Musical Instrument Insurance: Is Home Insurance Enough?

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If you have an instrument or instruments you use as a hobby, you may be covered by the personal property limits of your home insurance policy. If your limits are inadequate, you can add a rider to your policy. Musical Instrument Insurance is a standalone policy meant to cover the damage or replacement of musical instruments such as the cello, flute, guitar, drums, piano, and violin. While homeowners insurance and renters insurance may cover musical instruments, the coverage may be inadequate if you have a particularly expensive piece of equipment or travel with your instrument on a regular basis. A common base rate for a standalone policy is around $165 a year. This coverage will help cover your instrument from damage, the cost associated with rentals, theft, and more. Below is a more comprehensive look at this unique form of coverage.

What Is Musical Instrument Insurance?

Musical instrument insurance is a type of policy that applies specifically to musical instruments. It functions much like any other insurance in that you have a possession that is worth something to you and you want to make sure you can either replace or repair it if it is destroyed, damaged, or stolen. It is best suited for people with expensive instruments that would not be covered by the homeowners insurance limits or for those who regularly travel with their instruments. People in bands are good examples. This kind of coverage can apply to a wide range of instruments such as:

  • Brass instruments
  • Cello
  • Double reed
  • Flute
  • Guitar
  • Percussion
  • Piano
  • Viola
  • Violin
  • Etc.

Essentially any musical instrument can be insured.

While homeowners insurance may cover musical instruments, the coverage may be inadequate if you have expensive equipment or travel with your instrument on a regular basis.

Are Musical Instruments Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Musical instruments can be covered by your homeowners insurance, under personal property coverage. This coverage means that the insurance company will compensate you for damages to personal items such as clothing, electronics, furniture, or, in this case, musical instruments. Take note, however, that your instrument(s) will only be covered if damaged by a "covered peril." Covered perils include:

  • Damage by a vehicle
  • Explosion
  • Falling objects
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Hail
  • Lightning
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Water damage
  • Weight of ice, sleet, or snow
  • Windstorm

Unfortunately, you will not receive compensation if your property was not damaged in a covered peril. Floods are a good example. Your common homeowners insurance will not cover damage caused by a flood but it will cover certain kinds of water damage, such as a water pipe rupturing in your home and causing damage.

You can buy an additional homeowners insurance rider to ensure you're covered for the full cost of an instrument.

The amount of money you get back if your musical instrument is damaged due to a covered peril depends on your personal property limits in your home insurance policy. If your limits are low, you could, for example, lose a $5,000 instrument and potentially only get $2,000.

How Do You Buy Extra Coverage for Musical Instruments?

One way of getting extra coverage for your musical instrument is to add what's called a rider to your homeowners or renters policy to cover specific items after having them appraised for the value. According to the Anderson Group, appraisals "may be requested for string instruments and some vintage instruments typically valued at greater than $15,000." Some companies may also request you take photographs of the item in question.

Homeowners Insurance for Musical Instruments

Can Musical Instruments be Covered by Renters Insurance?

Musical instruments are covered through renters insurance, which covers damages and losses of property you own. This includes:

  • Clothing
  • Computers
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Musical instruments and equipment
  • Sporting Equipment
  • Televisions/entertainment systems

Keep in mind that as with homeowners insurance, there are certain events, or "named perils," that are not covered under these policies. Floods and earthquakes tend to be two events that are not covered. Separate policies would be needed to accommodate these situations. Renters insurance will, however, cover events such as:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Smoke
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Water damage
  • Windstorm

Your common homeowners insurance will not cover a flood but it will cover certain kinds of water damage, such as a water pipe rupturing and damaging your instrument.

Like homeowner's insurance, there are claim limits, which means your musical instrument may not have the amount of coverage it needs to be properly reimbursed. This is where a standalone musical instrument insurance policy or a rider added to your renters insurance policy may come in handy.

What Is the Cost of Insuring a Musical Instrument?

Musical instrument insurance can be as low as $165 a year depending on your insurer. However, other factors are the type of instrument, its value, where it's stored, how often it's used, and your insurance company. For instance, the premium for a guitar that was bought second-hand and stored in the tool shed will usually be far less than a premium for a grand piano that is polished and covered with protective sheeting in a storage unit.

What Does Musical Instrument Insurance Cover?

Musical instrument insurance coverage can be very comprehensive. Below is a breakdown of coverage according to the Anderson Group:

  • "All Risk, Agreed Value" Coverage is provided worldwide at no additional cost.
  • Diminished value coverage at no additional cost - Diminished value coverage refers to the compensation of a policyholder for the drop in an insured item's resale value after an accident.
  • Flood and earthquake coverage is included at no additional cost - These types of coverage are not typically offered in standard homeowner's insurance policies.
  • Performance Interruption coverage - helps cover financial losses due to civil authority, weather-related events, logistic delays, and physical damage.
  • Shipping coverage when your instrument is packed in an appropriate shipping or flight case. Cellos and string brass should be shipped in an airbag or suspension case. Common/ Contract Fee-based carrier shipments are generally always subject to a minimum deductible of $350.
  • Rental Reimbursement provides $100 per month for 6 months after a covered claim unless you have an equivalent spare instrument available insured on your schedule. This coverage refers to a payout given in order of the cost of renting a backup instrument.
  • Electronic equipment may be added at a cost. Keep in mind laptops are not insurable under musical instrument insurance.
  • Dampness, dryness, or extremes of temperature exclusion is included for string basses and cellos unless a waiver is offered by underwriting.

What To Consider When Shopping for Musical Instrument Insurance

Look for discounts. There are often discounts for members of certain musical organizations or orchestras. Also, consider the value of the instrument you're insuring. If it is on the cheaper end, it might not be worth seeing if you have adequate personal property coverage or adding a rider to your homeowners insurance policy if your limits are too low. On the other hand, musical instrument insurance could be worth it if your instrument is particularly valuable or if it's essential to your livelihood.

Standalone musical instrument insurance can be as low as $165 a year depending on your insurer.

Should I Consider More Coverage for My Musical Instrument?

Getting more coverage for your musical instrument could be advantageous especially if you are in a band, use your instrument often, travel with your musical instrument or have a musical instrument that is valuable. Also bear in mind your location. Do you live somewhere that is prone to natural disasters? How about theft? It may be smart to buy a standalone musical instrument policy if you want to be covered even for rare events like floods and earthquakes.

Musical Instrument Insurance FAQs

Is musical instrument insurance worth it?

This depends on your needs. For the person who is a hobbyist and owns a relatively cheap instrument, it probably isn't worth it. Instead, a traditional homeowners policy may be enough to cover that instrument or an added rider may cover something more valuable. However, musical instrument insurance may be worth it if you either have very expensive instruments or you use your instruments professionally.

Are there discounts for musical instrument insurance?

If you are in good standing with an association for harp, string bass, violin, viola, and woodwind instruments, you may see tremendous savings. Check to see if any other musical organizations you belong to will gain you a discount.

Would HO-3 cover my musical instrument?

An HO-3 insurance policy is a standard homeowners insurance policy that will cover your personal belongings, including instruments, up to limits for personal property coverage. If your limits are insufficient for a particularly expensive instrument, you can add a rider to your HO-3 policy to cover that equipment.

Get Covered

Musical instrument insurance helps protect your musical instrument from fire, lightning, smoke, theft, vandalism, water, damage and more. Musical instruments can be covered by homeowners insurance and renters insurance up to the individual policy limits or with an additional rider to specifically cover an instrument. A standalone musical instrument insurance policy can help cover your instrument from perils that also include flood and earthquake, which a homeowners policy would not cover. If you're looking to buy a more robust homeowners insurance policy to include your instrument(s), enter your zip code below and fill out a quick questionnaire. Within minutes SmartFinancial will send you free home insurance quotes for the lowest rates in your area.

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