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Wine and home insurance - how do the two mix?

Whether you're drinking it, collecting it, or both, wine can be an important consideration when choosing the right home insurance policy.

Bottles of wine in wine rack
When you last looked at your home insurance, wine probably wasn't at the top of your priority of things to cover

Keep an eye on value

Whether you keep a few bottles in for entertaining, or you enjoy a glass or two with a meal at home, the value of the wine in the fridge or on the shelf shouldn't cause too many concerns when it comes to ensuring your Contents sum insured is sufficient to replace it in the event of something happening to it. But if you take your wine a bit more seriously and perhaps collect as an investment, then keeping an eye on the value of your wine inventory could become particularly important when considering how much cover you need. For the vast majority of people, standard home insurance should offer adequate protection should the worst happen and you suffer a theft or fire, but for higher-end collections, separate bespoke wine insurance is available from specialist insurers.

If you do opt to cover your wine collection as part of your home insurance, you should expect certain exclusions, such as for 'mysterious disappearance' (if only you could be insured for drinking all your wine and not being able to remember what happened to it!) or for wine that is corked. Additionally you may be expected to keep a wine cellar book and use appropriate shelving or racking.

Be careful with those spillages

Of course you should always drink responsibly, but accidents can and frequently do happen. Spilling some of your favourite 3-for-£10 Chardonnay on the kitchen laminate flooring may be easy enough to clean up, but what about Merlot sloshed on a cream carpet or an expensive rug? Or worse still wine of any kind accidentally tipped over a laptop keyboard? As with any liquid, lasting damage can quickly occur if spilled in the home especially with the amount of gadgets we have these days, so accidental damage cover on your home insurance could give you added protection if something less than minor was to occur. We'd expect most insurers to attempt to clean or restore damaged items before looking to replace them following liquid damage as not only does that help keep claims costs down but it's generally better for the environment too. Where a replacement is needed, whether your policy includes what is often referred to as 'matching sets and suites' will determine whether the insurer also replaces matching undamaged items of the same set or suite (think permanent red wine stain on your cream armchair, but the matching sofa is undamaged - if the armchair can't be replaced like-for-like to maintain the matching set, the sofa would be replaced also) or just replaces the armchair with a one of a similar standard as the original wine-damaged one. One final consideration is your policy excess. You don't see all that many new policies now with excesses of less than £100, so any damage cost would need to be higher than this to make submitting a claim worth considering.

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