Musical Instruments

Many homes include instruments as part of their contents. Besides pianos, there are guitars, basses, drums, flutes, cellos, violins, clarinets, trumpets; the list goes on. Instruments may also be electronic (including newer versions of string instruments) and, in that case, they may be accompanied by amplifiers.

If someone in the home is involved in bands, then there may be lots of related equipment such as public address mixers, soundboards, monitors, speakers, stands, cords, cables and other property.

In many instances, not much is at stake. The instruments may have a modest value and a loss may be something that falls under most homeowner policy deductibles. However, there are many situations where the investment in instruments may be in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

It is very important that you take care to assess the value of the instruments and related property that you own, rent or borrow. Then proper coverage must be arranged. Additional work may be needed to, either add-on (endorse) coverage to a homeowner policy (often called adding an instrument schedule) or purchase a separate policy. Separate coverage may be necessary for different reasons such as the value of the instrument, the need for appraisals or other documents to substantiate the amount of coverage and, how the instruments are used.

If there is any business-related use of an instrument, coverage is often excluded for the property; even add-on coverage may not apply to business use. Therefore, a separate commercial insurance policy becomes even more important when the property is used for performance for pay, or is transported to different locations. Homeowner property coverage is based on the assumption that most property remains in the home; so extra coverage is often necessary for certain types of property that is frequently used away from the home (regardless if it is business or non-business use).

Coverage is usually based on both the use of the property and its total replacement value. So, if you're making music at home, avoid sour notes and be sure your instruments are protected.

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