Wedding Insurance: Should You Say “I Do” to Special Event Coverage?

C&S Insurance

Have you considered wedding insurance for your big day? Our local experts can help.

According to 2017 figures, the average cost of a wedding in Massachusetts is nearly $40,000. Meanwhile, thirteen percent of engagements—more than one in ten—don’t end in marriage, which adds up to lots of forfeited deposit checks. And changes of heart aren’t the only risks faced by engaged couples… Not even close. With so much at stake, it often makes sense for today’s brides and grooms to research wedding insurance.

What is wedding insurance?

Wedding insurance is a type of event insurance that can be purchased to protect your investment in a big day. Wedding insurance offers two main types of protection: event cancelation coverage and liability coverage, in case a person is injured or property is damaged at your wedding. Additional coverage types and coverage limits are usually available for an additional cost.

(Special event insurance isn’t limited to weddings, by the way. Almost any major gathering you are planning—anniversary, graduation, some types of fundraisers—could also be covered by event insurance.)

Do I need wedding insurance?

Typically, people think of wedding insurance as a way to recover money spent if the wedding is postponed due to bad weather, or if major vendors don’t deliver their services as promised (e.g. the caterer goes out of business). These are definitely common risks. If you’re planning a destination wedding, an outdoor wedding, or compiling a guest list that involves lots of long-distance travel, you may be particularly concerned about these risks.

But there are other reasons to consider wedding insurance, too—reasons that can affect any type of wedding. Consider the following scenarios:

  • The father of the bride suffers a heart attack on the night before the wedding.
  • The groom skips town with another woman.
  • An elderly guest breaks her hip on the dance floor.
  • The crab cakes give half the guests food poisoning.
  • A guest drinks too much, and injures himself (or someone else) while driving home.
  • The best man loses the rings somewhere between the hotel and the church.
  • The basket of wedding cards (and cash) is stolen by a hotel busboy.
  • Someone spills red wine on the bride’s $5,000 dress.
  • After the wedding, a fire at the videographer’s studio destroys all files from the event. (Wedding insurance can actually pay to help you recreate the whole day.)

Doesn’t the wedding venue have insurance to cover the above examples?

Most often, yes, the hotel or function hall where your reception is booked will have its own commercial insurance policy to cover injuries and property damage. Most of your vendors—including caterers and bartenders—will have their own insurance, too. But their policies do not cover all of the examples above (i.e. the hotel’s insurance will not cover last-minute cancelations or stolen cash). Additionally, if you’re planning a wedding on private property, where there is no commercial insurance in place, coverage gaps can become even more significant.

Doesn’t my home insurance cover any of the above examples?

In some cases, yes, your homeowner’s policy might kick in to cover cases of bodily injury or property damage— even if the wedding was held in a rented function room. Before assuming coverage though, it’s best to check in with your insurance agent. Host liquor liability is an especially  tricky issue. Many home insurance policies contain a motor vehicle exclusion and other caveats that could leave you financially responsible for alcohol-related accidents.

In terms of lost/stolen/damaged property, keep in mind that your homeowner’s policy only covers personal possessions up to some limited percentage of your home’s insured value—say, 50 percent. And the insured value is not based on your home’s market value, but on the cost of rebuilding it. So if your home is insured for $100,000, you may only have $50,000 in coverage for personal property. What’s more, if you’re traveling or in a hotel when the loss event occurs, your insurer may limit property coverage even further—to something more like 10 percent. Now, you would only have $5,000 available to cover wedding jewelry, clothing, gifts, etc. These numbers are only offered as examples, and your situation could be very different. But it always pays to discuss your coverage with an agent.

What does wedding insurance cost?

Like every insurance policy, the cost of the premium depends on many factors—including the value of the items you are insuring and the number/types of risk involved. Insuring a backyard wedding would likely cost less than insuring a reception on a rented yacht. To get an idea of what it might cost to insure your wedding, feel free to contact our team.

Where can I get wedding insurance?

You can find companies that will provide an online quote, but you may want to speak to a local insurance agent first. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Not all wedding insurance carriers are licensed in your state.
  • An independent agent may advise you to work with a carrier who does NOT handle your home and car insurance. This way, if you end up filing a wedding claim, it won’t affect your loss ratio (i.e. your existing insurance rates).
  • After you get engaged, your insurance needs may change in several ways. Speaking to someone local can help to ensure you and your partner are bundling your MA car insurance, MA renter’s insurance or MA home insurance in the smartest way. A local agent can also help with insuring your engagement ring.

Hope you found this information helpful! Congratulations on your engagement, and please let us know (508.339.2951) if we can ever help with you and your spouse’s insurance needs.