Values of your instruments
It is important to always insure your musical instruments for the correct value. Under insuring your instruments could lead to a lower payout than you are expecting or having the claim thrown out all together.
- Values of items fluctuate over time, some items will see their value rise while other items will see their market value drop. It is worth checking the value of your items on a regular basis.
- Visit your local music shop and ask for a valuation, some shops will do this for free while others will charge a small fee. For expensive items we would need sight of a valuation that is no older than 3 years.
- Or check the market price of your instrument. Remember that your instrument may no longer be being produced, in this case you should find out which model is the nearest modern equivalent.
- Update your insurance policy regularly, this will ensure that your instruments will be fully insured for their true value in the event of a claim.
- Look after your instruments, this will keep the value consistent.
Why insure your instruments?
A lot of musicians do not insurance their equipment, some believe they are careful and vigilant enough that their beloved equipment will not get damaged or stolen. All it takes is one lapse in concentration and it could lead to a very expensive mistake.
If you have no instruments because they are stolen or damaged beyond use then you will have to beg, borrow or steal in order to play that lucrative gig you have been offered.
Protecting your musical instruments
- Keep them in cases at all times they are not in use.
- Use good quality hard cases and make sure they are appropriate to your instrument. These cases can protect against impact and water damage. If the case has a lock use it to stop other people gaining access to the instrument and causing damage.
- Never leave your instruments in full view in your house, vehicle or other storage facility. If stored in a car always place them in the boot if possible and make sure all locks and alarms are activated. When kept in your house store them safely away from windows and any room with easy access. In a storage facility or other location use a securely locked room.
- Always activate any alarms and strong security in the places they are kept
- Use security film on the windows of vans and cars to make it difficult for a thief to smash the windows.
- If you ever lend your instruments ensure the person knows how to take proper care of your instruments and they follow the guidelines above.
Flying with your instruments
- If possible keep your instrument with you in hand luggage when flying, this will prevent unnecessary damage by baggage handlers.
- Temperatures in the hold can get far below freezing and can cause damage to instruments.
- Arrive early at the airport to allow plenty of time in case the instrument needs to be searched, this allows time to carefully repack the instruments.
- Use a proper travel case for your instrument. It needs to be a hard case, foam lined and be fully lockable.
- Always inspect your musical instrument after collecting it from the baggage carousel. If there is any sign of damage or tampering report it immediately to the airline.
- Lastly never let the item leave your sight in the airport, being vigilant can stop someone grabbing it as you wait for your taxi.
Protecting your musical equipment while on tour.
If you are a touring band it is usual for your equipment to be stored in a van or bus, this can make you a target for thieves who may assume your van is filled with valuable equipment.
- When loading and unloading equipment at a venue be extra vigilant as it can be a prime time for thieves to target your equipment. Always have someone standing by the van as items are being transported to and from a venue.
- Park your vehicle against a wall to stop people gaining access to the back doors.
- Install a good alarm system and consider deadlocks for the doors.
- Darken or tint the windows to stop people seeing in.
- Ensure the van is locked at all times when unattended.
- Use a car park with security if leaving it over night, or park it in a garage if at home.
- Consider chaining all your equipment together in the van, this will make it more difficult for thieves to take items.
- If you are staying in a hotel consider taking your instruments into the room with you.
- Make sure you have the appropriate insurance for your instruments, never assume your instruments are covered, check your documents or give us a call.
Remember for touring outside the UK your standard holiday Travel Insurance will not cover you for a working musician, a specialist policy can cover you when you take to the stage.