2018 has been yet another terrific year of growth for the Scotch whisky industry, which is currently enjoying levels of investment not witnessed since the late 19th century.
We now have no fewer than 122 active distilleries across Scotland, a further forty or so are planned or projected over the coming years, and some older ones are also being given a new lease of life.
Whisky tourism has grown to record levels with almost 1.9 million visits and an increase of 15.6% to £60.9m on tourism spend at Scotch whisky visitor centers in 2017.
New figures released from HMRC show that the value of Scotch whisky exports climbed by 10.8% to almost £2bn in the first half of 2018. Single malts continue to grow in popularity too with exports up 14.4% on the previous year to £550m.
Records continue to be broken in the rare whisky market. According to Rare Whisky 101, the average bottle sold in May 2018 reached £335.66, one of the highest average values ever recorded.
It’s not all good news though. At the time of writing, the uncertainty of Brexit is affecting all industries, not just Scotch whisky. Post-Brexit trading arrangements remain unclear and will no doubt bring changes to the way in which Scotch is both exported and regulated. The EU and UK remain locked in negotiations over the future protection of geographical indicators and until an agreement is reached, the protection of Scotch whisky remains under threat.
The insurance market has been fairly limited for whisky distilleries over the past decade. Only a small handful of insurers offer industry-specific covers such as Maturing Stock cover, which insures whisky stock at its future retail price not its value at the time of a loss, and loss of output cover, which protects against a reduction in output of LPA following an interruption to the distilling process.
As the ‘Broker of Choice’ to the Scotch whisky industry we have been approached by several new insurers who are keen to underwrite in this sector. We are actively working on an exclusive whisky distillery insurance product wording which we hope to launch sometime in 2019. This will allow us to not only deliver additional leading industry covers but create a more competitive marketplace to help reduce the cost of insurance for our existing and future distillery clients.