If you’re planning a wedding right now, chances are the words wedding insurance may have crossed your mind a time or two. We’re right there with you. We were curious what brides on instagram felt about wedding insurance and the results were pretty clear:
In our small but mighty sample audience, it’s evident that most brides don’t have wedding insurance but might want it. 3/4 find it confusing and 85% may be motivated to purchase it in the wake of COVID-19.
We hear you! We’re here to break down the wedding insurance woes and clear up any confusion. As always – since our forte lies in planning + design – we let the experts lead the conversation. Thank you to Anja at Editor in Chief Media, the team at NerdWallet, WedSure, WedSafe,E-Wed and Markle Insurance for the resources cited in this blog!
Question: What is wedding insurance?
Answer: An event insurance that covers you from potential unforeseen circumstances surrounding your wedding. There are two types of wedding insurance, each with specific value:
Liability insurance in a wedding insurance policy pays for damage to the venue that occurs during the event for which you are held responsible. It can also pay for medical costs if someone is injured or gets sick at your wedding. Often this coverage includes liquor liability insurance, which pays out in case you are sued for damages that drunken guests cause when they leave. Typical wedding liability insurance limits are $500,000 to $2 million, but may be as high as $5 million.
Cancellation or postponementcoverage reimburses you for costs if you have to cancel or delay your wedding because of extreme weather, injury or illness in the wedding party or the bride or groom’s immediate family, or for other reasons beyond your control. If you have to reschedule the event, this coverage helps pay for the cost of a new ceremony and reception. Many wedding cancellation policies also reimburse you for a single deposit if a vendor doesn’t show up, even if the wedding goes on. (NerdWallet)
Q: What does wedding insurance cover?
A: Common wedding insurance covers circumstances like:
Extreme weather, including hurricanes and blizzards
Accidents or unanticipated illness that prevents an immediate family member from attending
Unexpected military deployment
Wedding venue or wedding vendor goes out of business
Loss of Non-Refundable Deposits: This coverage pays the non-refundable expenses incurred when the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, wedding reception, after party or farewell brunch has to be canceled or postponed for reasons beyond your control. If the wedding is canceled for a covered reason, the honeymoon expenses will be covered too. Coverage is also provided for deposits paid to vendors who go out of business or don’t show up on the day of the wedding (E-Wed)
Q: What does wedding insurance NOT cover?
Cold feet or a change of heart (with few exceptions)
A rainy day, rather than extreme weather.
Theft or loss of engagement ring.
Deciding to switch to a different vendor, such as a caterer or florist, once you’ve already paid a deposit.
Q: Will wedding insurance cover COVID-19?
A: In short, not right now. We’ve down extensive research on this and have found as of right now, COVID-19 cancellations are not covered in insurance policies. WedSafe says it well:
“Because of the fluid nature of the situation, coronavirus claims must be handled on a case by case basis to properly assess what coverage is applicable to each bride and groom, due to the endless variables and scenarios that can arise,” said Steve Lauro, vice president of Aon’s WedSafe program. “Like most insurance, cancelling for the fear of something potentially happening, including coronavirus concerns, would typically not be a covered reason for cancellation. Also, given the news coverage and official designation as a pandemic, it is considered a known event, which would likely preclude any coverage for policies sold after a certain date in time.”
“WedSafe is focused on helping brides and grooms protect their special day and continues to offer the often-required Wedding Liability policies,” said Lauro. “Every policy is different, so we encourage couples to read their terms and conditions carefully, contact us with any questions – and most of all do everything they can to stay well and safe during this challenging time.” (Wed Safe)
Q: What if we decide to cancel the event because of fear of outbreak or safety related concerns of guests?
A: We understand that this is a difficult decision to make, but any cancellation from voluntary decision not to proceed without the event may not be covered. (Markel Insurance)
Q: What if my guests are unable to attend the event?
A: We understand that the illness of guests is a concern for your event. Unfortunately, there may not be coverage for cancellation or postponement in this situation. The policy does provide coverage, in some situations, when guests are not able to attend an event for weather related reasons. In these cases, 50% or more of the guests would have to be unable to attend in order for there to be coverage under the policy. (Markel Insurance)
Q: How much does it cost?
A: The cost of wedding insurance will depend on the number of guests attending, what types of coverage you purchase and the limits of your policy. The least expensive policies available can cost under $100 for liability coverage only, and larger policies can cost over $1,000 for cancellation insurance. (NerdWallet)
Q: When should I buy it?
A: “Couples should purchase a policy once they begin writing checks,” says Todd Shasha, managing director of personal insurance at Travelers Insurance, which provides wedding insurance. However, if you’re already in the midst of planning, it’s not too late.
In most states, if a policy is going to cover extreme weather, it must be purchased 14 days before the event, Shasha says. Liability coverage can be purchased up to the day of the event in many cases. However, if your venue requires you to buy liability insurance, it might require proof of insurance before the wedding, as many as 30 days ahead of the event.”
Q: What should I look for in finding the right policy for me?
Look over your existing homeowners and renters insurance policies — or those of any relatives hosting or paying for the wedding — to see whether existing liability insurance will cover you.
Check the deductible, which is the amount deducted from a claims check. If one vendor doesn’t show up, and the deductible is higher than the deposit for that vendor, you’ll swallow the cost for that lost deposit.
Look at coverage limits. For cancellation coverage, you’ll want the limit to be close to your wedding budget, including the honeymoon. (NerdWallet)
Note that due to the fast moving nature of COVID-19, some policies may change. We encourage you to take the time to cross compare vendors, ask questions specific to your circumstance and stay updated in the changing landscape of this pandemic. BRIDES pulled together a great article to compare different insurance providers HERE.
As a reminder, all couples navigating the ripples of COVID-19 are welcomed with open arms to chat with our team for a complimentary hour of consulting. To get started, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line COVID-19 CONSULTING or learn more about this here. We will get through this together!