Weddings are a wonderful exercise in whimsy and romance, as creativity and vision come to the fore to deliver your dream day. But in amidst the emotion of this grandest of celebrations, there’s an important practical consideration – and that’s money.
A typical wedding in Australia these days costs an average of $36,200 and, realistically, in any other part of your life, you wouldn’t likely dive into an investment of that magnitude without covering your back, so it makes sense that more and more people are doing just that with wedding insurance.
What is wedding insurance?
Wedding insurance, which is also billed as special event insurance, is an insurance policy that covers cancellation of a major event due to adverse weather or the death, illness, or serious injury of a key participant. In addition to the cancellation coverage, marrying couples can also purchase riders for their wedding insurance that cover things like military deployment, protection of bridal wear from damage or vendor bankruptcy, theft or damage to wedding gifts, and personal liability for injury or damage.
The ability to protect yourself financially in case of a wedding catastrophe may make wedding insurance sound like a slam dunk, but it’s often unnecessary, according to Lindsay Rocamora, a wedding and event planner based in Wisconsin.
Here are some examples of the kind of situation that can arise.
Everything is booked and you’re all set – at least until a member of your immediate family is hospitalised. You can’t imagine getting married without them, so you decide to cancel and reschedule a month down the track.
Your celebration is only a week away when your florist calls because she’s had an emergency and can’t do your flowers any more. This leaves you with a double dilemma. Not only do you have to find a replacement, you may also be faced with spending more than you budgeted because the order is so last-minute.
The day has been wonderful, and the celebrations are drawing to a close. Then one of your friends manages to trip into the side of marquee, tearing a hole in it. The venue must then charge you $1000 to repair the damage.
Why you should consider wedding insurance
The big wedding weekend approaches and the weather report calls for an epic snowstorm. Neighbors are stocking up on food in anticipation of the roads closing and the power going out. The governor declares a state of emergency and the airlines anticipate massive flight cancellations. Will the relatives make it in? Will the catering hall lose power? Will the photographer cancel?
Or what happens if your wedding venue goes bankrupt and keeps the reception deposit? Or the wedding photographer loses the camera/memory card? Or if the wedding gifts are stolen or there is damage to the wedding dress or rental attire?
With so many moving parts in a wedding, things can go wrong. Some problems can be handled but there are no certainties when it comes to vendor deposits, unexpected illness, extreme weather and the like. How can you protect your financial investment in the “big day” if something goes wrong? Consider purchasing wedding insurance to help reduce your concern about some of things you cannot control and the related costs.
What Are the Different Kinds of Wedding Insurance?
There are two types of wedding insurance:
You can also purchase the two in a bundle that will cover both. Before buying wedding insurance always ask the venue if they cover event liability. Wedding event liability coverage may cover different things, for example, bodily injury and property damage.
What does stand-alone wedding insurance cover?
All policies are different, but typically they cover the cancellation or rearrangement of a wedding or reception due to accident, illness or bereavement within the main wedding party, or if a supplier goes out of business. Most policies also cover loss or damage (due to accident, fire or theft) to the main wedding outfits; presents, rings; the cake and flowers; as well as the price of having to retake photographs and video; failure of wedding cars; and personal liability and legal expenses.
What isn’t covered?
You can’t purchase make a claim for a situation that you already knew about, if either partner changes their mind, or if you decide you cannot afford to go ahead with your plans. Most insurers have strict rules on theft too, so double-check what’s included. For example, some will not cover theft of outfits from a vehicle unless they are in a locked boot.
Honeymoons are not covered as standard, although some providers will bundle yours in (at extra cost, of course). So bear in mind that you might have to buy separate honeymoon cover or take out a travel insurance policy. If you already have annual multi-trip travel insurance – and your honeymoon is covered under these T&Cs – you won’t not need to purchase a new policy.
When do you get it?
You can buy it whenever you want—some companies allow purchases up to the wedding day; you can even buy it online. But why wait until the last minute? This is one task you can cross off your to-do list at least a month before the big day.
What to Check Before Buying Wedding Insurance
Understand what you are most interested in insuring yourself against, for example, if you have special jewels sewn into your dress and you want that insured, ask if there are limits for this kind of item. Jewelry or special items may not be covered on a wedding insurance policy or may be limited.
Ask the venue what they cover.
Ask your home insurance provider what they cover or if they can add a rider to your home policy.
If applicable, have your parents contact their home insurance company to ask if they have any coverage, especially if they are the ones paying for the wedding or the venue.
Compare the coverages from different wedding insurance companies to understand what they cover and under what conditions. Then you can make a decision.
Should You Get Wedding Insurance?
A lot of time, effort and planning go into the wedding day. A wedding insurance company is familiar with all kinds of things that go wrong and by having a policy the insurance company will have your back if something goes wrong and it’s covered. The cost of wedding insurance is minimal compared to the cost of the wedding and what is at risk.
Not all wedding vendors carry their own insurance. The bridal couple should ask vendors to have their carrier send proof of insurance and find out their liability limits. When contracting with vendors, ask to have their insurance company send you a copy of their professional liability policy, and consider only hiring a vendor that carries insurance.
A wedding is a joyous time. But planning it can be stressful. With all the moving parts it’s impossible to control everything. Weather changes. People get sick. Businesses go under. There’s peace of mind in knowing that your wedding is covered even if things don’t go exactly as planned.