After a near-miss accident on the train this past week, I'm thinking it's time to purchase insurance for my violin. I'm not a professional and have no intention of becoming one, but this instrument is THE most expensive thing I own.
Any advice on who to purchase a policy from? Horror stories too?
Thanks in advance!
I highly recommend doing so, had the absolut worst case once and the money a few days after it. I could not get restored but I was able to buy a new instrument, it was well above 10k the insurance company payed without hesetating. Mannheimer is my insurance company currently, I currently got about 40k insurance value and pay $370 per year if I remember correctly.
OP, you have a student violin, don't you? Add it to your homeowner's insurance policy (or renter's insurance if you have that). My sister had a serious accident with a contemporary violin worth in the $5k range, and homeowner's insurance covered it.
Thanks Marc for the response. I live in the US.
My sister's mishap was outside the house and the homeowner's policy covered it, at least. Our instruments were explicitly declared in the policy, though.
I have homeowners and vehicle insurance through Allstate. My violin is covered as a homeowners rider. Musical instruments (except common pianos, which are considered furniture) are generally not covered on an individuals homeowners or renters policy. It was a ten-minute phone call and an email to send the agent some documentation. The violin is fully insured, even in my car. I think I might pay $120 per year for a $14000 valuation. Just the violin is insured. The case and bow are not special, so I don't insure those. I guess I won't know the "value" of this insurance unless something happens to my violin, which so far it hasn't.
I use Clarion and pay about $140/year for less than $20,000 worth of instruments.
Be careful about using homeowners insurance if you use your violin professionally. You may get no payout if you claim. I use a specialist firm and my premium is about 2K. My instruments are not insured if left in a car, but why would anyone do that anyway?
These are all matters to discuss with one's agent. What I believe would be most useful in a thread like this would be to have the actual names of agencies that people have used, what they pay (perhaps in dollars per year per $100 of insured value), and a list of important questions to ask one's agent.
I use Anderson and have been quite happy with them. I've heard good things about Clarion and Heritage, too, but Anderson ended up offering the best quote. My homeowners' insurance only wanted to give me $2,000 coverage on my main instrument, and only if it never left the house. When I inquired about getting a rider from them, they quoted a much higher premium than Clarion or Anderson. For me, a separate policy for instruments with a specialist company was the way to go.
OP, if you have a homeowners or renters policy, just call them and ask if they'll cover it and what you need to do. Then you'll really know.
@Jennifer, yeah that's my biggest worry about my current RI. They said they won't cover anything that happens outside of the home [per my 2nd post], so purchasing a separate policy is what I'm going to do. I was asking for names of insurers and experiences, but I've looked through older posts and found some.
I use heritage for mine. I believe the annual price was about 150 for about 15k of coverage. I sent the agent a long list of scenarios to make sure they would be covered.
Even though my violin is only $3800, I do have insurance for it, just in case. The issue is because I've had some (cough cough) serious incidents with my past violins at school where people (stupid tuba players) stepped on it...
Oh btw it was in my case with a few other people's instruments
Unfortunately, in many rehearsal rooms, there is not enough space for all violinists to be able to put their case on a safe surface, which results in cases being on the floor during a rehearsal-break and the like.
The idea of walking so heavy that one steps on a violin case hard enough to damage the instrument inside makes me cringe..
I had asked the agent that sold me the policy if it would be covered if someone knocked it off a violin stand or knocked it over and did damage, he said yes. But I've never had to go through a claims process to see how difficult getting a claim paid is.