For wedding couples, or their parents, who have lovingly planned every detail and budgeted down to the last penny, even a relatively small loss can feel devastating, while a large loss or liability claim can bring true financial disaster.
Most of the time, weddings go pretty smoothly, but when something unexpected does go wrong, it can be frightening how quickly the costs can add up. This is where wedding insurance can help you. Though you might not want to think about it, disasters can happen anywhere, including your wedding day. But what is wedding insurance and how does it work?
Wedding insurance helps protect you from the unforeseen circumstances that could threaten your wedding and reimburse you for monies lost. For example, what if your reception space goes out of business the month before the wedding or a specially designed bridal gown gets damaged or lost in the airport or a DJ or caterer doesn’t show up? These are all financial losses that could be covered by a wedding insurance.
Basic wedding insurance policies can cost anywhere between $90 and $350 depending on the amount of coverage you want and the projected wedding budget. These basic policies cover loss of photos, gifts, deposits and wedding day attire. For more coverage on things like wedding bands, alcohol related incidents and change of heart, the rates can be anywhere between $350 to $600. General liability insurance that covers up to $1,000,000 for accidents can be purchased for around $150. The typical time frame that you should purchase wedding insurance is from two years up until 14 days before the wedding date. The insurance that you already have with your home and car might cover some wedding related items but more than you likely you need to seek out a company that specializes in wedding insurance to ensure you get the coverage that is right for you. A simple Internet search for local providers will get you started.
Before you buy wedding insurance, check to see which of your vendors have their own insurance and what it covers to avoid paying for overlapping coverage since many vendors have their own coverage. Talk to your vendors to find out what they cover and what you should look into with your insurance agent.
Wedding insurance can cover a wide range of aspects of your wedding and the wedding planning process. There is usually a fixed maximum amount that can be claimed under each section and there are deductibles, so be sure to discuss these with your agent.
If your ceremony and reception site does not have its own insurance, wedding insurance can cover the cost of an unavoidable cancellation, damage to the facility or refund a deposit if the facility has to close down. This can help you pay for another facility on short notice or find other options for ceremony/reception without worrying about the cost. This policy may also cover the rehearsal dinner site. As an additional option to your policy, you can add liability coverage to protect yourself in case a guest is injured or causes damage to a facility.
Weather conditions that prevent the bride or groom, key members of the wedding party and/or a majority of guests from attending the wedding can be covered under wedding insurance. It would cover the cost of rescheduling, but only in cases of severe weather conditions and natural disasters.
If vendors like your minister or caterer do not show up, the cancellation or postponement of the wedding due to vendor mistakes can be covered under insurance policies. Many policies cover a rescheduling if the bride, groom or key members essential to the wedding get sick, injured or hospitalized.
At a moment’s notice, the military personnel may get orders and be shipped out. Rescheduling or postponement would be covered due to any military called to duty. This policy would also cover any last minute company moves where relocation to another city is mandatory and without notice.
Some policies cover what is called a change of heart. This would be a policy that should be discussed with your insurance agent. Supplemental policies can be taken out to cover other problems with wedding related items.
If the photographer cancels or doesn’t show up or if their film is defective, the negatives are damaged, stolen or lost could be covered, insurance could provide money to cover the cost of another photographer or even a restaging of the wedding including the new flowers and another cake. The coverage will vary from agent to agent so discuss the parameters with your agent. The same coverage would apply to a videographers.
Valuable items like gifts and the wedding bands are another reason to consider getting insured. Gift coverage would include all non-monetary gifts that may be stolen or damaged. Wedding rings can also be covered and replaced or repaired if lost or stolen. Again, the coverage parameters would vary, so make sure to discuss this with your agent. If any items are stolen, police reports are usually required for compensation.
There is also coverage that pays to repair or replace the bridal gown or other special attire if it is stolen, damaged or lost. This also includes financial failure of the bridal store.
Alcohol liability insurance covers the bride, groom and immediate family from alcohol related accidents, property damage or bodily injury due to an inebriated guest. This type of insurance is now required by many venues. Not all carriers have this policy, so make sure to shop around.
When it comes to honeymoons, check before purchasing travel insurance. Your credit card company or homeowner’s insurance may cover you if your luggage is stolen or your trip is delayed or cancelled. If not, you can buy separate trip-only insurance but some agencies do include travel insurance for your honeymoon.
Every insurance policy and every wedding scenario is different. Be sure to sit down and discuss all the details with your insurance agent and tailor a policy that fits your needs. Ask questions and shop around to get the best deals. You can also do some research on the vendors you are considering hiring ahead of time by checking with the Better Business Bureau on the financial stability of the business. These reports are free and available to the public. Being well informed helps you and your fiancée deal with anything life could throw your way.