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Weddings can be hugely expensive, even if your wedding is just “average.” In fact, the typical wedding reception is estimated to cost about $22,500 in 2021. With so much riding on one special day, unforeseen events such as severe storms or illnesses can cause significant financial loss if you’re not prepared.
Wedding insurance helps ensure you’re ready for unexpected developments. And if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that you should be prepared for the worst. Taking precautions like purchasing wedding insurance can secure both your peace of mind and your finances.
What Wedding Insurance Covers
Wedding insurance is a variety of “special event insurance,” which protects investments in events, big or small. While coverage can vary depending on the insurer, you’ll generally find two primary types of special event coverage: liability coverage and cancellation and postponement coverage.
Liability Coverage for Weddings
Liability coverage protects you if someone is injured or their property is damaged during your wedding. For example, if your canine ring barrier gets overly excited and knocks over grandma, breaking her hip, liability coverage can help take care of her medical bills.
Many venues require specific types of liability coverage to host your wedding. For example, suppose you’re planning an open bar for the wedding reception. In this case, the venue may require host liquid liability coverage.
Wedding Cancellation and Postponement Coverage
Just like it sounds, if you have to cancel or postpone your wedding for any insurance-approved reason, this type of coverage will reimburse you for qualifying expenses. A wedding cancellation and postponement policy may also extend coverage to multiple events during a wedding, like the rehearsal dinner, the wedding ceremony itself and the reception afterwards.
Reasons for cancellation that may qualify include:
- Your catering vendor going belly up and can’t service your wedding
- Severe weather conditions disrupt an outdoor ceremony
- The venue was destroyed in a fire
- Injury or illness affecting the bride or groom, or even immediate family members
- The bride or groom are called up for military service
Wedding cancellation and postponement policies can cover expenses like:
- Accommodations for you and your guests, such as hotel stays
- Damaged wedding clothes
- Transportation, such as a shuttle for guests to and from the venue
- Venue rental
- Florist, entertainment or photographer fees
Keep in mind, coverage will vary depending on your insurer, so check the details and terms of your policy to determine what’s covered.
What’s Not Covered by Wedding Insurance
While wedding insurance may cover severe weather events and liability incidents, there are some situations it won’t pay for. Some common things not covered under a wedding insurance policy include:
- Bride or groom getting cold feet and canceling the wedding
- Damage to third-party rentals that don’t belong to the venue
- Expensive jewelry, family heirlooms or engagement rings
- Wedding cake mix-ups
- Global pandemic or Covid-19 cancellations
It’s also important to point out that while wedding insurance typically covers severe weather such as hurricanes, it can exclude other types of weather conditions like rain. If you’re holding an outdoor wedding and it gets rained out, you won’t receive reimbursement.
Travel Insurance for Destination Weddings
Are you planning a destination wedding? If so, travel insurance is also worth considering. Travel insurance can protect you against loss from events that occur during travel. If the groom comes down with pneumonia and can’t fly, you may be reimbursed for travel expenses.
Make sure you find a policy that lumps Covid-19 into other illness cancellations. If you’re traveling internationally, find a plan that has medical benefits if you get sick or injured while abroad. Since your health insurance plan won’t likely cover trips to the hospital overseas, having a travel insurance plan in place can help ensure the financial burden of international medical bills doesn’t solely fall on you.
While travel insurance won’t reimburse you for expenses related to the wedding itself if you have to cancel, it will take care of travel-related expenses, even excursions such as a sunset boat cruise. Remember, make sure to read the terms and conditions of your policy so you understand the qualifying reasons for cancellations.
Do I Need Wedding Insurance?
Move over banquet halls—unconventional wedding venues are taking the wedding industry by storm. Couples are now choosing unconventional wedding venues like private estates, parks and museums over traditional locations.
Depending on the venue you choose, they may require the purchase of liability insurance or host liquor liability provision, which covers any alcohol-related incidents. Before you buy this extra coverage, make sure to check with your vendors to see if they provide coverage as part of their service.
If your venue of choice doesn’t require coverage, wedding insurance is still worth considering. You’ve invested time and money in planning your special day, so you want to protect it from any unexpected events.
Just make sure you compare your options to find the best rate. Many insurance companies will let you get a quote in minutes—or an insurance agent can show you a range of suitable policies to cover your big day.