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Musical Instruments & Musicians Insurance

animated burglar 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.

Allianz 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. Note that membership of trade organisations like the Musicians Union and the Incorporated Society of Musicians (both UK societies) may include Public Liability Insurance for members along with access to legal advice free of charge, similar societies in Europe and the USA may offer similar benefits so check to see what they offer before you take out seperate insurance.

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.

animated ambulancePersonal 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.

Automotive Rescue, Recovery & Insurance

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 Green Flag, AA or 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. Those with vehicles under 10 years old may also get covered for breakdowns in the EU or abroad for an extra fee, check with the provider to see what their terms and conditions are.

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
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.

Musical Insurance Links

Stolen Instrument Resources

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.