As the primary overseer of the pipe organ, the organist should consult with church leaders to make sure the organ is adequately insured. Over the years, several instruments we maintain have been damaged by water from roof leaks and lightning strikes to the building. Vandalism and fires are not as common but do occur.
When the unexpected happens, repairs can be quite expensive. Minor damage may only require a few hours of repair work and not be worth a call to your insurance agent. Major damage might necessitate extensive, restorative work. Catastrophic events could cause a total loss; the under-insured church might be faced with settling for a non-pipe replacement instrument.
A pipe organ should be insured at its current replacement cost, not resale or depreciated value. Unless the policy carries an annual cost-of-living rider, the value should be updated on a regular basis. Some insurance companies will determine the value based on their criteria; it is advisable to consult with us to be sure the coverage is adequate. A basic description of the organ, including the number of manuals and ranks, will help establish value in the event of a claim. You should also confirm whether the insurance policy treats the organ as part of the building or as contents so that the value can be added to the appropriate coverage. It may be helpful to work with a church-related insurance company that will better understand the issues concerning pipe organs; other insurance companies may be less knowledgeable in this area.