We're certain that purchasing wedding insurance wasn't one of the first things on your to-do list after you got engaged—after all, it's not the most romantic of subjects. However, if there's anything we've learned over the years, it's to expect the unexpected. Putting on an event of this scale is not only a financial investment but an emotional one as well, and when you think about all the costs involved in a wedding, swinging an extra few hundred bucks for some peace of mind should be a no-brainer.
What Is Wedding Insurance?
Wedding insurance falls within the category of special events insurance. When you purchase wedding insurance, you are protecting yourself in the event of a cancellation or postponement, as well as against any liabilities associated with the wedding.
The good news is, you still have time to cover yourself with an insurance plan, and we consulted with an expert to find the answers to your most pressing wedding insurance questions. "It’s best to go ahead and buy the policy when you start planning, but there are some agencies that will write coverage up to 24 hours before the event," insurance analyst Michael Giusti tells Brides.
Meet the Expert
Michael Giusti is a senior writer and analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com. He has worked as a journalist for more than 20 years, including as a reporter at a daily newspaper in Florida, as an editor at a regional business journal, and as a writer for national and international publications.
Read on for everything you need to know about wedding insurance.
What It Covers
There are two types of policies you can opt for, the first being liability insurance. "One of the biggest things you’re protecting yourself against is a liability," Giusti explains. "If something happens that’s out of your control, it’s going to protect you." It's important to note that specific coverage varies from policy to policy (which is why you should always be clear with your representative about what you're paying for), but many policies include the following:
- Guest injuries
- Liquor liability
- Vendor issues
- Lost or stolen items
- Damage to the venue
"The other aspect of it is going to be cancellation coverage," Giusti continues. "Most plans will include cancellations, but you need to make sure when you sign up for it." Cancellation and postponement protection covers you in the event your wedding cannot be held on the day it was scheduled as a result of circumstances beyond your control. These circumstances can be anything from inclement weather to family emergencies.
When it comes to pandemics or epidemics, things get a little tricky. "If you do get cancellation insurance, you need to actively ask if COVID-19 is covered," warns Giusti. "They could cover cancellations due to epidemics, but specifically exclude this one." Bottom line? Don't assume your plan is all-encompassing and ask questions when discussing your policy with an agent—even the ones that may seem obvious. Stop and think about what keeps you up at night, and whatever it is, make sure it's covered.
Wedding insurance doesn't just cover the wedding itself. You can structure your liability coverage to include events within 48 hours of the wedding (like the rehearsal dinner or day-after brunch) as well as deliverables from your vendors (like the cake, flowers, or dress). All of the things you may be writing checks for throughout the planning process can be insured.
As for what's not covered? "If a flight is canceled, your insurance probably isn’t going to cover that and it's up to the airline," Giusti says. "And a cancellation because someone made a choice, that’s almost never covered." So if you happen to get cold feet, don't expect your insurance company to show sympathy.
How Much It Costs
"Special events insurance is what’s called a non-standard policy, meaning every single policy from every single provider is different," says Giusti. "The very entry-level policies, I’ve seen them under $200, but certain things like destination weddings can run up to $1,000." The final quote will depend on the range of what’s included and the scope of your event. Consider your total wedding budget when shopping for a plan. This will help you determine a premium that's positively correlated to your investment.
In insuranceQuotes.com’s 2021 Insurance Industry Outlook, Matthew Dewen of Full-Time Cover says that on events that have been able to go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis, his team has seen up to a 200% price increase in event insurance policies. “Not only have events been hit with huge price increases, we are noticing more restrictions happening, as well,” he said.
Meet the Expert
Matthew Dewen is the director of Full-Time Cover, a team of insurance brokers that works with clients to tailor coverage to suit their needs based in London, U.K.
Why You Should Purchase It
"It used to be a luxury, but now some venues are requiring that you have that very basic liability coverage," says Giusti. "Since you have to go shopping for that liability policy anyway, it makes sense that for a few extra dollars get some of that extra peace of mind."
It also ensures you'll receive some form of reimbursement for what you've already paid. Cancellation coverage, depending on your policy, could reimburse you up to the total cost of your wedding. However, some insurance companies require that you first check to see if postponement, delay, or relocation is an option before they reimburse you for canceling. "The nature of insurance is that there are unknowns, so you could have something go wrong the morning of [the wedding] that could be covered, but it’s really down to the fine print," admits Giusti.