Musical instrument insurance

Did you leave your guitar on the train or drop your violin during a concert?

In order to be well protected in such cases, owners of musical instruments are advised to take out musical instrument insurance. This type of insurance offers what is known as all risks coverage. The key points of such policies are explained in the following.

The benefits of musical instrument insurance policies far exceed those of ordinary household insurance policies. In the case of household insurance, instruments are only insured while inside the home, or, if supplemental off-premises coverage has been taken out, in other closed rooms (e.g., hotel room). Furthermore, since such policies only cover a limited percentage of the value of the item insured, very expensive instruments may not be protected sufficiently.

Musical instrument insurance, on the other hand, also includes transport damage, simple theft and carelessness on the part of the owner - at concerts, on the road and in the rehearsal space. It offers protection for musical instruments of any kind as well as accessories, such as cases, sheet music, or music stands.

Musical instrument insurance provides what is known as all risks coverage. It usually covers the following risks:

  • Damage to the instrument
  • Loss through theft, robbery, extortion
  • Loss and mix-ups resulting in the wrong instrument being taken
  • Embezzlement, fraud
  • Accident involving the means of transport
  • Destruction by fire, lightning, explosion
  • Destruction by water, moisture or natural disasters such as storm, hail, flooding

Good coverage should also include the following:

  • In addition to the instrument, the policy should cover any accessories, e.g., cases, bags, stands, straps, holders, etc.
  • Electronic and electrical accessories (lighting and sound technology and accessories) should be covered, e.g., electronic and electrical transmitters and amplifiers, speakers and microphones, etc.
  • The full insured value should be reimbursed in the event of loss and the full repair costs should be covered in the event of damage.

Important: The night-time clause, which applies between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., must be considered. If instruments are left in a car (as is often the case for larger instruments) during this period, for example, during an overnight stay, they are not insured. However, this night-time clause may be removed in return for a higher premium.

How is the insurance premium determined?

The musical instrument insurance premium depends on the value of the instrument.
Usually, an annual premium of 1.5% (plus insurance tax) of the value when new applies. However, this percentage may vary from instrument to instrument and also depends on the area the insurance covers (e.g., Germany, Europe, world).

Who should take out a musical instrument insurance policy?

In general, it is advisable to cover any risks that may threaten one's livelihood. If, for example, damage to or loss of the instrument would result in a loss of a musician's income and thus threaten his/her livelihood, the instrument should be insured. If any damage or loss can be weathered financially, the question of whether to take out insurance coverage is a personal decision.

Example
A band is going on its first Europe tour and wants to insure all musical instruments and equipment. Can the band - as a partnership under civil law, for example - take out some kind of collective insurance? Should supplemental transport insurance be taken out?

This raises the question: Who owns the instruments? The artists or the partnership? While the partnership under civil law may take out insurance for the instruments for the duration of the tour, even if they are owned by the artists, the instruments would then only be insured while being used on behalf of the partnership. This requires a consultation with the insurance provider as it is not a standard policy. Supplemental transport insurance is only recommended if further items other than the instruments also need to be insured.

Both the geographical scope of the policy (Germany, Europe, world) and the night-time clause must be considered in any case!

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