Important tips for wine collectors in earthquake country:
The 2014 earthquake in Napa caused millions of dollars in damage.
Wine enthusiasts, by definition, know wine. Knowledge of how insurance policies protect wine may be scarce – until there is a loss. Don’t assume a wine collection is covered by home insurance. In all but a few cases, it isn’t, especially where earthquakes are concerned. Steps you can take to minimize your exposure:
- Seismic Retrofitting
Any wine cellar in a home not properly secured to the foundation is at risk. If your home was built prior to 1970, it should be evaluated by a structural engineer or licensed contractor to be sure it meets modern seismic design standards.
- Secure Your Wine Racks
Bolt the wine racks to the wall and install at a slight upward angle. Store the bottles horizontally and use specifically designed earthquake pins or chains to secure the bottle necks to the racks. For new cellars, consider purchasing earthquake resistant racks that have already been designed to tilt towards the wall at a 6 1/2 degree angle.
- Minimize Storage Height
Keep the storage height as low as possible to reduce the chance of breakage. Large heavy cases should be stored on the lower level racks.
- Install a Backup Generator
To preserve the condition of your wine, a climate controlled environment is critical. In the event of a prolonged power outage, a permanent backup generator will ensure that a stable environment is maintained as well as other critical systems, such as central station alarms and sump pumps.
- Maintain an Up-to-Date Inventory
In the event of a loss, a detailed inventory and documentation (e.g. appraisals and invoices) will help expedite the claims process. Store backup copies of all documentation in a secure off-site location.
When preventative earthquake damage measures are taken, insurance credits and discounts may be available. Ready to learn more? Contact us for a quotation or for additional information.