Standard homeowners insurance policies often cover musical instruments, but it might not include coverage if the instrument is being played for compensation. Situations including fire damage, vandalism and theft are often covered by homeowners insurance.

You should check your policy to find out the total coverage limit for your personal property. If you have about $150,000 to replace all of your personal items in an incident of a fire or other disaster, but your instrument is worth $50,000 alone, that only leaves $100,000 for the rest of your belongings. In cases like this, it would be a good idea to insure your instrument separately. Here are some ways to determine whether or not you may need extra coverage for your instrument(s):

• Take an inventory of your instrument(s).

• Figure out the value of your instrument(s), and get a professional appraisal if your instrument(s) are extremely valuable. 

• If your homeowners insurance policy isn’t enough to cover your instrument(s) in addition to the rest of your belongings, consider getting extra coverage.

There are two options for getting extra coverage for your instrument(s). One option is to get add-on coverage on your current homeowners insurance policy. The other option is to get separate coverage for your instrument(s). Add-on coverage will most likely cover a larger range of disasters that involve your instrument(s) than a standard homeowners policy does. There may be a coverage limit, and if you perform for a compensation, the instrument(s) may not be able to be covered at all through a homeowners insurance policy. Like add-on coverage, circumstances that are not covered in standard homeowners policies would usually be covered by a musical instrument policy. Standalone instrument policies also often cover the instrument(s) no matter where it is at any given time. Musical instrument policies may cover the following circumstances:

• Damage caused by temperature changes and/or humidity

• Theft

• Water damage

• Flood damage

• Earthquake damage

• Vandalism

• Shipment damage

• Repair damage

Musical instrument policies may not cover:

• Gradual deterioration

• Mold damage

• Damage from insects, worms, rodents, or vermin

Separate musical instrument insurance policies usually provide an agreed value coverage as well. This is important for higher valued instruments that appreciate, so that they are being insured at their full value.