheduled personal property endorsement almost always uses replacement cost value (RCV). That means you are reimbursed the full amount without depreciation factored in.

Scheduled property is typically an "all-risk" coverage, meaning it covers any event (peril) unless the policy excludes a specific event. It usually even covers mysterious disappearance -- something a standard homeowners policy does not.

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Musical Instrument Floater
Unlike a scheduled endorsement, a floater -- or rider -- is a separate policy with unique terms and conditions. It gets added to your homeowner's insurance aggregate coverages. Your home's value or policy has nothing to do with its validity or coverage.

You can purchase one for things like sports and music equipment, bicycles, and jewelry.

It also uses replacement cost value (RCV) and typically has no deductible.

Musical Instruments Insurance Coverage
Homeowners musical instrument coverage, or a scheduled endorsement or floater, covers your musical instrument and equipment related to it. Music instrument insurance protects the insured from loss, theft, and typical damage.

It does not cover costs for wear and tear, intentional damage, or deterioration. So, if part of your show involves breaking your guitar or lighting it on fire on stage, musical instrument insurance will not cover it.

Unless otherwise stated, musical instrument insurance covers all instruments and most related accessories, including:

  • Guitars
  • Stringed instruments
  • Brass instruments
  • Woodwind instruments
  • Pianos
  • Violins
  • Flutes
  • Amplifiers and audio equipment
  • Accessories, such as gig bags, sheet music, and more
  • Some professional policies also provide public liability for musicians

Off-Premise Coverage
If you check your homeowners or renters insurance policy, you will likely discover that you have some off-premises coverage. This type of protection covers loss, theft, or damage to personal property when you are away from home.
Depending on the insurer, off-premise coverage might extend to your musical instruments, but it is not guaranteed. Off-premise coverage usually only provides coverage in the amount of 10% of your dwelling coverage limit.

If your homeowners or renters property coverage insufficiently covers repair or replacement, then your off-premise protection is also insufficient. Therefore, if you or your child travels with your instruments, adding a scheduled endorsement or floater is a smart idea.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Musical Instruments?
Yes. Renters insurance also provides coverage for personal property, including musical instruments. However, most renters policies provide the same or similar coverage as homeowners, so most musicians do not have enough insurance coverage. Renters may need to consider a floater or endorsement as well.

Stand-Alone Musical Instrument Insurance
You can also purchase a stand-alone insurance policy for musicians to obtain much broader coverage. They are not part of your homeowners policy. Specialty insurance companies provide these policies for recreational use or music professionals. This all-risk insurance for musicians typically covers the following at a minimum:

  • Fire, lightning, or explosions
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  • Water damage
  • Storms and other natural disasters
  • Theft and robbery
  • Damage incurred during transport
  • Instrument mix-ups
  • Fraud (optional)
  • Embezzlement(optional)
  • Accessories(optional)
  • Expenses caused by canceled events(optional)

Most musical instrument policies apply worldwide but be sure to check before you travel.

Instrument Appraisal for Insurance
Most insurers require a musical instrument insurance appraisal of your instrument before scheduling it. Plan to repeat this appraisal every year or ensure you have the right level of protection.

Home Studio Insurance
It is vital to obtain the right protection for the studio's structure and recording studio equipment if you have a recording studio. The best insurance for your studio depends on its location and its use.

If your studio is on your property, but not inside your house, it is probably covered under "other structures." Other structures are any structures not attached to your home. However, it will provide limited coverage, 10% of your dwelling coverage amount, so you should consider getting additional protection through an endorsement or floater.

Studios making an income usually require commercial music studio insurance, regardless of location.

**Pro Tip: Most policies do not insure laptops as musical equipment. If you use a computer in your studio, ask your insurance agent the best way to keep it protected.

Hand Insurance for Musicians
If you are a professional musician, your income and livelihood depend on your hands. Like a surgeon, a temporary or permanent loss of use in the hands can be devastating. Purchasing hand insurance is the best way to protect yourself from losing income due to an injury.

Musical Instrument Insurance for Students
Students who live at home should enjoy the full amount of property damage that their parents do. On-campus students are covered by their parent's insurance. It should cover their musical instruments. However, only a percentage of the policy limit extends to the student, so additional coverage is probably needed.

For students who are renting an instrument, consider short term musical instrument insurance. If you own your gear, add a floater to your home or renters insurance policy or your parents' policy.

Instrument Insurance for Travel
Bands that travel to perform professionally should consider commercial insurance for music performers. It typically covers both owned and rented equipment as well as general liability and third-party property liability.

Music performers insurance often has caps for how many band members it covers under one policy. Ask about any caps when calling around for quotes.

Music instrument insurance for traveling professionals is also called:

  • Music tour insurance
  • Touring insurance
  • Music performers insurance
  • Insurance for bands and DJs
  • Entertainment insurance

How Much Does Equipment Insurance Cost?
Musical instrument insurance premiums vary across different instruments, insurance companies, and the insurance type you need. Some standard policies start at around $150 a year. If you need to add travel protection, additional instruments, tour insurance, or other coverage, you can expect higher rates.

Music Insurance Companies
If you perform professionally, insuring your instrument with an experienced music insurance company is an essential step. Here are five coverage options:

  • Heritage Insurance Services
  • Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance Solutions
  • Travelers
  • MusicPro Insurance
  • Huntington T Block

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Compare Musical Instrument Insurance
Do not let a lost or damaged instrument get in the way of your passion. Get your free quote with musical instrument insurance today.

I hope that helps!

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At your service,
Young Alfred