Buying And Insuring Musical Instruments

The world of music is vast and varied these days, with a multitude of genres, styles and even playing methods for fans to enjoy. From guitar rock to hip-hop to bizarre music from around the world, there is literally something for everyone to enjoy.

What -Is- A Musical Instrument?

When it comes to instruments, anything that makes a noise can be considered a musical instrument, this has led to some unusual yet lasting performances over the years, with shows lime Stomp – a production which uses everyday objects as instruments – having long runs in the West End as a result.

A musical instrument is played using your hands, whether it’s beating a drum or dropping beats with an electronic equaliser. Indeed, as technology has grown, so have the possibilities for DJs, musicians, and those wanting to learn an instrument.

Smartphone apps have been particularly popular in recent years, allowing us to tune guitars, learn notes and educate children with rhythm games, as well as giving us the opportunity to record our performances and share them with the world through the use of services such as YouTube and streaming services to perform.

Where Can I Buy Them?

When it comes to buying musical instruments of any kind, it’s best to look around, whether you’re after a drum set, kazoo or didgeridoo. Special musical instrument shops usually carry a wide selection of instruments for beginners, and will usually stock the literature to help you get started.

There are also many online retailers who can help source instruments of all shapes and sizes, like larger pieces such as cellos and grand pianos. Some can even be made to order if you’re prepared to wait for something you’re passionate about.

New Or Second-Hand?

Buying an instrument new can be a little more expensive, but for this, you will get an instrument which has been newly made and in mint condition. Musical instrument shops will be a good source of new instruments, and some can manufacture you a nice new one from scratch if you’re prepared to wait.

There is also a market for second-hand instruments, with many choosing to sell their instruments on after they’ve lost interest or are just simply looking to replace their current instrument with a newer model.

Online auction sites can be a good place to start if you’re just looking to start out with an instrument or to replace an existing instrument, and it can also be a useful platform for selling on your old instruments and equipment.

Bear in mind though that depending on what you’re buying, there’s no guarantee that it will arrive in the condition you saw online, particularly if it’s being shipped from afar.

What Can I Get Cover For?

Specialist musical instrument insurance is available from a number of brokers, who will offer the following in a policy:

  • New-for-old cover

A new-for-old cover will help you with the cost of replacing your instrument should they become damaged as a result of a third-party action, either during a gig or even if it’s just one of your friends dropping and breaking it.

Musical instruments can be expensive to buy and repair, so ensuring you have some new-for-old cover in place can help provide a useful safety net when things go wrong.

  • Room only cover

Room-only cover is designed for those who like to collect instruments, storing them in home studios or bedrooms, more for show than to actually play. While you can secure your instruments on your home insurance policy, it can be worth looking into some additional musical instrument insurance because of the nature of the value of your collection, especially if you have some limited editions or rarities in your collection.

  • Replacement and repairs cover

Replacement and repair (R&R) will help to cover you in the event of your instrument becoming damaged – either during a gig or as a result of an incident at home.

Some instruments may need to go to a specialist to be repaired and brought back to its original condition, so having some R&R cover can help you to recoup some of these costs.

What About During Performances?

If you play in a band and gig frequently, it can be worth looking into including the following on your policy as well:

  • Public Liability cover – this would help to cover you against damages brought against you if someone got injured, or there was damage to equipment during your gig as a result of your actions on stage.
  • Vehicle Cover – helps to cover your instrument between gigs and while travelling.  It can be worth having in addition to your regular car insurance policy to ensure you can recoup your losses should your instruments and equipment get damaged or stolen.

Collector or Player?

In the world of music, there are those who play and those who play and collect the tools of their trade. Enthusiasts may look for rare and unusual instruments, including those used by their favourite bands during certain concerts, especially if they’re signed.

Because of the high value of some items, getting them insured is essential to a collector. When it comes to musical instrument insurance, you can be insured either as a room-only policy or include financial protection which can be vital when insuring rare, antique, and valuable items because it would allow you to recoup a lump sum of the total value of the instrument, allowing you to set about sourcing a replacement.

Should I Insure My Instruments?

Whether you play in a band, as part of an orchestra or just busk on the street, your musical instrument is vital to what you do, and ensuring it against theft or damage with some musical instrument insurance is an important part of ownership.