Wedding insurance may sound like something you purchase in case your spouse-to-be changes his or her mind. However, cold feet is about the only thing wedding insurance does not cover.
Put simply, wedding insurance covers mishaps that can happen to your special event. Postponement of the wedding ceremony for things outside of your control is covered (again, changing your mind is not one of them), and damages to certain items may also be covered. Some items require supplemental insurance, so check the individual wedding policy to verify what is and is not covered.
There are five basic categories of postponement coverage:
- Weather Conditions – This doesn't mean inconvenient or unpleasant rain or snow, but weather conditions that either prevent important members of the wedding party from arriving on time, or makes the area inaccessible to guests. Ice storms or floods are reasonable examples. (Locusts count as a weather impediment only if your wedding is somehow taking place in ancient Egypt.)
- Damaged Facility – If the site is rendered unusable by fire or other damages, is occupied due to booking errors on the part of the facility, has gone out of business, or is otherwise denied to you through no fault of your own, you can recoup the costs from postponement. Depending on the policy, the rehearsal and/or reception may be covered as well.
- No-Shows – This covers the absence of scheduled vendors vital to the wedding ceremony and reception such as caterers, musicians, and, of course, whoever is performing the marriage ceremony.
- Injury or Illness – An injury or illness that prevents an important member of the wedding party from participating in the ceremony is covered. Obviously, the bride and groom are covered, and generally, the members of the wedding party will be covered as well.
- Job-Related Emergency – Unplanned call-up for military service, immediate relocation for job purposes, and similar unexpected absences of the bride or groom may be covered. The definition may be murky here, so if this is a reasonable risk for you, check the wedding policy for specifically covered events.
Almost all costs may be reimbursed if they meet the policy conditions, including non-refundable deposits, invitations, floral arrangements, catering, and other expenses that could not be canceled in advance.
Damage-related coverage involves items like photography or videography (not just that you don't like the pictures or videos, they must be damaged or missing), gifts that are damaged or stolen within a limited period of time after the wedding, and rental attire or wedding gowns that are damaged, lost or stolen. However, wedding rings are usually not covered – normally you would insure those under a separate a policy.
You can also buy supplemental medical coverage and personal liability damage for the ceremony if you so choose. Even honeymoon insurance is available! (Insert your own joke here.)
Wedding insurance is relatively inexpensive considering the overall cost of weddings these days – policies cost around $200-$1,000 depending on the breadth of coverage and cost of your affair. Most limits will be above the cost of weddings – but as always, individual policies vary.
Before purchasing wedding insurance, check into the coverage you already have in place through your existing policies and through the policies of vendors and facilities you will be using. There is no reason to pay for coverage on anything that is already well insured by other policies.
Do you need wedding insurance? For most people, the answer is probably no. However, so many things involved can detract from your special day that the relatively small amount of an insurance policy may be worth the peace of mind that it gives you. Only you can decide whether it is worth it. And, before we forget: congratulations!