Getting my Instrument Insured!

Many players who come to me ask various questions about insurance. It’s sometimes quite a baffling subject and I try to answer their questions as simply as I can.

So, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the reasons why people insure their instruments and bows, and how they go about it. Whether you decide to insure or not, I can’t make that decision for you, it really has to come down to your preference.

When an instrument is out at home or further afield and being played regularly, there is always a concern over it being damaged.

This can happen in all sorts of scenarios. Someone you are playing alongside may bump into you when you all stand up to go for a coffee break. Instruments may collide or even be dropped. Cellos left precariously on their sides can be tripped over and roll onto their bridge causing a soundpost crack. You may knock a corner off your violin if it catches on your clothing..….believe me this does happen.

Stands are also responsible for skirmishes with instruments as they have quite a few sharp pointy bits, which notoriously encounter instruments and bows regularly. So, the main reason that a player insures their instrument or bow is to cover any damage that may occur. This cover would not include wear and tear, and general use.

Players will also have insurance to cover the risk of theft.

Your instrument needs to be insured for a minimum of what it would cost to replace it ‘like for like’. Same year (or circa), same maker (or school of), same model. This takes into consideration how easy or difficult it would be to find a doppelganger. If one were to be found, is it in similar condition?

If your instrument is in mint condition, you may be looking to replace it bearing that in mind. This will mean paying top dollar for the replacement, so your insurance valuation must reflect that.

It’s an awful thing to have to consider as our instruments are so dear to us, so having a high enough valuation to cover full replacement value is an absolute must.

Do you have a valuable bow? Then ditto!

Do you have an expensive case? This may need a mention on your policy too.

Companies I have delt with in the past include Allianz, Lark and Newmoon. They are a good place to start. It’s always worth doing a comparison because a similar policy may work out a little cheaper elsewhere. So, worth ringing around.

With lower value instruments I always recommend you make a call to your household contents insurer. If you don’t want to take out specific musical instrument insurance you may be able to add it to your household items. Depending on the company and your policy they may insist the items (instrument/bow/case) be itemised. This is often done at no extra charge, and usually for instruments worth up to £2,000 and sometimes a little more.

We insure our mobile phones, tablets, our cars. We have warranties on our white goods and cover our TV’s for that extra 3 more years just in case……… So don’t forget to at least consider your beloved instrument.

If you do decide to go down the insurance route whether it’s to check an existing policy, ring around to compare and maybe find a better quote, or take out your first policy ever…  always be clear as to what that policy cover is and that you are covered for your needs.

Proms Invite to Ukrainian Orchestra

The Proms is in full flight as we move towards the end of July and I hope everyone is enjoying the extraordinary range of music being brought to us from the Royal Albert Hall.

If you feel like supporting Ukraine then BBC 4 are broadcasting the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra playing at the Royal Albert Hall at 11am on Sunday 31st July.

The orchestra has been newly formed of Ukrainian musicians, some now refugees and some based in other European Orchestras.

The orchestra will be led by Ukrainian-Canadian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson. Photograph: Gisela Schober/Getty Images

Amongst works by Chopin, Brahms and Beethoven, they celebrate Ukraine’s leading living composer, Valentin Silvestrov, who escaped Kyiv with his daughter and granddaughter in March. His deeply reflective Symphony no.7 will be played under the baton of Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson. The orchestra is being seen as a symbol of the remarkable resolve and determination shown by the Ukrainian people.

This programme is a late addition to the Proms and I think will be a moving tribute to the country’s current situation.

Orchestra Live in Edinburgh on 6 August

The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra comes to Edinburgh for an historic free concert, the only Scotland performance in their tour of Europe and the USA. Edinburgh is twinned with the city of Kyiv and this special collaboration between the International Festival and the Scottish Government is in support of the city’s Ukrainian community and those directly affected by the war.

Echea Quartet at Paxton House this Saturday 

I always love to see young children get involved with music at the earliest possible age … if you feel the same, this Paxton House 45-minute concert featuring the Echea Quartet (see above) is a must! You and your family will enjoy a relaxed performance aimed at families and young children, featuring a selection of short pieces and extracts of music based on stories. Recommended for all ages from 5 upwards.

The concert takes place at Paxton on Saturday 30 July and starts at 10.30am.

Calling All Fiddle Groups

Please get in touch if you play in a fiddle group, pub or regular venue. I’m often asked by players who are wanting to join in and I do know of some, but would like to produce a list so that I can cover the whole of the North East and the Scottish Borders. So, please do get in touch and then I can spread the word!


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