- What Is Wedding Insurance — and Do I Need It?
- What Is Wedding Insurance?
- What Does Wedding Day Insurance Cover?
- Wedding liability insurance
- Wedding cancellation insurance
- Additional insurance options
- What’s Not Covered By Wedding Event Insurance?
- How Does Wedding Insurance Work?
- How Much Wedding Insurance Costs
- Why Should You Get Wedding Insurance?
- Do You Need Wedding Insurance?
- When Should You Get Wedding Insurance?
- Choosing the Right Wedding Insurance Policy
- 1. Start with the venue
- 2. Decide on liability, cancellation, or both
- 3. Find the right insurance company
- The Bottom Line
- Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Insurance
- What Is Covered by Wedding Insurance?
- What Is Not Covered by Wedding Insurance?
- Do You Actually Need Wedding Insurance?
- Where and How Can You Buy Wedding Insurance?
- How Much Does Wedding Insurance Cost?
- How Much Coverage Should You Buy?
- When Should You Buy Wedding Insurance?
- Wedding Insurance: What’s Covered, Who Sells It and Prices
- Insurance that covers weddings
- Wedding insurance policies
- What wedding insurance doesn’t cover
- When to buy wedding insurance
- Common wedding insurance claims
- Wedding insurance pricing and providers
- Tips for buying the right policy for your wedding
What Is Wedding Insurance — and Do I Need It?
Anyone who has planned a wedding knows that endless hours and a good chunk of change can go into it. So, leading up to the big day, one of the last things you want is for something unexpected to derail your wedding — leaving you stuck with the bill.
“Most couples would rather not imagine something going wrong at their own weddings, but the reality is anything can happen,” says David Berke, founder of eWed Insurance, a wedding insurance company based in New York.
Many engaged couples were forced to postpone or cancel their weddings after the COVID-19 outbreak hit the United States in early 2020. While few could have anticipated that a pandemic would strike as they were planning the big day, there are ways to protect yourself against the unexpected.
“It’s better to be prepared than to be blindsided by something that can very easily ruin everything you’ve planned for with such care,” Berke says.
So, how can you prepare? For many couples, wedding insurance provides that peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know:
What Is Wedding Insurance?
Wedding insurance, also known as special event insurance, covers couples against losses due to circumstances outside of their control.
Depending on the type of coverage you purchase, you can protect yourself financially from a wide range of circumstances, such as problems with vendors, illness or injury, extreme weather, military deployment, lost or stolen gifts, and damage to wedding attire.
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What Does Wedding Day Insurance Cover?
Here’s how wedding insurance protected one couple leading up to their big day. In 2010, a client of Dulles Designs, which prints custom stationery and invitations, was planning a formal wedding at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort near Charleston, South Carolina, when the unexpected struck.
“We had designed and letterpress-printed her beautiful wedding invitations and were ready to hand-cancel and mail her calligraphy-addressed envelopes out to all invitees,” says Emilie Dulles, owner of Dulles Designs, which is also based in Charleston. But right as the team was stamping the envelopes, it learned via local news that the client’s reception venue was on fire.
“Sadly, the River Course Clubhouse was so severely damaged in the fire that it was clear no wedding would be taking place there anytime soon,” Dulles says.
The good news was that the bride had wedding insurance. Not only was she able to switch venues, but her initial investment in custom stationery was also safeguarded. Dulles Designs printed a new reception insert card explaining the change in venue and mailed everything to her guests as quickly as possible.
In the case of Dulles’ client, wedding insurance helped save the day. However, what’s actually covered by insurance depends on the policy you purchase. There are two main types of wedding insurance for you to consider.
Wedding liability insurance
Liability insurance is typically required by your venue, according to Berke. It protects both you and the venue in the event of certain mishaps, including:
- Damage to the venue caused by your party
- Injuries sustained at the wedding
Liability insurance will ly pay for the repair costs and resulting medical bills. Keep in mind that liability insurance usually covers a 24- to 48-hour period that ends once the reception breakdown is over. So, while you may be able to insure the rehearsal dinner, your post-wedding celebrations probably won’t be covered.
These insurance policies often include host liquor liability insurance, which is necessary if you’re catering the wedding yourself or if the venue or catering company doesn’t have it. Host liquor liability insurance protects you in case alcohol consumption at your wedding leads to any charges.
Related: What You Need To Know About Catering Costs
Wedding cancellation insurance
Cancellation insurance protects you from unforeseen events that might force you to postpone the wedding and lose your deposits. These events can include:
- Extreme weather that prevents widespread attendance
- Serious illness that strikes you, your partner, or your immediate families
- Dealing with vendors who don’t show up or have gone business
- Replacing your wedding dress
- Military deployment
The exact details of your coverage will depend on the insurer that you choose, so make sure to pay close attention to what’s included when you’re reviewing different policies.
Additional insurance options
If you’re having a smaller wedding, it may be worth exploring these insurance options:
- Homeowners insurance policies that provide special event coverage (this may apply only if the wedding is held at your home)
- Travel insurance coverage for destination weddings
- Special event insurance that broadly covers small, short-term, low-hazard events
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What’s Not Covered By Wedding Event Insurance?
Wedding insurance covers many things, but understand that you aren’t protected in every instance. These are some of the situations where you ly won’t be covered:
- Calling off the wedding due to a change of heart, according to Berke — if you get cold feet and decide to pull the plug on your big day, you’ll be fully responsible for the costs!
- Damaging or losing your engagement ring, which can be safeguarded using a separate engagement ring insurance policy
- Your wedding party and guests damaging or losing their jewelry and watches, according to The Knot
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How Does Wedding Insurance Work?
Each insurer may process claims differently, but here’s what you can generally expect if you end up needing to use your wedding insurance:
- Something unfortunate happens. It could be a storm that knocks out the power grid, a severe illness within your immediate family, or accidental damage to the venue during your big day. Whatever the cause, you’re scrambling to move the wedding date or cover unexpected costs.
- You file a claim. Contact your insurance provider to find out exactly what you need to file a claim. The process can usually be completed online or by phone.
- Your claim is investigated. Before you see any money, your insurance provider will gather details about the incident and assess the loss. that information and your policy’s terms, you’ll receive a settlement estimate.
- You get reimbursed. If you opted for cancellation insurance, you’ll typically be compensated for nonrefundable deposits or payments to the venue and vendors. If you purchased liability insurance, you’ll have medical and repair bills covered if someone was injured or damage was done to the venue. Keep in mind that your policies may have limits on the total reimbursement amount.
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How Much Wedding Insurance Costs
What you’ll pay for wedding insurance is influenced by several factors, including the number of guests in attendance. General liability insurance providing up to $1 million in coverage will cost about $185, according to The Knot. A basic policy covering losses such as photos and videos, gifts, special attire, rings, and various deposits typically runs from $155 to $550.
However, the final cost of your wedding insurance policy could end up being much lower or higher, depending on your situation and the amount of coverage you buy. Of course, adding cancellation coverage will bring the cost up.
Don’t Miss: Smart Ways To Save On Your Wedding
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Why Should You Get Wedding Insurance?
Your wedding day might go perfectly — or there could be trouble that gets expensive quickly. Recent events have reminded us all that anything can happen to derail even the best-laid plans:
- Restrictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic have shown that public health concerns can suddenly cancel or postpone a wedding.
- The COVID-19 outbreak has also emphasized that illness can strike without warning, with particular danger to elderly people who may be very important wedding guests.
- Extreme weather events can ground all travel and prevent guests from attending (or knock out the power at the venue).
Of course, we hope your wedding goes off without a hitch. However, if something unfortunate does happen, it’ll be easier to roll with the punches knowing that you don’t have to foot the entire bill.
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Do You Need Wedding Insurance?
Dulles recommends wedding insurance to 100% of her clients. For one, many venues require couples to show proof of insurance in case of bodily injury or property damage. It’s also a relatively small price to pay for protection against the unknown.
“It should be factored into every wedding budget as a line item right up there with venue, invitations, flowers, food and beverage, etc.,” Dulles says.
There’s no way to know if you’ll end up needing your wedding insurance, but every gathering is vulnerable to unpredictable factors. If you can’t afford to cover the potential costs resulting from cancellation, damage, or injury, then it’s financially smart to purchase wedding insurance.
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When Should You Get Wedding Insurance?
Insurance is generally purchased as soon as you start paying deposits to your venue and vendors, according to Berke.
“This is the time you start to be at risk for a loss,” he says.
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Choosing the Right Wedding Insurance Policy
Deciding on the best wedding insurance policy for your situation might seem overwhelming, but don’t stress. There are a few steps you can follow to determine the coverage you need.
1. Start with the venue
The first thing you should do is go over your venue’s contract. Find out if the venue has its own liability coverage or if you’ll need to buy it.
“Liability insurance can be purchased closer to the event date, once you have final details and guest counts confirmed,” Dulles says.
Either way, wedding liability insurance isn’t something you want to skip, as a major injury or damage to the venue could leave you with a bill for thousands of dollars.
2. Decide on liability, cancellation, or both
Next, figure out what type of policy you’ll need the financial losses you want to protect against. We’ve established that wedding liability insurance is important to have, but you’ll want to carefully consider adding cancellation insurance.
After all, shelling out for this type of insurance coverage might mean you’ll need to trim the budget for flowers or cut a couple of people from the guest list.
Most couples purchase insurance in an amount roughly equal to their wedding budget, Berke says.
When deciding whether to get cancellation insurance, think of different factors that could affect your wedding. For example:
- Are snowstorms a possibility, or is it during hurricane season?
- Could you or your future spouse be deployed before tying the knot?
- What would you do if important family members became ill and couldn’t make the ceremony?
If you decide to purchase cancellation insurance, Dulles recommends doing so before making any big payments, such as purchasing the dress, booking the venue and band, or designing and printing the invitations. This helps ensure that each payment receipt or invoice date is well within the coverage period.
3. Find the right insurance company
Once you’ve decided on how much coverage to get, it’s time to pick an insurer. There are plenty of wedding insurance companies out there, so how do you choose the best one? with your policy, the right insurer for your situation will depend on several factors, the size of your wedding, the venue location, and existing coverage limits.
“You should research wedding insurance with your existing insurance provider and also inquire from large nationwide companies that might have more competitive rates,” Dulles says.
Below are wedding insurance companies that were highly rated by Reviews.com as of August 2020. These four providers came out on top in terms of coverage options, features, and flexibility:
|Best For||Overall coverage||Destination weddings||Customizable policies||Liability coverage|
|Good To Know|
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The Bottom Line
No matter your budget, your wedding day is usually a memorable one. Make sure you remember it for all the right reasons by protecting yourself against life’s unknowns. Whether you want to cover the bare minimum or protect every possible aspect of your wedding, there’s a policy out there that’s right for you.
Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Insurance
photo by Brittney Raine Photography
When planning for your big day, the last thing you want to think about is something bad happening — and we want to be the last people to put that in your mind! However, because you’re making such a large investment for this special day, we thought it only fair to help explain your options for wedding insurance coverage just in case that’s an option you want to explore. Here are our answers to some of the most pressing wedding insurance questions, as well as tips for shopping around for and purchasing a wedding insurance policy.
photo by Aline Marin Photography
What Is Covered by Wedding Insurance?
Most wedding insurance policies are split into two groups: liability and cancellation or postponement.
Liability insurance covers damages to the venue and injury or illness that occurs at the wedding. Some liability policies also cover liquor liability but some don’t and require a rider for extra coverage.
If you’re having a rehearsal dinner, post-wedding party, or setup/breakdown not on your actual wedding day, some companies allow liability coverage to include events within 48 hours of your wedding day.
Cancellation or postponement insurance covers the costs if the wedding is canceled or postponed due to extreme weather, illness or injury of a key member of the wedding, or other forces beyond your control.
In addition to covering your deposits or the entire cost of canceling your wedding, cancelation policies can also help cover the costs to reschedule the event, such as finding a new venue or hiring new vendors.
photo by Barbara Rahal Photography
What Is Not Covered by Wedding Insurance?
Cancellation due to rain (not extreme weather), a change of heart, switching vendors after a deposit was paid, and your engagement ring are typically not covered by the two core wedding insurance policies, although some companies allow you to purchase riders for extra coverage. Some insurance companies also might not cover extreme activities, such as fireworks or live animals.
photo by Grant Daniels Photography
Do You Actually Need Wedding Insurance?
While we won’t tell you that you need to buy wedding insurance, we will say that it can help put your mind at ease if you’re nervous about losing a lot of money due to unforeseen accidents, mishaps, or cancellations.
Before you buy wedding insurance, be sure to talk to each of your vendors — especially your venue, your wedding planner, and your caterer — to find out what their insurance covers. Your vendors probably already have insurance, which means you wouldn’t need overlapping coverage, but their insurance might not cover every circumstance.
Do your homework, read your vendors’ insurance policies, and ask your vendors exactly what you could be responsible for.
When you’re doing your homework, make sure you get your wedding planner’s advice. Wedding planners have seen it all, so they can provide a much-needed perspective on whether you should get wedding insurance.
If they recommended the rest of your vendors and are confident each of them will deliver as promised, that might put your mind for not buying coverage that reimburses you for vendor mistakes.
Just remember that, once you’ve done your due-diligence, it really comes down to figuring out what will make you feel most comfortable.
photo by Chasewild
Where and How Can You Buy Wedding Insurance?
There are a couple of different ways to buy wedding insurance. The first is through your existing homeowners or renters insurance policy.
If your parents or a friend is hosting your wedding at their home, they can call their homeowners insurance or renters insurance company to ask if the event is covered.
Their insurance should cover liability, but they should ask about liquor liability to see if it’s covered or whether you’ll need to purchase additional coverage.
The second option is a stand-alone wedding or event insurance policy through a company such as Travelers Insurance, Wedsafe, or Wedsure. These companies offer a variety of plans that can be tailored to the size of your wedding and the types of coverage you want. You can simply apply for a quote online, compare prices, and choose which policy works best for you.
photo by Brandi Allyse Photography
How Much Does Wedding Insurance Cost?
The size of your wedding, what’s being covered, the location of your wedding, and the policy limits will all affect the cost of your wedding insurance policy. Some policies start around $75 and go up from there, and the average cost is around $200-$250. But, that number will look different for every wedding, so the only way to know for sure is to get a quote.
Keep in mind that most wedding insurance policies have a deductible, which is the amount deducted from the claim check, that you should factor into your decision.
photo by Wild Heart Visuals
How Much Coverage Should You Buy?
Before you request any quotes or talk to any insurance agencies, talk to your vendors — specifically your venue, your planner, and your caterer — to find out what their insurance covers.
You don’t need overlapping coverage, so knowing what they have will help you narrow down what you need to get.
When you do shop around for quotes, keep your budget in mind because that’s how much you stand to lose if the worst-case scenario were to happen.
If you’re buying cancellation coverage, the limit should be close to the cost of your wedding, including the honeymoon (if possible). This ensures that your investment won’t be lost if the event is canceled or postponed.
photo by Nicole Kirshner Photography
When Should You Buy Wedding Insurance?
If you’re going to buy a cancelation policy, it’s best to buy wedding insurance before you start paying deposits. That way, if the event is canceled or a vendor backs out, all of your deposits are covered.
In most states, if you’re going to buy cancelation insurance, it must be purchased at least 15 days before the wedding day. But, some insurance companies have a limit on how early you can purchase wedding insurance.
So, it’s best to check the company rules first.
Liability insurance, on the other hand, can be purchased up to the day of the wedding. Although, some venues might require proof of liability insurance at least 30 days before the wedding day.
We hope that helps answer your biggest questions about wedding insurance and puts your mind at ease for whether it’s an option you should explore. But now, it’s time to take a break with something a little more fun, the 2018 bridal makeup trends that we can’t get enough of!
Wedding Insurance: What’s Covered, Who Sells It and Prices
If you’ve planned for your perfect wedding, glitches can be especially stressful. Calamities can be heart-stopping.
Wedding insurance may help you breathe a little easier. A policy can pay for any damage or injuries that occur during the big event, or reimburse you if it’s postponed or canceled. Purchasing a policy can be quick. Here’s what to know about wedding insurance.
Insurance that covers weddings
Having insurance for potential wedding disasters makes sense for many couples, especially if the celebration will be large and expensive. Depending on where your wedding will be, you could get coverage through:
- An existing homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy.
- A separate wedding insurance policy.
- A special event insurance policy.
- If a relative or friend is hosting the event at their house, their homeowners insurance — and umbrella insurance for very large claims — covers liability. However, they should ask their insurance agent about liquor liability and whether they have coverage if a drunken guest causes a car accident after leaving.
- Your own homeowners or renters insurance may cover stolen or destroyed gifts.
- Your venue may have liability insurance of its own, so you wouldn’t need overlapping coverage. For example, a banquet hall ly has its own policy, but ask about what it does and does not cover.
» MORE: Understanding homeowners insurance
Wedding insurance policies
Typically, a wedding insurance policy offers two main types of coverage, which you can purchase separately or together.
- Liability insurance in a wedding insurance policy pays for damage to the venue that occurs during the event for which you are held responsible. It can also pay for medical costs if someone is injured or gets sick at your wedding. Often this coverage includes liquor liability insurance, which pays out in case you are sued for damages that drunken guests cause when they leave. Typical wedding liability insurance limits are $500,000 to $2 million, but may be as high as $5 million.
- Cancellation or postponementcoverage reimburses you for costs if you have to cancel or delay your wedding because of extreme weather, injury or illness in the wedding party or the bride or groom’s immediate family, or for other reasons beyond your control. If you have to reschedule the event, this coverage helps pay for the cost of a new ceremony and reception. Many wedding cancellation policies also reimburse you for a single deposit if a vendor doesn’t show up, even if the wedding goes on.
- Additional insurance: “Deposit coverage” can be sold as a separate policy.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, optional riders for extra coverage can include:
- Military deployment of the bride or groom causing cancellation.
- The honeymoon, in case you must cancel your getaway.
- Gifts, if they are stolen.
- Professional counseling, if postponement or cancellation causes severe emotional distress.
- Liquor host liability insurance.
What wedding insurance doesn’t cover
You can get a wedding policy to cover just about anything outside of your control that messes with your big day, but most policies don’t pay for things :
- Cold feet or a change of heart, with few exceptions.
- A rainy day, rather than extreme weather.
- Theft or loss of engagement ring.
- Deciding to switch to a different vendor, such as a caterer or florist, once you’ve already paid a deposit.
If your wedding includes fireworks, bounce houses, live animals or other attractions insurers find risky, you could be declined for a policy. Some insurers may still offer you a policy but exclude problems involving these types of attractions.
When to buy wedding insurance
“Couples should purchase a policy once they begin writing checks,” says Todd Shasha, managing director of personal insurance at Travelers Insurance, which provides wedding insurance.
However, if you’re already in the midst of planning, it’s not too late.
In most states, if a policy is going to cover extreme weather, it must be purchased 14 days before the event, Shasha says. Liability coverage can be purchased up to the day of the event in many cases. However, if your venue requires you to buy liability insurance, it might require proof of insurance before the wedding, as many as 30 days ahead of the event.
Common wedding insurance claims
A lot can happen after you put down wedding deposits. Vendor issues are the most common type of claims and are among the costliest, Shasha says.
The most common wedding insurance claims that Travelers pays are for:
- Vendor issues: 30%.
- Illness or injury: 29%.
- Weather issues: 16%.
Among the vendor-related claims Travelers pays, nearly two-thirds involve wedding or reception venue problems, Shasha says. Typically, this involves facilities that closed unexpectedly or can no longer accommodate the wedding, causing it to be rescheduled.
Other common claims typically involve vendors that go business or just fail to show up on the big day. Examples include:
- A photographer fails to deliver your photos.
- A florist goes bankrupt and doesn’t refund the deposit.
- Your seamstress loses the gown.
- The limo company you hired goes business.
- A caterer never shows up.
Wedding insurance pricing and providers
The cost of wedding insurance will depend on the number of guests attending, what types of coverage you purchase and the limits of your policy. The least expensive policies available can cost under $100 for liability coverage only, and larger policies can cost over $1,000 for cancellation insurance.
Tips for buying the right policy for your wedding
- Look over your existing homeowners and renters insurance policies — or those of any relatives hosting or paying for the wedding — to see whether existing liability insurance will cover you.
- Check the deductible, which is the amount deducted from a claims check.
If one vendor doesn’t show up, and the deductible is higher than the deposit for that vendor, you’ll swallow the cost for that lost deposit.
- Look at coverage limits. For cancellation coverage, you’ll want the limit to be close to your wedding budget, including the honeymoon.
» MORE: Life Insurance for married couples
Lacie Glover is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. : @LacieWrites.