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Insuring the Arts

Insuring the Arts

For some musicians, the thought of insuring their instruments and equipment has never crossed their minds ...


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Insuring the arts

“A musician is someone who loads R90 000 worth of equipment into a R20 000 car, to drive 150km to play a gig paying R600.” This quote of unknown origin is true of many musicians, not only within South Africa, but around the world. Sadly, it should also include the line “…with absolutely no insurance.”

Although many musicians would place their instruments and equipment far above their spouse and children when asked for a list of priorities, and would run into a burning building to save their beloved pieces, they often do not have the necessary insurance in place to replace the items they hold dear should the unthinkable happen. Unfortunately, the unthinkable happens more often than we would like. Parking your car in a less-than-secure parking lot of the pub you are playing at for the night often makes you a prime target. Auditoriums that house our local orchestras are located in city centres and are not always well guarded, especially at night.

While instruments and musical equipment are unlikely to be the targets themselves, they are the unfortunate collateral damage of car thefts and break-ins. Often the high value of the pieces is not even known to the thief – items are stripped down and sold for scrap, losing the majority of the value in the process. This is especially true of lesser known instruments – clarinets, cellos or flutes. Instruments found after being dumped by criminals may be too damaged to be of any use in the future. Many instruments are also damaged in car accidents. Even the smallest bumper bashing may damage items that are being transported in the boot of a car. All in all, insurance for musical instruments and equipment is a largely overlooked by musicians and insurers.


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KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity.  Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

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