Dec 18, 2013

Keep Your Collection in Tune: Insuring Your Musical Instruments

They looked like a line of ants at a picnic. Having finished their gig and packed their instruments, the band steadily loaded their van. An unbroken stream of musicians and equipment flowed from inside the Washington, D.C., hotel to the parking lot. No one was quite sure when the theft occurred; it seemed as if the open van was never out of sight. But, at some point, the bass player’s 1958 Fender Precision Bass disappeared. Valued at more than $10,000 the instrument would not be easy to replace. The bass player was more than distraught: his insurance wouldn’t cover the loss, and he didn’t have the money for a new one.

Stories of instruments lost or damaged are commonplace among working musicians: a cello left in the trunk of a cab, a double bass destroyed by airport baggage handlers, a flood or fire that ravages an entire collection. For working musicians the loss of an instrument cannot be calculated entirely in dollars and cents. Musicians ardently seek instruments that will express “their sound,” and such instruments are tough to find and even tougher to replace. For collectors of rare instruments, money cannot compensate for the loss of a cultural icon (but it helps). Read More

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