Why should you give much ado about wedding insurance anyway? As much as we’d like to believe every wedding goes off without a single hitch, the truth of the matter is that sometimes, unforeseen circumstances that are totally beyond your control happen to disrupt the day. Be it a pesky hurricane, a vendor who doesn’t deliver or an important family member that falls ill weeks before the wedding. Is it fair? Absolutely not! But sometimes the only way to prepare for such disasters and protect yourself against the worst is to become legally insured.
So today we’re sharing everything you need to know about wedding insurance. Ready to get back to basics with us?
Who buys it?
You, the couple!
What is it?
Protection against liability for accidents + damages that could occur on the wedding day, as well as cancellation or postponement for various reasons.
When should you get it?
As soon as possible! There may be a limit to how far out you can purchase, but the sooner you have it, the better off you’ll be throughout the process.
Where can you buy it?
Why do you need it?
Well… let’s talk about that in the 10 bullets below 😉
1. There are typically 2 categories of wedding insurance: Liability Coverage and Cancellation Coverage
Liability Coverage typically protects you against situations like property damage caused to the venue or injury/illness that occurs at the wedding itself, while Cancellation Coverage is more along the lines of those unforeseen circumstances beyond your control that might cause you to either cancel or postpone your wedding. The latter will usually protect you against loss of deposits in the case of extreme weather, vendor no-shows or closing of businesses, family emergencies, military deployment, etc.
2. Wedding cancellation due to cold feet or change or heart typically isn’t covered by wedding insurance, but some policies do offer coverage!
Check out the different insurance providers if this is a priority to you, but be sure to read the fine print. Oftentimes there are still limitations here, such as any cancellation due to change of heart is covered at least 365 days out. This is the kind of risk that is pretty hard for insurance companies to calculate, so it’s one of those clauses that will be pretty strict regardless.
3. You may not need coverage of certain things if your venue and or vendors’ policies already cover
Before purchasing a policy, ask your venue and vendors for a copy of their own policies so that you know exactly what’s already covered. That way you aren’t overlapping!
4. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!
Surprisingly, you’re looking at a cost ranging from $200-500 for $1 million of coverage, depending on your specific policy. Compared to the hefty expense of the wedding itself, it’s pretty much a no-brainer to dish a dime that protects your entire investment.
5. You might already have some coverage under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
This is applicable to backyard weddings or weddings at a private home (hosted by friends or family). See if their current policies have event coverage – it’ll usually be for personal liability and personal property. Stolen gifts or misplaced heirlooms might not be covered, but could be subject to the deductible. If alcohol will be served, be sure to also find out if Host Liquor Liability is included or if it would be required separately (see below!).
6. If you’re having a wedding at a private home, your host may need Host Liquor Liability Insurance
This is going to protect you against claims or suits resulting from the serving of alcoholic beverages at an event hosted by you or your family/friends.
7. Many venues require their clients to purchase wedding insurance
Your venue will likely have their own insurance policy (it might be a bit of a red flag if they don’t!), but even with coverage, venues will often want their clients to share the responsibility. More and more, we’re seeing venues list purchasing wedding insurance as a requirement, and will ask to see a copy of the certificate by a certain deadline (typically 30 days before the wedding).
8. Paying by credit card isn’t a substitute for insurance
Sure, you can always work with your credit card provider on stop payments if a vendor doesn’t deliver, but there’s never a guarantee, and you aren’t protected from much. Making wedding payments with a credit card is definitely no substitute for a solid insurance policy, so be sure to work with an agent directly to negotiate a coverage plan that works for you (and gives you peace of mind)!
9. Seriously consider separate travel insurance for a destination wedding and/or honeymoon
Some policies might offer a bit of honeymoon coverage, but your best bet will be to purchase travel insurance separately for the honeymoon in the event of extreme weather, flight cancellations, lost baggage, bad connections, etc. Anything that might prevent you from a) getting to your destination or b) taking part in those non-refundable activities, excursions, meals or lodging you planned for! One thing to note is that expensive gifts, electronics or jewelry (hello, wedding bands!) valued at over $1k will typically not be covered, so it’s worth checking with your homeowner’s insurance or credit card used to purchase the items about insuring them separately.
10. If you’re having a destination wedding, consider adding the Cancel For Any Reason benefit to your travel insurance plan
This will reimburse you for about 50-75% of the trip cost if you need to cancel for any reason at least 48 hours prior to departure. Do keep in mind that even if your wedding date is a year or two out, this benefit must be purchased within 10-21 days of your initial trip payment (NOT departure date). It’s essentially a fail-safe benefit for anyone worried their reasons might not be covered under their normal trip cancellation policy.
Now that you’re equipped with some Wedding Insurance 101, are you ready to rock and roll with some policy research? If you’re a past bride or groom and wedding insurance protected you in your own wedding, we’d love to hear your story in the comments!