Is Wedding Insurance Worth It?

The average wedding in the United States costs over $25,000. The majority of the cost will be in the non-refundable deposits which are applied to your balance. But what happens if the country club suddenly shuts down or your caterer fails to show up the day of the wedding?

Unfortunately, weather disasters, unscrupulous vendors and unanticipated emergencies can happen anytime to anyone anywhere.  Even very reputable vendors have emergencies they themselves didn’t anticipate such as a building fire. Wedding insurance is now offered for those wanting a little protection against the unknown. Here are some common questions I get when making the decision of whether or not to get wedding insurance:

How much does wedding insurance cost?

Prices range greatly depending on your state and what is covered, but the average is between $100 and $500.

How do I get wedding insurance?

There are three major insurance companies that offer this type of policy:

  • WedSure.com (Firemen’s Fund Insurance Co.)
  • ProtectMyWedding.com  (Travelers)
  • WedSafe.com (Affinity Insurance Services)

When should I purchase wedding insurance?

You should buy insurance as soon as you start booking vendors. Some will let you purchase a policy 24 hours before, but generally you should purchase no later than 15 days before the event, otherwise certain items may not be covered.

Do they cover weddings that take place overseas?

  • WedSafe — Coverage for the following countries: United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Canada, Caribbean (excluding Cuba), Puerto Rico.
  • WedSure — United States, its territories and possessions, Canada
  • ProtectMyWedding (excludes residents of Alaska, Hawaii and Louisiana) — United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Canada, Caribbean (excluding Cuba), Puerto Rico.

What types of things will be covered?

There are many types of wedding insurance and most fall under two main categories: liability and cancellation/postponement. Here is a breakdown of the types of things that may be included:

  • Personal Liability
    Many venues now require couples to have their own liability coverage for the wedding. This coverage protects you if you’re held liable for property damage or bodily injury.  Also offers host liquor liability to protect against alcohol-related accidents
  • Cancellation/Postponement
    This coverage pays for the non- refundable expenses incurred when the wedding must be canceled or postponed, for reasons beyond your control.  Cancellation offers two types of protection (1) if you’re forced to cancel /reschedule the entire wedding for a covered reason OR if your wedding takes place as scheduled, but you experience a covered damage / loss to wedding attire, rings, photos/video, gifts, etc.
  • Change of Heart (WedSure only)
    If one party decides he/she no longer wants to get married.
  • Additional Expense
    Provides coverage for certain unexpected expenses you have to incur in order to avoid cancellation or postponement of your event.Example: If a caterer company suddenly becomes unavailable for your event but you find a last minute replacement, this coverage can reimburse you for the difference in cost.
  • Gifts
    This coverage pays to repair or replace gifts that are lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Jewelry
    This coverage pays to repair or replace the bride or the groom’s wedding band if it is lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Loss of Deposits
    This coverage pays lost deposits that you have paid if they become nonrefundable because someone you hired goes out of business, declares bankruptcy or simply fails to show up.Example: If your band fails to show up, you can get your deposit back.
  • Photographs and Video
    This coverage pays to retake the photographs or video recording if the photographer/videographer fails to appear, disappears after the wedding with your wedding pictures or video, or the pictures are lost, damaged or stolen.
  • Special Attire
    This coverage pays to repair or replace the bridal gown if it is lost, stolen or damaged (including financial failure of the bridal store, tailor or seamstress). Some plans also cover the groom’s tuxedo and the mother of the bride’s gown and all other bridal party attire, if it is lost, stolen or damaged.Example: If the airline loses your dress, the coverage can reimburse you for the replacement cost.
  • Rented Property (WedSure only)
    This coverage pays to repair or replace items rented to facilitate the production of the wedding, such as tents, marquees, tables, chairs, generators or portable toilets, etc.
  • Professional Counseling (WedSure & WedSafe only)
    This coverage pays for professional counseling prescribed by a medical physician and resulting from a covered cancellation.
  • Weather Insurance (WedSure only)
    This coverage will help you rent a tent, pay snowplow fees, or any expenses that you incur if it rains, pours or snows during wedding. Must be purchased 14 days in advance and booked through WedSure’s parent company, R.V. Nuccio & Associates.

What does each company offer?

All three companies offer both Liability Insurance and Cancellation/Postponement Insurance.

  • WedSure — They let you select exactly what type of coverage you need “a la carte.” You select the type of coverage you need and the coverage amount.  They also let you select your deductible amount. Only company to offer “Change of Heart” and “Weather Insurance.” Instant quotes are available online.
  • WedSafe — As a part of the cancellation insurance, they include: extra expenses, photo/video, gifts, special attire, jewelry, loss of deposits, and professional counseling. There are 10 levels of core coverage and pricing premiums range in price accordingly.  Instant quotes are available online.
  • ProtectMyWedding — They call their cancellation insurance “Core Coverage.” Their Core Coverage includes cancellation/postponement, additional expenses, photos/video, attire, jewelry, and lost deposits. There are 10 levels of core coverage and pricing premiums range in price accordingly.  Most of their plans do not have deductibles.

What’s NOT covered?

Regardless of what company you select for your wedding insurance, it is critical that you read the entire policy so you know exactly what is and what is not covered. Here are some examples I thought you might find interesting when perusing a sample policy

  • If you become unemployed, you’ll only be covered if you qualify for state unemployment compensation.
  • Sparklers are considered fireworks and are therefore any damage caused by them will not be covered.
  • Have to postpone your wedding because of a skiing accident? It won’t be covered since skiing is considered a “hazardous sport.”
  • Wedding gown stolen out of your car? It is only covered if the car alarm was on, there were signs of forced entry and the police are called within 24 hours of discovery.

As you can see, it important to know what is/is not covered so you can make an educated decision as to whether or not you want to purchase wedding insurance. Also, you don’t want get a nasty surprise if something goes wrong and you assumed but never read the policy.

I don’t want to buy wedding insurance, is there any other way to protect myself?

There are several things you can do to protect yourself from financial loss associated with a wedding.

  • Always book professional, highly recommended vendors. Before signing a contract, look online for reviews and ask your venue for referrals. Also ask friends for recommendations on vendors they used for their own weddings.
  • Only book vendors who have been in business for some time as they are less likely to suddenly close up shop.
  • Pay with a credit card as you may have some recourse by disputing the charges with your credit card company. They are generally willing to help their customers who are in good standings to keep them happy.
  • Book an indoor venue if there is even a slight chance of severe weather on your wedding date.

What’s the bottom line; is it worth it?

In my opinion, wedding insurance is only worth it if you are spending more than $10,000 on your wedding. If you are having a destination wedding and aren’t able to spend as much time researching and meeting with vendors, it may also be a smart idea.

For more tips on how to save money when planning your own wedding, become a member…it’s free!

Happy Planning!

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Important Note: Information mentioned above gathered from WedSafe, WedSure, and ProtectMyWedding websites as of February 2013. For specific details on an insurance policy, including what may or may not be covered, cost and liability, inquire directly with these companies. Their information is subject to change at any time.

Photo by: Jonas & Shabina Dalidd