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“You had me at Merlot: Insuring your Wine Collection & Wine Cellar 101”

In the chaos of this year 2021 there certainly are several reasons to go down to your wine cellar and uncork a rare bottle that you’ve been saving.  Maybe your collection is only a single rack of a rare Bordeaux or maybe you have an entire walk-in cellar with humidity and temperature controls to boot.

Imagine yourself walking down to your collection and opening the door with pride. You may be an elegant connoisseur but also you are a human and in my scenario you are looking down in horror as you accidentally dropped a $2,500 bottle of wine on the floor while also knocking over the rack behind you when trying to catch your clumsy blunder. Imagine watching your tears float away with the $30,000 worth of wine that’s now flooding your toes while you hop to safety.

Would you assume this is covered on your home policy? Would something like this even be possible to be covered on your home policy?

  • On average typical collectors will have between $100,000 to $200,000 worth of wine
  • That does not include the cellar which is another $50,000 to $100,000 on average
  • Estimates say that only 10% of wine collectors are covered for enough value and that’s if they have any coverage at all
  • Coverage for things like spoilage or malfunctioning temperature controls are normally not covered under a standard home policy. There may be some coverage for a fire, theft, or flood but more than likely it wouldn’t even put a dent in the actual cost of your collection.

The good news is that most companies have a good solution for this and we recommend that you contact your agent and ask them what they would recommend.  They may increase the dwelling amount on your house to cover the cellar or they may have a special product that deals with them separately.  For the wine coverage itself you can either put them on a “Blanket Policy” which means you would have an amount IE $100,000 and as it fluctuates if there is a total loss that is the amount that you are covered for or you can schedule separate bottles individually for things like breakage and spoiling.

Some companies may ask for a list of everything you have and some companies may want to come out and assess the cellar themselves but with a little legwork you can be confident that when those awful catastrophes happen you can be whole again.