Wine Insurance: An Ultimate Guide to Covering A Wine Collection

Wine is big business. Whether it’s the whopping $33 billion in revenue it generated in 2023 or the eye-watering auction prices that recently passed $1 million for a single bottle, the value and number of wine collections are only expected to grow in the coming years. 

However, for an asset that is vulnerable to temperature changes and breakage, collectors will need more than just state-of-the-art wine cellars and professional movers to protect them. Wine insurance provides an extra level of security and peace of mind that your clients need for their high-value wine collections.

In this guide, we’ll show you how, by partnering with Distinguished, you can offer your wine collector clients comprehensive coverage for their collections. That way, they can continue to collect and enjoy the best vintages without having to worry about the financial repercussions of broken glass or lost bottles. 

Who Needs Wine Insurance?

When it comes to insuring wine, there are typically two kinds of policies that get brought up: homeowner’s policies and collector’s policies. The best policy for your client will vary depending on their situation. However, we would break it down like this:

  • Homeowner’s Insurance: For very small collections worth a couple of thousand dollars. 
  • Collector’s Insurance: For collectors who have substantial wine collections or who have large collections of valuables that include wine (more on this in our guide to Collector’s Insurance).

Determining when a wine collection becomes substantial comes down to your client’s personal risk tolerance. However, we usually recommend that collections over $50,000 should be insured under a Collectibles Insurance policy.

At this point, a significant breakage event would be extremely costly to your client, and a claim of this size on their homeowner’s policy would drive up premiums substantially.

How Does Wine Insurance Work?

Wine Insurance is typically written either for blanket or scheduled coverage. Blanket insurance is a single policy that covers an entire collection, while scheduled coverage issues insurance on a bottle-by-bottle basis. 

Typically, blanket insurance is more popular as it requires less documentation up-front. Value and ownership are determined at time of loss. Some clients prefer scheduled for the peace of mind; by establishing value up front, they know exactly how much would get paid per bottle at the time of loss. For collections that have a few very expensive bottles, scheduled may be the more appropriate choice. 

Distinguished offers both blanket and scheduled policies and can help you determine which policy type would be best for your client.

What Does Distinguished’s Wine Insurance Cover?

Through our Fine Art & Collectibles program, Distinguished offers insurance for wine collections that cover all the most common wine collection exposures. These include: 

  • Accidental damage: Breakage caused by mishandling is unfortunately common and is covered under our policies.
  • Damage in transit: Distinguished offers worldwide transit protection, so any damage that occurs while your client’s wine is on the move should be covered. 
  • Equipment breakdown: Depending on the cause of the breakdown, this policy may cover the incurred damages
  • Natural Disaster: Can cover damages caused by events like fires or floods that could physically damage the wine or cause climate control systems to fail.   
  • Coverage for related accessories: In the event of a covered incident, our policy will extend to specific pieces of property, such as wine containers, storage units, or climate control systems.

If you have further questions about what exposures would be covered by this policy, please feel free to reach out to our team, and we’ll be happy to get back to you as quickly as possible. 

How Much Does Wine Insurance Cost?

Wine Insurance costs will vary based on a lot of individual factors. However, this is a list of what our underwriters will look at when evaluating your client’s situation:

  • Value of the Wine Collection: The overall value of the wine collection being insured.
  • Risk Diversification: The dispersion of the wine collection across multiple storage locations. 
  • Spread of Values: We’ll take into account whether the value of your client’s collection is primarily made up of a couple of extremely valuable bottles or not. 
  • Deductible Amount: Similar to other insurance types, the amount set as a deductible will affect the premiums of the policy.
  • Location of the Collection: The geographical location of the wine collection, particularly whether it is situated in an area prone to natural disasters.
  • Claims History: A clean claims history or proven track record of safe storage practices can lead to more favorable insurance rates.
  • Transportation: The frequency and methods of moving, packing, and transporting wine bottles from one location to another can influence policy pricing, as transit often presents a substantial risk to the condition and safety of the wine collection.

Why Partner With Distinguished For Wine Insurance Clients?

Insuring wine requires experience and knowledge that can’t be learned overnight. At Distinguished, we can offer your clients our decades of experience so they get a policy that fits their collections and situations. 

Not only this, but our policies come with broad coverage and prompt customer service that makes for perfect sleep-at-night coverage. When you partner with Distinguished for your wine clients, you’ll get the benefit of: 

  • Expertise: Our team understands the specific risks wine collections face, including how to protect your wine collection from variations in temp and humidity. We can also help with understanding wine sales, wine storage, shipping practices, etc., if you or your client have any questions.  
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Our policies cover more than just the wine. We also help cover items like wine containers and their contents, storage units, climate control systems, wine cellar furnishings, and accessories.
  • Standalone coverage: This policy can be bought separately from a homeowner’s policy, so it doesn’t impact that insurance. 
  • Flexible deductibles and payment options: Our experienced underwriters can find a policy that works for your client’s situation. 
  • Covers Newly Acquired Items: Wine collections typically grow over time. We offer automatic coverage up to 25% of the policy’s limit, so new bottles are covered right from purchase. 
  • Transit coverage: Our comprehensive transit coverage will insure wine bottles wherever they’re moving, regardless of whether it’s between multiple covered locations or to/from an auction house.
  • Blanket or Scheduled Policies: We can value your client’s collection at an agreed value based on your schedule of wine or on a blanket basis with a max per bottle.

Register With Distinguished Today

If you’re interested in partnering with Distinguished, you can get started by registering your agency and getting into our system. After you have your login, simply fill in our application form, including a wine collection list, and submit it to us, and we’ll get back to you with a bindable quote as soon as possible.

If you have specific questions about our policies, please feel free to reach out to our support team or explore our Private Collection Insurance program page for more details.

Distinguished’s Wine Insurance FAQs

Will it cover wine while in storage at a wine storage facility? 

Yes, our Wine Insurance will cover property worldwide (except as prohibited by law). We’ll also want to list any of your permanent locations, like second homes or storage facilities, on your policy.

If wine is purchased at an auction, is transit from the auction house covered? 

Yes, our policies include a transit limit, but if you need an increase for any specific shipment, just let us know. Learn more in our guide to transit insurance.

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.

‣ Register Your Agency
‣ Learn More
‣ Contact Us

Fine Art and Collectibles Insurance eBook - Distinguished Programs