Even if we are extremely careful with our stringed instrument, accidents can still happen. The best way to protect the instrument against irreparable damage and high repair or replacement costs is to have an effective insurance policy in place. Purchasing the right insurance for your violin, viola, or cello will ensure that these high costs won’t come directly out of your pocket.
Homeowner and Renter Insurance
Most homeowners and rental insurance policies will cover the cost of your instrument if damaged in a fire or if a theft occurs. It’s important to create a separate policy with your company, it may be called something like a personal articles policy. These are typical for jewelry or other valuables in the home. While this coverage tends to be the most reasonably priced, this type of insurance rarely covers most of the threats to your instrument and bow. It would be important to clarify with your agent the specific details of what is covered by the policy.
Specialized Stringed Instrument Insurance
In most cases, regardless if you are renting or own your instrument and bow, for both professionals and amateurs, the best choice is a dedicated instrument insurance company that specializes in stringed instrument insurance. By choosing a specialist that understands the value of your instrument, you generally get better coverage and more protection options. They are typically priced between $0.75 to $2.00 per $100 in coverage, and minimum coverage amounts can start at as low as $500.
Symphony and Ensemble Members
Many major symphonies as well as a number of teaching associations have group policies for instrument insurance for their members. These specialized companies often have a partnership with orchestras or groups and offer their members discounts on premiums. Any member of an orchestra or ensemble should check to see if they are eligible for a discount through a specific company.
Insurance Appraisals and Certificates
Depending on the value of your instrument and bow, some companies may require a photo certificate, insurance appraisal, and/or a sales receipt for the instrument. Check with your local luthier for advice on what is best for you and your instrument. It would still be a good idea to take pictures of your instrument, bow, case, certificates, appraisals, and rental agreement or sales receipt to keep in your personal records.
The following list are several reputable companies that provide stringed instrument insurance at competitive rates; as with all types of insurance, shop around and get several quotes:
- Anderson Group – Musical Instruments Insurance Solutions, LLC
- Clarion Insurance
- Heritage Insurance
- Huntington T. Block
- MusicPro Insurance Agency
- Total Dollar Insurance
Maintenance and Care
It’s important to remember that instrument insurance doesn’t replace the proper care and maintenance of your instrument and bow. Things like regular professional cleanings, rehairs, and checkups by a qualified technician as well as proper transportation and storage are some of the best ways to maintain your equipment.