Do I really need to insure my recorders?
Good recorders are expensive! The truth is that good individual instruments, whether large or small, can cost thousands, and a collection or a consort can easily run into the tens of thousands.
How should we insure against loss or damage of these precious investments?
Homeowners insurance policies:
For amateur players, musical instruments are usually covered like any other possession. However, there can be unanticipated surprises arising in homeowners' policies.
- You might run up against settlement limits if an entire consort or a collection of recorders is lost.Some standard homeowners' policies will only pay out a limited total on such a loss. Check your policy. If necessary, you might be able to add a specific rider to your homeowners policy, or you could opt for specialty coverage (see below). For such coverage, your recorders should be inventoried on detail. You might need receipts.
- Flood and earthquake damage are often not covered.
- Breakage may or may not be covered, depending on the insurance company.
- Appreciation of value over time may not be covered.
- Are you using your recorders professionally? Homeowners policies generally exclude professional use.
Specialty musical instrument coverage:
There are many companies that specialize in the insurance of musical instruments. One such company, Clarion, is a business member of the ARS and offers discounted rates to ARS members. For approximately $25,000 of coverage they charge $160 per year versus $250 for non-members. Of course cost isn't everything; it is always a good idea to shop around online or in person for the specialty coverage you need. Carefully compare the deductible amounts, coverage of floods, earthquakes etc.
Your sheet music collection:
Finally, a word about another priceless but often overlooked item - your collection of recorder sheet music and books. Many of us have hundreds or even thousands of pieces and collections purchased for not insignificant amounts of money over the years, and their value can be up in the thousands of dollars. Many people house their music collections in the basement of their house, the first area to be damaged in the case of a flood or an earthquake. Imagine what a catastrophe losing your music would be. Insurance of your music collection is definitely worth considering. Clarion does not cover sheet music, but other companies seem to. Waterproof and fireproof cabinets are also worth considering.
Calculate the total value of your recorders. Check your homeowners' policy (if you have one) to see if it will cover the value of your entire recorder collection. If necessary, contact a company such as Clarion for specific recorder coverage.