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It May Not Be Romantic, But Here's Why You Need Wedding Insurance

By Marc Jorge Estrella | Last updated: October 28, 2017
Key Takeaways

A wedding's costs can quickly add up and there's so much that could go wrong on your big day. Wedding insurance gives you the protection you need to ensure yours goes off without a hitch.

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For most people, getting married is one of the most significant milestones in their lives. So, it's no surprise that many people choose to celebrate with a wedding and reception. But the cost involved, especially if you have a very long guest list, can be intimidating. According to The Knot's 2015 Real Weddings survey, the average wedding cost $32,641 – and that doesn't even include the honeymoon. Those costs, moreover, are likely to climb. The Knot also reports that the average cost of a wedding increased by $5,500 in just five years.

With hefty price tags like these, the risks involved in throwing a wedding can quickly empty your bank account. It makes sense, then, to consider how wedding insurance could protect you financially.

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What Could Go Wrong?

Everyone wants their wedding day to be perfect but it's important not to overlook all of the things that could go wrong. A number of things could derail your meticulously planned event, including:

  • The venue being declared unfit for occupancy after significant damage from an earthquake, thereby forcing relocation
  • A vendor going bankrupt, which means dealing not only with having to find a new vendor but also the inconvenience of your refund for the amount already paid being tied up in bankruptcy court
  • The bride or the groom being unable to attend their own wedding because they are called to serve in the military, resulting in a cancellation, postponement, or acceleration of the ceremony (learn about wedding cancellation insurance and other Strange Insurance You Probably Don't Need – But It's There if You Do!)
  • The wedding dress getting run over by a car and ruined
  • The wedding rings having been misplaced
  • The guests getting food poisoning
  • An intoxicated guest deciding to drive and causing an auto accident (learn The First Steps You Need to Take After Wrecking Your Car)
  • The wedding venue sustaining substantial fire damage from a candle left burning by a member of the wedding party
  • A member of the wedding party damaging the venue's furnishings
  • A guest being injured at the reception venue

Benefits of Wedding Insurance

Purchasing wedding insurance, a specific type of event cancellation insurance, mitigates the risks of losses associated with a wedding. Like homeowner's and auto policies, it offers various options to cover both property and liability losses.

What Does Wedding Insurance Cover?

Generally, wedding insurance covers expenses related to the cancellation or postponement of the event due to a covered cause of loss. Such expenses include fees for renting the venue, professional services fees, fees for transport to and from a venue, and hotel fees related to the event. In most cases, covered causes of loss exclude a change of heart or a case of cold feet, but for an additional premium, some policies will provide limited coverage. Moreover, couples can seek additional coverage for expenses incurred to arrange for alternative services for an event or the booking of another venue to a cancellation or postponement.

For an extra premium, additional coverage options include retaking photos and videos that were damaged, stolen, or not taken because the photographer did not show up; wedding gifts that are damaged or stolen; rented property; rented or purchased wedding attire and jewelry; deposits paid to a vendor but rendered non-refundable because they go out of business; and professional counseling in light of an event cancellation, should a medical doctor prescribe it. Lastly, you may also want to consider a wedding presents floater to cover your gifts.

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Besides property coverage, an equally important part of a wedding insurance policy is liability coverage. It typically covers any incidents that result in bodily injury, personal injury, or property damage. If required, the venue can also be added as an insured party.

One crucial aspect of liability coverage is the host liquor liability, which provides protection should someone become intoxicated at the wedding and cause bodily injury or property damage while in that state. What is important is not so much payment for the damages, but the provision of claim defense, should an insured party be sued as a result of a covered cause of loss. Lastly, as with a homeowner's policy, there is coverage for medical payments without regard to fault.

Conclusion

Because wedding insurance only provides coverage during the event and the cost is quite low – some policies cost less than $100 – the premium paid for it represents only a small fraction of an average wedding budget. Obviously, more coverage would bring the cost up, but it would be a small price to pay to protect yourself against the heavy losses that you could incur.

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Written by Marc Jorge Estrella

Profile Picture of Marc Jorge Estrella

Marc Jorge Estrella is an insurance professional with extensive interdisciplinary experience in the property and casualty insurance industry. His career in the industry spans the areas of information technology , complex claims management, policyholder advocacy and insurance company operations. He also has experience in developing and presenting educational materials in both classroom and online formats. 

Mr. Estrella received his Master of Science in Insurance Management from Boston University, and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Administration from Trinity University. He also holds both the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and Certified Insurance Data Manager professional designations. He is a resident of San Francisco, California.

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