One of the perks of being wealthy is the ability to follow passionate impulses to collect wine, art, watches or whatever else tickles the fancy.
But when ultra-high net worth individuals scratch the itch for luxury goods, the costs can go well beyond the sticker price. Besides insuring the value of the luxury objects, liability protection must often be purchased.
“I always marvel at the time put into identifying what [ultra-high net worth individuals] want to acquire but not into protecting themselves,” said Gary Raphael, senior vice president of risk consulting for ACE Private Risk Services.
Some of the items on our list of must-have luxury goods certainly come with a liability quotient. Consider the hot tub boat and the potential for a range of nautical disasters.
“Most people don’t get in a hot tub for mind clarity,” said David Spencer, senior vice president for premier client services for ACE Private Risk Services.
“Everyone knows how much to insure an item for” if it were to be destroyed, he said, but too many don’t think about liability insurance. And considering the sticker price of such coverage, it’s a major oversight.
It only costs “several hundred dollars per year for $5 million of liability insurance” to protect family assets in the event of an accident, Spencer said.
But liability is not the only area in which luxury-goods buyers fall short. Raphael noted that research showed that 40% of collectors don’t insure some of their items, and that a third don’t update their policies every year as recommended to ensure that increases in value are covered.
One reason for insuring only parts of a collection is the emotional connection to some items.
“When they are passionate about it, they focus on things they love,” Spencer said.
Another reason is that collectors mistakenly believe items like antique furniture or high-end jewelry are covered under a homeowner’s policy. Unfortunately, that coverage might not be enough. High-value items should be insured separately.
Spencer notes that specialty insurers like ACE and its competitors offer services aimed at the UNHW crowd. Those insurers offer teams that do on-site evaluations of items to ensure they are properly insured.
With Spencer’s comment that “people get to decide what [they] purchase” in mind, check out 10 Luxury Items the Super Wealthy Must Have. The items and accompanying photos are courtesy of americanluxurymag.com.
1. Aston Martin DB9 Volante
Car buffs like to talk about torque and horsepower when they compare driving machines. With this one-of-a-kind Aston Martin, which was auctioned off for charity this month, you can take the cowboy theme farther with its equestrian themed interior. There’s no word on how much the car went for, but an off-the-lot DB9 goes for about $200,000.
2. Designer Surfboard
If driving an Aston Martin to the beach isn’t enough showing off, there’s always this surfboard designed by Roy Stuart that has a price tag of a cool $1.3 million. Handmade with Paulownia wood and crafted to make turning and riding the waves as smooth as possible, the board is covered in 23-karat gold. Cowabunga, indeed!
3. Putin iPhone 5s
If your friends and colleagues aren’t quite sure who is really in charge, this designer iPhone should give them a heads up. Boasting a drawing of the Russian strongman and covered in gold, the Italian company Caviar is asking $4,340 for the mobile device.
4. Firstcall Chair
If you need a place to relax while doing business on your Putin iPhone, you might try this this $3,970 chair shaped like a phone designed by Dutch designer Ruud van Wier and produced by Easy NoiseControl. The chair is designed to keep sound from escaping, ensuring privacy. Customers can choose from 32 colors.
5. Starfleet Machine
Does anyone know what time it really is? Does anyone care? Well, any UNHW Trekkie who shells out about $32,000 for the clock by MB&F and L’Epee. The brass coffee-table piece is mad of palladium-treated brass and is covered with 48 jewels will know. Only 175 were produced.
6. Grieb & Benziger Blue Merit Watch
When you aren’t within sight of the Starfleet Machine, this watch will keep you on time for all your appointments. Costing $530,000, the watch had a production run of 200 in the mid-1990s. It boats a platinum case and blue platinum and rose gold decorations.
7. Polaris Slingshot Three-Wheel Motorcycle
At $19,999 for the base model and $23,999 for the premium model, this motorcycle comes with backup camera, LCD screen, high-end audio system and a 174 horsepower engine.
8. Ciclotte Exercise Bike
If three wheels are too many and you’d like to get some exercise, this $12,000 device might be more your speed. Designed by Luca Schiepetti, and industrial designer, the bike features pedals positioned closer to the seat than on most bikes to make working out tougher.
9. V8 Wet Rod Jet Ski
For $49,000, you’d expect to get more than just a pedestrian jet ski. Strand Craft’s Wet Rod includes space for luggage and a cooler for beverages. Options include GPS, a sound system and custom paint. Oh, and this jet ski flies at 65 mph, 30% faster than other craft in its class.
10. Hot Tub Boat
If a jet ski is too fast for your vision of relaxing, this electric boat built in Seattle that can accommodate six adults might be more your speed. It is powered by an electric motor that can get the boat moving at 5 mph for 10 hours before it needs to be recharged. Twin pop-up speakers add to the ambiance and a joystick accessible from the hot tub steers the craft. You’ll have to contact the company to get the price. The boats are also available on a rental basis.
Related on ThinkAdvisor:
- Top 10 Billionaire Art Collectors: Wealth X
- Top 10 Most Expensive Luxury Penthouses in the World
- Top 10 Most Expensive Luxury Purchases Ever
- Top 10 Most Ridiculous Luxury Items: 2013