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Article: Instruments and Travel Insurance Tips

Any holiday season brings more instrument damage, losses, and insurance claims than any other time of year, according to our insurance carrier, Heritage Insurance, which specializes in musical instruments. Here are some tips from them:

Do not leave an instrument in an unattended vehicle! If absolutely necessary, make sure it's out of sight and insulated against temperature change. Believe it or not, one of those silvery "space blankets" wrapped around you case can make a major difference in how fast it gets hot.

If shipping a very valuable instrument (assuming it's insured) declare a value with the carrier of only 10 to 20 percent of the actual value. According to Heritage, this will reduce the chance of it disappearing en route due to the "combination of high value and the perils of shipment which create an extremely volatile insurance exposure."( Translation: can you spell "steal me"?) Ship overnight or 2-day air to avoid your instrument sitting in an unheated warehouse.

Speaking of insurance, remember that your homeowner's policy "Scheduled Personal Property" coverage is almost certainly void if you play for remuneration, no matter how modest your gig income. Also, normal personal property endorsements will not pay for devaluation due to damage, and typical insurance people are astoundingly ignorant of musical instrument values, repair costs, and so forth.

For more information about the special instrument policies from Heritage Insurance, check their website at www.heritage-ins-services.com/national.htm. Our thanks to vice president Ellis Hershman for much of this information.

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