You insure your car, your home, your health, and your life. Now you can insure your wedding too. Insurance for your wedding is one of the newest products on the market. But do you really need it, or is it a waste of money?
Wedding insurance has been popular in Great Britain for several years. Now, a number of U.S. companies are offering coverage. Most policies offer varying amounts of coverage for varying fees with the most expensive policy costing less than $400 for a wedding held in the U.S. If you are planning a destination wedding, coverage can be obtained at a slightly higher fee.
Most insurance policies will insure you against:
- Unforeseen weather problems (are you planning a wedding in Florida or the Bahamas during hurricane season?). This must be a major problem that will prevent you from holding the wedding as scheduled or that will prevent a majority of your guests from attending, not an afternoon thunder storm.
- Cancellation or postponement of the wedding. If you or the groom is in the military and is called to active duty, you might need to postpone the wedding. One of you or a close family member could be injured in an accident, have a sudden illness, or even die, necessitating a change in wedding plans. Insurance would cover the lost deposits.
- Failure of merchants to perform their contracted services. This might include a caterer who goes bankrupt just before the wedding or an event center that closes just before your event. Or perhaps the florist takes your money, then skips the country (all of these things have actually happened to unsuspecting clients). If you have paid a deposit or the full fee to such merchants, you will be reimbursed. Some policies will also cover the cost of legal fees to collect from errant merchants.
- Damage to the wedding attire. If the bridal salon catches fire and your gown or your attendants' gowns are ruined, or the airline sends your gown to Timbuktu, you can be reimbursed.
- Photographs and video. If the photographer fails to show up or he neglects to put film in his camera, his equipment is defective, or the video camera doesn't work, you may be able to recreate the wedding photos at a later date and receive payment for the recreation.
- Theft of the wedding gifts or the wedding rings. If you leave your gifts in another room while your ceremony is occurring and they are stolen, or someone breaks into the car in which the gifts are being transported, you can be reimbursed. You can also be reimbursed for loss or theft of the wedding rings, but not the bride's engagement ring.
- Professional counseling. Some policies will pay a limited amount toward counseling if you are left standing at the altar and you need therapy to work through it.
Most policies will not cover the lost deposits if either the bride or groom changes their mind and breaks the engagement.
Before you purchase wedding insurance, check with the company that writes your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy and find out exactly what is covered under that policy. Also check the liability insurance policy at the venue where your wedding will be held. Depending on your coverage, you may not need a separate insurance policy, or your current insurer may be able to add a rider to your existing policy to cover the wedding.
Whether wedding insurance is right for you will depend on your circumstances, but it may be worth the cost, particularly if you are planning a destination wedding.