Picture this, you’ve got a gig later and you go to check your car and boom, all your gear has been nicked. What do you do? Do you have enough money to go and replace it all? Do you have enough kind friends to lend you some gear so you don’t have to cancel your gig? If you do, what are you going to do for the rest of your gigs?
Situations like this are sadly becoming all too common. How many times have you seen a post on Facebook with some grainy looking pictures titled “GEAR STOLEN FROM VAN, PLEASE SHARE”. Whilst I fully appreciate that people shouldn’t steal gear, the fact remains they do. It’s more important than ever to protect your gear. It’s your livelihood and in some cases, your family. I know that’s how I treat my guitars anyway!
So what can you do to protect yourself? Here are my top tips!
- Create an inventory. Write down a description of every piece of gear you own. Note down the make, model and if there are any distinguishing features such as a certain scratch or sticker, note those down too. If there are serial numbers, record them. Lastly, take photos of each item, from a few different angles if you can. Try and take decent ones, not grainy blurry ones.
2. Don’t leave gear unattended. Make sure at least one of you is at the car/van whilst you are loading in and out. It takes seconds for someone to swipe it.
3. Don’t brand your van. Much as it’s tempting to plaster your band name all over your van, you may as well be sticking a sign on it saying “gear in here, come and rob it”.
4. Don’t leave your gear in a vehicle overnight. Yes it’s tiring unloading all your gear after a gig, especially if you have to put it all back in again in the morning. But it’s more tiring replacing it all when someone has stolen it. Trust me. I can’t even stress this one enough.
5. Insure it. Novel I know but insurance is designed to give you a little piece of mind that if the worst happens, you won’t be totally screwed. Being an idiot and leaving your gear in your van overnight is not included as standard but believe it or not, you can actually get an extension on a basic musical instrument insurance policy to cover such stupidity – you’ll have to pay a little more for it though. Basic insurance starts at just under £40 a year. A small price to pay. Check out Allianz Musical Instrument Insurance to start off with, they seem to be the cheapest on the market at the moment.