Adding Bordeaux to the Bordereau: Insurance for Wine Collections

Ready to indulge in the rich aromas of wine collection insurance? If you missed our recent 30-minute webinar, “Adding Bordeaux to the Bordereau: Insurance for Wine Collections,” don’t worry. You can gain essential insights into protecting your clients’ wine collections and mastering damage assessment techniques with the Founder of Cork Counsel, Neil Kaplan. Whether your clients are avid private collectors, seasoned sommeliers, or owners of establishments boasting extensive wine selections, this webinar promises invaluable insights. Enhance your expertise in the wine collection market – access the recording and handouts below.

Get the Insurance for Wine Collections session handouts here:

+ Transcript & FAQ

+ Video Recording

+ Slides

Below are some of the insightful questions from attendees during our session.

General Questions

Q: What about storing your wine off premises?
A: The advantages of off-site storage is: security, and backups for the temperature control systems. A professional warehouse is going to have outstanding backups. The disadvantage of having it off-site is that you have to plan ahead for what you want.

Q: Do you recommend any apps on phones for keeping track of wine inventory?
A: The best one is CellarTracker. One of the things that’s good about CellarTracker is there’s a huge database of wines. So, chances are what you buy, especially if you’re a collector, is already in their database. Adding the wine to the inventory is not difficult at all. You’ll start to type in, it’ll prompt you the rest of the way.

Coverage Details

Q: Any requirements needed to insure a wine collection against earthquake damage?
A: We will typically underwrite and price for earthquake coverage, and may not be able to offer it in all areas, but that is primarily dependent on geographical location. If you’d like to review a quote with earthquake, please feel free to submit to and we can take a look for you!

Q: Could you provide information on how wine faults, such as smoke taint or TCA, that develop over time and cause wine spoilage are handled?
A: These types of faults are what we’d consider “inherent vice”, or an issue that existed prior to you taking ownership of the wine. Inherent vice is not covered under our policy as our policy covers direct physical loss to wine.

Q: Do you assess the bottle’s value based on the original purchase price, or do you adjust the valuation based on your own research?
A: We will value the bottle based on purchase price or appraised value. That means that if the client believes that the bottle is worth more than it was when it was purchased, we recommend the client seek a third-party appraisal to substantiate the new value. At that point, we would be able to insure to that appraised value.

Claim Details

Q: Do inventories of collections help with insurance claims?
A: Yes, inventories are critical. In the event of a serious disaster, without an inventory, you might not be able to submit a valid claim.

Get Started With Distinguished Fine Art

To get more information on our coverage, submit business, or communicate with an underwriter, contact our team directly at or feel free to submit an inquiry via our contact form here

Expert Panel

Michelle Stegmann, Vice President of Claims, Distinguished Fine Art & Collectibles

Michelle brings 30 years of claims experience to the team, most of it in leadership roles. She has built and led claims departments in numerous lines of business, including construction, hospitality and representations & warranties. Before joining Distinguished, she created a major carrier’s Programs/Delegated Authority claims function, working extensively with MGAs, MGUs, Brokers, Agents and TPAs. She is an attorney licensed in New York and New Jersey and is an adjuster licensed in 13 states. Michelle graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in NYC.

Neil Kaplan, Founder of Cork Counsel

Neil Kaplan is the founder of the sole proprietorship Cork Counsel, which offers a wide array of services to wine and spirits collectors and the professionals who work with them. He earned the Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits with Merit from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and is a Stage Two Candidate for the Master of Wine. Neil is a certified appraiser with the Appraisers Association of America, as well as an attorney, and specializes in wine and spirits appraisals and damage assessments. He is also a faculty member at the Risk & Insurance Education Alliance, instructing insurance professionals about the intricacies of wine as a collectible asset class and the special considerations when insuring it. Neil also provides private client consultancy, assisting collectors with building and sale of collections.

About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Fine Art and Collectibles, Environmental and Construction Professional, Executive Lines, Inland Marine, Real Estate & Builder’s Risk, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and Liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished’s high-limit Umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its area of specialty for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.

View a full list of our programs and submit business with Distinguished.

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