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Wine Damage Claims: Why It Pays to Work with a Specialist Broker

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Insurance claims are complicated – particularly when it comes to wine collections. In fact, wine claims can be quite a bit more complicated than other kinds of claims.

A good specialist broker will cut through the confusion and hassle of the process, advocate for your interests and give you the best shot at an easy resolution. Here are some specific ways a specialist can help:

  • They talk you through big decisions. When you know or suspect that your wine collection has been damaged, you might wonder whether it makes sense to file a claim, or if it would be better to cover any losses out of pocket. A claim remains on your record for three to five years, and it may not be worth the risk of an increase in premium. A good broker will help you to weigh that decision. If filing a claim is your best option, the broker will file it for you, monitor it, and stay in touch with the adjuster on your behalf.
  • They advocate for you. Because wine is such a specialized line of coverage, assessing damage and valuing losses is beyond the expertise of a general adjuster (which is one reason why only a handful of carriers cover wine collections – those who do must employ or hire the services of experts). A specialist adjuster will often involve third-party experts or appraisers who examine the collection on-site, issue letters of opinion and conduct market research to assign values to your collection. During this process, it pays to have an experienced advocate working on your behalf. Should the need arise for a second expert opinion, your broker will be able to offer a referral to a trustworthy expert.
  • They’re available at the drop of a hat. Your broker’s experience will be particularly valuable if your claim is one among many resulting from a local catastrophe, such as a wildfire or hurricane. In such situations, carriers quickly become inundated, and claims are handled on a first-come-first-served basis. The sooner you’re in the queue, the sooner you can expect a resolution.
  • They take extra measures to protect your collection. More valuable than helping with a complex claim is preventing claims in the first place. Wines are fragile – prone to unique perils that until recently were difficult to cover with an insurance policy. For most collectors, they also carry sentimental value, which no policy can protect. A good broker will invest time to help you mitigate risk factors and prevent costly damages to your collection.

To talk with an experienced wine insurance specialist about your options, call Ken Sidlowski of the Horton Group at +1 (708) 845-3159 or write to 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.