Sheri and I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of a dear friend last month. The bride looked stunningly beautiful and the groom had the look of someone completely smitten, knowing he was blessed beyond his wildest imagination. It was truly a delightful experience to celebrate them with their family and mutual friends. The bride’s dad performed the ceremony which made it very special.
The reception was held in a beautifully restored hotel in downtown Fort Worth. The food was excellent, the music and dancing fun, but the treat was simply being a part their love and marriage. The entire occasion appeared to run smoothly and without any surprises, but that’s not always the case.
Wedding insurance is designed to shift some of the risk from the couple and their families to an insurance company. When you consider the average cost of a wedding is $26,000, wedding insurance can help alleviate some of the financial loss if things go wrong. Not all wedding policies have the same focus or coverage.
- Some tend to focus on protecting the couple and their families from a liquor related liability lawsuit that could arise if a person drinks too much and hurts themselves or someone else (think car wreck).
- Other policies tend to focus on a broader array of coverage including items leading up to, during, or following the ceremony.
- There’s even a policy that covers a change of heart.
As any bride or groom can attest, things can and do go wrong sometimes either in the days prior to the wedding, during the ceremony itself, or at the reception. Items some policies cover include:
Cancellation / Postponement of the ceremony covers certain deposits in the event it’s necessary to cancel or postpone the wedding. This could be due to a venue going out of business, the bride or groom being called to active duty, or family members being unable to attend due to an illness for example.
Lost Deposits reimburses a deposit that’s lost due to a vendor such as the limo company, DJ, etc., who fails to show up or goes out of business.
Additional Expenses coverage helps reimburse the couple or families if a vendor cancels at the last minute and they have to pay more for a replacement vendor such as the band. Some wedding policies cap the coverage to a difference of 25% above the original vendor.
Event Photographs & Video provides protection in the event the photographer’s memory card is defective, photographs are lost or stolen, or even if the videographer fails to show up to the ceremony.
Event Gifts can be covered on some policies if they are damaged while on display at the event. This coverage is designed to reimburse the couple for repair or replacement gift cost.
Special Attire & Jewelry protection may be available to protect against lost or damaged clothing such as the airline loses the bride’s gown or the groom’s tux. This coverage pays for replacement clothing. In the case of jewelry, this would apply to lost or damaged jewelry either purchased or rented as personal decoration for the bride.
Liability Insurance may or may not include liquor liability coverage, but would protect against a personal injury claim by a guest or other parties at the location of your wedding or reception.
Liquor Liability coverage is designed to protect the couple and families in the event of an alcohol related accident.
If you’re considering wedding insurance, determine what’s included in the base package and what coverage is optional. For instance, liability and liquor liability may be optional coverage on some policies but included in others. In addition, find out what the limits of coverage may be. For example, one policy has a time limit on lost and damaged jewelry, others limit the amount of coverage for lost or damaged clothing, and others may limit coverage geographically to the U.S. and its territories, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
What if the prospective groom or bride gets cold feet? The policies that provide a cancellation coverage or protect for a change of heart, may have a time limit as to when the policy provides coverage and when it doesn’t. One of the companies that provides wedding insurance requires that the change of heart take place at least 9 months before the ceremony. If you suspect trouble in paradise, take the time needed to make sure the marriage is right for both of you as there is no insurance policy for an unhappy marriage.
Do you have a question, comment, or experience you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments section of our blog or on our Facebook and Google + pages. I’d love to hear from you!