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1) Someone stays in the van with the gear.
2) Someone stays in the van with the gear.
3) Someone stays in the van with the gear.
Picking up what I'm putting down?
NO ONE WILL KNOW THERE'S MUSIC GEAR IN THERE!
"I could spend this $50 on a year's worth of coverage for my gear, or I could put $50 worth of gas in the van to drive to that gig in Omaha that only pays $45."
You can often identify "valuable property" to be insured separately (or in addition to)for about $5 a month.
I'm starting to have less and less sympathy for bands that leave their stuff unattended in parked vans. Come on.
"There's a sort of happy ending to this one, though. Orlowski passed around the list of missing gear via social media and music blogs, and thankfully a pawn shop employee recognized the items. Orlowski was able to buy back almost all his stolen gear for about $500."
So the pawn shop knowingly sold Orlowski's stolen items back to him - that is, knowingly sold stolen goods? How did that work?
Also, the Lumineer's missing gear wasn't theft, it was mercy.
But you have to be careful. A lot of insurance policies specifically exclude musical instruments. Know what kind of insurance you're buying or else you may think you're covered, then get a nasty surprise when you go to collect.
Renter's/homeowner's insurance WILL NOT cover your gear if you perform publicly--you need to purchase separate insurance from a specialized provider. Unless you're some "folk rockers" with $40k of custom shop electric guitars with you, it'll run ~$500 year.
Instrument insurance is tax-deductible, as a normal business expense.
AFM members get a great insurance plan including, as well as local and national benefits.
Unfortunately, no one in America has cheap healthcare right now; but Seattle musicians have access to very affordable dental insurance ($28.25 per month) through the local Musicians' Union.