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Rare instruments investments in rise

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2009 is a time of economic uncertainty and with little faith in stocks and shares, investors are turning away from paper investments and choosing emotional assets to secure their wealth. Allianz Musical Insurance, a leading UK musical instrument insurance provider, says there is an increasing trend of investors joining to form syndicates that pool assets in order to buy rare instruments. Synicates then loan out their investment piece to up-and-coming musicians in the hope of furthering their musical careers, thus enhancing the value of the instrument in the process.

AMI worked closely with Emotional Assets Management and Research (EAMR), which recently reported that fine musical investment funds are reaching a return of between 8% and 12%. Bernard Duffy, Managing Director of EAMR comments: “We are seeing more and more high net investors, their advisors and family offices look to musical investments as long-term stores of value, as well as other emotional assets such as vintage jewellery, collectable timepieces, rare coins and stamps.

“We believe that the worlds of collecting and investing are converging and this phenomenon will attract more and more investors into this space. This is currently being manifested in the launch of fine and rare musical instrument investment funds, which are likely to lead to continued price escalation of these instruments over the medium to long term.”

Recent sales of rare instruments suggest this is a certainly a wise investment. On 3rd April 2009, during the latest Fine Musical Instrument auction at Christies, New York, 3 world record auctions were set as 80.4% was sold by lot and 89.2% by value, a truly favourable outcome in an economic downturn.

Bernard Duffy highlights the importance of insuring investments with a reputable, specialist provider, such as with Allianz Musical Insurance (AMI), which currently has insured instruments up to £5 million. Musical insurance can provide worldwide cover and depreciation in value following repair. This means that if, as a result of a repair, the instrument’s value falls, the insurer can pay the difference between the original value and the current value – which is crucial with investment pieces.

Simon Wheeler, Head of AMI, comments: “If people are choosing instruments as investment pieces, they need top think wisely about insurance. Household and contents insurance may not provide cover for instruments being taken abroad or will help find the original instrument if lost or stolen. The case of Robert Napier’s lost violin, which had been valued at £180,000, is the perfect example of why a treasured instrument needs comprehensive insurance.”

Here is 5 tips for finding the perfect insurance for your instrument:

  1. Look for a policy which will provide the widest possible cover with exclusions kept to a minimum.
  2. Check they provide cover anywhere in the world without the need to arrange extra cover (although mostly based in the UK, many musicians and music teachers travel overseas on tours and a household policy may not cover such events).
  3. Find a policy that has a ‘no-fuss’ claims settlement (many household policies require you to shop around for a replacement instrument at the lowest possible cost, rather than allowing you to use your usual dealer, who you know will find you a replacement which suits you, not one which suits the insurance company).
  4. Seek insurance that confirms the insured will be given full replacement value should the need arise.
  5. Ensure your policy pays for any reasonable costs you may incur whilst having to hire alternative instruments during a repair period.