FREE eBook:

Musical Instrument Insurance 101: How to Protect Your Instruments

Learn about all the different facets of musical instrument insurance, including information on how to best protect various instruments, including the guitar, electronic keyboard, violin, saxophone and drums.

** eBook includes coupon codes with discounts on various insurance policies amounting to $175 IN SAVINGS, including $10 in musical instrument insurance policy savings. Coupons valid in Canada only. **

Have an Instrument? Protect It. Get Free eBook with Instrument Protection Tips:

Table of Contents

• MUSICAL INSTRUMENT THEFT PREVENTION: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Musical Instrument Theft

Unfortunately, there seems to be an increase in musical instrument theft as of late, but there are some actions you can take to protect yourself and your band.

We’ve provided some tips and tricks for how to guard your instruments, as well as some information on how to insure your instruments so you are protected in any worst case scenario situations.

1. Anonymity

  • One of the best ways to prevent your instruments from being stolen is to remain as anonymous as possible – in terms of your band and your instruments.
  • Avoid having band stickers on your vehicle and instruments, so that you aren’t a clear target.
  • Tint or paint your windows or buy blinds, so people can’t see into your vehicle, your rehearsal space or any place you store your instruments.

2. Security

  • This one might sound obvious, but there are a few critical steps you can take to make sure that you’re keeping your items as secure as possible. These include the following:
  • Install an alarm.
  • Develop a protocol to make sure that your vehicle is locked at all times. Even when you’re loading in, and may be making several trips to a nearby space. This happens a lot with bands and musicians and presents a target for thieves.
  • Chain all of your gear together in your van or trunk so that if the thief does a smash and grab they will not be able to get away quickly.

3. Parking

  • Many instrument thefts happen overnight, so it is important to be careful about how and where you park.
  • Park your vehicle back against a wall whenever possible so it’s harder to get in the back doors.
  • Park in the underground garage of your hotel rather than the surface lot.
  • 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.

Blog Post: INSTRUMENT THEFT PREVENTION

• PROTECTING INSTRUMENTS AT HOME

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.

Blog Post: PROTECTING INSTRUMENTS AT HOME

• PROTECTING INSTRUMENTS AT AIRPORTS AND ON PLANES

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.

Blog Post: PROTECTING INSTRUMENTS AT AIRPORTS AND ON PLANES

• INSURANCE & PROTECTION WHILE ON TOUR

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.

Blog Post: MUSICAL GEAR : INSURANCE AND PROTECTION WHILE ON TOUR

• MUSICAL TOUR INSURANCE

Summer is almost here! That means the concert touring season is ramping up, hopefully for another record year, as Music Festivals, Music Events, and Touring Artists all hit the road.

A couple of recent stories have reminded me to encourage safety while on the road.  No show is worth an injury or bodily harm to anyone involved: Artists, Touring personnel, bus and truck drivers, and patrons!  I have attached a couple of stories reporting recent accidents:  the Allman Brothers bus crash and an unfortunate incident following a Luke Bryant Concert involving a local crew.

Whether you are producing a one-time concert or a series of musical events in multiple locations, Front Row Insurance Brokers offers musical event insurance programs that cover your events and musical tours and greatly helps to protect your investment.

Take the unfortunate bus crash. Are you prepared for a canceled headliner, to issue refunds if the show cannot be rebooked?  Compensate a suitable replacement act? Lost advertising, venue expenses?  Medical expenses? Front Row is prepared to help with Musical  Event Cancellation  Insurance policies that will assist you with these cancellation issues.

MUSICAL TOUR INSURANCE
Are you making sure that a competent, professional local crew is hired to assist your Touring Professionals?  Is safety a priority not only on the job, but have food, liquids, and properly timed “rest breaks” been scheduled.  How about giving the local crew  rooms that are vacated after a show if necessary if your band and crew have showered.  They are paid for: it is a simple process of asking.  Not only is that a common, professional courtesy, it helps all involved with a show; Touring Professionals and Locals alike.

Blog Post: MUSICAL TOUR INSURANCE

• TOURING INSURANCE TIPS FOR TAKING YOUR SHOW ON THE ROAD

TOURING INSURANCE TIPS

“Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd, and we remember why we came”
-
Jackson Browne, Stay

Life on the road can be rife with challenges and filled with excitement and exhilaration. But a little insurance planning before heading out on tour will ensure your excitement is from the audience and not an uninsured claim.

In today’s post, I’ll highlight some things for you to think about when planning your tour. While every circumstance is a little different, these are the key exposures that you and production manager will want to consider.

Instruments, Sound, Lighting and Other Equipment: Your instruments and equipment will be loaded, unloaded and then loaded again and again. In order for your insurance coverage to be seamless, you need to ensure that you have a ‘Floater’ coverage form. Floaters are a type of insurance that are not specific to any location, so they extend to wherever the gear is located: on the road, on the stage and everywhere in between. Be sure that the policy territory includes all of the countries where your tour will take you. And, if you are traveling into countries with less stable or unpredictable governments or legal systems, you’ll want to investigate coverage for seizures, quarantine or appropriation by authorities.

Insurance Considerations for Musicians:

    • Valuation: What are you entitled to from your insurance company? Will your policy pay to replace old equipment with new, or are they only responsible to pay you for used equipment?
    • What’s covered? Does your policy cover theft and accidental damage? Are there restrictions or exclusions if gear is stolen from a vehicle or if unattended?
    • Unexpected costs or extra expenses: Will your insurance pay for renting new gear if yours is stolen or unusable after being damaged? These unexpected costs can be included in your insurance so you don’t have to find a way to pay them out of an already tight tour budget.

Blog Post: BAND ON THE RUN

• TRIBUTE BANDS AND LIABILITY INSURANCE

Tribute band performing

There are a number of reasons why a Cover Band or Tribute Band would benefit from purchasing liability insurance, but perhaps the most compelling reason is because without this cover, the very livelihood of the musician/band is at stake in the event that they are sued.  While no one plans on accidents, the chance of such incidents occurring increases at public places and venues where large numbers of people are gathered. When alcohol is consumed, the risk increases even more.

  • Why risk the loss of your assets, both personal and the band’s?
  • Liability policies are a safeguard against mistakes that your band might make in which they would be held liable.

So, what is liability insurance?

This type of insurance is designed to offer protection against third party (the public) bodily injury or property damage as a result of one’s operations or products.

The relevance to cover/tribute bands is that in the event that bands are held responsible for the injuries and property damage sustained by an audience member or staff member at the venue, the liability insurance would potentially pay for the medical treatment required by the injured party, and can cover settlement claims resulting from lawsuits.

Examples of band liability insurance:

An example of a scenario where a band’s liability policy would be of value include if a member of the audience was invited onto the stage while band members were performing and ended up tripping on loose cords and slamming their face into some audio equipment. The coverage afforded under a liability policy would protect the band (policy holder) in the event that they are then sued by any third parties for unintentional damage. A lawsuit can name a band, its manager, an establishment and its landlord in a lawsuit. Liability insurance protection will not shorten criminal sentences, but it will take care of the resulting injuries and rehabilitation and potentially legal costs as well.

Blog Post: TRIBUTE BANDS

• PROTECT YOUR GUITAR

20 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR GUITAR

As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on the guitar in this article:

Protecting your Guitar | Guitar Maintenance

    1. Where to keep your guitar? Store your guitar in a room closer to the center of the building rather than near an outside wall. This helps maintain a constant temperature.
    2. Store the guitar in its case, standing up or on edge – never lying down – to prevent it from being stepped on. Also, loosen its strings one or two half-steps while the guitar is in storage.
    3. Store vibrato-equipped guitars with arms detached.
    4. Get a gig bag with some good padding and put your guitar in it whenever transporting it. Carrying the bag in your hand is OK, but it’s even safer to strap it to your back while walking with your guitar.
    5. If you’re touring, always use a high-quality carrying case such as a hard-bodied, foam-lined, locking Pelican case that protects against impact & moisture.
    6. Consider getting a guitar wall hangar to hang your guitar(s) on. When you hang the guitar on a wall hanger, little-to-no pressure is exerted on the neck of the guitar in a direction that could potentially distort, bend or warp it. This is a much better storage option than leaning the guitar against a wall, which could bend the neck.
    7. Put a digital hygrometer in your guitar case to ensure humidity levels are under control. The ideal humidity range for an acoustic guitar is 45-55%, but 40-60% is generally considered acceptable. A good guitar humidifier will automate the humidity control process to stay within this range, making it easy to maintain proper humidification for your guitar while in its case. A well-reviewed one is the Oasis Guitar Humidifier.

Blog Post: PROTECTING YOUR GUITAR

• PROTECT YOUR DRUMS

WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR DRUMS

As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on drums in this article:

Protecting your Drums | Drum Maintenance

    1. Where to keep your drums? If you’re storing drums for an extended period, leaving the heads on under moderate tension would be best for them, and help keep them in shape. Extreme temperature changes can cause drums to grow or shrink slightly in size, so storing them in a room where the temperature won’t change dramatically is ideal.
    2. If storing for longer periods: don’t store drums in an attic or garage if you can help it. Wood is organic so it will react dramatically to changes in temperature and moisture, while metal drums can corrode over time in a moist environment.
    3. Do NOT cover your drums in plastic for any length of time; this will inevitably cause moisture issues.
    4. Disengage the snare wires when storing a snare drum. Keeping the snares tight over a long period of time will stretch them out.
    5. Polish your drums, especially if they’re chrome-plated. If left out too long, especially in harsher conditions, they can start to become dull and corrode.
    6. If there’s any moving part like a tension rod, give it a small dose of lubricating oil and wipe off any excess to keep parts moving smoothly.
    7. Use an edge conditioner to allow your drum heads to move freely across edges without sticking. This results in a smoother, more gradual tune-up without skips and jumps.
    8. Use a hoop protector where your pedal connects to the bass drum hoop. This prevents the hoop from being chewed up from the teeth of the bass drum clamp.
    9. Regularly wipe down your drum shells with microfiber cloths. Paper towels aren’t recommended as they can be too abrasive and may cause scratches.

Blog Post: PROTECTING YOUR DRUMS

• PROTECT YOUR ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD

Protecting your Keyboard/Piano

As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on the electronic keyboard/digital piano in this article:

Protecting your Electronic Keyboard/Digital Piano

    1. Where to keep your keyboard? According to Yamaha, a room with relative humidity between 40 and 45% is ideal for keyboards.
    2. Do not place the keyboard outside or near an open window. Dust will coat the keyboard, which could create issues with electronic parts inside.
    3. Do not place the keyboard under a shelf with a lot of objects on it. Heavy falling objects from shelves such as trophies can severely damage a keyboard.
    4. Do not place the keyboard near a fireplace, where ash and dust would inevitably get into it and likely damage the electronic components.
    5. Do not allow pets to get on the keyboard. Cats, in particular, would likely enjoy climbing on top of your keyboard, but their fur could get into the sensors and potentially damage the electronic components.
    6. Do not use a vacuum cleaner to pull out dust from your keyboard. Tiny parts and screws may get loosened, compromising your keyboard over time.
    7. Get a keyboard cover, ideally waterproof, to put over your keyboard when not in use to protect it from dust and water.
    8. Get a solid, sturdy keyboard stand.
    9. Keep the electrical cords out of the way where they won’t be tripped over.
    10. MultimeterUse a multimeter to check if the electrical outlet you’re plugging the keyboard into is supplying the proper voltage recommended by your keyboard’s manufacturer. If it isn’t, try a different outlet. Multimeters can generally be purchased at Home Depot for about $30. Always turn the keyboard off before you unplug it, and unplug it when you’re not playing it.

Blog Post: PROTECTING YOUR ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD

• PROTECT YOUR VIOLIN

PROTECT YOUR VIOLIN

As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on the violin in this article:

Protecting your Violin | Violin Maintenance

    1. Where to keep your violin? Never store the violin in a very hot or very cold area. Avoid fireplaces, for example. The violin’s organic materials can be affected by its environment, so keep the atmosphere where it's stored stable. The violin should be stored face-up, or on-side, in a case. Never have your violin resting on its bridge, even in a case.
    2. Consider getting a room humidifier or an in-case moisture regulator for your violin.
    3. Slacken the bow before storing it. Leaving unnecessary tension on the violin bow can destroy its delicate camber.
    4. Do not allow pets to get near your violin. Dogs, in particular, may be tempted to chew on the violin, which of course should be prevented.
    5. Occasionally check and adjust the violin bridge’s alignment. The bridge will lean forward if the strings are too tight. Carefully adjust the bridge, making sure the feet are flat against the surface of the violin.
    6. Be careful about the amount of rosin you apply – it needs to be adequate to provide friction, but too much will produce a “cloud” that can build up on the surface over time.
    7. Check the violin’s instruction manual/manufacturer’s notes for specific and acceptable cleaning methods.
    8. Always lean toward using a special violin solution for cleaning, rather than some generic furniture polish or other cleaner that may damage your violin’s finish.
    9. Always wipe off the body and strings with a dry cloth to remove any rosin that was on the finish while you were playing.
    10. Try the “rice technique” for removing dust from inside the violin: place dry rice inside the sound holes of the violin, then gently shake the violin upside-down and let the rice fall out. Dust should come out with the rice.

Blog Post: PROTECT YOUR VIOLIN

• PROTECT YOUR SAX

Protect Your Saxophone

As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on the saxophone in this article:

Protecting your Saxophone | Saxophone Maintenance

    1. Where to keep your saxophone? Never store the saxophone in a very hot or very cold area. Store the saxophone in a dry place at room temperature – a closet would likely be a good candidate, but not an attic, basement or garage.
    2. Always hold your saxophone by the bell because that is the sturdiest part of a sax and holding it in this manner should reduce the chances of a drop.
    3. Tighten the lyre screw enough so that the lyre doesn’t wiggle around. A loose lyre can gnaw away the brass of your lyre holder.
    4. Use a tooth patch bite cushion on your saxophone mouthpiece. This will help protect your saxophone and – perhaps even more importantly – your teeth.
    5. Neck strap saxophone playerUse a neck strap to move the sax’s weight from your neck onto your shoulders. This will provide extra stability, reducing chances of falling or dropping the saxophone.
    6. Do NOT clamp the sax keys closed for any length of time. Clamping a used saxophone closed is a bad idea for storage because the pads have already been exposed to bacteria, yeast and fungus that encourage rot.
    7. Apply a drop of sewing machine oil to keep the sax keys lubricated. If you notice that any of the keys are becoming stiff, add a drop to the key(s).
    8. Apply pad dope to the sax pads to keep them from drying out and protect them from any moisture carried through the instrument.
    9. Brush your teeth before playing your sax. Sugar + saliva makes for a nasty solution that accumulates on sax pads and can cause them to stick – so get that mouth as clean as possible before playing.
    10. Check the saxophone’s instruction manual/manufacturer’s notes for specific and acceptable cleaning methods.

Blog Post: PROTECT YOUR SAXOPHONE

• HOW TO MAKE A CLAIM

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.

Blog Post: HOW TO MAKE A CLAIM

• 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.

Blog Post: AGREED VALUE VS. REPLACEMENT COST

• YOU MAY NOT BE COVERED UNDER HOMEOWNERS

You arrive back at your van to find the window smashed and your instruments missing. You take out your phone and call your insurance broker to report the claim under the homeowners policy that you purchased. An adjuster is assigned. The claims adjuster does a  web search and sees  that you have played some small gigs. Because you occasionally perform for money, your gear is now considered “commercial” equipment and as such, not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy which is intended to cover “personal” musical gear that is not used for commercial purposes. You tell the adjuster that you only played twice in the last 12 months and made less than $300 for the performances. The adjuster shrugs, “It doesn’t matter, even if you busk 10 minutes for $10, you are a professional and your gear is considered commercial and is no longer covered under a homeowners policy”.

This is a difficult, pricey lesson that is better learned before there is a loss. Our experience tells us that many professional musicians assume they are covered by their homeowners insurance policy when in fact they are not.

If you perform for money, check your policy and make sure your coverage is appropriate. At Front Row, we have created a 5-minute online insurance solution.

The policy term is for 12 months and coverage is provided throughout Canada and the USA.

All equipment is covered for replacement cost for theft, damage, fire and loss of use. The online link ensures industry-low prices:

  • $10,000 equipment coverage: $100
  • $1,000,000 location liability coverage: $75; $2,000,000: $100. Liability covers property damage and bodily injury to third parties. Pays legal fees too.
  • $500 deductible for gear

Blog Post: YOU MAY NOT BE COVERED UNDER HOMEOWNERS

• MUSICAL INSTRUMENT POLICY

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 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.

Blog Post: INSTRUMENT INSURANCE POLICY

• INSURANCE FOR SOCAN MEMBERS

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.

Blog Post: INSURANCE FOR SOCAN MEMBERS

• MUSICAL INSTRUMENT INSURANCE COMPANIES

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT INSURANCE COMPANIES: HOW TO COMPARE

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT INSURANCE

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.

Blog Post: MUSICAL INSURANCE COMPANY COMPARISON

• MUSIC INFRINGEMENT LAW

Marvin Gaye vs. Robin Thicke and Pharrel Williams
(Blurred Lines)

Marvin Gaye

For many years of my life, I have had the pleasure of enjoying three simultaneous careers. I am a senior member of the Bar of British Columbia, Canada focusing on entertainment law, I am a member of the State Bar of California, USA, regularly dealing with my colleagues in Hollywood, and I am a music producer and composer with a current co-write on the radio and a cue on a currently airing TV show. Very rarely does a legal case affect me in all three of my careers at once. The recent music infringement lawsuit between the Marvin Gaye estate vs Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over the songs Got to Give It Up (by Gaye) and Blurred Lines (by Thicke/Williams) does exactly this. As a result, I thought it would be interesting to present my commentary from all three of these perspectives, separately.

From the American lawyer’s perspective

The general understanding among attorneys practicing music law in America is that a composition infringes on another when there are substantial similarities between the melodies of one song versus that of another. The precedent setting cases have all generally ruled that similarities in chord progressions and general rhythmic feel – or as some would call it, the “groove” – does not constitute infringement. You need to have melodies that sound alike. In fact, mere similarities in the groove of a song is usually considered a genre. There is no copyright in a genre and there is no copyright in a chord progression.

In comparing Blurred Lines and Got to Give It Up, there is clear evidence that Thicke and Williams meticulously copied the groove of Got to Give It Up. There are also some similarities in the bass line of the two songs, but those similarities do not seem substantial. On a pure legal analysis, it would not seem like this was a case of infringement. However, the case went to a jury, who may have been influenced by the apparent bad attitude and demeanor of Robin Thicke in court. Also, no one in the public has seen the musicologist reports that stated that there was in fact compositional infringement, not just a copying of a feel, groove or genre. Furthermore, jury decisions only decide individual cases based on fact. No reasons are delivered and technically, no legal precedent is set. The message to any disgruntled music creator is that regardless of the existing law and established precedents, if you take an infringement case to a jury, you may still win if you can convince them there was some form of copying, regardless of what aspects were copied and what the legal precedents say to the contrary.

Blog Post: BLURRING THE LINES OF MUSIC INFRINGEMENT LAW - 3 PERSPECTIVES IN ONE

FREE eBook:

Musical Instrument Insurance 101: How to Protect Your Instruments

Learn about all the different facets of musical instrument insurance, including information on how to best protect various instruments, including the guitar, electronic keyboard, violin, saxophone and drums.

** eBook includes coupon codes with discounts on various insurance policies amounting to $175 IN SAVINGS, including $10 in musical instrument insurance policy savings. Coupons valid in Canada only. **

Have an Instrument? Protect It. Get Free eBook with Instrument Protection Tips: