David Hamilton

Recent Posts

Musical Instrument Insurance Broker in Canada offers online quotes

Posted by David Hamilton on Mar 11, 2014 8:43:00 AM


Front Row offers musical instrument insurance to Canada’s music professionals. The cost to insure $10,000 worth of instruments is $125 for a year.

Insuring your musical gear with Front Row is fast. Obtain a quote in ~10 seconds:

Free Online Quote

Download a policy in six minutes. Feel secure knowing that your instruments and equipment are protected around the world in the event of theft, breakage, flood and more.

What makes Front Row online insurance for musicians the industry best?

  Front Row      Other Programs
 No Minimum Premium  Yes  No
 Worldwide Equipment Coverage Territory  Yes  Sometimes
Automatic $10,000 Office Contents Coverage, including Valuable Papers & Accounts Receivable  Yes  Extra Charge
$10,000 of coverage for Borrowed Instruments/Equipment for up to 30-days  Yes   No
Automatic Inflation Guard on Instrument Values  Yes   No
$10,000 of coverage for newly acquired Instruments/equipment for up to 30-days  Yes   Sometimes
Commercial General Liability is available on a stand-alone basis  Yes   No
Full Coverage for Earthquake & Flood   Yes   No

Click now for a free online quote: Free Online Quote

Or call 604 684 3411

Topics: musical instrument insurance

Protecting Musical Instruments at Home: Insurance and More

Posted by David Hamilton on Mar 10, 2014 3:33:00 PM


VIOLIN - PROTECTING MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AT HOMEIn addition to purchasing professional musical instrument insurance, you can protect your precious instruments by doing the following:

  • Create a safe room in your home. This can be as simple as putting a deadbolt lock on a closet where you store your gear.
  • Purchase high-quality travel cases that protect against impact and moisture. Buy a cable lock and cable your cases together in the safe room.
  • Install an alarm and deadbolt locks on your exterior doors. Use extra long screws for the lock.
  • Purchase low-cost security film and apply it to your windows and exterior French doors. This will slow down entry for a smash and grab thief.
  • If you are selling a musical instrument through Craigslist or some other private forum, always check that the method of payment is legitimate. Meet in a public area.
  • Use a broker that specializes in the music industry, such as Front Row.

We offer instrument insurance for as low as $75 for $5,000 worth of gear with worldwide coverage and free office contents coverage.

Topics: musical instrument insurance

6 ways to Protect Your Instruments at Airports and on Planes

Posted by David Hamilton on Mar 4, 2014 9:06:00 AM


PROTECT YOUR INSTRUMENTS AT AIRPORTS AND ON PLANESInsuring your instruments is one way to protect your instruments and gear when flying: what follows are some risk management ideas.

  1. If possible, keep the musical instrument with you as hand luggage when flying. This will prevent damage by airport baggage handlers. The cabin temperature is also more stable than the hold. Some delicate instruments can be damaged by fluctuating hold temperatures.
  2. Arrive at the airport early so that the musical instrument can be searched and then properly re-packed.
  3. Use proper traveling cases such as a hard bodied, foam lined, locking Pelican case or other brands designed for the road. Let your insurance broker know the type of traveling case so that they can advise the insurance company and secure the lowest premium due to the lowered risk.
  4. If you did have to check it as luggage: inspect your musical instrument carefully after pulling it from the airport baggage carousel. If damaged, be sure to report it right away to the airline while you are still at the airport and get a copy of the damage report. This will be helpful in the event that you need to make an insurance claim as it will have all the details needed to set up a claim.
  5. Lastly, keep watch on your musical instrument while in the airport terminal. Consider using a Velcro strap to attach it to your trolley to prevent a snatch and grab.
  6. Insure your gear with a specialized music insurance broker.

Topics: musical instrument insurance

Instrument Insurance - What is my gear worth in a claim?

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 30, 2013 3:35:00 PM

musical instruments - AGREED VALUE vs. Replacement COST


I have insurance for my musical instruments and gear. A common question: How will these items be valued if I have a claim?

The instrument policy provides coverage on a replacement cost basis. Replacement Cost provides for the cost to repair or replace the damaged property without deduction for depreciation.

The insurer will pay the smallest of the following:

  • The amount you actually spend on repairing the damage.
  • The amount it would cost to replace the lost or damaged property at the time of loss with new property of similar kind and quality to be used for the same purpose.
  • The limit of coverage purchased for the property on your policy.
  • Payment for repair or replacement will not be paid until the property has actually been repaired or replaced.

If you have Vintage or one-of-a-kind equipment, coverage can be provided on an Agreed Value, which would be the amount the item has been appraised for by a reputable appraisal company. In order to obtain coverage on this basis, you will need to contact our office to obtain coverage and provide your appraisals. A new appraisal would be required every 5 years.

If your instrument is 5 years old or older and you do not have an appraisal, your instruments will be valued at actual cash value. This is the amount equal to the replacement cost minus depreciation of damaged or stolen property at the time of the loss. This means that in the event of the loss, your settlement will be based on the smallest of the following amounts:

  • The actual cash value of the lost or damaged property at the time of loss.
  • The amount it would cost to repair or replace the property with similar kind or quality.
  • The limit of coverage that applies to the property.

Topics: musical instrument insurance

Musical Instrument Insurance Companies: How to Compare

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 20, 2013 12:43:00 PM



Musical instrument insurance is available from many companies but only a few provide the coverage that professionals require.

Questions to ask when comparing musical instrument insurance company policies:

  1. Is there a minimum premium? Some companies will charge you a minimum of $500 even if you are only insuring $2,000 worth of instruments.
  2. Is Worldwide Equipment Coverage provided? Most policies from North American Insurance Companies only cover your musical gear in Canada and the USA.
  3. Is Office Contents Coverage included? If you run your music business from home, your computer, printer, etc. may not be covered by your tenants policy.
  4. Are Valuable Papers & Accounts Receivable coverage included? A professional musician should have these coverages so that your records can be recreated.
  5. Is coverage for borrowed Musical Instruments and Musical Equipment included? If this coverage is not in your current policy, it is easily obtained.
  6. Is automatic inflation protection included for musical instruments?
  7. Is  coverage for newly acquired musical instruments and musical equipment included for up to 30-days before you tell your broker?
  8. Is full coverage for Earthquake and Flood included? Your homeowners policy will not cover your professional gear for flood damage and may not include EQ either.
  9. Is lost Business Income / Extra Expense Coverage included? This is good protection for a professional musician.

All of the above is covered when you purchase musical instrument coverage from Front Row Insurance Brokers' online musical instrument insurance program. A quote takes ~10 seconds. A policy can be downloaded in 5 minutes by answering 8 questions.

Covers: Theft, Breakage, and Fire

Front Row is a specialized Entertainment Insurance Broker that has offices in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Los Angeles. The Front Row online musical instrument insurance program has been endorsed by:

  • SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada)
  • RACS (the Recording Artists’ Collecting Society)
  • CCMA (the Canadian Country Music Association)

Topics: musical instrument insurance

Front Row Musical Instrument Policy Launches Online

Posted by David Hamilton on Sep 27, 2013 1:51:00 PM

Musicians receive quotes in 30 seconds & policies in 5 minutes any time of day.

Vancouver, Canada -- September 27, 2013 -- Front Row is pleased to announce a new way for musicians to insure their instruments.

Effective immediately members of Socan, RACS and and the CCMA will be able to obtain a quote and a policy for their instruments 24 hours a day  - 7 days a week by accessing a quote portal created by Front Row especially for musicians.  The quote tool has a clean look that is intuitive and simple to use. Worldwide insurance coverage for instruments and gear can be obtained by answering as few as 8 questions on line - no need to talk to a broker. The musician will receive a pdf policy immediately once they pay with a credit card.

There is no minimum premium. To insure $5,000 worth of instruments, the cost is $75. $10,000 costs $125. Fire, theft, breakage are all covered. The site can be accessed here: https://musicians.frontrowinsurance.com/

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT POLICY LAUNCHES ONLINE"Our volume with the insurance companies gives us a competitive edge when negotiating coverage, premiums and claims settlements for our musical clients," says David Hamilton, President of Front Row based in Vancouver. " We created this tool based on feedback from musicians that wanted to insure their instruments fast, with a minimum of hassle, at a time of day that suited them. We leveraged the 100,000 plus membership so that the program offers the lowest cost insurance for instruments in North America that we are aware of."

Front Row is an independent broker that works on behalf of musicians to transfer the risks of owning musical gear to insurance companies for a premium charge. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that the musician receives the money that they are owed per the insurance policy.

Front Row has offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

For further information contact: 

David W. Hamilton
602-1788 W Broadway
Vancouver BC
direct P - 604 684 3456

Topics: musical instrument insurance, SOCAN insurance

Stolen Musical Instruments: How to Make a Claim

Posted by David Hamilton on Sep 17, 2013 6:07:00 PM


Who should you call first if I have a loss?

Depending on the nature of the incident , or accident, call the authorities needed to assist you in an emergency: the police, the fire department, ambulance or hazardous materials team etc...

Then, call your insurance broker.

Covers: Theft, Breakage, and Fire

Your insurance broker works for you and will present the details of your theft to the insurance company and then they will act as your advocate to ensure that you get paid in full  by the insurance company  as soon as possible.

An independent insurance broker works for you – not the insurance company.

If you are a Front Row client, please contact one of our offices in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver or Los Angeles during business hours.

You should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Date and time of Loss,
  • What happened,
  • Where did it happen,
  • Names and phone numbers of persons to be contacted.

Most coverage’s have deductibles which are applied to each claim.

Is it possible to take immediate action to make repairs if further damage to the property is likely?

As long as the claim is covered, the reasonable cost of temporary repairs made to prevent further damage is money well-spent and, therefore, reimbursable, subject to all policy terms and conditions. Documentation in the form of bills, receipts and photographs should be retained in order to verify damages and repair costs.

If you don’t have insurance, it can be purchased online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. $5,000 of gear costs $75 and covers you worldwide.

Topics: musical instrument insurance, tour insurance

Musical Gear : Insurance and Protection While on Tour

Posted by David Hamilton on Sep 13, 2013 7:46:00 PM


Load-in and load-out at venue

I’m going to give you some tips to protect your instruments and gear when you are on tour. I will also tell you how to insure your gear.

If you are on the road in a van with a trailer or a bus, you have to expect that thieves will assume you have gear worth stealing. Some thieves specifically target touring musicians during load-in and load-out at particular venues.

Know that your valuable gear is being targeted and take proactive steps to protect it. Here are some other ideas to keep it safe:

  1. Tint or paint your windows. Buy blinds. Prevent people from seeing what is inside your vehicle.
  2. Install an alarm.
  3. Sounds simple, but develop a protocol to make sure your vehicle is locked at all times.
  4. Park your vehicle back against a wall whenever possible so it’s harder to get in the back doors.
  5. Park in the underground garage of your hotel rather than the surface lot.
  6. Leave your vehicle at a tow truck yard: they are manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The cost is usually reasonable for the protection provided.
  7. Consider chaining all your gear together in your van so that if the thief does a smash & grab, they will not be able to get away quickly.
  8. Finally, make sure your gear is insured.
Covers: Theft, Breakage, and Fire

Insure your gear with an insurance broker that specializes in instrument insurance for music professionals, such as Front Row. Most homeowner policies will not insure instruments and gear used professionally, so source a policy for professionals.

Front Row offers instrument insurance 24/7 on line for as little as $20.

Topics: musical instrument insurance, SOCAN insurance, tour insurance

Instrument Insurance for Socan Members

Posted by David Hamilton on Jul 15, 2013 6:47:00 PM

Socan Members have access to an Instrument insurance program as a member benefit.

The program offers very low rates and broad coverage.

The cost ranges between $75 for $5,000 worth of instruments up to $2,025 for $200,000 of gear.

The insurance policy will cover all of your instruments and gear for a year.

The insurance program will give you a cheque so that you can replace your instruments and gear if they are:

  • Lost
  • Stolen
  • Dropped
  • Knocked over
  • Burned up in a fire

Your instruments will be covered anywhere in the world. You will be covered if your gear is lost or stolen while travelling.

Obtaining a quote takes 30 seconds by visiting the below link and typing in the value of your gear.

Covers: Theft, Breakage, and Fire

Getting a policy takes a total of five minutes. No need to talk to anyone at Front Row - the whole process can be done on line anytime of the day or night any day of the week.

If you would prefer not to purchase on line - please give us a call and we would be happy to help you over the phone.

Topics: musical instrument insurance, SOCAN insurance