Photo: Abby Jiu Photography
The popularity of wedding insurance has grown, probably because the average cost of weddings has topped $30,000. That's a whole lot of money to lose if something goes wrong and your wedding day doesn't happen, or isn't what you had planned through no fault of your own.
I think that wedding insurance has become more popular because brides and grooms are aware it exists now, whereas not that long ago, travel insurance was the only option, and that didn't cover anything more than the couple's cancelled trip. In fact, the popularity of wedding insurance has led companies to expand wedding coverage to include other planned events.
Travelers Insurance recently released a fascinating study of what EXACTLY are the top claims brides and grooms have used their travel insurance to cover:
30% - Vendor Issues
Everything from a no-show DJ to replacing a venue that went out of business is covered.
29% - Illness or Injury
When the bride or groom, or one of their parents, become sick or hurt, and cannot attend.
16% - Weather Issues
Blizzards, hurricanes and tornadoes are a fact of life in some places. Previously, you could recoup only what your vendors' coverage allowed them, but now couples can insure themselves.
10% - Military Deployment
Covers changing a wedding date (or cancelling) if the bride or groom is deployed after the wedding contracts have been signed. Fortunately, most vendors try to be sympathetic and patriotic in an effort to reduce loss for active-duty military.
6% - Property Damage
The bride and groom get stuck with the tab when their guests get out of control. Even accidents can be expensive when paid out of pocket.
2% - Attire
Wedding gown disasters, lost rental tuxedo pieces, etc. add up if you have to pay for them twice.
7% - Other
I'll let you use your imagination.
See More: Do You Need Wedding Insurance?
Just to be clear, wedding insurance doesn't cover rain on your wedding day just because you've always dreamed of saying "I do" under a clear blue sky. I asked the experts to explain how it works.
"We understand that extreme or severe weather can happen unexpectedly — 16 percent of all wedding insurance claim payments over the past five years were due to weather. There is a difference, however, between a rainy day and truly catastrophic weather," says Ed Charlebois, Vice President of Personal Insurance at Travelers. "If catastrophic weather, such as a hurricane, causes cancellation or postponement of the wedding, we can provide reimbursement for certain non-recoverable expenses such as lost deposits, subject to the terms of the policy, of course."
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that any of the popular wedding insurance policies extend to weddings cancelled due to the Zika virus. It's considered a known risk the bride and groom took when they made their decision to get married in that location.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.