Protecting Your Instruments: Do You Have the Right Insurance Policy?

This article is sponsored by Take1 Insurance

By Marcus Paxton, Managing General Agent Entertainment Division, Take1 Insurance

Musicians who perform on a professional level are heavily invested in both their careers and the instruments that keep them performing at a peak level every time they take a stage or enter a recording studio. As a result, they do everything possible to make sure their instruments are protected and maintained. But, when it comes to insurance, it’s surprising how many musicians simply assume that their standard homeowner’s policy is all that they need to protect their investment.

Put simply, all musicians should ensure their equipment investments are protected against the unexpected. Fire, flood, or theft can impact your livelihood. Many musicians rely on standard homeowners coverage when specialized business insurance is better suited to protect valuable instruments. Personal homeowners insurance is designed to protect the home and its contents when used as a house. Many personal policies actually exclude coverage should a claim arise and there is a business exposure in the home (recording studio), or if the equipment is damaged in a paid performance. Home insurance companies will often agree to cover a music studio in the garage when alerted in advance. However, it is likely that the additional premium charge may end up being more expensive than obtaining a specialized policy to cover professional equipment.

There are a limited number of commercial insurance carriers who are dedicated to the entertainment industry and who provide enhanced policies designed with the professional, traveling musician in mind. These carriers have dedicated claims staff that understands the difference between a keyboard and a soundboard. Policies provided by such carriers can provide not only coverage of the cost associated with replacing the damaged or lost equipment, but also coverage of additional expenses required to expedite the delivery of the new instrument to a performer’s next venue if the artist is out on tour.

Dealing with a specialized entertainment insurance carrier also helps to ensure that an industry expert who understands the entertainment industry is taking a complete look at your professional life. This professional evaluation can pinpoint gaps in a performer’s current coverage, particularly if the artist is relying on and hoping for complete coverage from a homeowner’s policy. The simple fact of the matter is that many homeowner policies contain common exclusions to claims arising from touring or even something as common as theft of equipment from an unattended auto.

Musical equipment is not the only aspect of insurance that touring entertainers should be concerned about. Insurance should be in place to safeguard artists when a third party is injured, or the property of others is damaged, as a result of a performance, or equipment failure. Equipment plugged into the venue’s power supply may start a fire, someone might trip over an artist’s electric cable or the drumstick tossed into the crowd could cause injury to a spectator. These are just a few examples of claims that can occur with touring entertainers—claims that might not be covered by a standard policy.

So, when it comes to protecting the artist and the artist’s equipment with insurance, it pays to mind the gaps. Take the time to review your current policy with an entertainment industry professional who understands the real world challenges that touring professional musicians face every time they take to the road and go on tour.

Marcus Paxton is managing general agent for the Entertainment Division at Take1 Insurance. Visit take1insurance.com or call 1-800-856-7035 for more information.

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