Imagine this: Two days before your perfectly planned wedding a fire breaks out at your reception hall burning it to the ground, the pipes burst in your apartment ruining your wedding gown, and your fiancé’s great aunt that raised him since birth has fallen ill and is now in the hospital. Worst case scenario right? You’re thinking… “this won’t happen to me.” And sure, chances are not everything is going to happen on your big day, but something could. Then what are you going to do?
The answer: Wedding Insurance. Simply put, wedding insurance is one time insurance policy that covers things like the venue, inclement weather, no show vendors and even gifts depending on the policy you choose. But for a small investment and a little extra paperwork it could mean getting back thousands of dollars in lost products or services.
Now you are thinking, “Wow that seems great but I’m on a tight budget as it is. How much is this going to cost?” Most basic policies cover loss of photos, videos, attire, gifts, wedding rings (not engagement rings), and vendor deposits. This basic policy generally costs between $155 and $600 depending on the amount of coverage you choose. $1,000,000 in general liability insurance for accidents averages about $185.
Okay, well that seems pretty manageable right? Now you have to think about if you really need it and when you should purchase it. Before purchasing be sure to ask your desired vendors and your venue if they already have coverage. Some wedding vendors have their own policies that they take out on each event. At the same time, there are some vendors that require you to have your own policy. The sooner you purchase your insurance policy the better, but keep in mind that a majority of insurance companies put a time frame on wedding policies.
The next question on your mind is probably “So, what’s covered by event insurance?” The answer: it depends on your plan. In general there is a maximum amount that can be claimed under each category of your plan (e.g. weather, vendors, key people, and injury). Be sure to check with your provider to ensure your plan provides adequate coverage in the area you are most concerned about. Please note there are several items that are rarely, if ever, covered by event insurance policies. These include a change of heart/cold feet, jewelry such as watches gemstones or pearls (even if they are sewn onto clothing), and your engagement ring.
Some general categories that are often covered include:
- Venue – Including the ceremony and reception site and sometimes the rehearsal dinner site. Most policies will cover the costs that come from unavoidable cancellation such as building damage, fire, electrical issues, or complete shutdown.
- Weather – Any conditions that prevent a bride, groom, essential relative, or a majority of the guest from arriving at the wedding venue. Insurance covers the fees associated with rescheduling the event and all the details such as flowers, chair rentals, and food.
- Vendor No-show – If an essential vendor, such as the officiant or caterer, fails to show up to your event, your policy should cover the costs of having to cancel or postpone the wedding.
- Injury or Sickness – If anyone essential to the wedding, including the bride, groom, wedding party and immediate family, fall ill the cancellation and rescheduling fees should be covered.
- Military Duty or Job – If the bride or groom suddenly gets deployed on military duty or their company suddenly decides to relocate, wedding insurance can cover the postponement costs.
Couples can also choose to add supplemental polices to their wedding insurance. Some of the categories covered include:
- Photography/Videography – If for some reason the photographer/videographer fails to show or the original images are damaged, lost or stolen most supplemental policies will pay to retake the images. This can include re-staging the event with the wedding party, a new cake, and new flowers.
- Gifts – Gift coverage will pay to repair or replace non-monetary gifts that are lost, damaged or stolen within a set window of time (usually 1-7 days) before or after the wedding. If your gifts are stolen please be aware that an official police report is often required.
- Attire – This type of policy generally covers clothing and accessories bought or rented for the event to be worn by the bride, groom and the wedding party that are lost, damaged, or stolen while in the possession of the intended wearer.
- Personal Liability – Adding this type of coverage to your policy will cover any bodily injury or property damage caused by an accident that happens during the wedding such as a member of the wedding party falling down the stairs after the ceremony.
- Honeymoon – Do your research on this one. Some wedding insurance policies offer optional travel insurance as do many travel agencies. There are even a few credit card companies and homeowner’s insurance policies that will cover you if your luggage is stolen or your trip is delayed or canceled.
Always remember that just as every wedding is different so is every insurance policy. Get quotes from multiple providers, read the fine print, and be confident you understand the policy you choose. Just a little extra time, money, and effort can help take the worry out of your big day.