Whether you’re a sommelier or just an avid enthusiast, having a wine collection can be a way to show your appreciation and expand your knowledge of winemaking. However, this investment also represents a risk when it comes to your insurance.
Though you may believe that your extensive collection is covered under your homeowner’s policy, you’re likely not in the clear. The typical homeowner’s policy does not cover a wine cellar, or even a small but valuable collection of wines.
Understanding your coverage
As a general rule, wine is considered a consumable good, with is typically not included under a general homeowner’s policy coverage. In addition, homeowner’s policies value household goods at 10% of the value of your property. If your collection contains rare or illustrious varieties, your policy may not cover their total worth in the event of a loss.
Think of it this way: your wine collection should be insured the same way you’d insure a fine art or jewelry collection – through a rider or separate policy.
You can work with your insurance agent to determine whether blanket coverage or scheduled coverage makes the most sense for your collection.
- Blanket coverage covers the value of your collection as whole, which allows you to add to your assortment (or indulge in a bottle from your vault) without notifying your insurance agent every time.
- Scheduled coverage itemizes each bottle, and guarantees settlement value in the event of a loss.
Types of loss covered
Unfortunately, a lot can go wrong with your wine collection, and you’ll want to consider every angle before choosing the appropriate insurance policy. Your insurance agent will be able to walk you through what is covered in each policy you’re evaluating, but there are a few coverages you’ll want to keep an eye out for:
- Worldwide coverage – In addition to covering your collection in storage facilities and cellars outside of your home, check that future bottles are covered in transit as well.
- Accidental damage – If your hand slips while you’re decanting that precious vintage, you’ll want to be covered.
- Fire, flood, and earthquake
What to consider when collecting wine
- Buy what you like to drink
- More expensive wines tend to appreciate at a greater factor
- Proper storage is essential (55-60 degrees F, 65-70% humidity control)
- Keep all receipts and records of your purchases
- If you buy a case of wine, keep it in a wooden crate for stability and security
Insuring your valuable collectibles is the first step toward peace of mind. Your insurance advisor can make sure that you’re working with a carrier that offers an onsite assessment of the wine cellar or storage facility, or reviews consignment agreements for you on a proactive basis.