Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


Home » Officer Columns » Secretary-Treasurer » Is It Time for a Coverage Check-Up?

Is It Time for a Coverage Check-Up?

  -  former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

When was the last time you looked at the fine details of your insurance policies to make sure you are getting adequate coverage, and not over-paying for that coverage? The US Small Business Administration recommends annual reviews of insurance policies. Below I have detailed some insurance policies designed for musicians and offered to AFM members.

Mercer Consumer provides AFM members with a “special risk” musical instrument and equipment insurance plan designed specifically to fit their needs. It’s open to AFM members in the US, and about 4,000 members currently participate. The insurance provides $20,000 of coverage for only $218 per year (based on $2.20 per $100 value for the first $1,500 of coverage, $1 per $100 after that).

The insurance covers the actual replacement cost—not the purchase price—up to the scheduled amount with no depreciation and a low $100 deductible per loss. The insurance can be used to cover all of your equipment, not just instruments, from theft, vandalism, breakage, and water, fire, or lightening damage, regardless of where it is—home, vehicle, studio, or gig.

It can be used to make up for coverage gaps in homeowners, auto insurance, or venue/employer insurance. Additional features and enhancements include $10,000 coverage for additional expenses, newly acquired property is covered up to $25,000, short-term rented or borrowed equipment (no additional cost for 30 days), data and media (up to $1,000 in any one loss), rental reimbursement up to $2,500, and $500 for costs of emergency removal.

Liberty Mutual provides US AFM members with competitively priced auto and home coverage. More than 600 AFM members currently take part. Enhanced features of the auto policy include: 24-hour claims service, emergency roadside assistance 24 hours a day/365 days a year, and appraisals within 24 hours. The homeowners policy offers 24-hour emergency repair, a contract network referral program, and a personal property replacement service.

For more information on insurance policies and other benefits for AFM members log onto the website, click the “Why Join?” banner, and look under benefits.

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