Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please. - Jemsite
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-01-2006, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Renters Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

Hey all.

So the insurance company mailed a letter saying it has decided to modify my renters insurance by NOT covering my musical equipment and guitars. My worst nightmare is coming home from work and seeing the door broken down and the place gutted including the guitars gone. Enough of the thought!!!...

I have not called them yet to discuss the matter because I would like to gain some direction from here first.

So those who have insurance on your precious equipment and guitars, how do you have it all covered?

--Itemized or Blanket coverage?

--Do you report to the insurance company the Market Value or Factory List Price of your equipment? If you report Market Value, how do you determine this and what about increases in value as time goes by?



Any other issues, advice and topics are welcomed. Thanks for the help everyone.



Paul

Last edited by Paul_R; 07-02-2006 at 12:16 AM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

My home owners policy covers my gear, but for you I'd recommend looking into personal property insurance. In my case, the rider for gear like mine isn't too bad, but for my wife's jewelry it was enormous so I stuck all of it on a separate personal property insurance policy. It's a few hundred bucks a year for a lot of coverage. I'm a veteran so mine is through Armed Forces Insurance, but there are plenty of different companies out there. Just search the web for personal property insurance and do your homework. The devil is the details and fine print on these sorts of policies so be sure you'll be covered for the situations you most frequently find yourself in. For instance, some will cover all loss and theft but if you drop your rack off the back of a truck and ruin everything then you're screwed, or if a tree fell on it it would be covered...just know what you're insuring yourself against.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2006, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

Thanks Gresh that's really helpful. I have USAA insurance so I'm sure they'll present various options for coverage (I HOPE!).

I think I am mostly concerned about theft or property damage (e.g., fire, earthquake, and yes, the ol' "OMG! the equipment is flying off the truck " during travel.)

I had someone spill beer on one of my foot pedals long ago, but I don't think that will occur again. I learned my lesson about keeping drunk people away from equipment. But, back then it would have been nice to have coverage for it...if they would cover for something like that.

Paul
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2006, 04:13 PM
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

Your policy likely pays Replacement Cost (the amount necessary to replace the property at current dollars). It may pay Actual Cash Value (as above less depreciation). I don't know what form you have & not sure how they could say you musical gear is not covered unless you use it in a business and then it's limited in dollars (usually like $2500 on premises and $500 off). I'd have to read your policy in order to know what is and isn't covered because forms do vary a bit in how they respond to loss, but you can do that. I'm a property & casualty insurance instructor so I'm telling you what I tell anybody who wants to know what's covered (read the policy's property section) , then what you don't understand you can ask your agent.

If you have a fire and you lose your gear, they'd be hard pressed to deny payment unless it's an excluded type of property. My gear is covered because it's not excluded - I just increased my personal property limit so in the event of a larger loss (like a fire) I have enough dollars to pay for a covered cause of loss (like fire or theft).

Be concerned with 2 things - money (do I have enough $ to pay for a loss I could have) & coverage (will my policy respond to the type of damage or loss caused to the property).

Gresh is right - there are endorsements that you can add hard to value or expensive types of property that address the 2 concerns above. The purpose is to keep these listed valuable items (like gear and jewelry) out of your regular limit for personal property so you don;t have to decide to keep the J-Custom or wear clothes to work! Also the coverage is greater (like breakage or mysterious disappearance - even falling off the back of a truck on most forms unless excluded) for the scheduled items and you can agree to an amount of coverage if it's a tough to replace item (RG-ART for example) so if you can't replace it you get the amount listed for it.

But to know what you have, you have to read the policy.

LMK if any other questions.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2006, 04:40 PM
 
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Re: Renters Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_R
--Itemized or Blanket coverage?

Paul
Itemize EVERYTHING! (model #/serial #, etc) It really helps at the time of loss to have receipts / photos. They need to know what you paid for each item and that you ACTUALLY owned the items! There's a LOT of fraud out there and if you don;t have PROOF you owned the said items, there's a good chance you won't be able to recover for them.

My advice. Buy a big safe www.citadelsafe.com.

You may be able to recover the money for an FP, but can you get the same one again????
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

yes, itemize everthing is right. You can't be too detailed here, the less you are the more wiggle room the insurer will have and they will take every opportunity not to pay you. Most personal property policies require itemization, or scheduling, for valuable items like instrument collections, jewelry etc...this is a good thing so do it, but you do need to make sure that you are leaving enough to cover unscheduled items if you have extra things that wouldn't be covered under your renter's insurance. So if I have a policy that's $20,000 and I have $15,000 in scheduled instruments and items, then only $5,000 remains to cover anything else. In my case, all I have on my personal property is the jewelry and the coverage equals the value of my scheduled items, everything else I need coverage for is maintained in my home owners policy.

Message here is make sure your policies make sense for what your needs are.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2006, 06:06 PM
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

Jim is the expert here! Just to interject though, when I was renting, and alot of my equipment was at a practice space, I asked about my renter's insurance and coverage for my guitars, etc... IIRC, the guitars in the townhouse would be covered, unless, I was making money with them, then they are regarded as business equipment (your comment about them falling off the back of a truck reminded me of this). So, if you are gigging regularly and want to cover your equipment at gigs as well as at home, you'll need to mention that, it will probably be a different type of coverage.

I'm going on memory so take it for what it's worth, Jim, any comments?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2006, 07:08 PM
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

You normally cannot "blanket" larger valued items. If they are scheduled (or itemized) the company usually wants a receipt or a fair and impartial appraisal in order to schedule them when an agreed value form is chosen, otherwise they want it listed with description an serial numbers.. The company usually has the right to pay the actual cash value, limit for the item or they can replace the item themselves (like finding an RGXX on ****).

Again, items used in business are usually limited and can be tricky sometimes to get a higher limit. The definition of business in the policy can also be tricky (is gigging for free beer and gas money a "business"?)

Don't wait until claim day t find out - now's the time ;-)
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 09:21 AM
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

And if you consider this a "business" then all of your purchases are tax deductible...but be prepare to substantiate any such claim to the IRS, especially if you're buying thousands in gear, only to incure thousands in net losses in your business....it smells funny. But that's off topic, sorry
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 03:27 PM
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgr
Jim is the expert here! Just to interject though, when I was renting, and alot of my equipment was at a practice space, I asked about my renter's insurance and coverage for my guitars, etc... IIRC, the guitars in the townhouse would be covered, unless, I was making money with them, then they are regarded as business equipment (your comment about them falling off the back of a truck reminded me of this). So, if you are gigging regularly and want to cover your equipment at gigs as well as at home, you'll need to mention that, it will probably be a different type of coverage.

I'm going on memory so take it for what it's worth, Jim, any comments?

Lol, thanks Rog, but actually I'm not really the expert here as I have been on the Commercial Lines side of things all these years, but insurance is pretty much insurance. The policies we write will cover items if they are within 1000 feet of your premises. If you want coverage while trasporting you'll most likely have to endorse on "Property in Transit" and "Off Premises" Coverage. Some companies will not offer these coverages and you may have to go surlpus lines (expensive) to aquire these coverages so make sure you ASK
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

Thanks everyone for your help. This is really helpful. Sounds like the best thing to do is itemize the important stuff and figure out if there's enough money to cover the rest under regular coverage in the event of a "HOLY #[email protected]*!!!"

I have to keep reading the policy to understand it better. This is really helpful in planning how to talk with the insurance company for coverage. I'll have to dig up the receipts and start taking pictures of serial numbers for records. *Sighs* this coming weekends project.

Paul
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 12:31 AM
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_R
I have to keep reading the policy to understand it better.
Paul
Good man! I'm very familiar with the policy "lingo" so if you have any questions, shoot me a pm
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 01:48 AM
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

I handle personal lines, and so far everything is spot on. They can deny coverage of musical instruments used professionally, or they can classify them differently and therefore charge a different/higher premium. They can also be trying to push you toward a business policy that lists the gear as business assets. State to state laws and practices vary greatly though. The agent should be a good source of info, but there are lots of lousy agents out there that either tell you what you want to hear, or whatever might help them sell another policy. Without a doubt USAA is righteous in all regards however. I'm just referring to agents in general. You should keep a video tape or detailed pics of the gear off the premises. You don't need to get a safety deposit box or anything, just give it to a relative or leave it at work. It's unlikely both locations will burn down the same day.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:35 AM
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

You just made my first chore of tomorrow, to call my home owners insurance company!
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 09:52 AM
 
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Re: Insurance for Guitars/Equipment...Need Advice please.

Hey Frank & Jim - jeez not just one, but 2 other jemsiters in the insurance game, eh?

OT here, but curious as to what you guys do - company or agency and position?

I work as a commercial lines production underwriter out of an office in my home for a smaller mutual company in Michigan. I also instruct all lines of P&C for the PIA and the National Alliance (the CIC folks in Austin, TX).

Hard to do this stuff without seeing the policy as I usually deal with ISO forms.

Back OT:
I skirt the business issue as the 2000 edition of the ISO HO form does not consider any activity not a trade profession or occupation where you made less than $2000 in the previous 12 month period a "business" as defined (which is definitely me - in fact I take NO money at all). And since I have an HO-5 form I have special (open) perils for my personal property and only have to deal with the exclusions. So in my case, it's not defined as business and I increased my limit on personal property by $30,000 and also have replacement cost on contents as well.

As a commercial lines underwriter there's no way I write a small premium policy for a musician or sound company - E&S market for you! If you're a local gigging musician like I am you can usually tailor your homeowners policy to adequately cover your stuff, but it depends on your situation and policy.
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