Movers wrecked her $200K piano. How to insure your most treasured items

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Myelle LansatNews EditorMyelle Lansat is a former news editor at Policygenius, where she covered insurance and personal finance. Previously, she was a personal finance writer at CNBC and Acorns, and a reporter for Business Insider.

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Virtuoso pianist Angela Hewitt called her ultra-rare $194,000 Fazioli F278 grand piano her best friend — which was smashed to bits when movers tried to take it out of her recording studio.

It took Hewitt 10 days to reveal that her beloved hand-made piano was dropped. “I adored this piano. It was my best friend, best companion,” she said in a Facebook post.

When she inspected the aftermath, she said the piano was beyond repair after the iron frame, structure, lid and case were broken. Her piano had four foot pedals instead of the customary three and was the only one of its kind.

Losing her “best friend” was not only emotionally damaging. It was also financially damaging.

Does insurance cover a $200,000 one-of-a-kind piano?

It’s more than likely that Hewitt had her piano insured for total reimbursement or the cost of repairs, said Fabio Faschi, property & casualty insurance team lead for Policygenius. Not to mention the added coverage of her mover’s insurance.

In this case the movers are a professional entity and are likely covered by liability insurance, said Faschi. Otherwise insurance may cover the loss of such an item if there are no restrictions on properties like musical instruments.

Insurance companies may find it hard to guarantee personal property items like this after the fact, and they may not pay if there wasn’t a previous appraisal on the instrument, he added. In Hewitt’s case, she likely had the piece insured as a luxury item, but it could take anywhere from one to three weeks for her to see a payout on her claim.

How can I insure my most valuable items?

There’s a big difference between a near $200,000 grand piano and your daughter's first guitar, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get it insured, said Faschi.

Similar to wedding rings and other valuables, you can add an item to your home insurance without paying a bigger deductible, he said. Some insurance policies can have a sub-limit on instruments because of the wide range of costs. So they’ll want to price that separately and accordingly, he added.

You’ll have to ask yourself if it’s worth adding an instrument onto a homeowners policy, especially if the cost of repair or replacement is within your budget. If not, having that added security can help you sleep at night in case something were to happen.

If you’re curious about what your homeowners insurance covers and doesn’t, take a look at our deep dive on homeowners coverage.

Image: Nastia Kobzarenko

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