If you are a serious oenophile (if you are one, you’ll know what that means), you probably have a sizable collection of wine in your home. Have you ever given any consideration to the value of your wine collection and how it’s insured? The standard home insurance policy has a limited amount of coverage for very valuable collectibles. Additionally, if you have a wine cellar or other storage facility, that might present a separate set of exposures for the home insurance policy, which may not be properly covered. In order to protect your investment, take some time to explore all the options for insuring your collection.
The first thing to understand is exactly how much coverage is provided within your home insurance policy for the wine itself. Under the personal property section of your policy, you need to review the limits of coverage available. There are sometimes restrictions on the value of any one insured item in addition to the aggregate limit of insurance available. This is particularly important if your collection contains very expensive individual bottles in addition to the cumulative value of all the wine. If your policy’s limits are not sufficient, discuss this with your insurance company to see if it’s possible to increase the coverage amount.
You also need to consider if you want coverage for damage to the wine itself from the standpoint of quality. The standard home insurance policy’s coverage is generally limited to damage caused by fire, water, and other standard perils. Due to the delicate nature of the wine and the need for it to be stored in optimal conditions, you may wish to have more specific insurance. Specialty insurers that regularly handle wine collections may offer coverage for certain types of damage to the wine that would otherwise not be covered by your home insurance policy. Wine Enthusiast magazine provides some good insight into the world of wine insurance no matter where you live: Philadelphia, San Antonio, Virginia Beach, Washington DC, Fresno, etc.
In addition to insuring the wine, you need to think about any specialty equipment that you have acquired to store the wine. If you added a wine cellar to your home, you need to consider its replacement cost in the event it is damaged or destroyed. This limit should be included with the home’s overall replacement cost. Coverage for your cellar can be tricky in that the home insurance policy typically excludes two of the most likely causes of damage: flooding and collapse. Not every policy is the same, so it is a good idea to review your policy to understand what may or may not be covered.
If your wine is stored in large, temperature-controlled cases, you need to consider the expense of these appliances in the replacement cost of your home. The cost of these appliances can be quite high, and you should incorporate a sufficient value. Keep in mind that a malfunction of the device that results in deterioration of the wine will not be covered by the home insurance policy.