Musical instrument and equipment insurance is essential if you want to protect your assets & whilst it cannot always replace that vintage guitar or custom made equipment, at least the compensation can be used to replace it. Touring and playing in public performances often leaves expensive equipment at risk from unscrupulous and resourceful people who are only too happy to steal your instrument for re-sale. Most general insurance companies are reluctant or too expensive to cover musical instruments and equipment plus the majority of general insurance companies do not understand that a vintage instrument increases in value as it gets older or is a particular style or year.
Music Insurance Links
Amateur and Professional musicians are advised to use a specialist musicians insurance company although the policy details should still be checked thoroughly to ensure that all requirements are covered. New for Old cover, Instruments in transit, at home cover and accidental breakage should all be included in any policy for valuable instruments and equipment.
Public Liability is something that many musicians ignore when entertaining, performing and gigging. However, an artist/musician is liable for damages if a piece of equipment like a P.A. collapses and injures an audience member, or a microphone stand hits someone on the head. There are steps you can take to prevent some accidents happening, like using gaffa tape to secure trailing and messy leads, but it is important that you are covered for such misfortunes. Some venues insist on you having your own cover and many do not possess their own public liability insurance or may require extra cover for live music (even council & other publicly owned properties!). A good insurance company will offer public liability cover as well as insuring your equipment; this can cover you anywhere from £250.000 to a few million pounds. The cost of this is minimal and compared to the amount you could be sued for, it is well worth taking out.
When your out on the road it's very easy to forget about the property left at home. However, this is a very serious problem because not many people realise that there is a special kind of insurance for this situation known as vacant insurance. You may have left your vintage guitar at home when you leave for an extended period and not realise that this could affect your insurance cover, with many insurers believing that this alters the insurance situation and may refuse to pay up in the event of a burglary. You will then have to face not only the loss of your irreplaceable instruments but also will not be given the money to soften the blow.
Therefore, despite the fact that vacant home insurance is more expensive, because a vacant house is more vulnerable, it is definitely worth getting it if you are leaving valuables at home. However, the following is three top tips which can reduce the price of your vacant home insurance cover:
* Shop around - Compare prices with different insurers who will offer varying prices. The difference could be over £200 between two insurers, so it's defiantly worth having a look around.
* Security - A more secure home will considered less of a risk to insurers. Therefore, fitting a burglar alarm approved by NACOSS could cut the price of your insurance by 7.5%. Extra locks on windows and doors are also a good idea, as it becoming part of a neighbourhood watch scheme, which could cut another 5% off your cover.
* Appearance - Make it look lived in, as this will make it less of a target for thieves.
It is perfectly easy to not think about your home when your not there, but if it is full of valuables, such as one of your favourite guitar, it is best to make sure that you have adequate cover.
Personal Accident & Health Cover is another policy that should be considered. If you are using your insured equipment and sustain an injury then you will receive a payment, depending on the injury. If you are a musician who spends a lot of time touring or gigging then this is important to have. There are also many health problems encountered by professional musicians (read the 'Health section) who should insure themselves against possible future injuries, especially those that would prevent them from continuing a musical career.
Working and touring musicians should also check their car insurance to ensure that they are properly covered to transport musical equipment, especially when working abroad. Most car insurance companies will charge extra to self-employed musicians and equipment/instruments are only covered whilst contained in LOCKED & ALARMED vehicles which are accompanied by the driver/associate. In other words if your gear is stolen from the open boot of your car whilst your backs turned...........tough! Always make sure both the vehicle AND the equipment are covered.....& get a friend or band member to stay with the vehicles whilst gear is being loaded and unloaded.
Before you take out any insurance think about what kind of musician you are and the type of policy you need. Regularly touring musicians will require a more comprehensive type of policy than those who are mainly home based and insurance companies have different policies to suit a variety of circumstances.
Comprehensive insurance is an all risk policy which is suitable for singers, musicians, DJs, bands, equipment, engineers etc., and Worldwide cover is usually an option provided by musicians insurance companies, whereas a home and studio policy would be suitable for those who have instruments/equipment permanently housed in one building.
Stolen Instrument Resources
Vehicle Breakdown & Recovery
Breakdown & Recovery services are essential for any gigging musician who uses their vehicle to transport themselves and their equipment to and from engagements. Breaking down or being the victim of an accident could mean loss of transport and subsequent cancellation of your gig/s. Unless you have some knowledge of car mechanics, it is common sense to take precautions and use a company like the RAC who not only provide roadside repairs where possible, but will also tow you to your destination or (depending on the policy) provide you with another vehicle. Standard Cover gives you assistance at the Roadside or outside your Home, plus Recovery to your destination, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, anywhere in the UK.
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Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (Warranty)
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance is available over a 12 or 24 month period, regardless of when or where you purchased your vehicle. Cover starts 28 days after the policy is purchased. RAC Warranty can provide cover ranging from our competitive Three Star policy through to our more comprehensive Five Star, Electrical and Mechanical policy. Levels of cover will be dependant on the age and mileage of your car.
MOT Test Failure Insurance
MOT Insurance has been designed to protect you against the failure of your vehicle when it undergoes an MOT Test, covering items on a VT30 (MOT fail sheet) up to a maximum of £650 including VAT.
Tyre Insurance will cover you in the event of sustaining punctures, accidental or malicious damage to any of the tyres fitted to your vehicle up to a maximum of £250 per tyre and £1,250 in aggregate per annum.
Key Insurance and Recovery
The Boomerang-Tag has been specifically designed to look after you in the event that your keys (motor, home or office) are lost, broken or stolen, up to a maximum claims limit of £500 per annum.
The information above quotes RAC but there are several good companies around including AA and Green Flag. We have used all three at various times and received good service from each. Green Flag is probably the cheapest out of the 3 quoted and although lesser known than the other two, still provide a great, friendly service.
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- **Allianz Musical Insurance **, PO Box 589, Great West House (GW2), Great West Road, Brentford, Middx TW8 1AH - Tel: 0800 1975783. Musical insurance specialist providing instant online comprehensive quotes for bands, groups, musicians, karaoke, orchestral, touring, gigging abroad, public liability, musical instruments and equipment.
- ** JTL Online : Musicguard and Public Liability Insurance **
JLT Online House Mercia Business Village, Westwood Business Park Coventry CV4 8HX. Tel: 02476 851000. Musicguard is superb insurance cover for musicians and their equipment. Bands, DJ's. orchestras, guitarists, drummers, brass bands, recording studios, sound engineers and more are all covered on this cost effective, specialist policy. Note that JTL Online are the ONLY company that we have personally used and recommend.
- Abbey Associates - Independent (Band Scheme), Abbey House, 3 Hyde Gardens, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4PN - Tel: 01323-727551, Fax: 01323-430291
- Baxters Insurance WB Baxter Ltd. 263 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex 1G1 4TG - Tel: 0208 554 5500 Fax: 0208 518 5879. Any type of insurance including disco/karaoke, car/van and equipment cover.
- Brass Band Insurance Services, 312 High Street, Harlington, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 5BT - Tel: 020-8759-0825, Fax: 020-8564-9063
- Egger Lawson, Competitive Band Cover, Musical Equipment Insurance, 72 Maid Marion Way, Nottingham, NG1 6BJ, Tel: 0115-941-5255, Fax: 0115-941-5215 Email: BGriffiths@eggerlawson.co.uk
- First Act Insurance
Simpson House, 2-6 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon, CR9 5BB. Tel: 020 8686 5050 FAX: 020 8686 5559 Independent insurance advisors for theatre, tv and film industry. Suppliers of the Equity Pension Scheme.
- Incorporated Society of Musicians (UK) Members receive free public liability insurance up to £10m and free legal expenses insurance.
- Rees AstleyInsurance for Performing Arts providers of discount insurance for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
- Lark Insurance
Offices in Barking, Colchester, London, Maidstone and Sandhurst. Tel: (+44) 020 8557 2410 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Provides musical instrument insurance policy for electric and classical instruments and equipment.
- La Playa
The Stables, Manor Farm, Milton Road, Impington, Cambridge CB24 9NG Tel: 01223 200650 Fax: 01223 425360 specialist insurer for the media, arts & entertainments industry.
- Musicians Insurance Services can put you in touch with one of several companies, they have several offices based around the UK and should be listed in the local yellow pages under insurance services/brokers.
- Musicians Insurance UK provides comprehensive insurance for musical instruments instantly online.
- Musicians Union (UK) Members receive free public liability insurance up to £10 million.
- National Brass Band Insurance Scheme, Town and Country House, Salisbury Street, Mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6HE
- Noda Insurance provides a specially designed policy to provide for the insurance needs of amateur singing and acting societies affiliated to NODA. The package includes public liability, employers liability, property (scenery/wardrobe etc.,) and loss of money.
- P J Jenkins Musicians and Public Liability insurance (020 8754 8754)
- Victor C. Knight Ltd 292-308 Southbury Road, Enfield, Middx, EN1 1TS. Tel: 020 8351 2400 Fax: 020 8351 2411 specialist insurance for musicians.
For those who are unfortunate enough to have had their instrument stolen, there are several places on the internet where you can report the loss, describe the instrument and hope that someone spots it. Marking the instrument with a unique code and keeping note of the serial number (where applicable) will aid in the recovery.
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