Insurance for system

I have been trying to get theft coverage for my system without success. Between the electronics, cables and add ons I probably have around $100K invested in it. My broker suggested that she might be able to get coverage for some of the gear but not all of it. I know that there are specialty carriers for collectible cars but is anyone aware of insurers who specialize in coverage for what most carriers would consider luxury goods?


Receipts, and take photos of all including items with no receipts, find current replacement costs, give copy to agent, revise quote with specific coverage for specific items, like diamond rings, etc.

You can cover for original cost, or pay more and have replacement coverage.

talk to another insurance company, get a quote, then talk to your agent.


I don't understand. As long as you have receipts and pictures, or can prove replacement value, why would audio gear be any different from any other personal possession of value? What reason did your agent give you for this? 

@roxy54  I agree with you. I had an evaluation done by a local hifi dealer which I submitted to her. She is young so maybe it is a case of inexperience or maybe she just isn’t interested either way I would prefer to take my money elsewhere as I do want coverage.

Do you have an existing homeowner's or renter's insurance policy? Reading it would be a good place to start. All my gear is covered under my homeowner's policy.

Post removed 

My insurance agent is a friend of mine. I asked about the system… and my extensive camera and fountain pen collection. No specific policy is required. It is covered as are all things under the home owners policy. Yes, photos make it easier… and receipts… well, how would you not have these. 

Post removed 

All you need is a policy that covers full replacement cost for all your property, just make sure the total amount is enough to cover the loss of all your belongings.

Whatever you do, I suggest getting a policy from nearly any company other than State Farm. The quality and integrity of that company has declined sharply in recent years, which probably accounts for why they offer some of the lowest rates.

Home insurance typically has a set limit for personal possessions, and it's usually a percentage of the property value.  You need to concern yourself with the specific coverage limits set out in the contract.  It is quite normal for limits to be placed on Fur Coats, Jewelry and individual pieces of art (as examples).  I have never seen a limit on stereo equipment which means it would all be covered under the total umbrella amount.  The most important provision is coverage for replacement cost.  In this case, you are guaranteed to be able to get the same gear.  In fact, if you don't replace something you will only be paid the  depreciated value.  Pictures are a good idea.  Receipts aren't that important as the replacement values are self evident.   Just read your policy or ask your agent if limits apply and if replacement cost is covered.  The policy is required reading as bad information from the agent won't help you at time of claim.  Cheers.

I revisited insurance coverage on the hifi and record collection when I moved from NY to Texas at the very beginning of 2017. DOT insurance is by gross weight and a joke. I was covered by Chubb, which I started using years ago- they insured various exotic cars I had for less than what they charged for a daily driver.

I have riders for the hi-fi, the records, and some other high value stuff. A year or more ago, we finally parted ways with Chubb- though I thought they were very good--their premiums got crazy. We switched to a company called "Pure" which writes for high value assets. Hopefully it is never going to be an issue.

Lloyds will insure just about anything of value, for a cost. But maybe just a rider on your homeowners delineating all your audio stuff.

As stated by others, stereo equipment is covered under the personnel property coverage of your HO policy. However, records are considered media and may have a specific dollar limit. Read the policy 

What you’re looking for is called a Personal Articles Policy. It’s used to insure things like art collections, stereo equipment, and other expensive collectibles. It’s one of the cheapest insurance types to have; don’t try to list these on your regular homeowners or renters policy, as it will be really expensive and/or you’ll max out the allowed scheduled amount. A seven figure Personal Articles Policy will run you two or three grand... Ask your broker about adding it to a homeowners or renters policy.

Thanks everyone for the great information which I will follow up on. It is a treat to be able to post about an issue and get educated responses like this.

I concur with the posts indicating your home owners coverage on it own is insufficient, but getting a rider should be no problem. While my HiFi gear fits withing my home owners coverage my astronomy gear does not.

When I did my riders with Safeco I was told to bundle multiple items together to create "systems" and get a rider for each system. This was more cost effective. I was also told to just state what I wanted it insured for as some items cannot be directly replaced and there could be much debate in replacement value. So for my one telescope I simply said $50,000. This included the telescope and several high end eyepieces. Think amp, pre-amp, turntable, speakers. In the end I'm paying to insure an amorphous $50,000 thing.

 Yes, photos make it easier… and receipts… well, how would you not have these. 

I  buy the majority of my components used... no receipts. That's one way we wouldn't have receipts. 

……some companies will allow you to add what is known as a ; Rider to your homeowners policy . It has been previously noted that adding the value of your stereo along with the media may create a limit that exceeds a personal property limit on your policy . Valuation is the limit as replacement cost is the correct avenue . However , replacement cost with “ same like and kind ‘ could be an issue at a loss especially if you have some older equipment that is irreplaceable . I get nervous on the value of my CD collection as some cannot be replaced and that’s where a claim can go side ways as along with our equipment we know the value of it in the marketplace but insurance companies do not . We have an emotional attachment to our music and gear. The Riders I have mentioned are not inexpensive ( what is ) but when a loss occurs and we believe that they never will , but they do you will be glad you have it in place. One other point to consider is if you live in a flood zone or an area that is prone to tornadoes. That is a whole different ballgame but if you are in those zones , a conversation with your agent and company is a must . 
This is a great post that we as audiophiles really need to look into and feel comfortable about the coverage you have in place because all that it takes is just that one time so be diligent about it . 
I retired from the insurance industry after 42 years . Talk to your agent and make sure you are covered and check different companies . 

I read somewhere -- maybe here at the 'gon, maybe elsewhere, about a person making purchases, and wanting the listing/receipt to *not* include the word, "vintage". This want was out of concern that an insurance claim might be denied, on the grounds that, "... your policy specifically excludes "heirloom", "vintage" and "antique" items."

It seems that the advices and thoughts offered here would avoid that particular pitfall by specific receipts and photographs having been provided to the insurer at the time of policy creation.

Great posts here.

Go to a different company I have progressive ,you just have to upgrade your coverages .

…..very good point on noting that you own vintage equipment as that is a whole different animal and coverage as well as the company that insures such items.


I insure my collection in a separate policy my primary insurance broker shops for me. Every couple years we move around, but obtaining insurance has not been a problem. It is a policy similar to what would be used to cover fine art. 


I'm in love with your room and system it's awesome. So many records. the length of the rug so perfect for the room. Such pretty speakers.

But it sounds really lovely there.

FPL has an insurance for electronics. It costs I believe less than $12 a month in case of lightning damages and such. Last month, we had a power surge that killed my five year old AVP.  They gave me what I paid for it new. I was expecting a replacement value. Needless to say I was very happy. 

@emergingsoul -thanks for the compliment. This system had its beginnings in around 2006 and has evolved over the years. (There were several previous systems going back to 1970).  Having moved to Texas, I am in a larger room and that, along with some changes (cartridge, better turntable isolation and more, bigger subs) made a considerable difference. It is, to paraphrase someone who was here yesterday to listen, "a system to enjoy rather than to analyze the music."  I'm quite happy with it. That rug has been with us in several houses- it is huge, and it not completely unrolled at one end-- it is simply too long for the room. But, I like it, partly because it is old, very fine, though it is somewhat threadbare in spots.

I did have an opportunity to have my 1975 system restored (for some reason I kept most of that gear although many other pieces over the years got traded or sold).  That system resides in our front parlor-- not quite as big or dramatic, but it uses old Quads I bought in 1974 which were restored, along with a pair of Quad II amps from around 1961, a McI MX110z and an SP-10 table that I bought new in 1973. It's surprisingly good for what it is--a somewhat bandwidth limited system with an almost eerie ability to portray the midrange with a "see-through" quality.

I have added all my audio equipment to my scheduled personal items policy in my homeowner's insurance policy (HO5+).  It includes jewelry, furniture, art works and audio equipment.  The reason I added the audio equipment is because I live in Los Angeles and personal property damaged by earthquake are only covered by an earthquake policy, more difficult and limited to collect from (especially with the HUGE deductible due to the overvaluation of replacement building cost at $307,000/10% deductible).  

So, at least I have peace of mind for my audio equipment that not only fire, flood or theft but also damage and earthquake are covered.  I doubt anyone is going to steal my power duplexes or my 700+ lb pair of speakers.  I have very little jewelry and my furniture is quite heavy (antiques as well).  So, it's basically for damage coverage.  

I am fortunate not to have tested my (special collections) scheduled personal items insurance.  This would include someone poking their finger into a speaker driver or bending a cartridge cantilever.  Better it should never happen.

@garebear Yes, I can replace my equipment but not 50% of my record and CD collection.  I cannot replace my 7,000 78s, of which half are ethnic music.  I cannot replace my limited edition CD collection of classical vocal, piano and string on labels such as Romophone, Biddulph, Marston which typically only pressed 1000 copies (Marston-on subscription basis).  I cannot replace half of my LPs or R2R tapes.  So, I am rather concerned despite living in a 24/7 guard gated community, with double exterior doors, perimeter wired alarm system to a central station with armed guard response, interior doors of 16" thick weighing 850 lbs. and 1000 lbs. and mostly recordings with limited salability (15,900 CDs, 7,000 78s).   

Sure, I'm paranoid but the music comes first for me.  I have noted to my insurance agent that I'm reasonable in assessing my music collection value, at $5/piece for CDs, $5/piece for LPs and market value for 78s (as sold on ebay or other sites).  At $5/piece for LPs and CDs, that's about $250,000.  I would pay thieves that much to return my music; however, as they are located in four locations, weigh about 25 tons and not easily packed (it would take several people working several days to remove and pack-I know it took me a month when I moved 5 years ago), I doubt that's what thieves would be after.   

My parents house was burglarized last year located on a minor traffic signaled intersection with full perimeter alarm like me but without perimeter cameras/motion detectors now there.  They stole 60-80s dresses (left the fur coats) and designer shoes.  No furnishings were taken.  No audio equipment or music recordings were taken.  The house was totally tossed (the armed guard failed to arrive for 1 hour 5 minutes and then did not see the rear or side yards broken windows for access-an anomaly. 

Living in the City of Los Angeles is a burglar's (organized gangs) paradise.  

....sorry to hear that fleschler and not a good time in everyone's lives I'm sure. I also forgot to add earthquakes as a peril that must be considered as well. I went to talk to my agent yesterday and because of this email, I updated my limits and added coverage for a ( another ) ring for my wife. Insurance coverage or properly insuring what we all have here is a necessary evil of our hobby. Good thread .....    

Has anyone tried getting insurance from a company that insures musical instruments? 

I have Farm Bureau home insurance and recently spoke to my agent about this.  He said take a good video of all the equipment showing model and serial numbers and email it to yourself so you have that record to be accessed anywhere.  All the stereo equipment is in the category like furniture.  All the records/CDs fall in the collectible category.  He said about 10 years ago the industry stopped covering this.  Some of you here have implied that collectibles are covered just as your gear but he assured me that it is not just Farm Bureau, it is all insurance companies.  They only offer a minimal amount of coverage like $300.  There are collectible specific insurance companies that you would need to work with on a separate policy.  I checked and it wasn't that expensive.

@dhite71 I am currently checking with Lloyds of London as my Nationwide carrier cancelled my 22 commercial property fire/liability/earthquake insurance policies (no claims 18 years) last year and I have 9 months left after cancelling/non-renewal of my personal residence policies (28 years). My insurance went from $6800 in 2019 to $18,000 this year and Nationwide as 90% of the other major carriers have left or are leaving CA. I’m trying to get Chubb who insure my parents home 1 mile away. It depends on the number of policies an insurer is willing to write in a particular area to spread the risk. I do not live in a fire zone/area. Insurance problems were a nightmare for me from the 1980s-2000s. Now they have returned due to political malfunction in CA and insurers as well (State Farm just lost it’s rating to B, as a non-admitted carrier in CA and is pulling out now, cancelling 30,000 houses and 42,000 apartments).

I looked up the quote I got for my record collection.  $30,000 value had an annual premium of $180.  It is from American Collectors Insurance out of Cherry Hill, NJ.  The premium scales consistently with the value you choose.  It was likely $60 for every $10,000 of value.  They will cover any type collectible item.

In summary, your home insurance should cover your gear and these folks cover media.