Wedding Insurance

Wedding insurance

From calamities to cold feet, cover
yourself with wedding insurance

Story by Tosha Kelly

Does the idea of insuring your wedding sound strange? Most couples don’t associate a once-in-a-lifetime trip down the aisle with liability, pain and suffering. Still, the risks are there.

Much of your wedding will be in the hands of others – caterers, photographers, limousine drivers, florists, dressmakers, etc. So, if something goes wrong, it may be beyond your control to fix it.

Wedding insurance financially protects couples against unforeseen circumstances, such as vendor no-shows, last-minute problems with a venue, unexpected weather, and illness or injury affecting key people in the wedding.

Talk with your insurance company about the policies they offer. If you are not satisfied, there are many online programs to choose from.

Deborah DePalma, marketing representative for WedSafe, an online wedding insurance program, says there are two kinds of protection. One, in case you have to cancel or postpone your wedding, and the other, liability insurance, in case there is damage or someone gets hurt. “We are finding many reception sites actually require the couple to purchase liability insurance,” DePalma says. “The liability coverage gives you added peace of mind for those unforeseen mishaps at the event, and many reception sites will tell you how much coverage to buy. Overall, it’s a modest cost when you weigh it against the wedding expenses and exposure of being sued.”

Megan Killoran of A Special Touch says that most insurance companies can give you the required liability insurance for the venue through your renters/homeowners insurance policy. If you don’t have one, it only takes minutes to start or you can have a friend or family member get it through his or her policy. “Nothing changes for them and the average cost is around $100.”

The cancellation policy can save you from mishaps like severe weather, sudden illness of a parent, replacement costs and postponements due to military deployment, says Sharen Cohen of WedSafe. It will also reimburse you for losses of deposits, attire, jewelry and wedding gifts.

These days, even your honeymoon can be insured. There are companies that offer trip cancellation and interruption coverage, 24/7 overseas phone support, printable ID cards and more to prepare you for the worst.

A good time to set up your policy is before you start making your first (non-refundable) deposits, DePalma says. “That way you are covered from the first day of the expenditures.” Base the amount of coverage you purchase on the total cost of the wedding. The higher the cost, the more coverage you will need.

Real life examples of cancelled weddings are living proof that the unexpected can and does happen, says DePalma. “From the father of the bride who decides that a bike ride will put him in just the right mood for his daughter’s big day, only to end up injured and unable to make it, to a couple’s posh hotel where they learn at the last minute that renovations will not be complete. That’s what makes wedding insurance so indispensable.”

What happens if the bride or groom backs out? Not all companies will insure cold feet, but Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company will. They understand that there is a victim when either the bride or groom is left at the altar. According to their web site, Change of Heart coverage recovers expenses if the bride or groom experiences cold feet during the planning process, but it must be purchased by the person who finances the event, not the honoree(s). They even offer coverage for professional counseling if needed for the emotional distress of a cancelled event.

If you’re planning a small, intimate wedding and feel you don’t need insurance, there are other ways to ensure your peace of mind. Hire a wedding planner. Their job is to make sure your wedding day is fabulous and they have a lot of reliable contacts. Research all of your vendors, shop around and get references from friends and family. Always pay with a credit card – this will document all of your purchases.

“With the amount of money that is being spent on their special day, it makes sense for the bride and groom to insure their financial investment,” says Cohen. Couples and their families put a tremendous amount of time, energy and money into planning a wedding. Insurance can relieve some of that stress and allow you to sit back and enjoy the ride.