Whether a connoisseur of Cabernet or a supporter of Shiraz, no one wants to think about the possibility of damage to their wine collection. In honor of National Wine Day on May 25th, Nationwide Private Client, which offers custom insurance for wine collections, has identified common wine collection calamities and tips for protecting your delectable possessions.
According to Nationwide Private Client, below are common issues that can affect wine collection investments, not typically covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy:
- Breakage – damage caused by dropping a bottle or during shipment from the vineyard
- Mechanical breakdown – spoilage of wine due to climate control system failure
- Backup of drain or sewer – wine collections are often stored in cellars and basements making them susceptible to damage due to drain or sewer failure
- Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and weather-related occurrences
- Diminished value due to cosmetic damage to the bottle or water damage to the label
Three ways to protect your wine collection include:
1. Document Your Investment
- Keep all original documents including, purchase receipts, auction catalog or private seller information.
- Keep photos and detailed descriptions of wine bottles including those with unique marks and vintage year.
- Maintain an updated inventory list including descriptions, accurate count of bottles, and storage locations.
- Get routine, professional appraisals of your collection, and keep a running record of appraised values.
2. Optimal Storage
- Store wine in a cellar or electric wine cooler – The best place for storage is in a cellar or electric wine cooler with fiberglass insulation to regulate temperature and protect against damage to the label.
- Climate control – Keep wine away from areas that could generate temperature changes such as kitchens or laundry rooms. The ideal temperature range for wine storage is between 45- 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid arid environments that can dry out corks. Areas with 50-80 percent humidity are adequate for storage.
- Store bottles on their side to prevent the cork from drying out.
- Keep stored bottles away from light. Sunlight can damage wine by aging it prematurely and household light bulbs can fade labels.
3. Insure Your Collection
- Protect your valuable collection with a personal collections insurance policy. Many policies cover accidental breakage, theft and water-related damage.
“Wine collections are unique investments that are personally selected and enjoyed,” said Paul VanDenBosch, President of Nationwide Private Client. “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.”