Wedding insurance companies offer something that even the most meticulous planning can’t: Protection from the unexpected. Sinking a lot of money into one day doesn’t help with the pre-wedding jitters.
What if cancellation or postponement is the only way forward? Many couples find themselves already cash-strapped and maxed out on credit cards. Instead of losing your deposit (and potentially months of planning), consider adding affordable wedding insurance to your budget.
Basic wedding insurance — also known as special event insurance — usually costs less than $300, and offers robust protection for one of the most expensive days in a couples’ life.
Why Do I Need Wedding Insurance?
Cancellations can put couples into a financially tricky position. Vendors often require non-refundable deposits. In the event of cancellation or postponement, couples might not have any money left to start planning anew. Also, if a guest or a staff member suffers an injury, they could hold the wedding hosts financially liable.
Bottom line: Weddings can come with a huge amount of risk for financial losses. Cancellations can be emotionally and financially devastating, but buying insurance makes it possible to bounce back.
What is Wedding Insurance?
There are two main types of coverage: Liability and cancellation. Not all plans include both liability and cancellation coverage — most wedding insurance providers give couples the option to build a policy that fits their exact needs.
Liability insurance covers medical expenses and property damage that arise from a wedding celebration. Ice sculpture collapses, overzealous conga lines, candle-lit ceremonies — the possibilities for bodily injury are endless, no matter how unlikely.
Liability insurance typically covers a 24-hour to 48-hour window. This allows the policy to cover the rehearsal dinner as well as the site setup and breakdown.
When the wedding is no longer possible due to unforeseen circumstances, cancellation insurance can help couples protect their deposits. And It’s not just guests that might have to cancel. If a vendor falls through or goes out of business, wedding cancellation insurance can make sure you’re able to quickly pivot to a new vendor.
Who Needs Wedding Insurance?
Some vendors will require you to show your certificate of insurance, often 30 days before the wedding.
Host Liquor Liability
Alcohol poses an inevitable risk. Host liquor liability is must-have insurance in some states, but a good idea no matter where you live.
Destination weddings come with an added layer of logistical concerns, making them more likely to fall victim to sudden cancellations. Pandemics and/or civil unrest could suddenly make your travel plans impossible. But even something as minor as lost luggage can really throw a wrench in your big day, so consider your backup plan before you pack your bags.
If you’re having your wedding outside, the weather is more likely to affect your celebration. This especially applies to couples getting married in areas prone to extreme weather and natural disasters.
Note: Wedding insurance usually won’t cover cancellations due to rain.
Military Deployment and Other Occupational Hazards
Some plans offer coverage in case the bride or groom can no longer attend because of military deployment or another career demand. You can also find plans that will provide cancellation coverage in the event of job loss.
Customize your wedding insurance to protect the extras you care about the most.
- Lost or stolen gifts: You can insure most of the items on your registry, but look out for limits on cash gifts.
- Photo or Video Insurance: Photos might get damaged, or the photographer could cancel at the last minute. Insurance can cover the cost of having your pictures re-taken.
- Special Attire: We all know how dance floors can get — spilled drinks are a given. Special attire insurance is especially important if the bride or groom rent their wedding attire or plant to re-wear part of the ensemble at a later date. Locations can also pose a particular hazard: Sand and seaweed are a clear and present danger to a beach bride’s wedding dress.
- Jewelry: We’ve all heard horror stories about missing and lost wedding rings. And aside from the rings, some wedding parties choose to rent jewelry for the big day. Make sure you’re not liable for loss or party-related damage.
Don’t Buy Insurance You Don’t Need
Vendors have insurance policies. Ask to see their policies so you can make sure you don’t buy insurance to protect something that’s already covered.
What Does Wedding Insurance NOT Cover?
Policies come with coverage limits — that is, a maximum amount they reimburse. If you’re having a very expensive wedding, make sure you find a policy that can keep up with your costs. We found plans that cover up to $5 million.
There are a few circumstances that make it difficult or impossible to insure your wedding. Keep the following in mind:
- Most plans do not cover cold feet.
- Plans now specify that they do not cover Covid-related cancellations.
- Many wedding insurance providers will not provide coverage for a foreseeable event.
- While health emergencies like a heart attack might qualify for cancellation coverage, many insurance providers do not cover communicable diseases.
- Pre-existing medical conditions that result in cancellation may not be covered.
- Cancellation coverage might not apply if you cancel or postpone due to rain, or other non-emergency weather.
- You cannot find insurance for celebrations that include firearms, bouncy castles, petting zoos, pyrotechnics, or dunk tanks. (Hopefully we didn’t give you any ideas.)
How Much Do Wedding Insurance Plans Cost?
Basic plans usually cost somewhere between $100 to $500.
Make sure to consider the price of your deductible. Wedding insurance is the same as any other type of insurance: Cheaper plans often come with higher deductibles.
When Should I Buy Wedding Insurance?
Insurance agents recommend that you purchase policies as soon as you start incurring costs.
Providers may require that you commit to cancellation policies at least 30 days before the wedding.
Best Wedding Insurance Companies of 2021
Once you decide what type of coverage you need, it’s time to start asking wedding insurance companies for quotes.
Top highlight: Provides multiple days of insurance coverage - three full days! Read more about it here
- 24/7 Concierge Service for all policyholders
- Flexible coverage (up to three full days)
- Ability to increase coverage if you go over your initial wedding budget
- Does not have a deductible on Cancellation & Postponement claims
- Provides insurance for microweddings
- Excludes Covid -19 related losses
Top Highlight: WedSure is one of the only insurance companies to offer “change of heart” or cold feet insurance.
- User-friendly online quotes.
- Policies are highly customizable.
- $125 for $1,000,000 liability coverage.
- $1,000 in free cancellation coverage with their cheapest plan.
- They do not cover cancellations due to military deployment.
- There is no option to remove the host liquor liability coverage.
Top Highlight: WedSafe offers the most comprehensive last-minute liability insurance. You can purchase as late as the day of the wedding.
- 15% discount for policies that add cancellation insurance.
- No deductible for bodily injury claims.
- $25 deductible for cancellations.
- WedSafe policies allow you to add each venue as an additional insured.
- Insures up to $5,000,000.
- Includes liquor liability.
- Covers military deployment and canceled leave.
- WedSafe is currently processing a large number of denied claims due to Covid-19.
- $1,000 deductible for third-party property damage claims.
Top Highlight: Travelers plans have no deductible.
Travelers market its wedding insurance as “The Wedding Protector Plan.”
- Liability and liquor liability are optional add-ons.
- There is no way to add more insured parties to your policy, such as the DJ and photographer.
- The Wedding Protector Plan is not available to residents of Alaska, Louisiana, and Hawaii.
Top highlight: Wedding pros tout Markel as the best deal for basic wedding coverage.
Markel is the official wedding insurance provider for USAA, but non-USAA members can also purchase their wedding insurance directly from Markel. USAA members have access to extra perks.
- Prices are competitive and plans allow for a good amount of customization.
- You can exclude host liquor liability coverage if you don’t need it.
- Military deployments are covered, as well as withdrawn leave. You can also find policies that cover cancellations if a guest of honor is called away to police or firefighter duty.
- If you are not serving alcohol at your event, there is a limit to how much liability you can add to your plan.
- Liability plans come with $1,000 deductible for property damage.