Musical Instrument

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> Home Base Business

Answers to Your Questions About Heritage Music Policies

This section answers frequently asked questions about policies and insurance. If you don’t see the answer you want here, please contact us.

Can you explain your valuations & inventory procedure?”

Makers, repair shops and dealers should maintain an inventory of their instruments and business property in the event of a catastrophic loss. This inventory should be kept with a backup off of the shop premises so it can be reproduced if needed. It should show values of items as is practical. Also, a record of the non-owned instruments in the custody of the shop should be maintained. It is also helpful to have pictures or a video of your shop premises.

Items insured are valued at actual cash value at the time of loss. If an instrument cannot be replaced at wholesale (is a vintage or privately made instrument) the policy will respond by paying the actual cash value of the item. Instruments which are consigned to you for sale are paid based upon the amount you have agreed to pay the consignoer or the actual cash value - which ever is less. Losses to instruments which have been sold but not yet given to the buyer are paid based on your sale price to the buyer.

General business property (other than instruments) is valued at the cost to replace with new items of the same quality.

“How does policy issuance work?”

Almost all of our business is conducted electronically using computers, phone, fax and e-mail. Once you have received our proposal and decided to place your coverage with Heritage Insurance Services, Inc., we will bind coverage and input your policy electronically. Your billing will in most cases come directly from the insurer and take about 15 - 20 days to reach you. The actual policy will be sent to you in about the same time. Both will arrive by first class mail.

If you have opted for installment payments, the insurer will continue to send bills by first class mail prior to the due date.

When we send your policy to you we will ask you to review the limits of coverage to make sure they are correct and accurate. Should you wish to make a correction, you can contact us by fax, e-mail [link to pre-addressed e-mail field] or send written instructions to us.

“How will I be billed for my coverage?”

After coverage begins, you will receive an invoice directly from the insurance carrier. You can then pay the carrier directly or contact Heritage. Heritage accepts MasterCard and Visa. We also provide electronic check by phone service.

“When will I receive my renewal invoice, and where will I send my payments?”

Invoices for renewal are usually mailed 20 days before your renewal date. Please send payments directly to the company.

“What is your renewal procedure?”

Policies are automatically renewed each year by the agency unless you advise us otherwise. We start working on the renewals 60 - 90 months before your renewal date. We always ask that you look over your renewal policy for accuracy and advise us of any changes.

“How are claims handled?”

Most losses that occur to musical instruments are related to some type of damage from perils such as impact-related breakage, water damage, flood, collision, heat and fire etc. probably the most common loss would be breakage during shipment. In the majority of cases instruments can be repaired. There may be devaluation after the repair is completed which is covered loss under our policy forms.

Severe and total losses are infrequent compared to partial damage losses. Most common would be theft, fire and water damage. We have seen the effects of natural disasters including hurricanes, floods, earthquake, forest fires, tornados, and even mudslides which can be devastating.

Claims of a catastrophic nature are reported to the carrier immediately and we will coordinate the adjustment with the insurer and the insured.

Since we have insured a large number of makers and dealers, we have an excellent resource for developing information on proper repair and devaluation of instruments. The insured is also encouraged to utilize their own repair and dealer relationships to help develop values at point of loss.

Our current insurance partners are all highly rated and financially stable carriers in North America. It is our experience over the last 20 years that they have been exemplary in settling and paying claims fairly and expeditiously, both large and small.

Our Musical Instrument Insurance Partners

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

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.