A true wine enthusiast understands the rewards of owning an expansive collection. The pride that goes into nurturing a bottle, anticipating its peak age and then enjoying its flavor can be gratifying.
To protect your collection, you may consider purchasing wine insurance, especially if you store your collection in your own wine cellar. If you own a large, valuable array of wines, it is wise to insure your collection in a stand-alone valuable articles policy. You can either insure the collection under a blanket amount, such as $50,000 — or, if your collection contains individual high-value bottles, you may wish to insure each bottle separately.
Generally, a stand-alone wine policy costs 50 to 80 cents for every hundred dollars of wine. Therefore, if you had a wine collection worth $100,000, your premium would be roughly $550.
Wine insurance policies may include the following:
- Protection against damages due to fire, theft or accidental breakage.
- Protection against mechanical breakdowns in the climate control unit that damages wine.
- Protection against label damage in a fire, flood or other natural disaster. For many rare, vintage wines, the label increases the value of the wine.
- Access to vendors who ship, buy and sell wine. Vendors who store wine in another location; vendors who offer security systems for your collection and vendors offering temperature-control systems.
- Guidance for how to best store your collection, especially when building or renovating your wine cellar.
If you store your collection in multiple locations, you will need to purchase coverage for each location. If one of those locations is a professional storage warehouse, the warehouse may already have wine insurance. It is wise to go over their policy to ensure it protects against the risk of fire, flood, power outage and more.
If you house a collection in your home, consider the following recommendations to reduce damage to your wine:
- Do not store chemicals, paint or odor-producing materials near your collection. These items can permeate through the cork and spoil the wine.
- Do not store wine near heaters or sunlight, or in areas that are susceptible to flooding, such as beneath a bathroom or laundry room. Also avoid placing wine in areas of the home that are beneath or next to a home theater which causes excess vibrations.
- Store wine at 55º F. The humidity in a wine storage should also be 65 to 75 percent. Anything above or below that amount can damage the label or cork.
- Install an alarm that warns against theft, temperature changes and moisture. When selecting an alarm, purchase one that sends a message directly to your mobile device.
While a homeowners insurance policy may cover the collection under certain scenarios, it may not provide protection for issues such as dropping a bottle, damage to the collection due to flood, or spoilage resulting from extreme temperature fluctuations. As such, a personal collections insurance policy may provide additional coverage and peace of mind.
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