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Let's talk insurance!
Old 28th May 2008
  #1
Let's talk insurance!

Who do you use, and what kind of coverage?

I've been buying a lot of gear over the last year. Yesterday I set down priced my rack and it was over $60k. This year I plan on adding another $40k. So, I pulled out my insurance policy and started reading through it and it said that even though I was covered for $100k the policy would only cover electronic data processing equipment up to $5k. I'm thinking that "electronic data processing equipment" would probably be interpreted as my Mac and the Pro Tools cards which reside there, I don't have to tell you that set-up cost a lot more than 5k. So I'm thinking that my renters insurance policy won't be enough if disaster should befall my studio, time to up grade. So my question is who do you use for insurance? What type of coverage do you have? Thanks for your time!



Old 28th May 2008
  #2
Lives for gear
 
macgee's Avatar
what i did was send my insurance company an inventory of all my equipment with serial numbers where possible and values and then they came back making sure that it was for personal use and mot business and then i was fine and covered

so just send that to them and see what they come back with
Old 28th May 2008
  #3
Lives for gear
 
The dman's Avatar
 

I had to take out a separate policy for the studio I've used 2 companies Auto Owners and Pekin, never had to make a claim. Knocks on wood.
Old 28th May 2008
  #4
Good suggestions, thanks!




Old 28th May 2008
  #5
Be careful they dont trip you up with asking if you make money with the gear or use it for "work". That could wipe out your chances of being covered for loss under a home contents insurance policy..

Probably obvious but ... anyway...
Old 28th May 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 
The dman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Be careful they dont trip you up with asking if you make money with the gear or use it for "work". That could wipe out your chances of being covered for loss under a home contents insurance policy..

Probably obvious but ... anyway...
But if you do use it for work I'd be careful about withholding the truth. Insurance companies love an excuse to not pay out or offer a poor payout.
Old 28th May 2008
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Chunky But Funky's Avatar
 

Insure it with a separate policy. I am starting a high end rental business. I insured about $40,000 worth of rental gear and about $30,000 home studio / instruments for about $100 per month. Obviously, rentals are a much higher risk than a studio setting. That is for both gear replacement costs (even mysterious disappearance - make sure you ask about that one) and $1,000,000 liability insurance. Don't forget they can steal your gear or sue you. You are at risk either way. Possibly even more so from the liability perspective. That is relatively cheap for the peace of mind it brings. One company I contacted would underwrite a $100,000 policy for about $100 a month.

I've had a home studio for about 10 years and just got the policy this past January. I never even considered the fact that when I recorded someone as a "hobbyist" from my home studio, they could sue me and I could possibly lose everything. And here all the time I thought I was being a nice guy and doing them a favor. Trust no one. Unfortunately, the days of a handshake and a smile are gone.

Doug
Old 28th May 2008
  #8
Lives for gear
 
TheRealRoach's Avatar
American Federation of Musicians (AFM) covers musical instruments including instruments used for recording. To clarify, they cover all types of equipment used to make music including your recording gear.

Worldwide coverage, $50.00 deductible, $2.50 per $100 dollars insured value.

AFM doesn't provide the insurance, but they open you up to the fantastic Union rates for their partnered insurance firms.
Old 28th May 2008
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Be careful they dont trip you up with asking if you make money with the gear or use it for "work". That could wipe out your chances of being covered for loss under a home contents insurance policy..

Probably obvious but ... anyway...
Quote:
Originally Posted by The dman View Post
But if you do use it for work I'd be careful about withholding the truth. Insurance companies love an excuse to not pay out or offer a poor payout.
Warning against that was the point of my post. But saying it again in a different way is fine, sure!

If its for work - get separate cover for it from your home contents insurance.
Old 28th May 2008
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Be careful they dont trip you up with asking if you make money with the gear or use it for "work". That could wipe out your chances of being covered for loss under a home contents insurance policy..

Probably obvious but ... anyway...
Actually not that obvious........since I didn't know.......and yes I have and do charge folks money for my services on occasion.


These are all good suggestions and good info, keep them coming I need to learn as much as possible. Thanks.



Bill.


Old 29th May 2008
  #11
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
If its for work - get separate cover for it from your home contents insurance.
I do insure my stuff on the home contents insurance (I do only location recording, though) but have declared that the equipment is used for business.

I have a separate policy for equipment when it is out of the house.

Regarding public liability insurance - some professional bodies/unions include this as part of the membership (eg: BECTU in the UK) - so this may work out to be a good deal.
Old 29th May 2008
  #12
Gear Addict
Strong +1 on the separate policy.

I had about 10k of gear stolen from a break in at a friends house years ago. Even though his homeowners policy covered other peoples property, they refused to cover my gear because they said I used the gear in a business. I never told them I was a professional, but they looked into it enough to actually even contact agents that I had booked club gigs with like 5 or 10 years in the past. Ended up getting a lawyer involved and only got compensated for about a third of the value. Needless to say, I insure everything now.

Believe me, you want a specific dedicated policy. If there's any wiggle room at all an insurance company will refuse the claim even if they know they will have to pay something in the end. They'd rather have you sue them and pay out a reduced award. It's just how they operate.

The policy offered through the AFM is good and it's not expensive.
Old 29th May 2008
  #13
Lives for gear
 
ELI-173's Avatar
 

Are there any slutz in LA with home studios (personal use only) who have an insurance contact they could recommend?

Trying to find a good outfit here in LA.

-Eli
Old 29th May 2008
  #14
Gear Nut
 

I talked to company that I have renters insurance from but they were not very helpful with a second policy. It was very very expensive because they considered it insurance for a business. The rates are the same for a 1 person small or large business.


I would also like to know about companies that specialize in offering insurance for recording equipment. It would be great if someone could recommend some companies. (besides the AFM)
Old 30th May 2008
  #15
rlg
Gear Maniac
 
rlg's Avatar
 

Any recommendations for insurers in the UK?
Old 30th May 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlg View Post
Any recommendations for insurers in the UK?
or canada?
Old 30th May 2008
  #17
Thanks everyone for your great responses! I just got off the phone with Marsh Affinity Group Services the provider for the AF of M members and I put in a call to Joe Montarello, awaiting his return call. Both look like a good deal and it's going to be one of these two, though I'm leaning a bit toward Mr. Montarello simply because of his specific experience with recording studios. I'm starting to feel better already!

Bill.


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