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The Gear Insurance Thread

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by TCollins, Aug 16, 2000.

  1. TCollins


    Apr 4, 2000
    I currently have renter's insurance and all of my gear is insured "when it it is at home". I do leave some of my stuff at the club where we are the "house band". My question is-Do you any of you have insurance on your gear that covers it when it is at the place where you play? Are you satisfied with your coverage? Is it expensive? Any suggestions? Thanks!
    Ty_Boogie likes this.
  2. frost13


    Apr 12, 2000
    Good question! I just moved and it helped to remind me to check the homeowners policy. Some cover your instuments regardless of where they are, but others just cover them at home. I better make that call!....:)
    Ty_Boogie likes this.


    May 29, 2000
    hooksett NH USA
    were can you get insurance if you dont own a home or really rent one either???????
  4. Be advised: Check your homeowner's insurance CAREFULLY. If you are using your musical equipment outside of your house for financial gain (i.e. you're gigging at all), MOST if not all policies will NOT cover the loss of or damage to your musical equipment. You will need to get professional musician's insurance, which I need to do myself, but I'm an awful procrastinator (or is it more correct to say that I'm a very good one? :D).
    Marley's Ghost and Ty_Boogie like this.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I've heard the same thing.
  6. funkastorious


    May 26, 2000
    Mpls, MN.
    As GARD mentions, your gear is NOT COVERED by either your homeowners or renter's insurance if you use your gear in a professional situation. (i.e., you get paid to play).

    So, you should leave out "club where we are the house band" if you file a claim.

    Yes, your gear is covered if it's ripped off out of your car.....but once again, as long as you aren't getting paid to do it.

    There is some grey zome in here. I'm not saying you should lie on your claims, but be aware that your verbiage is the difference between being covered or not.

    Taking out additional "business" insurance is not that big of deal. The biggest problem is separating all the expenses. There are advantages to claiming yourself as a business as well. If you buy $5000 worth of gear, but only make $1500 at gigs,,,,,can you say "ride-off". Can you say, tax deductible expenses? Can you say "cha-ching".

    Another factor to consider is health insurance as well. If you have a full time job, but professionally gig on the weekend and end up with a beer bottle smacking you while on stage, it's very possible that your claim through your standard health provider would be denied if you rambled about how awesome the gig was going and how much money you lost out on from not finishing the gig.

    Not sure where it is, but there's a bunch of online references for gigging musicians out there.

  7. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I've been through this (see photo) -- forget homeowners insurance if you play out. And even if you don't, it may be a hassle and you may need to check your policy limits, which set dollar caps on certain categories, like jewelry.


    That's my pair of 18" folded horn cabs on the left, grille cloth burnt, insides roasted, the Peavey head on top with the plastic front melted. Blackface Fender Bassman head (used for monitors) on the floor in 3" of water. It wasn't a pretty sight. Ten feet away the whole roof had caved in. We scraped melted tolex off cabinets, sanded and recovered them with new speakers inside. It was very depressing and very expensive. I hope it never happens to you.

    Musical instrument insurance is a good investment. The photo above is from around 1975- we played a club Friday night, came back to do Saturday and found it mostly burned to the ground. No help from the owner- the bastard never even called us to tell us it burned down early that morning and never even paid us for the Friday performance. We were only a week or so from getting group insurance; got a policy app through the Musicians' Union and were waiting for the ******* guitarist to get his receipts together.

    I should mention my van was broken into in '81 and a few things were stolen, including my Polytone bass amp. That time I had insurance.

    I have my musical instrument insurance through Merz-Huber -- they and another company offer roughly the same rates. There is a link to both companies under MISC on my Double Bass Links page at http://www.gollihur.com/kkbass/basslink.html

    If you just call out of the blue, the rates will be high. The trick is to belong to a qualifying organization. For instance, I belong to the ISB (International Society of Bassists), a Double Bass organization, which is $35/yr. for membership; you get newsletters and magazines - big deal. However, by being a member you get a rate less than half regular folks get. You can usually ask these outfits what club you might have to join - who cares if it's not bass-related if the savings is five times the dues?

    I insure over $20K worth of stuff (basses, amps, effects, rack cases) for a little over $110/yr. All risk, whether you leave a bass on the loading dock or a drunk knocks over your stack, $100 deductible.

    Pardon the long message, but I hope you assess your own risks and do something rather than wish you had. I don't feel bad about leaving my stuff overnight at clubs.
  8. Bob-

    Thanks for the informative post, I'm going to nose around your site when I get some time (got 3 gigs this weekend...) and check out the insurance stuff. Sounds like it may be a very good investment.
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
  10. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
  11. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    what's "bump" mean?
  12. Bump means he posted to the thread to move it back up to the top, Bob G. Good idea, very useful thread.

    Why, because it's useful, pkr2 :D
  13. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Many thanks, Gard.

    Will C.:cool:
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have special musical instrument insurance - it was recommended at the Jazz Summerschool I attend each year. There are a lot of Double Bass players who couldn't make a living if they lost their bass! I was recommeded PJ Jenkins and Co. in the UK - they are specialist insurers for Musicians. I pay £40 p.a. and this covers my gear, which is worth several thousands of £s.
  15. Doug


    Apr 5, 2000
    Buffalo, N.Y.
    Great info there Bob. We (my band) are cuurently shopping around for insurance. We were primarily looking at renters insurance to cover our equipment at the facility which we practice at. After seeing Bob's photos, I may now be leaning more toward instrument insurance in the event of theft or damage at a club.
  16. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Great idea Doug, please let us know what you come up with. I know my ears perked up with what i have read here.
  17. 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.
    etherealme likes this.
  18. This one might be a trifle close to the edge but here goes.....

    Does anyone have advice for pertaining to where to go for this insurance: what companies, who's best, etc?


  19. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've looked into musician insurance. I'm too young. They won't insure a sixteen year old bassist.

    Has anyone managed to get coverage for their gear under their homeowner's insurance? I know mine covers my gear while it's in the house, and my auto insurace covers it while it's in the car, locked. But outside of the house and the car it's uninsured. Does anyone know a way to get an addition to their homeowner's insurance to cover this equipment?
  20. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    A lot of homeowners' policies cover the gear at all times. Just about all my stuff is covered at all times. A friend of mine bought a brand new Ampeg rig, and first gig he took it to, it was stolen from backstage. His homeowner's policy covered it.

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