Musicians out of tune with insurance

A RENEWED interest in live music and new legislation has resulted in an upsurge in songwriters and bands in the UK but research has shown some musicians are rocking without insurance.

Musical instrument insurer Musicguard also found professionals were less likely than amateurs to protect their kit.

The recent de-regulation of live music means more venues will be able to hold live music events without the need for additional licensing. It heralded a change for the British music scene, with 36,000 more premises hoping to stage more live music events.

Coupled with the fact that there has been a 62% rise in the past five years of songwriters and bands, it all means there is more chance for musicians to have their instruments - the source of their income - damaged, stolen or lost.

Musicguard research found that musicians take a “live and let die” approach when it comes to insurance, with less than half (47%) covered and fewer than one in 10 of those who take instruments out of the home (eight per cent) having them covered by a specialist policy.

With an estimated 10,000 unsigned bands, along with more than 1,000 DJs, the potential for a large number of the UK’s favourite musicians to go bust because they cannot replace their instruments is a stark reality.

Bands are notorious for their rock and roll lifestyle and that is reflected in the types of claims they make. Over one in 10 claim due to theft (16%) and nearly a fifth claim due to accidental damage (19%).

As they often take their instruments away from the home they are the most likely to be a victim of crime yet the research found that professionals are the least likely to have insurance, with nearly a third (29%) believing that they are covered on their home insurance.

The typical band has a significant amount to lose if they do not have insurance. For example, the average sum insured for a kit of drums and percussion is £2,380, while an electric keyboard is for £1,289.

With the average claim being nearly £900 across all instruments musicians have a significant amount to lose.

Despite more men relying on their musical instruments professionally, they were also less likely than women to have insurance, taking an unnecessary gamble on their careers.

Adrian Scott, head of e-commerce at Musicguard, said: “Many musicians choose not to take out musical instrument insurance cover, either viewing it as an unnecessary expense or thinking that they are adequately covered on their home contents insurance.

“But if you play for money away from your home, you may not be covered at all. Thousands of guitars and musical instrument are stolen, damaged or lost every year.

“This can be an upsetting experience for musicians, who are often emotionally attached to their instruments. Worse still, many people could not afford to replace an item without musical instrument cover.

“Considering so many musicians rely on their instruments for a living it’s concerning that so many are taking preventable risks when it comes to their careers.

“While there are some excellent home contents providers in the marketplace, it’s important for musicians to check the maximum item value, maximum total value and whether you can take them out of the home.”

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