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Instrument Insurance?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by jeisdorfer, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. jeisdorfer


    Oct 9, 2008
    Boston, MA
    Just curious who most people are insuring their instruments through these days?

    I've had my bass insured through State Farm for about 9 years now, and I just recently found out they don't cover "instruments for hire" - in other words, I was filing a claim (my first and only!) and they asked me I've gotten paid to play a gig recently and I stupidly said yes and twenty minutes later they faxed me a denial notice. Glad I've been paying them for 9 years for nothing.

    Anyways! I want to go with the new company now, obviously. Any suggestions? I looked into Clarion Instrument Insurance and they have a flat $1,000 deductible for double basses, which is fine if it gets stolen (knock on wood), most repairs (that they actually cover) don't go much past $1,000.

    Clarion also doesn't cover "wear and tear" which includes weather and normal deterioration - which is 99% of why people have work done. Are there any companies that will cover seams popping open? They basically only cover some travel (not cargo on a plane/bus), theft (but not "mysterious" theft), some accidental damage (dumb tuba player drops a stand on your bass) or fire.

    So -- what kind of insurance do you have? What does it cover? Deductible? High premiums? Lets talk!
  2. koricancowboy

    koricancowboy Ausberto Acevedo Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Join ISB! They have a discounted rate for members. It is through Merz Huber and it's pretty good according to the rider. Haven't had to make a claim. PLUS it's ISB.
  3. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I do Music Pro. They offer discount for ASCAP, BMI, NMEC, and AFM members. Other stuff too I think. Haven't had to make a claim yet but the registration is all online, super easy, and cheap.
  4. jeisdorfer


    Oct 9, 2008
    Boston, MA
    I've made some phone calls today and found out some interesting info if anyone is curious:

    Clarion Insurance (one of the bigger names) has a flat-rate deductible for basses of $1,000! Their reasoning is that basses are more likely to be damaged due to size than a violin, and the repair work on basses are generally more expensive (don't I know it!). They also quoted me a $270/year premium.

    Heritage quoted me a $300/year premium (to insure ~$25,000) with a $500 deductible, which is much more reasonable. A couple exclusions in their policy: they do not cover shipping or air cargo damages; theft in a vehicle without evidence of forced entry (i.e. you were stupid and left your car unlocked); or normal "wear and tear" - which is standard with any company.

    Merz-Huber, does offer an ISB membership discount which comes out to .83/$100 of coverage, with a minimum premium of $300 (I believe). They also have a $500 deductible.

    And so far the winner is the Anderson Group, which offers a premium of .525/$100 of coverage and a base deductible of $250, and a $350 common carrier deductible (not in addition). I have to speak with them about further details.

    I'll post the winner!
  5. Heritage is supposed to be good but I couldn't get them to insure my bass. I have no idea why but the guy I was emailing back and forth with for a bit told me that they wouldn't provide me insurance. I was trying to figure out how to ship my bass from Portland, OR to LA at the time. So I was asking them questions about how I could get insurance for the travel in addition to regular insurance.

    It seemed odd that they just flat out told me to piss off instead of specifically saying they wouldn't insure for travel.
  6. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Same here. I am not sure how they are w/ claims service either (fortunately). And not sure about coverage for maintenance, or deductibles. I have it just in the event anything gets stolen. Supposedly covered everywhere - at home, on the gig, in transit. $1 premium / $100 of coverage.
  7. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Yup. I think I pay $100 and have $10,000 in coverage. That will cover both my DBs and my EB. I just have it for damage or theft.
  8. Wally Malone

    Wally Malone

    Mar 9, 2001
    Boulder Creek, CA
    AFM International Representative Endorsing Artist: Accugroove Cabinets & MJC Ironworks Strings
  9. bassdogEmer


    Sep 14, 2005
    San Francisco
    Endorsing Artist: Mesa Boogie Amps, Bag end,Thomastik - Infeld Strings
    I use Anderson and have found them to be great. they are quick and affordable. I have $20,000 worth of Insurance $16,000 of which is for my double bass. I am having a major repair done right now - new neck, fingerboard and bridge thanks to an accident on the subway and Anderson stepped up and covered it - it's a $3000 repair. i highly recommend them.
  10. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    I've had them for years, and they paid quickly on my one claim when an idiot moved the chair protecting my scroll and broke a tuner.
  11. jeisdorfer


    Oct 9, 2008
    Boston, MA
    What is your deductible with them? I saw $250 on the website and I called them because it sounded too good to be true! I haven't seen any deductibles under $500. They haven't gotten back to me yet though ...

    When you submitted a claim, did they have an adjuster take a look at the damage, or did your luthier just submit a quote? I hear sometimes insurance companies think the luthier is charging too much and tell you to go somewhere else.

    Sorry to hear about your bass :(
  12. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    I have Liberty Mutual for my car and decided to go with them to insure my instruments. All told, about 25K dollars worth of basses for $225 a year under Renters Insurance. Covers everything (other than you accidentally damaging the instrument yourself) world wide. 500 dollar deductible. Well worth it.
  13. jeisdorfer


    Oct 9, 2008
    Boston, MA
    Liberty Mutual ... interesting. I also have my car insured through Liberty, and they said they'd insure my bass but only if it's "not for hire." i.e. it's not covered if I'm at a paying gig. Did you work around that?
  14. Digging up an old thread.

    I just joined ISB, and went with Anderson Group for insurance $125 for one year of $20,000 coverage, $500 deductable. I just bought another DB, and wanted to get insurance in place before shipment.

    Heritage no longer insures DB for shipping.

    Clarion wanted $250 for $4000 of coverage w/ a $1000 deductable (no way, too expensive for the amount of coverage and $1000 deductable, are you kidding?).

    Munz-Huber wanted $300 for $36,000 coverage w/ a $500 deductable. Almost went with them because of their good reputation.

    Ended up going with the Anderson Group in part because of ISB's endorsement of the company.

  15. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Just a few comments. You don't have to join the ISB to get that rate from Anderson. Also, I have a Clarion policy and I pay $250 for up to $20,000, I believe. The limit is not $4000 for $250/year. Clarion is a wonderful company. I made my choice based partially on their excellent record of dealing with claims. That's very important to me. We all hope that nothing untoward ever occurs but we buy insurance because we know it can. If it does, it's important to me to know that I'm with a company that will not cause me grief. Finally, if I read the Anderson policy correctly, the valuation of the "incidental equipment" in addition to the instrument is limited to $999. In contrast, my Clarion policy covers it all.
  16. Clarion online quoted $165 for the policy plus $500 deductable, but when I called them they jacked it up to $250 premium, $1000 deductable.

    If Clarion had offered me what they offered you, I might have chosen them. They very clearly told me $250 for $4000 coverage, made no mention of $20,000 coverage or any additional coverage. The lady I spoke with was very nice, very prompt in returning calls and emails, but I got the overwhelming idea they were trying to stick it to me in terms of price. A sort of pass the buck, "it's not me, it's my supervisor" kinda thing (this is NOT a direct quote).
  17. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    My wife works for the CA state Dept. of Insurance and I can tell you that the general stigma of insurance companies being total bloodsuckers and only one step above pond scum is WELL deserved. I can't believe how ****ing shady some of these people are that sell insurance, it's scary. :meh:
  18. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    What?! But they seem so nice on the TV. Like a good neighbor. :rollno:
  19. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Good and bad in every business. Some bass dealers are princes, some are pond scum. :)

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