Musical instruments are valuable assets, sometimes of great value, like in the case of antique instruments. Even when the value is not as great, our cello is worth ensuring, so that it is protected from damages, thefts or losses. This is well known by insurance companies and brokers who have specific insurance policies for this kind of goods.
First of all, generally speaking, policies vary according to the instrument: contemporary music with amplified appliances and broadcasting systems or classical music with string instruments, wind instruments or others. Besides, as regards classical music, there are specific policies to ensure lute players, curators, orchestras, museums, and theaters.
1 First step: evaluating the instrument and supplying photos
The first step in choosing a policy for our cello is to establish its value. We are not taking antique instruments with artistic and historical value into consideration (we’ll do it in detail in a proper article). Some companies require that you deposit the photo of the instrument and, obviously, the purchase contract certifying its value. One can also use the manufacturer’s official price list.
If all this is not possible, the insurance company will ask qualified professional people for evaluation.
2 Insurance coverage and time limit
The time limit of the insurance coverage is agreed upon in the contract and it works both when the instrument is being used, in concerts or study time, and when it is stored. It also usually works when the instrument is temporarily lent to other people, given in custody or entrusted for transport. Damage or loss coverage during air flights (see our article) is particularly important.
3 Insurance and depreciation policy
For string instruments insurance policies consider other elements such as the depreciation of the instrument, that is its diminished trade value due to restoration after damage, for example. Depreciation may be far superior to the mere cost of restoration.
4 Declared value and value agreed on for reimbursement: do they have a different meaning?
They do. They have a different meaning and this is important when we ask for a reimbursement.
Valued agreed on: both the owner and the insurance agent agree on the value of the instrument.
Declared value Is exclusively based on the owner’s declaration.
5 Insurance and qualified experts for conservation and restoration
The insurance agent often needs consulting professional people in the field of conservation and restoration of instruments in order to establish the insurance premium and the compensation of damage. The insurance agent may be in a position to send the musician to these professional people to solve these issues.
6 Which insurance companies
There are many companies insuring artworks and in particular musical instruments. Almost all of them do, the main ones being AXA XI, Vittoria, Helvetia, and Zurich.
For those who want to rely on a Brokerage company for the choice of the insurance company, we remind Assimusica, in Cremona, which is the brand of the music division of Studio Broker (specialized in covers for the world of music and entertainment), NSA Insurance Broker and Progress Insurance Broker.
Some important luthiers generally simply advise their customers which companies to turn to. For example, Scrollavezza & Zanrè suggest customers the English company Lark Insurance.
7 Payment of the policy
There are different methods of payment for premiums: from bank transfers to direct payment in the insurance company’s seat to online payments.