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Is My Wine Collection Covered by My Homeowner’s Insurance?

Monday, May 17, 2021

In recent years, as a growing number of Americans have become interested in wine, the number of collectors buying rare and valuable bottles has grown apace. Most of these wines are kept in home cellars.

Thus the question frequently asked of insurance brokers: “Is my wine collection covered by my homeowner’s insurance?”

First, most standard homeowner’s contracts do not protect valuable collections, even when they cover other home contents. These policies typically set sub-limits of coverage for valuables such as watches, jewelry and art, and these limits can be quite low.

Second, wine is unfamiliar territory for most carriers. Only in recent years have a handful of carriers offered policies tailored to perils unique to wine, such as heat damage from a malfunctioning climate control unit or during transportation. Detecting and quantifying damage to wine and assigning fair market values to losses can be complicated, requiring specialist adjusters. Independent wine experts, such as those from The Sommelier Company, are typically brought in to help.

Under certain rare circumstances, such as the total loss of your home, the payout from a homeowner’s policy might be sufficient to recover the value of a collection along with other contents. However, it’s better not to rely on that.

Today, a handful of carriers specialize in wine collections, and protecting your collection using a valuable articles policy is fairly straightforward. If your collection is estimated to be worth $85,000 or more, it almost certainly makes sense to buy insurance. Your policy can define a blanket coverage amount and/or include individually scheduled bottles.

Sophisticated carriers such as Chubb Personal Risk Services, which specialize in comprehensive solutions for financially successful individuals and families, can consolidate all lines of personal coverage and eliminate any doubts about whether your special collection is covered or not. If you would like more information about working with Chubb or other specialist carriers, contact Ken Sidlowski at the Horton Group. Call +1 (708) 845-3159 or write to

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.