What’s Better Than A Bottle of Wine? – Insurance Tips for Wine Enthusiasts

By: Denise Koslowsky

If you’re a wine enthusiast who has been building a collection, we have an important question for you…

Is your collection insured?

According to Joseph V. Micallef, a writer for Food & Wine Magazine and contributor to Forbes, “On average, the value of the wine cellars of self-described wine connoisseurs is between $50,000 and $100,000. The total value of collectible wines and spirits in private hands has been estimated to be between $5 and $10 billion. Less than 10% of those collections are insured.”

That’s a problem and we’d like to help get it fixed.

Whether you have amassed a large collection, or simply been stocking your wine cellar with more than you can consume, your homeowner’s insurance policy is not going to provide adequate protection.  You don’t want to wait until your wine is damaged by fire, flood, theft or breakage to find out that you aren’t covered.  You need either a rider or a designated policy that offers broad coverage for your wines including a temperature regulation system failure or damage that occurred during transit.  You’ll even be covered if you drop the bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion while showing it off to a friend.

The point is, you don’t need to have amassed a large collection to have a rider on your current coverage or add a separate policy.

Advantages of Coverage
You might be surprised by how small the cost of coverage is in comparison to the breadth of the coverage itself.  Adding a valuable items rider or separate policy will offer coverage that is worldwide, includes wine in transit and offers coverage for damage as a result of a faulty a temperature regulation system.  Best of all, there is no deductable. Additionally, many of our elite carriers are a great option because they understand the needs of affluent customers, offer unparalleled customer service, are generous when it comes to resolving claims and offer resources such as storage advice or inventory management tools that can help wine enthusiasts who are just getting started.

Types of Coverage
There are two basic types of coverage; Blanket Coverage and Scheduled Coverage.  With blanket coverage, you have a coverage limit for the value of the entire collection.  You can add and remove bottles without having to notify your provider each time which is great for those who frequently drink and replace bottles within their collection.  With scheduled coverage, you have an itemized list of each bottle with an individual description and agreed value.  This type of coverage is worth consideration if your collection is filled with rare bottles that are purchased for investment purposes.

If your venture into collecting wines is just beginning, we can help you evaluate your goals and decide which is right for you.  Some carriers allow you to have both types of coverage on a single policy, blanket coverage for the wine you regularly consume with scheduled coverage for rare bottles that you intend to hold onto for a long period of time.

Advocate Insurance Advice

  • Be sure to frequently update your wine inventory and have your collection appraised.  It is not uncommon to have a collection that is undervalued.
  • Keep in mind that since the majority of wine collections are housed in cellars that are on a home’s lower levels or basement, this makes the particularly susceptible to water damage.  If your wine is stored on a lower level, you may want to consider scheduled coverage. When wine damaged by a flood and has not been scheduled, that there is a good possibility that coverage would be EXCLUDED.

If you love to collect wine, we are here to help.  No matter how big or small your collection, let us know if we can answer any questions.  We can even help to be sure that any storage or temperature regulating systems are covered by your homeowner’s policy and if they are not, we can make recommendations to include them.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy, knowing your world is protected.

Storing Wine In Winter – Advice From Advocate

  • The ideal temperature for storing wine is 55 (degrees) F.  During winter months, wine can tolerate a gradual shift in temperature.  If you are storing wine in a space without a temperature regulation system, the wine should be ok as long as the temperature does not below 20 (degrees) F.  Wine freezes between 15 and 20 (degrees) F.  As wine freezes, it expands which can crack the bottle or put pressure on the cork allowing oxygen to get inside and damage the wine.
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