These are basic recommendations for handing your instrument and protecting it from theft and damage.
- Insurance. If your flute is too precious to be lost or stolen, then it should be insured. You can do this either through a home, renter’s, or comprehensive insurance policy, or insure an instrument through an instrument specialist like Clarion or Heritage Insurance. I believe membership in the National Flute Association will get you a discount when you insure through Clarion. You will need to call around to determine what is the best policy for you. Also make sure that you insure your flute for an amount that will equal a new, replacement flute should this one be stolen. Read the fine print and make sure you understand under what circumstances the flute will be covered or not: is shipping covered? are specific shipping agents not covered by your policy? what about theft from a car? Please also note that your insurance generally will not cover loss of an instrument that is being loaned out or is out on trial for a sale.
For a nominal fee I can examine your flute and provide an appraisal letter that you can use to insure your instrument. This will be for the value of a new instrument of the same or comparable manufacture. This is not an assessment of the value of the instrument on the open market. I will only provide the letter if I can personally examine the instrument.
- Do not leave your flute unattended in a car. Many flutes get stolen from cars. These flutes were often hidden under seats or put in the trunk, so don’t assume that if it is out of sight that it is safe. The corollary to this is you should plan your day so that you will not be carrying or moving so much that it feels necessary to leave your flute somewhere unattended. Keep your flute in a bag that is always on your body and will allow you to keep your hands free.
- Do not put your flute on top of your car. Have you ever laughed as a car drove by with a coffee cup on the car roof?
- Do not put your flute on a place someone sits. This greatly diminishes the likelihood that someone sits on your flute.
- A case is always safer than a flute peg. If you’re in rehearsal and are taking a break, strongly consider putting your instruments back into their cases rather than leaving them on music pegs. If there are pets or children (or non-flutist adults) dashing around the house, then the case is safer.
- Case covers offer extra protection. Padded case covers dampen any shocks to the instruments in a case. And some cases pop open when dropped, so a snugly fitted case cover will prevent the flute from falling out if dropped. Case covers are also where you can store swab sticks, cleaning cloths, pencils, papers, pictures, and other items. You should not fill the flute case with any item that presses against the instrument and could damage it.