Wedding & Event Insurance

Wedding Insurance Basics: What, Why, and How Much?

August 25, 2021

Did you know that you can get event insurance for your wedding? In an ideal world, your wedding would feature blue skies, perfect family harmony, and vendors that show up on time with everything you expected and more. But most of us who have been married know that, at least when big weddings are involved, that's usually not the case. While the majority of wedding mishaps are on the small side (for example, rain showers, hangovers, and maybe forgetting some key item back at the hotel room), there are others that seem to be plagued with major problems. Do you really want to risk something catastrophic happening and not having anything to insure the money you've put into your big day?

What is wedding insurance?

Wedding insurance is also known as "special event insurance." Most major insurance carriers cover weddings both big and small. There are two main types of wedding insurance that you will need to consider. The first is Wedding Liability Insurance.

What does wedding liability insurance cover?

A picture of a wedding alter outdoors, with chairs and flower in the foreground.
Wedding insurance can give you the peace of mind that even if your wedding doesn't exactly go off without a hitch, you'll at least get your money back.

Just like with your home or auto liability insurance policy, wedding liability insurance covers both personal and property damage that happens during the event. That includes the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception. These days, some event spaces will require you to purchase wedding liability insurance in order to have your event in their space.

Here are some examples of how you might use wedding liability insurance:

Example 1: A guest gets too intoxicated and causes damage to the event hall. You might be on the hook for repairs or replacement costs if you don't have liability insurance.

Example 2: An elderly guest trips over the bride's long train and has to be taken to the hospital for injuries. Your insurance would cover their medical costs up to your liability limits (which are determined when you purchase the policy).

Examples 3: Your wedding dress is lost, stolen, or damaged before the big day. You'll obviously be put into a bind because most wedding gowns need to be altered a few times before your big day, but at least you can depend on getting the replacement value back.

The second type of wedding insurance is called Cancellation and Postponement Insurance.

What does wedding cancellation insurance cover?

Wedding cancellation insurance will cover postponement, like if you had to push the date of the event back. This insurance also covers the cancellation of the wedding entirely, including rental and event space fees for cancellation, deposits that you made to vendors, hotel accommodations, and other costs that might otherwise be considered nonrefundable.

Here are some examples of how you might use wedding cancellation insurance:

Example 1: Your beautiful outdoor wedding is derailed by a major hurricane, preventing you and your guests from safely traveling to the venue.

Example 2: The bride or groom gets cold feet and decides not to go forward with the wedding. You will want to check your policy for this, but in most cases you can add what's called a "change of heart" rider to your wedding insurance just in case this happens.

Example 3: The event venue suffers from a catastrophic event, such as a fire or earthquake that makes the event space uninhabitable.

Bonus: Professional Counseling Coverage

If you purchase your wedding cancellation insurance through Nationwide Insurance, you'll have access to professional counseling coverage, which includes therapy for emotional stress caused by a cancelled or postponed wedding for up to 1 year after the original event date.

What isn't covered under wedding insurance?

While wedding rings for both the bride and groom are usually covered by wedding insurance, engagement rings usually aren't.

Wedding insurance is considered essential by most professionals involved in the wedding industry, however there are some limits to what it covers. Here are some of the instances where you won't be covered by wedding insurance. Please be aware, however, that all policies are different and in many cases you can make additions to your policy to cover specific things that might not normally be covered (like a "cold feet" or "change of heart" rider).

  • Most wedding insurance will cover the wedding rings of both the bride and groom in the event of loss or damage, but this coverage usually doesn't extend to your engagement rings.
  • As many of us discovered in the year 2020, a global pandemic presents a completely different set of rules. Many carriers won't cover you if there is currently a pandemic or if your wedding has to be cancelled or postponed due to a pandemic. However, it is still possible to get wedding insurance during a pandemic, but it will be more expensive and not all carriers offer it.
  • Any other jewelry besides the wedding rings usually isn't covered by wedding liability insurance. You will want to add additional coverage for any heirloom or expensive jewelry items (for example: the family pearls) if that is a concern to you.
  • There can be a fine line between "bad weather" and "extreme weather." If your outdoor wedding simply gets rained out, you likely won't get covered to postpone it. However, a hurricane or other major weather event would probably be considered grounds for coverage.
  • Wedding insurance usually won't cover any equipment that's rented from a third-party company that isn't affiliated with your wedding venue. That's why it's important to make sure your vendors have their own insurance. It's a good idea to request their proof of insurance and liability limits to be sure they're being honest with you.

How much does wedding insurance cost?

Similar to most insurance policies, the cost is associated with how much coverage you need, as well as your deductible and policy limits. You can expect to pay between $100 - $600, depending on what kind of coverage you want. This is where your local insurance agent can come in handy - it's their job to shop around for you to help you compare prices and coverages so you can be sure you're prepared for any hiccups that may come your way!

Common questions about wedding insurance

If my wedding venue has insurance, do I still need wedding/event insurance?

Your event venue's insurance only covers them, not you. For example, if a guest fell down a staircase and tried to sue them for medical bills, their liability insurance would come into play. Or if their event space caught fire, their insurance would help pay to rebuild it. It would not cover anything specifically related to your big day.

If I've already paid some deposits for vendors for my wedding, will those deposits be covered?

Yes, deposits made for vendors, event spaces, etc. will still be covered even if you made them before you purchased your wedding insurance.

How soon before my wedding to I need to purchase wedding insurance?

Some carriers will allow you to purchase wedding insurance up to a day before your event. It's important to note, however, that if you are already aware of an issue and you try to purchase the insurance to cover yourself retroactively, it's likely that your claim will be denied if the carrier discovers the discrepancy.

Our family members are helping us pay for our wedding, including vendor deposits. Will wedding insurance still cover their deposits?

In most cases, deposits made by both the bride and groom as well as "immediate family" would be covered. You'll want to look into the special provisions of your policy where the definition of "immediate family" will be made clear. Most of the time that includes parents, children, and grandparents of the bride and groom. If you're worried about this, you might instead ask that any family members who want to contribute financially towards the wedding give the money directly to you to pay for the vendors.

Does wedding insurance cover destination weddings?

Yes, usually wedding insurance will cover destination weddings. Before you purchase the insurance, you'll want to talk with your agent about any specific coverages you might need to add to the standard policy.

How to purchase wedding insurance

One of the easiest ways to make sure you get not only the best policy, but also for the best price, is to use a local insurance agent. We're here to help you parse through your options, discuss what the different coverages mean, and to make sure you don't have any vulnerable spots in your policy.

Let us show you why our clients have trusted us with their insurance since 1989. Ronnie Shriner Insurance Agency in Richmond, Virginia is here to help you insure your special day.

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