Wedding Insurance 101

I have seen my share of wedding disasters. From power outages to outrageous storms to personal injury, there is always the likelihood that something may go terribly wrong  just days before the wedding, leaving both the bride and groom wondering how they can possibly continue under these adverse circumstances. Even more unfortunate is the possibility of cold feet. It seems logical that wedding insurance would enter into the picture.

Although this may seem like a relatively new concept, wedding insurance has been around for some time. Also known as ‘Event Insurance” it became popular in the late 1970’s  when large weddings started to become the norm. Today’s wedding insurance has evolved into a comprehensive policy designed to protect you from the unthinkable.

Wedding Insurance policies typically cover the following:

Weather– postponement of the wedding due to in-climate conditions. Does February1, 2011 ring a bell with anyone? 22 inches of snow can make it hard fro anyone to get to a reception.

Illness or Injury of a significant member of the wedding party. This includes mother and father of the bride or groom.

No-Show vendors – having to book a last minute limo to replace a missing driver may cost double or even triple your original expense.

Location – whether it is fire, weather damage or even going out of business days before your scheduled event,  having the right policy may offer you the opportunity to re-coup almost all of your loss AND re-book another location immediately.

Additional coverage than you may want to consider:
Military Service– Being called to duty just days before the wedding can bring things to a screeching halt.

Gown and Tuxedo damage or loss.

Gifts – protects against loss, theft or damage.

Liability – in case someone gets injured through no fault of their own.

Honeymoon – in case you have to postpone your travel plans due to any of  the conditions listed above; bad weather, illness, injury or worse.

Cold Feet – some policies carry a rider for this  and some don’t. Even if you think you don’t need this , it never hurts to ask!

Unfortunately, all policies are not created equal. Some policies may offer coverage for a lost, stolen or destroyed bridal gown but not offer any compensation for bridesmaid gowns. Imagine the bridal salon closes it’s doors just days before your wedding and you have no way to get your garments – the bridal salon may or may not have insurance to cover this and you are stuck purchasing new garments the day before your wedding…. paying rush charges for alterations and interrupting your already over-booked schedule.

You should ask each and every vendor what type of insurance they have and make sure you get it in writing. I know it may seem ridiculous to ask a photographer what type of insurance they have but, ask anway. It will start a very beneficial conversation and you can move forward from there. What if you find out they do not cover your loss if the photographs, negatives and equipment are somehow lost or destroyed?  Have the conversation now so you can sleep later.

If you decide to purchase wedding insurance, ask questions before you sign anything. Insurance policies are filled with a lot of legal mumbo jumbo that can make it hard to read. Take the time to have everything explained to you properly so that you will not walk away with any questions remaining.

If you ask me –  having insurance of any kind is never a bad idea, especially when there is this much at stake.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago.