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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through June 16, 2012 » Insurance of Musical Instruments « Previous Next »

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Username: johnboston

Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2012 - 11:47 am:   Edit Post

[Moderators' note: the original post to this thread was made by someone working for an insurance company. He did not make this information known, and the original text of his post stated only that he had read about the subject of instrument insurance and was interested in our opinions on the subject. Later, after Steve Wood's post, another person working for the same company posted a link to the company's website. The moderators have deleted that post, and both accounts have been blocked. However, we do wish to thank them for triggering an excellent exchange of knowledge between our members. ;)

(Message edited by davehouck on May 12, 2012)
Intermediate Member
Username: cje

Post Number: 108
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2012 - 2:03 pm:   Edit Post

I'd actually like to know about this as well. I was planning on getting Alembic's take on it when the time came.
Senior Member
Username: byoung

Post Number: 1355
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2012 - 3:12 pm:   Edit Post

Since I'm an amateur, I just added a rider to my home insurance policy. They basically said not to worry about it until my wife told them how much it cost.

Mica was gracious enough to send a price estimate on letterhead, and we were done.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1854
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2012 - 10:41 pm:   Edit Post

I was fortunate to avoid the Great Nashville Flood two years ago. LOTS of musicians, from artists and serious collectors who lost troves of serious collector guitars, to average Joes who lost their pawnshop specials, found out that in lots of cases, your usual homeowner insurance companies are CLUELESS and uncooperative when it comes to insuring instruments. There are specialist insurers who will cover Alembics, '59 LP's, your closet full of Benedettos, etc. You can find listings for this type of thing in VINTAGE GUITAR.

For me, the economics didn't add up, but they may for you. In any case, GRILL your homeowner's insurance agent: IF his eyes start to glaze over when you start explaining replacement value for your Series Two, keep looking . . . .

J o e y
Username: matthew90046

Post Number: 73
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2012 - 10:57 pm:   Edit Post

I have it for my instruments as well as my home studio equipment because my homeowners insurance doesn't cover the replacement value of the gear. It is great because I set the replacement value of the item and don't have to worry that they will try to devalue the item because of age. All my gear is also covered anywhere. At home, the rehearsal space, at the gig or in my carÉ is covered. Or so I'm told, never made a claim. (crossing fingers)
Advanced Member
Username: jimmyj

Post Number: 385
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2012 - 11:16 pm:   Edit Post

I've got an "all risk" "replacement value" policy which I initially got through the musician's union here in the US. (I believe the company is Marsh Affinity Group or Seabury & Smith now)...

Every couple years I raise the listed value of my instruments based on the current list prices. The point being, if I lost one in any way I would need a replacement to keep working.

They came through for me once years ago - no questions asked, so I've stuck with them.

Home owners / renters and auto policies can cover you somewhat but the valuation is where things get tricky.

Jimmy J
Username: matthew90046

Post Number: 74
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2012 - 11:42 pm:   Edit Post

Good to hear they came through for you Jimmyj... I have the same policy with them.
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2882
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2012 - 3:40 am:   Edit Post

Beware home insurance policies don't cover you if you are using your stuff for financial gain. In other words for gigs.
In the uk the musicians union provide cover through -Allianz.

Because the replacement values of series instruments is steep they asked for a replacement cost certificate to be provided. Which mica supplied.
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5144
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2012 - 8:33 am:   Edit Post

I have a bunch of instruments insured with Heritage. They specialize in musical instruments and are very customer friendly. As an example, last year I flew cross country with my '53 Martin D-28. While I have a Calton case for it, so I'm not too worried about damage, I still prefer to carry it on, so I don't have to worry about loss either. Heritage offers to cover the instrument if it goes under the plane for a one time charge. Since I never know until the last minute whether I'll be able to carry it on, I prearranged with Heritage to email them from the plane and let them know if I needed the insurance for that trip. As it turned out, I needed it one way, and not the other. I know others on this site also use Heritage and have nothing but good things to say. Of course, I've never had to make a claim with them. YMMV.

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1173
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2012 - 5:23 pm:   Edit Post

+1 with Heritage. I've been with them for 12 years or so, but have never had to make a claim. They cover my gear in a locked car and at gigs and all the places where a homeowner's or renter's insurance policy will leave you high and dry. The cost isn't too bad, as well.
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1210
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2012 - 7:23 pm:   Edit Post

"They cover my gear...all the places where a homeowner's or renter's insurance policy will leave you high and dry."

And remember, with most homeowner's policies, that includes in your home if you receive any compensation for playing!
Username: 5sicks

Post Number: 34
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 5:11 pm:   Edit Post

I Have a rider on my homeowners policy that covers all "tools and equipment" used for financial gain. I had to specify that this was for eqpt used for work. This includes all musical instruments, amps, speakers, ancillary stuff as well as my carpentry and woodworking tools. Anywhere, anytime, in the truck, at the job or gig, on a plane, in the jungle, I'm covered. The cost is about $10/$1000/year, I have to submit all serial #s and replacement costs. It's added to my escrow payment monthly and barely noticeable.
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5148
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 - 7:16 am:   Edit Post

IIRC, Heritage charges about half that: $.50 per $100 of valuation which equals $5 per $1000. Also, do you claim your income from music on your taxes with the appropriate profit/loss information, etc.? If not, your insurance company could use this as a loophole to deny coverage for the musical instruments as they are not "used for financial gain". Of course it depends on all the fine print in your policy.

Bill, tgo
Advanced Member
Username: s_wood

Post Number: 353
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012 - 11:11 am:   Edit Post

Sadly, I know from personal experience that Heritage Insurance is fantastic! Here's why:


This Series II bass was destroyed when it inexplicably fell off a guitar stand and was decapitated. Thankfully, the bass was insured with Heritage! After wrestling with the decision about how to fix this mess, Heritage made it easy - they decided to total the bass, since the estimated repair cost plus expected depreciation (which is covered by my policy) was close to replacement value. Plus, since the repair would have involved placing a new scarf joint - glue joint - between the nut and the bridge, the whole sonic point of a neck-through bass with ebony neck laminates would have been diminished, if not lost. All they requested was that Alembic provide a letter stating that a repair could not fully restore the instrument to its original condition, and within a month I had a check in hand for the full insured value of the bass.

How cool is that?

Also, Heritage covers all kinds of loss to insured instruments - theft, accidental damage, loss or damage in shipping, you name it. Their coverage applies whether or not your instrument is used for paid gigs, and wherever the loss or damage might occur. Because Heritage specializes in musical instrument insurance they understand the unique issues involved, and they are very easy to deal with.

IMHO Heritage is the best. Whether you use Heritage or not, don't simply assume that your homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance covers your instruments. Many such policies have exclusions for instruments used on paid gigs, or when the loss occurs outside of one's home.

Take it from me: insure your gear!

(Message edited by s_wood on May 11, 2012)
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10688
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post

[moderator's note: please see note added to the first post in this thread]

(Message edited by davehouck on May 12, 2012)
Advanced Member
Username: s_wood

Post Number: 354
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post

In light of Dave's post above I want to clarify that I have. I relationship with Heritage Insurance whatsoever except that I am a satisfied customer.

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