At GearTrack we hear a lot of stories about instrument theft.
For many musicians, they turn to benefit shows, Kickstarter campaigns, and pleas to fans. While most just want THEIR guitar back (that’s where we come in), many also need gear for the next gig, recording, or tour.
If you’re a working musician and don’t have instrument insurance, you may want to give it a second thought; having some can easily save your skin even if it can’t get your baby back.
Curious about the whole thing? We went to the source. Tom Riley of Anderson Insurance was kind enough to answer our questions below.
We condensed his answers for you here because… well, Insurance.
Frequently asked questions about musical instrument insurance
What’s the difference between instrument insurance & a standard homeowners policy?
Instrument insurance covers your instrument if you play it professionally – homeowners’ will not. It also covers damage & repair, and pays your replacement value. Deductibles are usually much lower than the typical $500-$1000 for homeowners.
So it covers damage and repair?
It depends on your policy, but your busted guitar will be sent to a repair shop and the estimate sent back to insurance. Bonus: if the instrument suffered a loss in value as a result of the damage and its repair, this ‘diminished value’ would be reimbursed.
How are quotes and values formulated?
You fill out a short application. According to value (via appraisals and purchase docs) and risk (i.e. collector vs performer) a quote is generated between $.525/$100 and $1/$100. Membership in professional organizations or high-value instruments can get you discounts.
Do I have to have an appraisal?
High-value and vintage instruments need appraisals, but often aren’t required with a serial number and photos.
Is it affordable?
$150.00 per year covers up to $24,000 of listed items. That’s $0.40 a day. I’d say that’s the cost of a cup of coffee but it’s not 1975.
What happens when I make a claim?
After you submit theft or loss details, you may be asked to submit an appraisal (in the case of repair). Payment happens very quickly in the case of total loss or theft, or by the time your repair is performed.
What if I get my instrument back after having made a claim?
It’s the property of the insurance company; you can refund the check they’ve written you and keep the instrument if you wish.
That’s the quick & dirty, but check with an instrument insurer for more details and don’t forget to read all the fine print. Play safe out there.
GearTrack is an online registry that aims to deter music instrument theft and aid in recovery. Instrument owners can itemize their collections and victims of theft can send stolen alerts to the WatchDog network and access tools for search and recovery. Buyers and sellers can easily search serial numbers before trading and selling their gear. Learn more and register your instruments at Gear-Track.com.
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[Image of guitar thief from Shutterstock.]