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Thread: Insuring your Balls

  1. #1

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    Question Insuring your Balls

    I've got a question, particularly for those guys on here with large collections. How do you have your instruments insured?

    We've had an uptick in property crime around my neighborhood that has me a little concerned. We're a tough target because someone is home most of the time, but my small collection has grown a bit over the past couple of years, and I couldn't replace it if something were to happen to it. I'd always assumed that they would be covered under homeowners, but after talking to my agent, I think I need to look into other options.

    If you are, how are you insured? Have you had to use it? Good stories? Bad stories?
    My stuff:
    2007 Axis Pacific Blue Burst (9/25/07)
    2016 Axis SS Starry Night PDN (11/23/16)
    2016 Axis SS Semi-Hollow Trans Teal one-off (6/8/16)
    2018 Axis BFR Steel Blue No. 45 (9/18/18)
    2010 JP6 Mystic Dream (6/22/10)
    1989 Fender HM Strat HSS Blackstone
    2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Caribbean Night
    1995 Washburn N2 Padauk Stain
    2017 Taylor 224ce-K DLX Koa
    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
    SBMM S.U.B. SB4 Black

    http://mountainkingmusic.com
    http://spychocyco.blogspot.com

  2. #2

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    Great question. Personally, no but I should. I do worry about it a lot because crime is in an uptick mode most places. I do have a home security system and keep my most valued all chain locked together to make it difficult to grab and run.

    Here is what I know: most homeowner insurance do not cover music instruments if they are used professionally. The definition of professional is one that earns money with those instruments, no matter how much or how little.

    Here are two insurance companies that specialize in musical instrument insurance:

    Heritage Insurance Services - Heritage Insurance Service - Insurance for fine musical instruments
    Insurance

    Clarion Associates - Music Instrument Insurance, Musicians Insurance, Music Equipment & Gear Insurance

    Good luck
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  3. #3

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    I'm self-employed and have a legal requirement here in France for the minimum liability insurance (in case say I do a guitar lesson at your house and spill coffee on your computer). So while I was shopping around for that I inquired about adding all my guitar gear to the insurance, in case of theft or fire or whatever.

    Rather than have worry about current or future value of instruments vs cost to replace, I simply declare a value to replace everything if it was lost and the yearly premium is calculated based on that declared amount (which automatically increases yearly according to the local rate of inflation). They'll pay out up to the declared amount (although if I claim due to theft the amount is reduced a little). I'm happy and I have peace of mind.

    Also covers some hospital costs if I'm attacked coming home from a gig or guitar lesson. I know some people that's happened to so that's peace of mind.
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  4. #4

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    I currently don't have them insured but you should easily be able to add an insurance rider on to your homeowners policy that will cover them. We had such a rider for my wife's jewelry.

  5. #5

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    I use Clairon for all my instruments and studio gear. 100% replacement cost you are covered 100%. Even if you ship your instrument UPS or Fedex. It's not all that expensive either.

  6. #6

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    I had a break-in about five years ago - but took guns and not guitars...

    Have since added a security system, but since I've got about a quarter million dollars worth of music gear looked into this seriously as a homeowners policy tops out at about $2,000...

    Since I don't play professionally, best option for me was to add a rider to my homeowners (was half the price of some of the companies that advertise musical instrument insurance).

    So, consider your circumstances (professional or not) and then shop around.

    Kevin
    Curator of The Morseum

    Top dollar paid for "First 50" Morses!

  7. #7

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    I should probably look into this myself. Not particularly worried about crime in my neighborhood. However fire, earthquakes, and force majeure are always a concern. Always make sure your wife unplugs the straightening iron, make sure the stove is off, and don't smoke in bed.

    Just an aside, one of the greatest deterrents to thieves/home invaders is having a strong community. Get to know your neighbors! Theft is generally a crime of opportunity. They're waiting for nobody to be there, doors to be left unlocked, general lack of vigilance, that's why community is so important.
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  8. #8

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    Crime is lowering across the US, not rising. What Caused Crime to Decline in the U.S.? - The Atlantic

  9. #9

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    Can't speak for the whole US, but I can speak for my neighborhood, and it's definitely rising here. Been here almost 20 years, and the last few years have brought quite a few problems that we've never had before.
    My stuff:
    2007 Axis Pacific Blue Burst (9/25/07)
    2016 Axis SS Starry Night PDN (11/23/16)
    2016 Axis SS Semi-Hollow Trans Teal one-off (6/8/16)
    2018 Axis BFR Steel Blue No. 45 (9/18/18)
    2010 JP6 Mystic Dream (6/22/10)
    1989 Fender HM Strat HSS Blackstone
    2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Caribbean Night
    1995 Washburn N2 Padauk Stain
    2017 Taylor 224ce-K DLX Koa
    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
    SBMM S.U.B. SB4 Black

    http://mountainkingmusic.com
    http://spychocyco.blogspot.com

  10. #10

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    Just like medical treatments, one person's experience may differ from others and the overall trend may be different from what some people experience, whatever that may be.

    That said, let's keep the thread back on topic.
    Last edited by DrKev; 07-22-2017 at 01:01 AM.
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    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

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    Ernie Ball Customer Service
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    An Irishman in Paris, guitar teacher and tech, folder of underpants, stubber of toes.

  11. #11

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    I have an insurance policy in my storage unit, which mostly covers my drums. Guitar cases / bags are in there, too. Then, I have AAA for home/renter insurance. But when I asked them about musical instrument coverage, they said that they cover it "to a point." I think they're concerned about a super-expensive collectible getting destroyed or something. At any rate, "to a point" just isn't quite good enough for me, so I'll rely on that insurance for the TV, home computer, furniture, etc.

    So I just went to the Clarion site and asked them for a quote. Looking forward to hearing from them.

  12. #12

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    I looked into Clarion last week. The coverage looks good and the premiums are reasonable. Probably going to go with them. My homeowners agent started talking about receipts and appraisals, and I'm guessing appraisals would add up pretty quickly. Clarion will accept your valuation and set the premium to match. They only require appraisals or receipts on single items valued at over $5K, which doesn't apply to any of my gear.
    My stuff:
    2007 Axis Pacific Blue Burst (9/25/07)
    2016 Axis SS Starry Night PDN (11/23/16)
    2016 Axis SS Semi-Hollow Trans Teal one-off (6/8/16)
    2018 Axis BFR Steel Blue No. 45 (9/18/18)
    2010 JP6 Mystic Dream (6/22/10)
    1989 Fender HM Strat HSS Blackstone
    2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Caribbean Night
    1995 Washburn N2 Padauk Stain
    2017 Taylor 224ce-K DLX Koa
    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
    SBMM S.U.B. SB4 Black

    http://mountainkingmusic.com
    http://spychocyco.blogspot.com

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by spychocyco View Post
    They only require appraisals or receipts on single items valued at over $5K, which doesn't apply to any of my gear.
    That's really good to know.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by spychocyco View Post
    My homeowners agent started talking about receipts and appraisals, and I'm guessing appraisals would add up pretty quickly.
    Yup. This is what I was talking about with current value vs cost to replace. What will risible amount they decide something might be worth at some point in time in the future when I urgently need enough cash to buy a replacement?
    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

    Forum Rules and Useful MM Guitar Info

    Required reading - Forum Decorum

    Ernie Ball Customer Service
    Music Man Customer Service


    An Irishman in Paris, guitar teacher and tech, folder of underpants, stubber of toes.

  15. #15

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    Clarion gave me a call back.

    They thanked me for my interest, and said that their underwriting department gave my situation "careful review."

    They said that my "risk does not fall within the scope of their program."

    They said there were "multiple items that prevent it from qualifying," and did not clarify what those items might be.

    They also indicated that there was "custody control exposure," because the drums, hardware, and guitar cases were in a storage unit, and that this increases risk of loss. I don't ship my instruments, ever, so that was not part of the concern.

    So, in short, I just finished listening to their rejection voicemail. If you have a collection of 14 guitars, 4 basses, a few keyboards, and a storage unit with two drum sets, drum hardware, and guitar cases, then you will not qualify.

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