However many precious bottles you’ve already amassed, you’ll want to make sure they are adequately insured. The SMWS can help with that…

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Growing your whisky collection and concerned about its protection? The SMWS has partnered with independent insurance brokers Bruce Stevenson to offer UK-based members an exclusive specialist insurance policy for their rare and vintage whisky collections, whatever their value.

Why to take out a specialist policy 

Bruce Stevenson point out that it’s a common misconception to assume that your whisky collection is covered under your home contents policy. Many household policies have low single article limits, meaning insurers will not pay any claim for a single item that is worth more than, on average, £2,000 in value. Even then, the cover might not recognise the insurance needs that a collection warrants, such as covering the bottles when away from the home.

Bruce Stevenson’s specialist policy will pay up to 125 per cent of the policy limit if the value of the collection or bottle has increased within the policy period due to changes to the market value. This is subject to the proof of value at inception and at the time of loss. But it gives a little comfort that if you haven’t kept your inventory up to date in the last few months and a loss occurs, the policy has built-in a little headroom.

Tailored insurance for SMWS members

SMWS members based in the UK can benefit from an insurance policy covering up to £100,000 of their privately owned rare and vintage whisky for an annual premium of £295 including insurance premium tax (IPT) and a £15 administration fee.

If you’re lucky enough to have a collection exceeding £100,000, for every £50,000 of additional cover a further £140 (including IPT) is charged up to £300,000. Thereafter, the rate will decrease with tailored rating where required within these bounds to match specific sums insured.

What does the policy cover?

It covers your whisky collection against all risks of physical loss or damage worldwide unless the loss or damage is caused by a peril that is excluded. So, accidental damage, fire, theft, flood and storm, for example, are all covered.

If you buy a new bottle, your newly owned item is automatically covered for up to 10 per cent of the policy limit, providing that you let Bruce Stevenson know within 90 days of the acquisition and any additional premium paid. This is useful when you’re buying rare whisky, as you’re safe in the knowledge that from the moment you own it, it’s insured. It also provides cover while bottles are being moved from one location to another.

In the event that unique labels and artwork suffer water damage then the cost to restore the labels, plus any subsequent depreciation in value of the bottles as a result of the restoration work, is also covered.

How do I get a quote?

Go to the Bruce Stevenson website at to complete a fact find sheet, noting your SMWS membership number to ensure you benefit from the special members offer.