Do you love wine? Perhaps you're already a connoisseur and have a well-stocked collection of your favourite cabernets, chardonnays and pinot noirs. Or, maybe you're branching into wine and have started to amass quite the collection. You know wine has to be stored properly to maintain its value, so the natural solution is to put your precious bottles in a wine cellar.
Wine is valuable, and often increases in value and complexity with age. The wine you buy now you may not choose to enjoy for another 10 or 20 years—and a wine cellar is only part of the equation to ensure your investment stays safe and palatable. Wine cellar insurance is also important. Adequate coverage ensures that you can rebuild your collection should the worst happen and it is damaged or lost.
Here at Morison Insurance, our experienced and licensed insurance brokers will help you find the best wine collection insurance coverage, so you can have peace of mind that your valuable collection will be protected through the years. As an independent brokerage, we have built relationships with Canada's leading wine cellar insurance providers. We always provide unbiased advice that puts your needs first, and we'll never pressure you into making a decision. Whether you're looking for a little extra protection for your budding collection, or want to protect a substantial investment, we can help.
As a responsible homeowner, you will have home insurance. Thus, you may be wondering if your wine collection is covered under the contents coverage included in your policy. This depends. If your collection is small and valued under $1,000, you may have enough coverage. However, as any serious wine aficionado knows, many collections are worth vastly more. In this case, a standard homeowner insurance policy will not be enough to replace the value of your collection should it be lost due to an accident or fire. This can be for a range of reasons:
Additionally, even if your home insurance does offer some coverage, it may not accurately reflect the value of your entire collection. For instance, it's common for policies to pay out on a depreciated value, not on current market value. Since most wines increase in value as they age, the collection's value would not be properly reflected in what you'd receive as a result of a claim.
Wine cellar insurance will compensate you for lost, damaged or destroyed bottles of wine. Different policies vary, however most policies can protect you from a range of risks including:
Since the particulars of what is and is not covered on your wine cellar insurance policy can vary according to each insurance company, it's important to work with our experienced brokers to find the best coverage possible. We'll make sure to answer any of your questions clearly, and explain what exactly your policy covers.
There are two different types of insurance designed to protect your valuable wine collection. Blanket wine cellar insurance protects your collection as a whole. Typically, blanket coverage insures your whole collection as one amount and has a maximum payout per bottle. To make a claim, you usually don't need to complete an appraisal. A blanket wine insurance policy is worth it if your bottles are worth less than the maximum payout and if you actively drink or sell your bottles, and acquire new ones.
Individual wine cellar insurance, also called itemized wine cellar insurance, protects each bottle individually. This option is a good idea if you have vintage wines that are of exceptionally high value and difficult to replace. Individual coverage also most accurately represents the individual value of each bottle, and is a good option if you treat your collection as an investment—as opposed to drinking the wine frequently, in which case you'd need to constantly update the policy as your collection's value is always changing. You do need an appraisal for proper valuation, and the payout will vary depending on the valuation of each individual bottle.
Many wine cellar insurance companies offer a combination of individual and blanket wine coverage. This is a happy medium where you can ensure the wines you consume more frequently with blanket coverage, whereas special, high-value bottles can be insured individually.
You can protect your wine collection by adding a floater to your home insurance policy. This is an extension on your home insurance to better cover your wine bottles, as your current home insurance limit may not be enough. The extent of coverage varies per provider, but this is a good option if your collection is still in its infancy, or you only have a few bottles you think are worth insuring. This add-on can either be an individual or blanket policy, or a combination of the two.
Depending on the policy you choose, you may need to let your insurer know when your collection changes—either through buying, selling or consuming your wine. Typically you have about 30 to 90 days to do so. If you have a blanket policy, you may not need to worry too much about this as appraisals aren't necessary. But if you have individual coverage, it's important to stay up to date. Your Morison Insurance broker will be able to provide you further insight into updating your insurance company depending on the policy you choose.
Like any other insurance policy, the cost of wine cellar insurance varies depending on a few factors:
That said, usually your wine insurance quote will be around $.50 cents for every $100. This means that a collection of $50,000 will cost you around $250 per year. Likewise, a collection valued at $100,000 will cost you about $500 per year. Keep in mind this number is simply a general rule of thumb, as the above factors will influence what your specific wine cellar insurance policy costs.
To obtain a more specific figure, one of our insurance brokers can work with you to find a variety of quotes from Canada's leading insurance providers. We know your wine collection is unique and precious to you, and so we'll do our best to find the best coverage possible.
As many wine collectors know, the primary hazards that can ruin your bottles are heat, light and air. If the bottles are exposed to very high/low temperatures, frequently fluctuating temperatures, humidity or too much light, the product can be completely spoiled. Another concern is that the cork may be damaged, which would also spoil the wine. Thus, it's important to correctly store wine bottles—especially those that are high value. When stored correctly, wine can last hundreds of years—although you'll likely sell or consume your precious collection before then.
When it comes to perils that you can insure against to protect your collection, the following risks can damage your wine bottles:
Usually, this type of coverage is not a part of a homeowner's insurance policy or a possible addition to your homeowner's insurance policy. However, you can always ask your Morison Insurance broker about what options are available to you.
You may also want to ask the vineyard or wine club that you belong to if the products are insured during transport. Usually, the responsibility of transporting your wines falls to the supplier—but you may not be protected from all risks. For instance, if a bottle is damaged during transport it's likely the supplier will send a replacement if possible. However, if your shipment is stolen from your front step before you have a chance to pick it up then you may not be entitled to remuneration or replacement.
Certain wine clubs may also offer insurance as an additional cost, so it's best to ask about your options to know more and keep your valuable wine bottles safe during transport.
Being proactive is important in protecting your valuable wine collection. While there may not be a lot you can do to prevent a natural disaster or a fire, there are a few steps you can take to ensure the longevity of your wine collection. Perhaps you've already constructed a wine cellar in your basement, or have just ordered a wine fridge. Either way, here are a few helpful tips to keep your collecting in tip top condition.
If your wine collection is not covered by the specified limits on your homeowners policy or as an additional floater, then we suggest you book an appointment with your dedicated Morison Insurance broker right away. Our team of experts not only have nurtured relationships with many of Ontario's top insurance providers, but we also excel at building relationships with all our valued clients. Much like a fine wine, our relationship with our clients gets better with age. We are invested in providing comprehensive insurance solutions to clients throughout the long term. You can always rely on your Morison Insurance broker to have your best interests at heart.
To get started today, we invite you to give our friendly and experienced team a call at 1-800-463-8074. You can also obtain a quote online to learn more information.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.