What is Wedding Insurance?

21 Feb

If a wedding is in your near future, you may want to consider a wedding insurance policy. Regardless of whether it is your wedding or a child’s nuptials, unpredictable weather, fires, venue closures and a long list of other issues can end up ruining the magical day, leaving you with some major bills and not so great memories. 

In a recent New York Times article Sally Niebuhr described how their oldest daughter’s wedding had to be moved at the last minute due to the Kincade fire that struck the Sonoma, Calif0rnia wine country days before the wedding. 

Luckily, the Niebuhr’s had purchased a wedding insurance policy from Travelers, paying $350 for $7,500 in cancellation coverage They received a payment on the policy and were able to book the wedding in another wedding venue for her original date. The wedding policy made all of that possible. 

“Luck was definitely on our side that weekend,” Niebuhr said in the New York Times article. “All of our vendors — our DJ, our photographer, our florist, our caterer — were able to pivot and provided their services in San Francisco. And the Westin St. Francis Hotel, where we held the reception, had a ballroom that was available and plenty of open rooms for our out-of-town guests.”

What is Wedding Insurance?

Wedding insurance, which is also called event insurance can help people recover from the financial losses that result from a variety of issues that can pop up before a wedding or other event. Severe weather, property damage to the venue and vendor issues, are just a few issues that wedding insurance can help cover.

“In America, wedding insurance didn’t really gain steam until the 1990s,” Robert Hunter said in the New York Times article. Hunter is the director of insurance at the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America in Washington. “I used to tell people not to buy it, but it has become a much more mature product over time, and now I recommend purchasing it to many people,” he continued. 

When it comes to wedding or event insurance there are usually two different coverage options, liability and cancellation. Here is a quick overview of both:

Liability: Liability coverage protects against property damage to the wedding site as well as bodily injuries to your guests. If someone slips and falls on a dance floor the liability coverage will help pay their medical bills up to your coverage limits. This is one of the most popular types of coverage in the wedding insurance world. It is an excellent coverage to have in place as medical bills can quickly add up or you could find yourself being sued by an injured wedding guest. Liability coverage covers the cost of lawsuits and any settlements or judgements up to your limits. 

Cancellation: This insurance coverage provides you with reimbursement for deposits you have made to vendors such as the event venue, florist, band, photographer, caterer if you need to cancel or postpone the wedding or event due to specific events. Covered events typically include: extreme weather, unexpected illness of the bride/groom or immediate family member, military deployment, as well as numerous other reasons beyond your control. Unfortunately, it doesn’t protect against a runaway bride or a groom that gets cold feet. If the wedding is canceled due to a change of heart, you will not be covered.   

Depending on the policy and available riders you may be covered for the loss or damage of attire, jewelry, cake and even gifts. 

How Expensive is Wedding Insurance?

Like most insurance products, the price can vary depending on your particular factors. The venue, the length of the event, the number of guests you have coming can all impact how much coverage you need which will affect the cost. 

As an example, a $1 million liability policy from AllState starts around $175. Cancellation insurance tends to be a bit more expensive with $7,500 worth of coverage coming in at around $130. You can save by bundling a cancellation and liability policy together. 

If you are planning a very high-end wedding, the cost of insurance will obviously go up. A cancellation policy that offers up to $175,000 in coverage can easily run between $800 and $1,000. 

Is it a Necessity?

When it comes to insurance it is always your decision as to whether you need it or not. Most event planners recommend that their clients purchase liability coverage due to the low cost and high coverage levels. Slips and falls are not uncommon at weddings and events that involve both drinking and dancing. 

Cancellation coverage can be different. Many experts only recommend it if you are getting married in the winter or other factors apply. Give some careful thought to the wedding and any factors that could impact the day. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Is the bride or groom in the military? 
  • Is your wedding taking place during hurricane season, winter or another season (or location) where extreme weather could be a problem? 
  • Would you postpone the wedding if one of your parents gets sick? 

If the answer to all of those questions is no, you may not need cancellation insurance. However, in most cases (unless you are spending a small fortune on a wedding) the cost of this coverage is fairly low when factored into the entire cost of the wedding and may be worth it for the peace of mind. 

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