Wedding insurance protects against misfortune

Bride dancing with the groom

Couples across the country will spend on average as much as $26,000 on their weddings this year, according to the The Wedding Report, a research company that tracks marriage trends.

Most couples also will spend countless hours fretting about everything that could destroy their wedding day fantasies and finances.

What if the bride or groom gets sick? What if the maid of honor’s flight is severely delayed? What if the guests get food poisoning?

Wedding insurance can protect against these problems and many others. In fact, some of the most common wedding day calamities might never cross couples’ minds.

The Travelers Indemnity Co., which offers wedding insurance under the Protect My Wedding brand, reports that almost one-quarter of all claims are caused by a vendor or venue that goes out of business or fails to show up for the big day.

Of those claims, 58% involve the photographer, according to the company's most recent data.

Another 19% arise from illness, injury and mishaps, while catastrophic weather causes 14%.
Wedding policies offer protection against nine types of problems:

"Canceling a wedding is catastrophic enough," says Micki Novak, the owner of Dream Weddings in Dallas. "The possibility of losing a substantial amount of money on top of that is a misfortune that can and should be avoided."

Novak, who is also executive director of the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners, recalls how one ceremony she was working on was disrupted when the groom received military orders to report overseas.

Fortunately, the bride's mother had taken out a wedding policy.

"Because their wedding had to be canceled, the bride's family was able to recover over $30,000 in deposits," Novak says.

Anyone who has a financial stake in the wedding, including the bride, groom and their parents, can be insured under these policies.

The three major policies are:

Wedding Protector from Travelers.
WedSafe from Aon.
Wedsure from Fireman’s Fund.

The policies are similar overall, with some small differences in how they’re set up.

The Aon and Travelers policies include coverage for just about everything that could go wrong, while Fireman’s Fund lets you choose coverage for different disasters individually.

All three companies offer varying levels of financial coverage, and the premium increases as your coverage increases.

A major selling point is that the premiums are relatively cheap compared with the total cost of a wedding and even compared with wedding expenses individually.

Wedding insurance premiums for $25,000 event with 100 guests

Lender Policy Name Basic Premium With $1 million liability protection
Travelers Wedding Protector $305 $505
Aon WedSafe $210 $359
Fireman’s Fund Wedsure $308 $434

Liability coverage includes liquor liability, and only Wedding Protector has no deductibles (it’s also the most expensive).

Wedsafe makes you pay a deductible for the basic policy. It’s $25 per covered section, which means that if you experienced a loss of both gifts and jewelry, you’d pay a $50 deductible. There is a $1,000 deductible for property liability, but no deductible for general liability.

Wedsure has optional deductibles starting at $25 for each covered section of the basic policy. It doesn’t have a deductible for general liability, but deductibles range from $1,000 to $10,000 for property liability.

The quotes you see here assume a $25 deductible for the basic policy components and a $1,000 deductible for liability coverage. You can choose a higher deductible to lower your premium.

But while $250 might buy you $25,000 in total coverage for your wedding, each category of loss has its own limits of about 10% of the policy amount.

The Wedding Protector Plan, for example, limits photography and video coverage to $2,500 under its $25,000 policy.

That means you should buy enough insurance to cover all the money you could lose if you had to cancel or postpone the wedding at the last minute.

Make sure you aren’t purchasing unnecessary coverage by checking with your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance company to see if you already have coverage for liability or for loss, damage or theft of rings, gifts or attire.

See how savvy couples across the country threw the wedding of their dreams without breaking the bank. They enjoyed some incredibly creative weddings that were a true reflection of their desires and personalities. Check out our Budget Bride tips, and see how you save on everything from gowns and flowers to dinners and music.

Don’t assume that a higher policy limit will cover every possible loss. Here are a few important items that wedding policies exclude from coverage:

Each policy has slightly different exclusions, so make sure to read the fine print before you buy.

Bottom line: Wedding insurance can be a sensible purchase as long as you understand what you’re buying coverage for and what’s completely left up to fate.

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