Your home insurance coverage protects the value of your home and the contents inside it, but it's always important to let your insurance agent know if you have certain items of a particularly high value. If you're a musician and keep several guitars inside your home, the last thing you want is to have them taken in a break-in or destroyed in a fire; without firm proof about their existence, it may be difficult to convince the insurance company that you had a number of high-value instruments for which you require compensation. It's better to make sure all your bases are covered through a series of steps.
Have Your Instruments Appraised
As an instrument owner, you should likely have a fairly decent idea of what each of your instruments costs. Still, it's a good idea to have this information attested to by an expert. Find a certified guitar appraiser in your community and arrange to drop off your guitars. This expert will assess the condition of each guitar, evaluate it against current market trends and provide you with accredited certification about the value of each instrument. You don't necessarily need to stop with your guitars. If you have a high-value amplifier — perhaps something vintage or limited edition — the appraiser should be able to help you, too.
Reach Out To Your Insurance Agent
Once you've had the guitars appraised, make a copy of the appraisal paperwork and share it with your insurance agent. He or she will confirm whether the instruments would be covered under your current insurance policy in the event of having to make an insurance claim or whether you'd be advised to increase your coverage. While the latter can lead to a slightly higher insurance premium, it's well worth it to ensure that your instruments are unequivocally covered. Make sure that your agent keeps the copy of the appraisal paperwork and you should also keep a copy in a secure location, such as your safety deposit box.
Document Your Instruments With Photos
Although the appraisal paperwork will often contain some photos, you should also take time to document your collection with photos. Take a series of clear photos of each instrument. You should have a photo that depicts the entire instrument on its own against a plain background, as well as close-up images of any brand markings and, of course, the serial number. Keep a USB drive with these images in your safety deposit box. In the event of a theft, this information will be valuable to provide the insurance company — and the police.
Talk to a professional like Rudolph W. Strickland if you have any questions about whether or not your home insurance covers your instruments.