Whether you are a well-seasoned collector who purchases wine as an asset or someone who simply purchases the very best wines and spirits over time saving it for that perfect moment, anyone can benefit from insuring their wine collection.
You may think that wine is covered under your homeowner’s policy, but since it is considered a “consumable good” homeowner coverage does not apply. Instead, your collection should be insured like you would insure fine art or jewelry.
You can have your collection insured in two different ways – blanket coverage or scheduled coverage.
Blanket coverage uses an overall coverage limit as well as a per bottle limit that is based on the highest valued bottle in the collection. This is the best choice if you intend to drink what you have acquired and your bottles are valued at less than $1,000 each. This gives you the flexibility to add and remove bottles without having to notify your agent each time.
Scheduled coverage itemizes each bottle on the policy with an individual description and agreed upon value, which guarantees the replacement value in the event of a loss. Scheduled coverage is appropriate for collections that have higher valued bottles that are being held for long period of time.
Wine insurance is generally written on an “all-risk” basis. This means you are protected against a broad range of losses, including fire, theft, breakage and spoilage due to mechanical breakdown of the wine fridge. What's more, the coverage is on a worldwide basis.
However, once your bottle is open, the bottle, even a collectible, loses all value and is no longer covered by your policy. Gradual deterioration or any defects from original production would be excluded as well.
Many individuals who describe themselves as wine connoisseurs have, on average, anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 in their wine cellars. Yet less than 10% of these collections are insured.
No matter how big or small your collection is, it has value to you. Just like any other asset you own, like your home or your car, you should have peace of mind that your collection is properly protected.