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In the world of insurance, we must make a clear delineation because we’ve covered a number of liability insurance topics in the past. That sort of coverage is great if you’re a live performer or touring band. It can help protect you if claims arise involving bodily injury, property damage and other kinds of harm YOU may have been responsible for.
But what about your gear? What happens if something catastrophic were to happen to your babies, through no fault of your own? That’s where specific musical instrument insurance policies come into play. So, let’s explore a few basic points that you should know.
This is huge. Many of you may have solid renter’s policies or homeowner’s policies for your residence. And in a lot of cases, that might not be enough for the amount of gear you actually have.▼ Article continues below ▼
Rob Tavaglione, owner of Catalyst Recording in Charlotte NC, explains:
“Most of us can wrap a particular instrument into our homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies without much difficulty. But musical instruments (and valuable electronics) are typically covered only up to a certain moderate value and particularly valuable pieces require itemization.”
Not only that, but that coverage only applies to when the instrument or instruments are physically located in your residence at the time the damage occurs.
What about touring bands? If you’re on the road (or even just headed to your rehearsal space), you want the same level of comfort, don’t you? That’s why musical instrument policies cover your gear whether you’re at the show, backstage, in the tour van, on the plane, wherever. And that’s peace of mind that goes a long way for serious working musicians.
That’s gear acquisition syndrome, for those of you unfamiliar. If you’re like us, you’re always lusting after the next new piece of gear. So, you may change out instruments fairly frequently, or even rent gear to test out before you commit to buying. With a policy like the one you can get from MusicPro Insurance, that’s not an issue.
Unlike your home or renter’s policy which might make itemizing your musical gear a chore (or even impossible), coverage like that which is available through MusicPro allows you to keep an updated inventory of gear you’ve currently got. So, no matter how often you upgrade your sound, you’re covered with an updated policy.
Heck, even if you’re borrowing something to give it a spin, you’re still covered as long as it’s something you’d normally use (and within a certain dollar value). Even if something’s on long-term loan, say more than 30 days, you have options to get that approved as well. So, you see, no matter where your gear is, or how often you’re changing it out, you can stay protected.
Just as with liability insurance, it’s good to know what sorts of things would be covered if your instruments were to get damaged. MusicPro Insurance specifically issues “at risk” policies, which will typically cover you for any unintentional damages. Check your specific policy, of course, but that would usually mean things like fire, floods, negligent transport companies, “acts of god,” natural disasters, theft and intentional vandalism, etc. Someone breaks into your tour van and steals your prized guitar on tour? That’s the sort of thing you want a policy for.
So, what would be outside the scope of the typical policy? Well, you’re not going to get to file a claim for normal wear and tear, of course. And it should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. Fraud is obviously going to be taken very seriously, so if you intentionally damage, or have someone in your circle intentionally damage your belongings, that’s going to be a legal nightmare that you don’t want to be a part of.
Lastly, things that wouldn’t be your insurance provider’s responsibility would be things like defects from the factory (take that up with the manufacturer of the gear), non-warranty repairs that caused damage (don’t trust your bass player when they say they “know a guy”), and gear that you loan out to other bands. Yeah, you might be buddies, but if you can’t trust them with your precious gear, maybe learn how to say no. Politely, of course.
At the end of the day, we’d hate for anything to happen to your gear. We’ve been there, we know. It’s an awful feeling. But with companies like MusicPro Insurance offering affordable policies with deductibles as low as $100 per loss, it would be foolish to ignore dedicated instrument insurance if you’re serious about your gear.
For more information, head to https://www.musicproinsurance.com/pages/about
*main photo courtesy of www.gotcredit.com