Your wedding should be a day of celebration and one of the most memorable days in your life. You’ve planned for months, put down thousands of dollars in deposits, contracted with numerous vendors, and invited the most important people in your life.
But a disaster can strike at any time, and your wedding is no exception. When you stop and think about all the components of your wedding day, you quickly realize how much can go wrong.
As much as you plan, you can’t prevent ever disaster. You can, however, protect yourself and your guests.
That’s right. There’s insurance for weddings and if you’re planning to get married, you need to consider it.
What is Wedding Insurance?
If you’re planning your own wedding, wedding insurance protects you from a variety of scenarios that can go wrong leading up to and on your wedding day – scenarios that are typically out of your control, that can lead to financial loss or damage.
For example, your limo doesn’t show up and you need to book a new one at the last second, at a much higher rate. Or a month before your wedding day, the venue goes out of business or is damaged in a fire and unusable. You possibly lose your deposit and need to book a new venue at a substantially higher cost.
Maybe these examples seem too farfetched. They aren’t! You might buy insurance for the expected, but it’s particularly important for the unexpected. How many of you planned on a pandemic last year? The pandemic forced local governments to severely restrict or altogether cancel social gatherings, which forced many couples to do the unthinkable: postpone or cancel their wedding!
It doesn’t, however, take a pandemic to force cancelation or postponement. Something as “normal” as a severe storm can suddenly develop and cause tremendous havoc. A key member of the wedding party – a parent of the bride or groom, or you! – can sustain a debilitating injury rendering them unable to attend. Your only option is to cancel.
Good luck getting the venue and your vendors to return deposits and provide refunds in any of these situations. Wedding insurance is going to help protect you against these and a variety of other potential loses or damages.
Wedding Insurance – Two Main Types
There are two main types of wedding insurance: liability and cancelation. Liability insurance protects you from being held financially responsible for any accidents or injuries during your ceremony or reception.
What do your guests look forward to at a wedding? Beyond the beautiful nuptials, of course, it’s the reception with alcohol! Luckily for you, purchasing liability wedding insurance extends to alcohol-related incidents. If one of your guests has one – or ten – too many and causes injury or damage, you’ll be protected. Many venues already require this type of insurance if alcohol is being served. Even if the venue doesn’t, liability insurance is worth looking into.
While liability insurance is for when you’re lucky enough to have your wedding, cancellation insurance is for the unthinkable moment when circumstances force you to cancel or postpone. Cancelation insurance reimburses you for all money spent in the event the wedding needs to be cancelled. There is one likely exception to this coverage: when the bride or groom has a change of heart.
My Wedding is Already Costing a Fortune, How Much is Insurance Going to Cost Me?
When you consider the expense of a wedding plus the potential liability of alcohol related incidents or injury, the cost of wedding insurance is very reasonable.
A basic wedding policy that covers loss of photos, videos, attire, gifts, and deposits usually costs anywhere between $155 and $550, depending on the amount of coverage you want. You can also purchase general liability coverage which starts around $185 and provides a more comprehensive coverage of up to $1,000,000 for accidents and injury. Cancellation/postponement insurance can cost upwards of $500.
Is Wedding Insurance Right for Me?
You want to think about wedding insurance early in the wedding planning process. Do your research and even decide on a plan and/or supplementals by the time you’re ready to put down deposits. Deposits are your first chance at losing money and, therefore, you want to be covered in the event something goes wrong.
Should you buy wedding insurance? As with any insurance decision, there are many factors to consider. Ask your wedding vendors if they have their own coverage. If they do, then it might be redundant to purchase your own insurance. Ask for copies of your vendor’s policies to determine whether you need to add any coverage. Depending on how many vendors you plan to use, reviewing each vendor’s policy may not be worth the time, effort, and risk of missing details or misunderstanding information. At this point, it might make more sense to purchase a policy.
If the venue doesn’t have coverage, then it is highly recommended that you purchase your own liability coverage. Some venues may require you to purchase coverage. Even if the venue doesn’t, you should purchase your own coverage to protect yourself from any number of accidents that can occur at a wedding, particularly when alcohol is involved.
Cancellation insurance may also be a good idea. You may intend to walk down the aisle but, as we discussed above, unexpected events can put a hard stop to your event. Some weddings are more vulnerable than others. If you are planning a beach wedding during hurricane season, cancellation insurance is likely a good bet. If key members of your wedding party are traveling long distance, cancellation insurance might be a good way to protect against unexpected travel problems.
Keep in mind, your homeowner’s insurance may already cover financial loss or damage in connection with your wedding. However, if you are wary about filing a claim on your homeowner’s insurance, then a standalone wedding policy might be a better fit.
If you are planning a large wedding with hundreds of guest and many vendors, you may even want to consider Event Insurance.
Every wedding is unique, and different policies will apply to different situations. As with all insurance, you need to do your homework to find what policy and coverage is best for you.
Additional Coverages to Consider for Your Big Day
Earlier we discussed a variety of general scenarios where wedding insurance would cover loss or damage. You might also want to consider wedding specific add-ons, or supplemental policies. For example, you can buy an add-on to address if the photographer is a no-show or if the original photos are lost, damaged, or stolen. Some photography add-ons will not only pay to retake the photos but will pay to re-stage the event with the principal participants, wedding cake, and flowers so that the picture retakes look authentic. You can also consider a wedding video add-on, which provides similar coverage to photography insurance.
Wedding gifts not only have sentimental value, but they also often have large monetary value. That’s why you might want to consider purchasing an add-on to repair or replace non-monetary gifts that are lost, stolen, or damaged. The damage or theft generally had to take place within a specific time period before or after the wedding to be covered (the time varies from policy to policy), and you may need to file a police report in order to file the claim.
There’s even insurance for wedding attire. You spent hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars on your gown and tuxedo. Of course, you’d want to protect that investment in the event your gown or tuxedo is lost, stolen, or damaged while in your possession.
Your honeymoon is another large cost in your wedding planning. According to theknot.com, the average honeymoon cost is $5,000. You’ll want to make sure your trip is covered, including lost luggage, trip delays or cancellation. You may already be covered by your credit card or homeowner’s policy. If not or you want to avoid filing a claim on your homeowner’s insurance, you can purchase a separate, trip-only policy.
Finally, there’s personal liability insurance to cover bodily injury or property damage caused by an accident that occurs during the wedding and there is medical coverage for reasonable medical expenses for each person injured during the event that is covered by your personal liability insurance.
Your wedding is one of the most special events in your life. It’s also one of the most expensive and most susceptible to misfortune. Sickness, injury, bad weather, travel delays, vendor no-shows, rowdy guests, just to name a few, all can cause financial harm to you or force you to cancel your wedding.
Your wedding is meant to be joyous, not to make you worry about what can go wrong. Put your mind at ease by getting protected against injury or loss. Call American Heritage Insurance Group to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives. We’ll be happy to discuss your wedding plans to determine whether a wedding insurance policy is right for you.
Article By: Tony diFrancesca
Sources: The Knot