Gear Insurance

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Danny Adair, Oct 4, 2001.

  1. Musical equipment insurance is one of the least understood yet important assets for any musican who values their gear. After reading about unfortunate incidents of stolen gear, I wanted to contribute what I've found about musical equipment insurance. I hope this helps.

    A common misconception is that homeowner policies will cover musical gear; this could be one of the most infuriating oversights a musician can make! First of all, many homeowner policies will not cover the equipment if you make any money by performing. Many business or commercial policies will not cover musical equipment if you primarily perform in bars, clubs, lounges, etc., citing the perceived unsavory nature of those locations and their clientele. Many policies (homeowner or business) will not cover items stolen from an unattended vehicle - a big problem. Also, homeowner policies will often replace the stolen item with an item that they deem to be "similar", which can be outrageously different from the stolen item. For example, a homeowner policy might replace a '52 P-Bass with a brand-new Mexican P-Bass! Obviously, this sort of "replacement" is not acceptable. In other situations, the homeowner policy may only cover a certain percentage of the value of the stolen item. For instance, if you lost a $15,000 Pollmann double bass, a homeowner policy MIGHT pay out $9,000 (60%), IF you don't make money with it, IF you weren't at a club, and IF it wasn't in an unattended car. This doesn't provide much peace of mind!

    The answer? One company that I have found is Merz-Huber Insurance of Pennsylvania. They are associated with the International Society of Bassists, so you will have to sign up with them in order to acquire this insurance. The minimum annual premium is $200, which covers almost $40,000 of insured gear ($0.55 for every $100 of insured value) and the minimum deductible is $500. Since ISB membership is $40, the total cost per year is $240, or $20 per month. I've looked over their coverages pretty closely, and it seems to cover just about everything a musician would need. Professionals, playing in bars, unattended cars, car accidents, negligence, and others. Although the ISB is double bass-centric, the insurance will cover all musical gear.
  2. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    That is good to know. When we bought our house 2 years ago I specifically asked about that and they said it was all covered but I may need to investigate further to make sure I am covered. I would open a vein if all of my gear was stolen. Thanks:)
  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Definitely check with your insurance agent as to whether or not your homeowners/renters insurance covers it.

    Be specific about it and get it in writing!!!

    Mine does and I do have it specifically in writing, so they can't weasel out of it later.

    Insurance = Legalized extortion.
  4. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I work for an insurance company. Yes, you should check for coverage under either an existing homeowners or renters policy. In my case, I'm covered for 10% of my personal possessions which are damaged/lost outside of the home, even if I am using them for financial gain. It's important to check the specifics with your company. The reason I'm covered has to do with the advent of items like cell phones and laptop computers, which are generally used away from the home a great deal. Some insurance companies will cover your musical gear under the same provisions, and don't require special amendments to the policy. Any and all possessions are covered for me, without specific provisions, and I'm covered for replacement costs.