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DanGo
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#1
19th January 2012
Old 19th January 2012
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Heritage Insurance?

Has anybody had any experiences with Heritage Insurance? I'm thinking of having them insure my guitars and studio gear. They seem very reasonable (so I'm thinking: what's the catch?!)...
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21st January 2012
Old 21st January 2012
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Anybody have any experiences with Heritage? Especially with claims? Good or bad? Or Clarion?
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21st January 2012
Old 21st January 2012
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I use clarion. They've been pretty good with claims. the people that work there are nice. I've been using them for about 8 years.
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25th January 2012
Old 25th January 2012
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Thanks, Mark.

Anybody else have experience with Heritage?

Trying to look before I leap...
#5
28th January 2012
Old 28th January 2012
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I've used Heritage for a number of years, very nice folks. My son had them and they replaced his stolen guitar and his broken laptop without any problems...
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29th January 2012
Old 29th January 2012
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DrBob, thanks! I just signed up with them. Good to have my gut confirmed...
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22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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I was thinking MusicPro but don't like something I uncovered in the policy. Did you get a copy of the Heritage policy yet?? Do they have any clauses in there about "Other insurance" situations such as if you have overlapping coverage (through something like homeowner's insurance)?

I'm wanting something entirely decoupled from my homeowner's insurance, and apparently MusicPro is NOT it. You THINK you are paying for independent insurance when instead it behaves more like a SUPPLEMENTAL policy in situations where coverages overlap. You can end up having MusicPro make a claim on your other insurance policy as a result. With some really bad repurcussions like possibly higher deductibles and a claim record being triggered where you never intended it to be. Getting straight answers as to how the exact details and dynamics of all this works is like pulling teeth.

Sonic
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25th February 2012
Old 25th February 2012
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Hi Sonic,

Yikes, I agree: MusicPro does not sound good. I'll double check my Heritage policy, but I think it's separate. The policy I have is actually one from The Hartford--Heritage is the agent.
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17th January 2013
Old 17th January 2013
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Bumping this thread, since I have been comparing MusicPro, Heritage, and Clarion. All three companies seem to do everything they can to avoid sending you the actual policies.

re SonicExplorer1's point
I got this response from MusicPro :
"In the event of a loss, the company does have the right to attempt to recover a portion of the money paid to the insured if there is other insurance in force - but only if the type of loss and the property involved were something that would typically be covered under that other policy."

And found this in a Clarion policy:
"9. Other Insurance
If “you” have other insurance covering the same “loss” as the insurance under this Coverage Form, “we” will pay only the excess over what “you” should have received from the other insurance. “We” will pay the excess whether “you” can collect on the other insurance or not. "

So, neither look to be independent.

Heritage told me on the phone that they were "independent", but I'm starting to doubt that. I have yet to receive a policy agreement from them to look over

D
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17th January 2013
Old 17th January 2013
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Knock on wood, I haven't had to put in a claim, but I'm sure Heritage is telling the truth: they're independent...brokers. Most insurance agents sell you policies from larger insurance companies and sometimes can work different or better deals for you than going directly to the insurance company. That said, I find insurance to be a necessary evil at best...
#11
18th January 2013
Old 18th January 2013
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Check out Allstate. Sounds weird but I switched over to them this year after having Clarion for many years. Clarion...great folks, definitely setup to deal with high-end instruments, especially those in orchestras with instruments like violins and cellos from the 1700's!

Allstate blew me away in their ability to do a blanket policy for my studio and all the gear in it. The price came in at less that 1/4 the price I was paying with Clarion. Mind you I'm not a commercial studio, just a composers studio with a lot of guitars and amps, but it's worth looking into. Allstate just started doing this to my understanding and are very aggressively competitive. Never put in a claim with either company and would like to keep it that way, but I'd been with Allstate all my life for car and home owners insurance so it was worth a shot. My wallet feels a lot better, that's for sure.
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18th January 2013
Old 18th January 2013
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Hey Steve. Interesting info - thanks. I never would have considered one of the big companies. I did finally manage to get a PDF of the Heritage policy, and it is strangely underspecified in comparison to MusicPro and Clarion. But, I did not see any clause regarding "other insurance". Their rep quoted me a price which is almost half of what I am paying at MusicPro!!!

What's the deductible on the Allstate policy? How much is every 1,000 of gear costing to cover? Do they cover laptops too (I like how MusicPro has this feature... I can't seem to figure out how to get my regular insurance to cover mine - I live in Sweden now... things are different here.

I can upload links for all three policies if anyone is interested... (this info is NOT readily available on any of the three websites).
#13
19th January 2013
Old 19th January 2013
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No problem groke, insurance is tricky in the MI department for sure. I can't take anything away from the guys like Clarion but for me it was a no-brainer. Allstate gave me $250,000 worth of coverage for about $35 a month with a $1000 deductible. Blanket coverage, which includes flood, fire, theft, damage, etc.

The $1K deductible is higher than Clarion but I figure the savings alone is worth it. Besides that I don't need to itemize out every last cable I want to have covered. It's pretty much the studio computer and Pro Tools, studio furniture, guitars and amps, pedals, etc.

Not sure about the laptop coverage but if it's part of the studio I can't see why it wouldn't be.

Good luck!
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19th January 2013
Old 19th January 2013
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Hey Steve,

That's a really good rate, and I can see how using them and having the high deductible makes sense in your situation. MusicPro charges me 1200 for 114,000 of coverage. Heritage offers between 600-750 for the same coverage (and actually, the rep said they would go up to 130,000 for that amount). I would need a lower deductible since I travel around with a couple expensive guitars. But I would be happy with say.. a 300 dollar deductible. I haven't looked into their reputation yet... time to check Better Business Bureau. Anyways, it's a great suggestion, and I'm definitely going to look into it (and report back here). Thanks so much.
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21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ouimette View Post
No problem groke, insurance is tricky in the MI department for sure. I can't take anything away from the guys like Clarion but for me it was a no-brainer. Allstate gave me $250,000 worth of coverage for about $35 a month with a $1000 deductible. Blanket coverage, which includes flood, fire, theft, damage, etc.

The $1K deductible is higher than Clarion but I figure the savings alone is worth it. Besides that I don't need to itemize out every last cable I want to have covered. It's pretty much the studio computer and Pro Tools, studio furniture, guitars and amps, pedals, etc.

Not sure about the laptop coverage but if it's part of the studio I can't see why it wouldn't be.

Good luck!
It's a mistake to choose insurance solely on the basis of rate, doubly so in the case of music and recording gear.

One of the key terms to be aware of is "full replacement value". Most insurance policies geared to homeowners do not give full replacement value, they give depreciated value, in other words a percentage of what you paid depending on how long ago you bought it. Some companies also dick around on paying you and make you pay expenses yourself on an ongoing basis before reimbursing you after closing the case.

Has anybody here dealt with The Recording Studio Insurance Program from Capital Bauer? I believe the agent is Joe Morello - he usually has a booth at AES.
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DanGo
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29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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Yes, I used to have a policy with Joe at Capital Bauer. It cost an arm and a leg $1300 or so a year). It may be a policy well-suited for recording studios, but I found it was overkill for me as a freelance composer with a personal project studio. Also, I found his manner condescending. And, if I asked questions about the policy, he'd disappear, not returning emails or phone calls (once he got my money). But after I cancelled, I heard from him immediately, telling me, in effect, that I'd be sorry I left him. So far, I'm not sorry...
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29th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanGo View Post
Yes, I used to have a policy with Joe at Capital Bauer. It cost an arm and a leg $1300 or so a year). It may be a policy well-suited for recording studios, but I found it was overkill for me as a freelance composer with a personal project studio. Also, I found his manner condescending. And, if I asked questions about the policy, he'd disappear, not returning emails or phone calls (once he got my money). But after I cancelled, I heard from him immediately, telling me, in effect, that I'd be sorry I left him. So far, I'm not sorry...
I've always had good service from Joe.
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feck View Post
I've always had good service from Joe.
I'm glad to hear that. And, to clarify, I never had cause to make a claim while I had Joe's studio insurance policy, so I'm not trashing the policy or even Joe, generally. I'm just stating that in my experience, he was not good at returning the very few calls and emails I sent him. And I pretty much never managed to get him on the phone for whatever reason. As they say, YMMV.
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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From talking to Joe at AES I'm given to understand that one of the features of his program is that they give full replacement cost, no questions asked. No bs about depreciated value or nonsense like that which is common practice with normal household insurance. For example if I had a fire and lost my C12A I wouldn't have to deal with a line of malarky that it was a used mic from the mid '60s that only cost a few hundred bucks new - or even that since I only paid 40% of current market value that's all I could get back, I could count on receiving whatever it might cost to purchase one from VK or whoever.

Since I have a fair amount of vintage gear, all of which I underpaid for, that's pretty important to me.

I need to finish my inventory and get insured...
#20
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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John - I think that's how it works with all of the major insurance brokers under discussion: MusicPro, Heritage, and Clarion. Clarion seems to have some different options, but one of them matches the stated replacement value thing that Joe mentioned. The deductibles also differ, as do some circumstances surrounding the loss (which is where Clarion gets very unclear for me - they have all sorts of weird stipulations, which is why I am personally either going with Heritage or staying with MusicPro). Can someone please ask Joe if he files counterclaims with the filer's home insurance?
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6th February 2013
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I had a Heritage policy for a while when I started my guitar repair business. I had purchased the policy through my Farmers agent. At some point, my agent offered me a policy directly from Farmers for less money. A few months later, I received a bill from Heritage claiming that I owed them for several months of unpaid coverage. Of course I called them and explained the situation, and they claimed that the policy had never been cancelled.

Long story short, I had to jump through many hoops and send them several documents, proving that I had purchased a policy elsewhere. This cost me quite a bit of time (lots of phone calls, etc.) to resolve. Considering how hard a time I had with them trying to get that issue resolved, I can't imagine what someone with an actual claim would have to go through.
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6th February 2013
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What's weird about your Heritage experience is that I think Heritage is an agent, not an actual insurer. They sell other companies' policies, so it's strange that your agent was with State Farm, an insurer with agents, and somehow Heritage was involved. Almost sounds like you had two agents for one policy. Confusing...
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23rd February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanGo View Post
What's weird about your Heritage experience is that I think Heritage is an agent, not an actual insurer. They sell other companies' policies, so it's strange that your agent was with State Farm, an insurer with agents, and somehow Heritage was involved. Almost sounds like you had two agents for one policy. Confusing...
That may be the case. I don't know... The reason my Farmers agent didn't initially offer me a farmers policy is because at the time, they didn't have one to offer that was appropriate for a guitar repair business. At some point, my agent offered me a less expensive alternative directly from Farmers, which is when the above-mentioned confusion ensued.
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24th February 2013
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I see. What a drag for you! Insurance for me is a necessary evil and one where I find I always feel like I have to watch my back: I've yet to meet an insurance agent who inspired trust in me (well, one, but he's a friend of my brother-in-law)!
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24th February 2013
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I guess insurance is a damned if you do, damned if you don't type situation. I always feel like I'm getting screwed when I give them my money. The irony is that I'd probably be willing to sell a kidney before I'd file claim for fear of my rates increasing, or becoming completely uninsurable. But the alternative is to be faced the liability of having my customers' instruments in my possession without the financial means to replace them if something were to happen - so, like you said, a necessary evil indeed...
#26
6th June 2013
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It's my understanding that the determining factor for coverage under a homeowner's type policy and even an additional 'personal articles' policy like I have w State Farm is whether or not the gear is used to make any money at all, ever. Not sure about the Allstate plan it sounds good but make sure it covers professional use & not just hobbyist gear like mine.
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