VRA Insurance Underwrites Gurkha Cigars’ 9,000-Square-Foot Humidor
For the cigar aficionado, a wonderland exists in a most unusual place. Nestled in an unassuming commercial warehouse in western Broward County, Florida, Gurkha Cigars quietly carries on a century-old tradition of excellence by bringing the finest cigars to connoisseurs worldwide.
Gurkha Cigars is known for its limited release and rare tobacco products with outstanding and artistically-oriented packaging. It has established a name for itself by consistently producing top-rated cigars as well as the world’s most expensive cigar, His Majesty’s Reserve (HMR), at nearly $20,000 for a box of 20.
While Gurkha Cigars offers a wide range of cigars, the sheer magnitude of cigars requires a humidor equal to the task of protecting them. Inside their 25,000-square-foot facility is a three-room, temperature-controlled, 9,000-square-foot humidor, possibly the world’s largest. It is insured by VRA Insurance, a trusted provider of insurance solutions for unique and significant high-end assets.
“Humidors typically aren’t insured,” said Louis D. Spagnuolo, CEO and risk management expert with www.VRAInsurance.com, “but then again, most humidors aren’t 9,000 square feet with a value in excess of $5 million. There are many aspects to consider when underwriting a perishable product such as cigars. We look at the owner’s experience, the storage and handling and the extent of the collection. Then we look at the risk involved for possible harm to the product and create a replacement value for both the cigars and all other contents.”
In this case, the owner’s experience was truly exceptional, he said. “The storage is temperature controlled at 64 degrees with 74 percent humidity and the handling is limited to a select group of pre-designated people who have been trained to go beyond industry standards. There are back-up systems to mitigate risk, such as back-up generators and humidifiers and we were able to create an acceptable replacement value in the event of a catastrophe.”
Considered to be the ‘Rolls Royce’ of cigars, Gurkha Cigars’ facility matches its reputation. In addition to their impressive humidor, other unique features include an elegantly rich smoking room encased in dark wood and sultry leather furnishings; an elaborate bar, housing the finest in blended and single-malt scotch, bourbons, aged rums and vodka plus a private rolling room accessible only via an Indiana Jones-type secret entrance.
And finally, in case you were wondering what makes the Gurkha HMR cigar so expensive, its wrapper is a blend of 15-year Connecticut Maduro with a 12- year-old Dominican binder and filler that’s aged with one bottle of the world’s finest cognac. The cognac was originally sold only to dignitaries and now with the HMR, it’s available to consumers as well. But only 75 boxes will be made. “The amazing aroma as well as the taste of the cigar will be something that you will never forget,” said owner Kaizad Hansotia.
Steeped in legend and rich in history, Gurkha Cigars were named after Nepalese warriors whose bravery impressed the British soldiers. The company was purchased by Hansotia in 1989 with the intention of giving the cigars as unique gifts to customers of his family’s watch business. As a result, the company has been reborn and become one of the most famous brands of luxury cigars in the world. Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim and an assortment of global dignitaries, world leaders, government officials and celebrities as well as the special forces and Seal Team Six are all clients. Having extraordinary quality, premium blends of tobacco and a reputation for unparalleled excellence, Gurkha now offers 48 distinct brands of cigars with plans to launch an even rarer and more expensive cigar reputed to be infused with an extraordinary cognac and carrying a price tag of $75,000 a box. The Gurkha Cigar Group Inc. is located at 6600 Hiatus Road, Tamarac, FL 33321. For information, visit www.gurkhacigars.com