Musical Instrument

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“Just a quick note of thanks for your prompt, pleasant and >professional settlement of our recent claim. Shipping mishaps are rare here at, but when they just can't be avoided, it's nice to know that Heritage and Traveler's are solidly behind us.” - Joe V

Heritage General Coverage Information

Here you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions about Heritage policies. If you don’t find the answer to your question here, please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Appraisals & Valuations
Policy Issuance – New Placements
New Business Policies Billing
Hassle-Free Renewal Procedure
Claims Handling

Appraisals & Valuations

Your covered instruments and equipment will be valued at either Agreed Value, Actual Cash Value, or Replacement Cost. Here’s how these [3] valuation methods work:

Agreed Value
When you give us an appraisal for an instrument and/or equipment, and we accept the appraisal, these items will be covered under Agreed Value Clause.

  • The advantage of this type of valuation is that when a covered loss occurs:
  • the insurance company will not question the value of your instrument after a loss,
    so you are guaranteed to receive the full amount of its listed value.

Because you and the insurer agreed on the instrument’s value when your policy was written (i.e., before the loss), the Agreed Value Clause enables the insurance company to pay for your loss quickly…and it ensures that you will be paid the agreed-upon amount.

Actual Cash Value
The more common method of valuation. If it’s not practical to obtain appraisals at the time of your policy issuance, your instruments and equipment will be insured under Actual Cash Value Clause. Instead of an appraisal, you declare the value of each item to Heritage Insurance Services, Inc. This represents the market value of your items to the best of your knowledge, and the amount(s) you’re willing to accept in the event of a loss. The insurer then accepts these values on the condition that they’re within reasonable market range.

When a loss occurs, the insurance company will either ask you to justify your declared values, or it will make the valuation directly.

Replacement Cost Valuation
When the cost to replace an instrument or related musical equipment exceeds actual cash value (fair market value) Replacement Cost may be beneficial. Some instruments and equipment physically depreciate over time. Replacement Cost is used when you prefer to be paid based on the cost to replace with new or contemporary items. As an example, say a piano has an actual cash value (fair market value) of $52,000, but is sold new by the manufacturer today for $76,000. If you insured for $76,000 under a replacement cost valuation, the insurer would pay based on the cost to replace with a new piano rather than the actual cash value of the older piano.

When an instrument appreciates or retains it’s value over time, replacement cost and actual cash value are the same.

The Difference[s] in a Nutshell:

  • The Agreed Value Clause establishes values of your items before a loss occurs.
  • The Actual Cash Value Cause requires verification of values after the loss occurs.
  • The Replacement Cost clause pays based on cost to replace with a new or contemporary item or the same kind and quality.

What [These Differences Mean] To You

  • Instruments valued under the Agreed Cash Value Clause are always paid based upon the insured amount.
  • Instruments valued under the Actual Cash Value Clause are almost always paid at the insured amount. (Take a digital picture of your instrument if you go this route.)
  • As long as the insured value is within reasonable market price range, the Agreed Value and Actual Cash Value methods usually arrive at the same place.
  • BUT you’ll get there faster under the Agreed Cash Value Clause.
  • Replacement cost pays based on cost to replace with a new or contemporary item or the same kind and quality..

Appraisal generally involves an independent evaluation of your instrument’s value, either before or after a loss occurs, by someone other than you or the insurance company.

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Policy Issuance – New Placements

Once you’ve received our quotation and decided to protect with Heritage, we will start coverage and input your policy electronically. In most cases, your billing & policy will come directly from the insurance company within 5-20 days, by first class mail in two separate envelopes.

Your coverage is in effect from the moment you accept our offer and send us your appraisals or lists of instruments with values along with your name, address and telephone number. We can your confirm coverage immediately via e-mail or fax if you desire.

When you receive your policy, review the schedule of instruments and values to make sure they’re accurate. To make a correction, contact us via fax, e-mail, or written instructions.

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New Business Policies Billing

After your coverage begins, you’ll receive an invoice directly from the insurance company that issued your policy. You can pay that company directly, or you can contact Heritage. We accept MasterCard and Visa. We can also provide electronic check-by-phone service for you.

Renewal Policies Billing
Invoices for renewal policies are usually mailed 20 days before your renewal date. Please send any renewal payments directly to the insurance company that issued your policy.

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Hassle-Free Renewal Procedure

To save you time and effort, we will automatically renew your policy each year unless you advise us otherwise. We start working on your renewal 60-90 days before your annual date.

We always ask that you look over your renewal policy for accuracy and advise us of any changes. It’s also important to keep your instrument appraisals and values updated. If you have new appraisals, values, or address changes, please mail, fax, or contact us.

And if anything changes on your policy, we’ll make sure you know about it well in advance of your renewal date.

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Claims Handling

Painless Claims Handling & The ‘Devaluation Advantage’

Most music instrument losses are related to some type of damage from perils like impact-related breakage, water damage, flood, collision, heat and fire, etc. In most cases, such losses are partial and the instrument can be repaired. But there may be devaluation.

This is where you’ll discover a major Heritage advantage: Unlike many providers, we will cover both your repair cost AND the devaluation of your instrument.

Total losses are infrequent compared to partial losses. The most common total losses involve theft, fire, or water damage. We’ve seen total losses caused by natural disasters including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, forest fires, tornados, even mudslides.

The handling of your claim will depend on the extent of your loss. If you wish to pursue a claim, call Heritage or your insurance carrier to report it. We will participate in the claims process between you and the carrier to help ensure a fair settlement.

Claims of a catastrophic nature should be reported to the insurance company directly and immediately. Then Heritage will coordinate the adjustment with the insurer and you.

Our Insurance Company Partners Are All Rated “A” (Excellent) or Better by A.M. Best And Co

  • Travelers Property Casualty Company of America
  • Trumbull Insurance Company (The Hartford Group)
  • XL Specialty Insurance Co.
  • Harleysville Insurance Company

In our 20+ years of experience, all of these companies have consistently settled and paid our customers’ claims, both large and small, fairly and expeditiously. That’s one less worry!

Music lasts forever…but your instrument may not. Protect it now. As a Heritage policy owner, you won’t just have peace of mind knowing that your instrument is protected. You will also know exactly what to do if it’s ever damaged or destroyed:

Call, fax, or e-mail us at Heritage right away. We’ll take it from there.

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Contact Heritage Insurance Services today at 1-800-289-8837, fax 215-322-5854,
or by e-mail at
Speak with a friendly Heritage agent live from 9 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday EST.
Or send us your message 24/7 via e-mail, voice-mail or fax. We’ll be happy to help you.