Good to know!

How is the insurance premium for a musical instrument insurance determined - based on the current value when new or the current market value?

The insurance premium is calculated based on the value when new, or the price determined by an expert for special instruments (often for string instruments).

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Can a band collectively insure the instruments of all its members?

The instruments may be insured together in the event of a tour, for example. However, this requires a consultation with the insurance provider as it is not a standard policy.

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Is it cheaper to take out a collective insurance policy for several instruments rather than purchasing individual insurance policies?

If a musician owns several instruments, these may be included in one policy as part of a list. However, discounts are only offered for entire orchestras. In general, the premium percentage depends on the instrument: insurance coverage for a double bass is much more expensive than that for a guitar.

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Compulsory automobile insurance across borders

In Germany, the EU, and many other countries, compulsory automobile insurance is required for the registration of a vehicle. Anyone driving his/her vehicle outside of the country of registration should carry an international motor insurance card (Green Card). Although the license plate agreement applies within Europe, the Green Card facilitates processing.  

The Green Card is required when entering the following countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Israel, Morocco, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Tunisia, and Ukraine. High fines may be levied if the Green Card is missing. 

The Green Card is available free of charge from one’s automobile liability insurance. The Green Card is usually valid for three years. 

For claims abroad, the German Green Card Bureau can be contacted for settlement (

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Package insurance deals

If one has already purchased an insurance policy or plans to purchase several, package deals are often recommended; for example, linking personal liability insurance with professional liability insurance. Such options can be cheaper than individual specialty insurance products. An independent insurance broker can assist you.

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Organizer risk – who is the “organizer”?

Each contract will determine who is considered the “organizer.” The organizer can be a hosting institution, a concert hall or a venue. However, if a company/an artist collective merely rents a venue and organizes everything independently, the company/collective itself is considered the organizer and the obligation to obtain insurance will be listed accordingly in the contract. The liability insurance of the lessor usually only covers damages caused by defective fixtures. The company/collective is liable for damages caused directly by the event or the equipment brought in by the company/collective. The responsibilities of both parties and the organizer’s risk will be stipulated in the contract.

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Bühnenversorgungskammer (chamber for social benefits and pensions of German stage workers)

The chamber for social benefits and pensions of German stage workers offers salaried employees of German theaters additional coverage to the statutory pension insurance for retirement, in case of disabilities, and for death. (Bayerische Versorgungskammer - German only).

Since January 1, 2017, stage artists in the independent dance and theater scene as well as stage performers working independently in theaters are eligible for voluntary insurance with the Versorgungsanstalt der deutschen Bühnen (VddB). Voluntarily insured persons have the same entitlements to old-age, occupational disability and survivors' benefits as compulsorily insured persons (information).

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False information on the registration form

Providing false or incomplete information (e.g., regarding pre-existing illness) when purchasing insurance will lead to denial of payment in case of a later claim. The application form usually contains a note to this effect.

If the value of works of art is specified as less than it actually is when transporting them, this is known as underinsurance. In the case of damage to the works, underinsurance leads to the insurance company limiting its coverage. If, for example, art worth 100 000 euros is indicated as having a value of only 50 000 euros, the transport is underinsured by 50%. If damage amounting to 20 000 euros occurs, the insurance would pay only 50%, i.e. 10 000 euros, of this amount. 

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Eyeglass insurance

Supplementary health insurances are available for wearers of glasses, which may also provide coverage abroad. In many cases, however, it may be advisable to save some money for emergencies rather than to get this insurance.  

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Travel cancelation insurance

It is worth considering whether to take out a travel cancelation policy when a project is still uncertain, a visa is still pending, etc. It must be clarified which cases of cancelation the insurance covers and to what extent; for example, if the plane ticket would be refunded. 

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Travelers’ baggage insurance

Purchasing baggage insurance is not worthwhile in most cases because the refund is usually tied to complicated policy conditions. There is a high risk of not receiving reimbursement in case of loss or theft. In many cases, home contents insurance also protects luggage abroad.  

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Vaccinations help to better protect oneself from certain diseases. The website of the Foreign Office provides vaccination recommendations for specific countries (in German only). The Institute of Tropical Medicine also provides detailed information about the risks in different countries and regions and offers vaccination consultations (€20-€25) both online and in person. One may also seek advice from public health departments and general practitioners. Some health insurances cover the cost of the often rather pricey vaccines, so inquiring is recommended.

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