Insurance for Auto, Home, Instruments and Home Studio.?

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I’m looking for a highly reputable insurance company for the aforementioned. I also need someone to assess my instruments and studio gear for the insurance company. We live in West Houston. Who would you recommend? Full story below but not required.

I’ve been on a quest to find new insurance. It’s a long sorted story but the short version goes we’ve been with allstate since 2005 and they’ve been excellent. Then my wife called and had our home owners insurance changed to autopay. Called twice and they said they did it but didn’t. As a result our bank called us and said we had a 31 day lapse. So we called Allstate and they redid our home insurance with their partner company Wellington Risk. Wellington Risk hasn’t been as helpful as allstate and I found that for all my 25+ instruments, amps, studio gear they’ll only give me $ 3000. WOW. Just wow. It says 187k in household goodies on the form.

At any rate, we can’t change back to Allstate because they “can’t take business away from their partner company” so we sought to consolidate our insurance and get my instruments/gear covered. I found that I’ll have to have them assessed. Can’t find an assessor and it looks extremely expensive. Anyway, how do you tell them, “I put this guitar together and it has $ 200 Texas Specials, Russian caps, a MIM neck, Warmoth body, CTS pots and Oak-Bigsby switch. Will they even care or is it just based on the fair market value of whatever the assessor thinks the guitar is worth? How much should I expect to pay for instrument insurance?

I’ve found good (and bad) things about Amica for the auto/home. Their auto rates are $ 180 a year better than allstate, but their home is a bit more than wellington. That’s okay because they appear to cover foundation and water breakage, which Wellinton isn’t covering. Also they have a 1% deductable where we’re dealing with a 3% from wellington.

I know quite a few of you know infinitely more about insurance than I do… what do you do for your Auto/Home and Studio Gear/Instruments. I have a lot of studio gear… RME UFX, Kemper, MIC’s, monitors, rackable effects, compressors, pedals, amps, cords galore. Can that stuff even be covered?

Thanks for any help!

  1. Reply
    Someone Else
    August 7, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I’m maybe not the right guy to ask because I do not sell insurance or handle property claims.

    But I do know that standard home insurance policies have some limitations for certain kinds of items. And it sounds like you have some custom guitars that may be impossible to replace in the event of a fire or burglary. And it may also be difficult to establish their value.

    I wonder if you should consider a “stated value” policy endorsement for any particular items that may have unique value, such as any vintage collector guitars, for example. A “stated value” endorsement allows you to state the value of the item, and your premium is then adjusted accordingly.

    If a loss occurs, you do not automatically get the stated value, but you could get up to the stated value. (You still need to establish the value of the item at the time the claim is being made.)

    If you have a lot of nice equipment, I recommend you document this stuff with good photographs of everything, and store the photos at a friend’s house.

    Also, if you are running a home studio, of sorts, I wonder if some of your property could be consider “business property,” and fall within some exclusion for business property. I’m only guessing here. I am not a property adjuster.

  2. Reply
    August 7, 2013 at 7:23 am

    They are full of it. Go to another Allstate agent. Wellington is NOT a “business partner”. My guess is, your Allstate agent jumped ship to Wellington, and is trying to keep your business. They’re BOTH one trick ponies.

    Rather than doing “do it yourself” insurance, you need a local independent agent. You’ll also need to pay for appraisals for your custom music equipment – I have no idea why you can’t find anyone, in Houston, The Guitar Center would be happy to write something up, for not much of a fee.

    Amica is a direct writer – no agent. They have very favorable rates, and are very fast to drop you.

    As you know, homeowners in Texas is a bit different – and not very many companies offer that HOB policy form any more, and you DO want to make sure, if you have an HOA form, that you have that foundation endorsement on the policy. You also need to double check if that 1% is for all perils, or only wind – or if you have a separate wind deductible.

    Me, I live in Houston. My homeowners is through an independent agent, and is with Safeco – a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual. I know a ton about insurance, I’ve been a licensed agent for 25 years or so, and I STILL use an outside agent for my personal insurance.

    Go find a local, independent agent. Stop trying to do “do it yourself” insurance.

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