Advice: Understanding musical instrument insurance

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Losing an instrument is the nightmare scenario. Aside from the emotional wrench, the cost of a replacement could be devastating. But there is a lifeline – musical instrument insurance is the fast, hassle-free way to keep on playing no matter what.

Here at Allianz Insurance, we’ve put together some of our most frequently asked questions, making it easier to understand the importance of cover and how to find a policy that suits you.


1. Why do I need musical instrument insurance?

It’s important to make sure you’re covered so you’re not caught out and stuck with an expensive bill. No matter how careful you are with your instrument and equipment, accidents are unavoidable – and nobody can help being the target of theft. Insurance is an essential safety net – so don’t leave anything to chance. If the worst ever happens, musical insurance is there to help you get back to playing as soon as possible.

2. What should my policy cover?

All musicians have different needs, which is why policies are flexible. Most musical insurance policies will cover loss, theft, accidental damage and fire damage, with optional add-ons including public liability, worldwide cover and unattended vehicle cover.

You can tailor your policy to meet your specific needs as a musician, with different levels or locations of cover. If you’re paid to play, check your policy covers professional use, and if you have an instrument that is older than three years old, check that the policy includes new for old cover so you can cover it for its full replacement value. Also, it’s worth checking that you can choose your own repairer or replacement instrument.

3. Public Liability & Personal Accident: What is it and what does it cover?

There’s always a worry that anything could happen when you’re playing, teaching or performing. If someone were to hurt themselves and point the blame in your direction, then there could be serious consequences.

Public liability cover protects you against the cost of a claim if someone is injured or damages property while you’re using your equipment or instruments. This cover can be useful when you’re teaching, performing, rehearsing and auditioning, either at your home/premises or a venue/public place and will also cover you when loading, unloading, setting up and clearing away.

And what happens if you hurt yourself while playing? Well, personal accident insurance covers you if you’re injured while using your instrument or any piece of music equipment. You’re likely to be covered for loss of limb, sight or hearing as well as disability or death. Sounds serious but definitely worth considering.

4. Instruments: What should we include and why? What about values?

You should insure all your instruments that you need cover for by the amount it would cost to replace them at current market value. If you’re not sure how much your instrument is worth, it’s a good idea to have it valued by a professional. You’ll probably be able to get a written valuation easily from your local musical instrument retailer or repairer. It’s worth doing this regularly to make sure you’re not under-insured or overpaying for your policy.

5. Accessories: What about things such as stands, amps, pedals, cables, small percussion equipment etc? Do we need to itemise everything?

Have a think about what accessories you’ve got as part of your setup – you might own numerous mics, cables, stands etc and they’re not always cheap! Some insurers will include some free accessory cover but for any particularly expensive items, such as pedals and amps, it’s recommended to specify them individually on your policy.

6. What happens if I need to travel with my instrument? Do I need to take out extra cover?

If you’re travelling abroad, it’s definitely worth considering worldwide cover – you could even just add it on to your policy as a temporary change. If you’re hiring additional instruments for a performance or lesson, you can temporarily add these to your policy as well.

7. Can I leave instruments in my car?

If you’re using a vehicle to transport your instruments and equipment to and from lessons, it’s worth looking at cover for theft from an unattended vehicle. This will cover your equipment against theft or accidental damage when in a vehicle, whether that’s for a quick stop at a petrol station on your way to a lesson or for an entire night.

8. Will my gear be insured under home insurance?

It may be tempting to rely on your home insurance but specialist musical instrument insurance exists for a reason:

  • Specialist music insurance is designed to cover you for professional use but your home insurance may not. If money is changing hands, it’s always worth checking if you’re covered – you might not be.
  • Home insurance policies often have a pretty low value limit on personal possessions – meaning your gear may not be entirely covered. If you own a large amount of equipment or anything particularly expensive, it’s best to double check how much you’re covered for.
  • You may have a large excess to pay on home insurance claims so you might not want to make small claims. Some musical instrument insurance doesn’t have an excess at all – win win! Also, claiming on your home insurance might affect your premium or no claims discount which could cost you more in the long run.
  • Specialist music instrument insurers exist because they understand musicians and their needs. Household insurers might not understand how important it is to you to get damaged, lost or stolen instruments replaced quickly. Music insurers work with a network of repairers and retailers across the world to help you get back to playing as soon as possible.

A bit about us…

Allianz logoWe’re the UK’s No1 musical instrument insurer, proud to have been providing cover for musicians of all types since 1960 – longer than any other insurer. We insure all kinds of musical instruments, equipment and accessories, and today insure over 70,000 musicians with over 357,000 instruments.

We’ve always been a team of music experts who offer a product that supports musicians in everything that they do. We’re especially proud of our ability to take care of customers at their time of need and their commitment to the music industry.  Our specialist claims team works with organisations across the world to help reunite musicians with their lost and stolen instruments, reflecting our dedication to providing excellent service.

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