Instrument InsuranceInstruments: I need help choosing a new insurance company.
From E. Smith
Does anyone have suggestions for an insurer? I've stayed away from Clarion because they say the only insure instruments for musicians over age 18 and our most expensive instrument is played by a daughter under age 18. But it occurs to me that the instrument legally belongs to me, not her.
Any suggestions, recommendations?
From Kristian Rahbek KnudsenI have used Lark for many years and been happy with them. They insure all over the world in your local currency:
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 07:34 PM
From Hans PluharI have also been using Lark for a long time. I can recommend them too.
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 09:04 PM
From Pieter ViljoenI have used Heritage Instrument Insurance for many years. A lot of the big shops use it too.
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 10:01 PM
From E. SmithPieter, we've used Heritage, too, but they are dumping us! We had a couple of claims over the past three years, so I guess it is like car insurance. (These were not enormous claims, but I guess their underwriter, which is Traveler's, makes the decisions.)
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 11:10 PM
I've never heard of Lark, so I will certainly look into it.
From Marina FragoulisHow does one go about insuring? Do I have to get it appraised first? My Dad always kept the violin under the home insurance but I'm on my own now, and shamefully have not looked into this issue i.e. uninsured 1846 italian violin
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 11:13 PM
From Raphael KlaymanI have Clarion - a very popular one. But I guess it's hard to know how good a company is till you make a claim.
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 11:32 PM
Oops - just noticed that you mentioned Clarion.
From Peter CarterHow about Merz Huber in Strathmore Pennsylvania?They've been great for me...
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 11:41 PM
From Scott ColeI've used Merz-Huber for years, though I've never made a claim. They have a rate for ASTA members. And yes, they will require some kind of appraisal for your instrument. The only think I don't like is their new 1% added "terrorism" fee. Give me a break!
Posted on February 12, 2008 at 11:48 PM
I'm just wondering why the original poster can't get the instrument listed under their homeowners policy? I was under the impression that a special policy was needed for those who are professionals, but not students or amateurs.
From E. SmithScott, we have the highest possible deductible on our homeowner's, I've thought iwas not not practical for insuring an instrument that is taken to summer programs, on airplanes, etc. We would probably need to undergo some special appraisals to add it to our homeowner's (our piano is insured this way, but the chances of it being damaged or stolen are minimal, unless we had a fire or explosion. Since a house just recently exploded in our city, I wouldn't necessarily rule that out!)Although, if we are submitting appraisals or bills of sale to other insurance company, it might make a call to our homeowner's insurance company worthwhile. But I don't think I would take a risk just assuming it would be covered. Also-- in almost 20 years we've only made a single claim on the homeowner's policy, and the risk of being dropped by them if we made a claim would be more significant to our family. Hmm, food for thought. I guess insurance is always a gamble. I don't dare make claims on my car insurance, for example, even if someone sideswipes me in a parking lot and leaves damage, because I fear the policy going up in price, or worse, being dropped.
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 12:10 AM
From Valerie CoonIs it true that you can't have your homeowner's insurance cover it if you're a professional? I've been wondering about that very thing... :-S
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 01:43 AM
From Peter CarterThats what I was told Valerie.
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 03:10 PM
I know what you mean about the 1% terrorism charge Scott.Like you,instrument insurance is a 100% write off and a necessary evil in our profession.Merz Huber still has a very competitive rate(I think its 60 cents per hundred dollars of value).Does anyone know of a cheaper rate?
From Eric GodfreyPeter Carter wrote:
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 05:00 PM
instrument insurance is a 100% write off and a necessary evil in our profession.
Not necessarily - see the other thread: "Violinist trips, destroys Strad."
The Merz-Huber rate you quote is a good one, far less than Clarion charged me (I switched from them after one year when I realized they were charging me at least twice what all other companies wanted). Be sure to read the policy from any company you consider; not all are the same in provisions, restrictions, etc.
From Edward LoewensteinNot all insurance companies follow the same guidelines for insuring instruments. My homeowners policy covers my violin/bow under a 'personal articles floater'. No deductible, and the instrument is also covered during shippment to/from my luthier. All for less annual cost than insuring it for a single shippment via UPS or FedEx. The company is USAA. Excellent company, but they only deal with US military personnel or their dependents.
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 10:11 PM
From Peter CarterEric,I meant the yearly insurance premium is a 100% write off if you make your living playing on the instrument.I've been doing it for 21 years.
Posted on February 13, 2008 at 10:39 PM
From Corwin SlackI have a rider on my homeowners policy and I have never made any claims. I don't have specific knowledge of instrument insurance but I understand a few principals of insurance generally.
Posted on February 14, 2008 at 03:06 AM
1. Only insure the risks that you can't afford to self insure. Don't insure for minor things that you can cover out of your pocket.
From Craig ColemanOne violinist I know got her violin insured through Lloyds of London and also her hands incase of any accidents and she wouldn't be able to play.
Posted on February 14, 2008 at 03:25 AM
From Cynthia MarcusI have insured my violin and bow with a separate rider on my renters insurance. However, they told me that since I am no longer a student and that I now only use my violin professionally I can no longer be covered with renters insurance, so please make sure your company knows if the instrument is being used by a student, or as a hobby, or by a professional.
Posted on February 14, 2008 at 05:38 PM
Hear more from the world's top violinists in The Violinist.com Interviews: Volume 1, which includes our exclusive conversations with Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, and David Garrett, and others, as well as a foreword by Hilary Hahn.
Enter to win Rachel Barton Pine's just-released recording of the complete Mozart Violin Concertos and Sinfonia Concertante!
Please consider supporting Violinist.com by becoming a sponsor, and reaching our dedicated community of violin professionals, students and fans!