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6 Ways to Protect Your Wine Collection

Owning a wine collection does come with some risks; here’s how to help protect the value of your wine.

A true wine enthusiast understands the rewards of owning an expansive collection. The pride that goes into nurturing a bottle, anticipating its peak age and then enjoying its flavor can be gratifying.

Owning a wine collection does come with some risks, and your partners at McGriff have collected the following recommendations to help protect the value of your wine.

1. Maintain an inventory of your wine.

Keep an up-to-date inventory of each bottle of wine, including receipts for all purchases (originals, photographs, or scans). This is an important part of establishing the value of your collection in the event you ever want to sell or insure your collection. Also important is to periodically update your records if any wine has been consumed and no longer resides in your collection.

2. Examine what else is stored in close proximity to your wine collection.

Whether you house your wine collection in your home or elsewhere, it’s critical to choose the right location and be mindful of what else is stored nearby. It’s especially important not to store chemicals, paint or odor-producing materials near your collection. These items can permeate through the cork and spoil the wine.

3. Don’t store wine near heat sources or in areas that are susceptible to flooding.

Heat sources (such as a heater, fireplace, or even sunlight) can be damaging to a wine’s delicate nature. It’s also important to keep your wine collection away from areas that could become flooded, such as beneath a bathroom or laundry room.

4. Maintain the right temperature and humidity levels.

Wine should be stored at between 55 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity in a wine storage area should be between 55% to 75%. Anything above or below that amount can damage the label or cork.

5. Install an alarm that warns against theft, temperature changes and moisture.

When selecting an alarm, purchase one that sends a message directly to your mobile device in the event of theft, temperature change or moisture.

6. Consider purchasing insurance for your wine collection.

If you own a large, valuable array of wines, it’s wise to insure your collection in a stand-alone valuable articles policy. You can either insure the collection under a blanket amount, such as $50,000; alternatively, if your collection contains individual high-value bottles, you may wish to insure each bottle separately. Generally, a stand-alone wine policy costs 50 to 80 cents for every hundred dollars of wine. Therefore, if you have a wine collection worth $100,000, your premium would be roughly $550. Wine insurance policies may include the following:

  • Protection against damages due to fire, theft or accidental breakage
  • Protection against mechanical breakdowns in the climate control unit that results in damage to your wine
  • Protection against label damage in a fire, flood or other natural disaster
  • Access to vendors who ship, buy and sell wine; vendors who store wine in another location; vendors who offer security systems for your collection; and vendors offering temperature-control systems
  • Guidance for how to best store your collection, especially when building or renovating your wine cellar

To choose the right insurance for your wine collection, it’s important to talk with a one of our consultative Private Client specialists. If you aren’t currently working with one of our experts, please click below to read more about our Private Client services and to find a specialist near you.

The content above is not intended to be prescriptive; maintaining a wine collection remains the responsibility of the client.

Insurance products and services offered through McGriff Insurance Services, LLC, a subsidiary of TIH Insurance Holdings, LCC, are not a deposit, not FDIC insured, not guaranteed by a bank, not insured by any federal government agency and may go down in value.

McGriff Insurance Services, LLC. CA License #0C64544