Wine Insurance – Protecting your bottled-up investments

The importance of wine insurance

Wine enthusiasts know the rewards of owning a collection: nurturing a bottle for years, anticipating its peak and, at last, savoring the fruit of the vine. Unfortunately, some bottles won’t make it that far. Fragile bottles can break. Basement cellars can flood. Refrigeration systems can malfunction. Although it may be easy to overlook, maintaining adequate insurance coverage is a key component to protect your wine collection.

Even the savviest collectors can make mistakes when it comes to insuring their wine. Here are a few common oversights that can be easily avoided:

• Assuming your collection is protected under your homeowners’ policy. In fact, most homeowners policies specifically exclude coverage for perishables and fragile goods, such as wine.
• Storing your collection in the garage. Petrol and exhaust fumes can permeate the cork, causing spoilage.
• Keeping an outdated inventory.Inaccurate inventories can leave your collection open to theft and undervaluation.
• Not connecting the wine cellar to temperature and moisture alarms. Catching dramatic changes to the cellar conditions can avert a major loss.
• Not hiring a skilled electrician.Most electricians handle basic home wiring. However, when it comes to a temperature-controlled wine cellar, a skilled electrician is needed. Improper wiring can lead to short circuits—causing drastic temperature changes inside the cellar.

Accidents happen
Despite your best efforts, power cut, breakage during shipping and other unforeseen circumstances still can occur. For example:

• A lorry transporting wine purchased at auction hit a patch of ice and overturned, smashing most of the bottles inside.
Check with your insurance broker to ensure that newly acquired bottles and/or those in transit are covered.
• An avid wine collector was renovating the expansive cellar in his home. During an on-site vulnerability assessment by his insurer, it was discovered that a mechanism hooked up to the central air conditioning unit was being used to regulate the cellar temperature. If this piece broke, a replacement could take weeks to locate and install—a delay that could potentially ruin his collection.
Only a few select insurers have collection management experts who can spot these unique vulnerabilities and deliver meaningful solutions that may prevent loss.
• Multiple pipes froze in an upstairs bathroom. Pressure from water trying to push ice through the pipes caused them to burst, flooding the home—including the wine cellar. A significant portion of the wine collection was lost.
A water shut-off device hooked to a central alarm system could have prevented this loss from occurring. These systems monitor water flow continuously. If leaks occur in water pipes, plumbing fixtures or water-using appliances, they shut off the water supply automatically and activate an alarm.

Advice for collectors
When it comes to wine, the easiest way to insure a collection is via a “blanket” policy with one overall limit. Blanket coverage is the best choice for the vast majority of collectors—especially if you intend to drink what you acquire over time. This option affords the flexibility to add and remove bottles without having to notify your insurance broker or carrier (unless the value of an individual bottle exceeds the limits on your policy).

Alternatively, if you own high-priced bottles and/or intend to hold onto your collection, a scheduled policy is a better option. With this policy, each bottle is itemized and insured individually.

Article by – Katja Zigerlig
Vice President, Art, Wine & Jewelry Insurance – AIG

Get Any Nice Gifts Recently?

If you have been lucky enough to acquire any new and exciting items recently you may need to re-evaluate your Contents and Valuables insurance to ensure that you have enough cover to include your new items.

Anything from an item of jewellery, fine art, luxurious coat or designer handbag, sports equipment, even a new mobile phone or furniture will increase the value of your contents and valuables.

Brownhill Insurance Group’s panel of specialist high value home insurers offer additional short-term cover for new acquisitions to help ensure our clients are protected for the interim until the insurer is informed about the new purchase. For example, insurance cover could be available for up to 60 days from the date of acquisition for up to 25% of the relevant sum insured (conditional on the insurer being notified within a 60-day period and an additional premium being paid). This kind of cover is particularly useful at for weddings, civil ceremonies, anniversaries, Valentine’s, birthdays, Christmas or other celebrations.

Even if you have not bought or received anything of significant value recently, it may be worth considering a review of your contents and valuables if these have not been evaluated recently. Some of our insurers can even offer free appraisal and valuation services, depending on sums insured.

This article was first featured in Issue 1 of BIG Magazine

Header image courtesy of Unsplash

Inheriting A Fortune – Could you be sitting on a treasure trove?

Research shows that two out of three people have never had their heirlooms valued. – Robert Coram James

Family Heirlooms
It’s not just new items that people forget to insure. Despite the popularity of the infinite number of art and antiques programmes cur- rently on television, few people realise the true value of their inherited possessions.
Robert Coram James MRICS – one of Brownhills’ preferred valuers explains – “Research shows that two out of three people have never had their heirlooms valued, whilst almost 80% do not have adequate insurance, leaving their household contents vastly under- insured. Generally, a comprehensive household policy is sufficient for ordinary items, with most policies limiting cover to between £1,000 – £2,000 per item. However if you own more valuable items then a specialist policy will be required to ensure full coverage.”

3 Million Pound Vase
In November 2013 a rare 18th century Chinese vase sold at Christie’s auction house for more than £3,000,000. The green and yellow vase was inherited by a woman who had kept flowers in it for many years. Its true value was only realised when auctioneers visited her property to value other Asian antiques.

Accidental Damage
It is not just theft that poses risk. In fact, higher up the list of likely reasons to have to claim is accidental damage. Where possible, try to keep valuable items out of harm’s way, particu- larly of small children or excitable animals! When doing your spring cleaning, be sure not to use abrasive cleaning products on valuable items. And if you have help at home, do make sure that everyone knows how to best clean treasured possessions. It has been known for cleaners to spray Windowlene on photographs (not a great idea) and to throw away a pile of “rubbish”, which was in fact one collector’s new contemporary art acquisition.

Article taken from Issue 1 of BIG Magazine.

Automatic Acquisition for Christmas presents, other gifts and new items

If you have been lucky enough to acquire any new and exciting items over the festive period you may need to re-evaluate your Contents and Valuables insurance to ensure that you have enough cover to include your new items.

Read more

What do you Think?!

We would like to invite our clients to complete this survey about our services.

We hope you will be happy to let us have this feedback so that we can know how satisfied you are with our service to you, how else we can assist you and where we can improve.

With many thanks from the Brownhills Team in advance.

Read More..

Firework Precautions

Anti-social behaviour associated with the firework period has become a major issue for many communities in the UK.

Halloween and bonfire night for example, and the days running up to them, are traditionally some of the busiest nights of the year for the police, the fire brigade and other agencies. The anti-social use of fireworks and the resultant damage which can be caused to property is a serious concern, posing a threat to all types of buildings, including commercial and industrial premises, and to business continuity.
Read more

How Not to Get Spooked this Halloween!

With the economic climate being what it is, Halloween Week 2013 is likely to encourage as much creativity in theft as it does in costume design. However, it is not just theft that one needs to be aware of. Accidental damage, and through vandalism, will – as ever – mean that some people’s Halloweens are SERIOUSLY frightful. Read more

IFED Ghost Broking Investigation Leads to 27 Arrests

Police have arrested 27 people over allegations of ‘ghost broking’.

The arrests were made following an investigation into the sale of fake car insurance policies, carried out by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED). Read more

Brownhill Insurance Group Shortlisted for Best Business for Customer Service & Best Employer and Staff Development

Brownhill Insurance Group has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards: Customer Service & Best Employer and Staff Development as part of the The Bromley Business Awards 2013.

The 2013 Bromley Business Awards is the 3rd in the annual award series developed and organised by South London Business (part of the Prospects Group) and sponsored by London Biggin Hill Airport to reward and celebrate the many dynamic and innovative businesses in Bromley.

Read more

Threats to Heritage Properties – Guidance, Advice and Support

Summer is here and as more visitors are being welcomed at heritage properties, there is an increased risk of malicious damage and theft.
Read more