It makes all the difference.
We buy insurance for our cars, our homes, even our lives, but many of us probably haven’t considered the importance of getting wedding insurance. However, once you do consider it, it makes a lot of sense.
With the amount of money spent on weddings today, this small investment is like buying peace of mind. “You never know what might happen along the way,” says Shannon Tarrant, founder of Wedding Venue Map.
Think of wedding insurance as putting a tent on hold for an outdoor wedding. The best wedding advice will tell you that it’s better to be safe than sorry (and very wet) later. “As the old adage goes: ‘insurance is something you pay for and hope you’ll never use,’ and this certainly applies for wedding insurance,” Patricia Russell, CFP and founder of personal finance blog FinanceMarvel, warns.
With wedding costs often running higher than budgeted for, couples can be tempted to skip wedding insurance, as it often seems like an unnecessary luxury expense.
“In simple terms, wedding insurance provides peace of mind for the unexpected,” Russell adds. “If you do decide you need to take out wedding insurance, it pays to take out a policy as early as possible in case you face any disasters on the lead up to your big day. You will also want to confirm exactly what is included and excluded in your wedding insurance policy. There are generally two types of cover: liability coverage, and cancellation coverage.”
Like other forms of insurance, wedding insurance protects you in case something goes wrong on your wedding day. It’s an additional expense (usually a couple hundred dollars), but should the unforeseen happen, you’ll be glad you purchased it.
“A few examples of ways wedding insurance can protect you: if you need to cancel your wedding in case of a natural disaster, if a guest or vendor gets hurt at your wedding, if your venue unexpectedly shuts down and cancels your event, if your photos get destroyed, if all your gifts get stolen — you’ll get your money back,” advises Kim Forrest, Senior Editor at WeddingWire.
What should couples consider before getting wedding insurance? There are a few things to take into account, as well as the reality of the situation.
1. Read your vendor contracts carefully.
“Some venues require you to purchase wedding insurance, so you might not have a choice as to whether or not you buy it,” Forrest says. And some vendors have their own insurance policies, so you might already be covered for certain aspects of your wedding.
Definitely ask all of your vendors if they are insured, and find out how you may already be covered.
2. Take a look at your own current insurance policies.
“If you own your home, for example, your homeowners’ insurance might cover your wedding so be sure to call and ask. If you’re already working with an insurance company for your car, rent, or other policies, see if they also cover weddings,” warns Forrest.
The process may be simpler if you’re already working with an insurance company.
3. Research wedding insurance companies.
There are companies that specialize in wedding insurance, so if your current insurance policies don’t cover weddings, you should check those out. “Research the different plans available to find out the one that best suits your needs,” suggests Forrest.
4. Know your budget.
It’s important to have a sense of your own wedding budget for a few reasons. Because while a basic wedding insurance plan may sound appealing, it may not cover enough to be useful should an emergency occur. So read those plans and contracts carefully.
Says Forrest, “First, your wedding insurance company will ask for the cost of your wedding so you can be covered accordingly. You’ll want to use a budget tool to keep track of your expenses. Also, you’ll want to know how much you can afford to spend on insurance as part of your full wedding budget. Usually, wedding insurance plans cost a few hundred dollars, but can be more or less depending on the cost of your wedding and the type of plan.”
5. You may have no choice.
Check with your venue to see if they require wedding insurance. “Many venues do require it, so that quickly answers the question of whether you should buy it or not,” says Lindsey Nickel, a wedding planner with Lovely Day Events.
6. Consider everything that can go wrong in the process.
It’s not romantic, but lots of disasters can happen on the road to a wedding. Wedding insurance is not only for that day, but disasters that could happen leading up to the event.
Nickel adds, “Consider worst-case scenarios like serious injury or death before a wedding and needing to reschedule or cancel. A fire could destroy the store where your dress is being held. A guest could get injured during the wedding day. The correct policy could save you a lot of money and stress, should you find yourself in one of these unfortunate situations.”
7. Keep a list.
Tarrant advises, “Make a list of what it’s important to be insured for and research proper coverage.” For example, if you are getting married in August in Florida, you should make sure your wedding insurance covers cancellation or postponement for severe weather conditions like hurricanes.
8. Be aware of natural disasters.
“We advise our clients to get wedding insurance if their venue is in a coastal flood zone or if the area has recently been subject to wildfires because those events could damage your venue and close it for months. So you would be at risk even if your wedding was in a different season,” warns Tracie Domino, Founder and Creative Director of Tracie Domino Events.
9. Give yourself peace of mind.
Wedding insurance is such a small price to pay for ease of mind, and will save you in the long run if/when it may need to be used.
Says Kristen Gosselin, Owner and Creative Director of KG Events & Design, “People unfortunately believe that bad things won’t happen to them, but, as a wedding planner, we cannot stress enough the importance of purchasing insurance. And what a relief it is to know you are covered for any scenarios that are out of our control.”
10. Choose the right policy.
Purchasing wedding insurance is actually pretty easy.
Says Gosselin, “WedSafe is our go-to for purchasing an insurance policy. The website will prompt you with questions on the location of the wedding, the distribution of alcohol, guest count, and so on, and will provide you with a policy based on that information you provides.”
11. Think about the price.
Despite what you may believe, getting wedding insurance isn’t as as expensive as you think. “Most weddings can be covered by a policy that costs less than $200, which makes little to no dent in the budget,” reveals Gosselin.
12. When it comes to destination weddings…
“When having a destination wedding, we strongly suggest for all couples and their guests to purchase travel insurance when booking their trip,” warns Jen Avey, VP of Marketing for Weddings Travel Group.
Travel insurance could cover everything from lost luggage to a canceled flight. Unfortunately, with the unpredictability that comes with travel, although rare, extenuating circumstances can occur that may cause you to cancel your trip.
“If you’re getting married in a tropical locale that could be impacted by inclement weather such as a hurricane, it’s important to have travel insurance,” she adds. “Talk with your travel agent or wedding planner about the ways to go about purchasing your insurance policy and what it all includes.”
13. Purchase insurance at the right time.
“It’s key to note that travel insurance must be purchased at the time of booking your accommodations and flight. It is considered insurance fraud if you purchase it after-the-fact of knowing you are going to cancel your trip,” warns Avey.
“Should you end up needing to cancel your trip, you will not be refunded the cost of the insurance (much like any other insurance claim). Because you have travel insurance, you may be eligible to be refunded the full amount of your trip, but your full refund does not include the cost you paid for the insurance policy,” she says.
Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her.