Photo by Jake and Necia Photography
When it comes to planning your wedding, no degree of preparation is too much. Many couples check the boxes as they go along: venue? Secured. Save the dates? Printed. Dress and tuxedo? Ordered and purchased. As the list gets shorter and shorter, the wedding couple begin to relax into the process, and become more comfortable and excited with the impending event. They start to think about the honeymoon they have booked; the beautiful dress the bride will debut at the event; and an exceptional afternoon spent celebrating with their three hundred closest family and friends on their wedding day. But how can they protect these investments they’re making along the way, as well as the large (or small) event they’ll be hosting in the future?
As the wedding industry has progressed in sophistication over the last 50 years, and weddings have gone from backyard gatherings to full-blown affairs, vendors, venues, and wedding couples have experienced an increasing need to protect themselves from liability. With more moving parts, multiple vendors under contract on the day-of, and more extravagant venues, the need for wedding insurance has evolved past a ‘nice to have’ in some instances, and is now firmly listed in the ‘Need to have’ category for many wedding sites and couples.
Here’s what you need to know: wedding insurance provides an additional layer of coverage between the insured (Bride and groom, as well as any other key wedding stakeholder or ‘named insured’, such as a parent or host) and the venue. Companies like Travelers Insurance and Wedsafe sell a stand-alone policy, and you can also speak with your current homeowner’s insurance provider about adding it to your existing policy. A wedding insurance policy will typically protect a couple’s investment from circumstances that are outside of their control, and offers them the opportunity to be reimbursed for any damages incurred (within a set of guidelines). Most of the time, this includes the following: loss or damage to videos, photos, attire, gifts, rings, and deposits while onsite at the wedding venue. Many also cover a rental site (venue) from damages incurred to property or staff from your wedding, and can be required within a venue contract, up to a certain amount (usually between $1 Million and $2 Million). These policies typically cost between $150 -$2,000 depending on the terms of coverage – all should cover property damage and bodily injury. Many companies sell a policy that will also host liquor liability, to protect you from alcohol-related incidents that may occur.
Any claims you submit must usually adhere to certain maximums (i.e. maximum of $3,000 for damaged dress reimbursement), and are dependent upon your coverage. Many times, the policy will require the insured party to pay a small deductible for property damage, but cover the remainder of your liability – read your policy closely, and look for terms of coverage. You can take a look at a sample wedding insurance policy HERE, or take a look at reviews of a few notable wedding insurance companies here.
It is also important that the vendors you employ have proper business insurance and licenses for the service they provide. And don’t be afraid to ask a potential vendor for insurance credentials. When it comes to your own liablity insurance, take a look at the types of policies that are available, as well as your wedding venue contract, to establish what level of wedding insurance you need.
Resource for additional reading: The Huffington Post – Should You Buy Wedding Insurance?
Joie de vivre!