A Guide to Wedding Insurance: The Types You Should Consider or May Need for Your Big Day
Choose the type that's right for you—and your event.
Most of us have insurance for the big-ticket expenses we'll be forced to pay should anything unexpected or tragic happen, from a medical scare to a home invasion. Medical insurance and homeowners insurance is almost second nature to most responsible Americans, so it only makes sense that wedding insurance for an event that is likely costing you several (if not dozens of) thousand dollars. In short, wedding insurance protects the financial interests of a couple who has spent money of any kind on their celebration should any unexpected incidences arise; depending on which type you choose, it could cover costs should anything—such as illness in the family, weather-related situations, or even a change of heart—force you to change your plans.
Most experts are in agreement that all couples should have wedding insurance. "No matter what kind of wedding you are hosting, there is the potential for something to go wrong, since a wedding is a complex event with a lot of variables and costs," says Kate Lerman, owner of Chicago Vintage Weddings. "While all reputable vendors and venues can and should carry their own insurance, this is to protect them and it does not extend to you."
The most common type of wedding insurance is general liability coverage, which typically covers up to $1,000,000. In the event that any damages or injuries occur, this plan helps protect you, the host, from financial responsibility for those claims. "Liability coverage has a variety of rates and protection levels, so it is important to research the types of claims that are covered before purchasing a policy," explains Lerman. "Sometimes alcohol-related issues are not covered and might need to be included as an addition to the policy." She also recommends that couples research the limits on their policies and take precautions to cover themselves even further by only working with licensed and insured event professionals.
Another type of insurance is what's known as cancellation coverage. "This coverage typically has a variety of reimbursement levels based on when a cancellation may occur, so events may be cancelled due to extreme weather, military deployment, personal issues, or any other number of factors," explains Lerman. "Do your research on what kind of coverage you may need and what your reimbursement could be in a variety of situations—for example, what happens if your event is not cancelled but your venue closes and your plans with other vendors need to change on short notice?"
As with any insurance policy, there are exclusions and limitations to the coverage. "Because each wedding is unique, it is always best to speak directly to a company that specializes in wedding insurance and obtain information based on your specific situation to determine how appropriate the coverage is for you," says Steve Lauro, vice president of Aon Affinity. "The reality is that with significant and often complicated events like weddings, mishaps are bound to happen‚ from severe weather, to a guest who had too much fun, these situations are real and legitimate reasons to protect your wedding."