Are your liquid assets covered?
We’d venture to guess that if you’re asking yourself, ‘should I insure my wine or bourbon collection’, the answer is likely yes. If you’re asking yourself if you need special insurance for it, the answer is definitely yes. Let’s dig into both of these questions.
Should I insure my collection?
Do you know the value of your collection, do you have a good inventory of it? It’s so easy for the value to creep up since you’re most likely building it over some time. It’s important to know the value first. You have a few different good options for taking inventory. You can try an online cellar management tool. We like CellarTracker and you can read our review of it here. Another good choice is VinoCell, which we review here. It’s built for mobile but has an iCloud option that lets you manage your collection online as well.
If you have to do this exercise, please commit to keeping your inventory up to date if you’ll be insuring it. It’s so important to keep on top of it. Once you know the value of your collection your next step is to think of insuring it in the same way as you would any other asset such as your car. What deductible are you willing to pay to restore your full collection should you suffer a loss of all or some of your bottles?
Do I need special insurance for my collection?
As we said before, yes, you need special coverage for your collection. Your homeowners policy will cover a collection under very specific and unlikely conditions, so you’ll need something called Fine Art or Personal Assestsinsurance.
If your homeowners policy doesn’t have a suitable Fine Art or Personal Articles insurance policy or rider to fully cover you. American Collectors Insurance offers coverage for your wine. Another option would be the Horton Group, which offers policies for both wine and bourbon.
In any case, please, please make sure you fully understand exactly what your policy covers and how often you need to update your inventory with your agent. Also be aware that if you live in areas where there is a greater risk of fire or earthquake, your coverage will cost more.
If you have a cellar, take some photos of it from time to time. You don’t have to capture each bottle, just a quick shot of the racks will do.
If your insurance company says that they don’t want to do their own inventory and documentation, GET THAT IN WRITING and store it with your policy documents.