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Are Musical Instruments covered under a Homeowners Policy?

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Most likely, yes.


Musical instruments are considered personal property and therefore, have the same coverage as your other personal property.  Personal property consists of anything that you would take with you if you were to move.

Your sofa, your TV, your clothes, furniture, jewelry and musical instruments.  Just to name a few.


First GuitarCreative Commons License Randen Pederson via Compfight


The Problem with Insuring your Musical Instruments on Your Homeowners Policy.


For some reason, the most popular post on this blog is this post about how insurance companies handle claims for lost or stolen jewelry.  People from all over the country call me to get advice on how to handle situations like this.

That post describes the benefits of having a separate insurance policy for your valuable items such as  jewelry.  Musical instruments are very similar.  They are typically a little expensive and are very often items that you would want to replace if damaged or stolen.

There are four major issues with only having them insured on a Homeowners policy.

  1. You need to pay your deductible.  This could be as low as $250 (although that low of a deductible is extremely rare) and has high as $1,000.  In fact, many companies now have minimum deductibles of $1,000 on all new policies.
  2. You will lose your Loss Free Credit.  If your instrument is damaged or stolen and you need to put a claim in under your Homeowners policy, you will lose your Loss Free Credit.  This could be Two, Three, Four, even as high as Five hundred dollars!
  3. There may be depreciation.  Depending on the amount of the claim and the type of policy you have, your instruments may be depreciated.  In most cases the depreciation is recoverable which means you will eventually receive the entire value of the instrument (minus your deductible).  But in order to get the depreciation back you must first purchase the new instrument.
  4. There may actually be no coverage!  Depending on what policy you have, there may actually be no coverage.  Personal property doesn’t always get the same coverage as your building or Dwelling.  Most policies have what’s called All Risk coverage for your Dwelling (Dwelling coverage is for your walls, floors, roof, siding, etc.).  In some cases personal property is covered under what’s called Named Peril.  A Named Peril policy limits the causes of loss (claim) to a select few reasons.


One of our Insureds called in this morning inquiring about a stand up bass they have for their daughter.  The stand up bass is valued at about $2,500.  They have a $500 deductible and a Loss Free Credit of $701!!  That may be the biggest I have seen. So if they were to put a claim in their policy would increase by at least $701.  And that discount will be gone for 5 years!

They need a Personal Articles Policy.


What is a Personal Articles Policy?


A personal articles policy (PAP) is a separate policy that provides coverage for valuable items.  Often there is no deductible and there is no impact to your Homeowners policy.  This type of policy can cover items such as bicycles, jewelry, and even valuable items for kids away at school.  Contact your agent for a full list of what can be covered on a PAP.


What is the cost to Insure Musical Instruments on a PAP?


In Pennsylvania, the cost to insure a musical instrument is $0.45 per $100.  So for a $2,500 instrument, the cost would be $11.25.  Eleven dollars and twenty-five cents for the year! If he were to put a claim in under his homeowners policy for that same instrument the cost would be $1200!! ($500 deductible plus the loss of the $700 claim free discount)


What if I play professionally?


The policy is more expensive if you play professionally.  And I’m not even talking big time professionally.  The cost for Slash to insure his guitar is the same for the guy playing for beers at your local bar.  In PA, that stand up bass would cost $51.50 if it were to be played for compensation in anyway whatsoever.  Still a major bargain.

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

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