Buying a viola can be a fun experience, no matter if it’s your first or tenth viola. However, losing your wonderful sounding viola due to theft or damage can be detrimental. Not only can it cost thousands of dollars to replace or repair, but you’ll lose valuable time practicing. That’s where musical instrument insurance comes into play. Below you’ll learn how you can get viola insurance so that you are sure that your precious instrument is protected.
Insuring your viola is the best move you can take to ensure that you get back to playing quickly in case your instrument is damaged or stolen. Viola insurance, therefore, involves purchasing protection for your viola against accidental damage, loss or theft. Before disaster strikes and brings your playing to a halt, it is vital to find suitable insurance for your musical instrument. If you’ve ever gone through a viola loss, then you understand how painful it is to scrape your pockets again for extra cash to buy a new viola.
How do you get viola insurance?
Get an Appraisal
Before signing an insurance contract, you need to make sure that you’re getting the right insurance. The first move you can take is to get a musical instrument insurance appraisal for your viola. There are multiple insurance estimates to choose from but it is best if you can get one from a professional violin maker. If you recently purchased your viola and still have a receipt with you, then you can have an estimate written out for the amount of the buying price on your receipt. If you are buying your viola from a local music shop, it is worth asking to get an appraisal when you first buy it. This way, you can avoid the additional cost of having to hire someone else to appraise your viola.
Devaluation is a critical aspect when purchasing viola insurance policy. Condition determines the value of your instrument. A simple crack can reduce the overall value of your viola. If your bow has a broken head, then the overall value reduces by up to 80%. We recommend making any major repairs to your instrument before getting it appraised.
If you have devaluation coverage, then you will be covered against repair costs. Some insurers may provide a policy without necessarily doing an appraisal. They can give you a grace period of up to 30 days. In case you’ve got an appraisal, you can renew or update it in every three years. The insurance company will accept your appraisal, and you get coverage for the agreed value. Actual cash value valuation method does not require any appraisal. In such a case, you’ll have to provide a value which is within existing reasonable market range if you incur a loss of your equipment.
Getting the Musical Instrument Insurance
The easiest way to get viola insurance is through your homeowner’s insurance policy. You can get your homeowner’s insurance to cover your viola just like your other possessions. All you need to do is talk to your homeowner’s insurance agent to find out whether you can add viola coverage. This will probably increase the monthly premium you pay for your insurance by a little bit, but it will be worth the peace of mind.
When signing up for additional insurance, it is a good idea for you to read the full details of the policy before signing it. You should also talk to your agent about where you will be taking your viola. You may need additional coverage if you take your viola out of the house, in a car, out of its case, and even out for practice in some cases. Ensure that you obtain full information about the type of insurance for musical instruments you are purchasing.
Professional musicians who earn money by playing their instruments or have higher priced instruments may not necessarily go for homeowner’s insurance. Separate viola insurance is a valuable investment for them since it can also compensate for loss of potential wages or earnings if their viola is damaged or stolen. Separate viola insurance is a good idea if your instrument is valued at greater than $5,000. This is the reasonable value regardless of how cheap your instrument might be. This is because when you add accessories, a case, and bows the value might rise significantly. Again, before you buy your insurance, it’s good to understand that most insurers offer slightly different policies. Some specialize in professional-quality instruments while others focus on insuring school-aged, and rental fleets. Therefore, make sure that you do thorough research about the insurance agencies, their specialties, and services. You can then do a consultation and discuss the requirements of the type of insurance you are looking for.
Premiums and deductibles also vary from one insurer to another. Some policy providers might charge a minimum annual premium with no deductible. Based on the nature of insurance coverage you need, you can get musical instrument insurance up to a certain value. One thing to keep in mind is that there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to viola or any other musical instrument insurance. The viola is a particularly peril-prone instrument due to its size and fragility. Any high-risk activities, such as frequently transporting your viola (especially on airplanes), might require higher insurance premiums. When evaluating your policy, it’s essential to take into consideration the potential perils.
What coverage should you get from viola insurance?
Beginners can get away with buying low-cost insurance. Generally, if you buy or rent from a local music shop, you can buy instrument protection in which case you pay a premium for the protection either monthly or upfront and the shop owner will take liability should the instrument get damaged. If you buy through Amazon, you can get their Musical Instruments Protection plan based on the price of the instrument.
Professional violists will want more robust insurance. As a professional violist, you will be taking your viola to wherever you are playing, whether by car or plane. Therefore, your insurance should cover all the perils and circumstances you can encounter while handling your instrument as you travel globally. Discuss everything with your insurance agent so that they know what insurance product is best for you. Also, check if your insurer covers other instruments such as bows, recording accessories, amplifiers, electrical gear, and sound equipment. Insurance policies often cover typical risks such as flood, theft, fire and accidental damages. However, they may not cover common things such as mold and wear and tear.
How and when to file a claim
If you lose your viola due to theft, damage or any other unfortunate event, contact your insurance agent right away. Tell them all the details if your equipment is repairable or requires replacement and you’ll be guided. Lost violas that have been recovered after the settlement of the claim can be reclaimed by the insurer.
How else you can protect your viola?
There are many ways that you can ensure that your viola suffers minimal damage and exposure to risks. When traveling, keep your viola with you at all times. Do not leave it where someone is likely to steal it. You should also consider buying a sturdy viola case. If you fly a lot, you should consider buying a reliable flight case that can fit over your current viola case for an added layer of protection.
Additionally, in the winter you should make sure that you use a dampit when your heat is on so that your viola is not prone to cracks. Keeping up with general maintenance such as changing strings will also ensure that your viola is in great shape and less prone to certain risks. You should take your viola in every year to a local music shop for a “tune up” to make sure it is in tip top shape.
Losing your viola can be like losing a best friend, especially if you love music. Replacing a lost, stolen, or damaged viola without musical instrument insurance means you’ll spend a lot of money to repair or replace your precious instrument. With musical instrument insurance for your viola, you never have to worry so we recommend that you find great viola insurance today.