Is it worth it?

By Nicole Wilson  -  30 July 2015

It’s every musician’s nightmare…  

You’ve saved up for months, even years for your instrument. Now you are able to play on a whole new level, it’s so much easier to make a great sound and even on a bad day - well you sound pretty damn good! But one day you slip on a bit of water on the floor, or maybe you don’t see quite where you’re stepping or, as in my case, fate just randomly deals you a blow and Bam! Your pride and joy is destroyed. 

Musical instruments are so very fragile and it doesn’t take a lot to damage them severely or sometimes irreparably. I came a cropper when my Sartory violin bow suddenly snapped in two in the middle of a performance. That bow had accompanied me around the globe, playing in all the major concert halls with fantastic orchestras. I had ploughed through Bruckner symphonies on it, soared high up for solos, it had a strong, firm yet sensitive touch and I loved it. Even on my worst day, I sounded 100 times better than I ever did on my spare bow. It gave me the confidence to take my time, draw out the best sound I could and also gave me the freedom to blast when I got carried away playing Superman and Don Juan. 

So you can imagine the feeling I had as it disintegrated in my hands. My stomach sank to my feet, my head spun around and I was too shocked to cry.

Luckily for me, I was insured. Straight away I took it to expert bow maker and repairer Matthew Coltman and, magician that he is with bows, he managed to do a fantastic repair job. 

It plays nearly the same as it did before, although I don’t feel quite the same invincibility with it as before and Allianz insurance paid up. The cost of the repairs were hefty and the loss of value to the bow was considerable. They paid for the lot (minus my excess).

It’s often difficult to decide whether it’s worth insuring instruments. It’s a considerable sum every month to pay out and over the years I have paid out more than I have ever claimed back. However for someone like me, the peace of mind knowing that the beloved tools of my trade are safe is worth the cost. I suppose the question you have to ask yourself is, can you carry on your career/enjoy your music making to the same standard if the worst happens? 

It’s a personal choice and not the same answer for everyone but I for one am glad I insured mine. 

There are many insurance companies out there like Allianz who specifically insure musical instruments. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Insure 4 Music 

Highworth Insurance

Music Guard



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About Nicole Wilson

Principal freelance violinist in London, ex London Symphony Orchestra and English National Opera, Nicole is also a CD producer, TV/Radio presenter and founder of Musical Orbit.

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