March 17, 2020

How To Protect Your Wedding From Hurricanes, Snow Storms, Emergencies, And Cancellations

When Consumer’s Advocate reached out to me about a resource they were working on for future brides and grooms, I was genuinely surprised it was even a thing…wedding insurance? 

But honestly…it makes sense. 

Over the past few years, especially living on the coast, I’ve seen countless brides (and vendors!) panic over potential hurricanes. I even had one couple who had to replan their entire wedding in THREE DAYS due to it being impossible to get into Wilmington. 

Snow storms have cancelled weddings. Family emergencies postpone weddings. As much as we don’t want them to, things can go really wrong.

When you’re dealing with all of the unplanned for and making sure people are safe, worrying about getting your money back or how you’ll pay to reschedule will be the last thing you want to stress over.

That’s why I’ve let Consumer Advocate join the blog as a guest post today! They’re sharing all about things you should consider for protecting your dream day (and your financial investment in it) and how to find the best solution for you!!

You’ve toured a dozen wedding venues and done extensive research on finding the perfect coordinator, DJ, photographer, florist, and hair and makeup artists. And let’s not even talk about your wedding dress! How many did you try on? 

As someone who has witnessed and assisted at hundreds of weddings, believe me, I get it. You want everything about your wedding to be as perfect as…well, the person you’re marrying!

Chances are, it will be! The question is, do you really want to take chances? Or, with everything you’ve invested in your special day, does it make sense to take a little extra precaution to protect what you’ve spent? We’re talking about wedding insurance –– yes, insurance specifically for protecting your wedding day.

In 2019, the average wedding cost nearly $34,000. While many couples spend more or less, weddings are frequently among the larger expenditures we make in a lifetime.

Planning a wedding involves hiring a large group of independent professionals. They’re complicated events and have a correspondingly complicated cost structure. Many of the fees you pay to these professionals will be non-refundable in the event something goes wrong on your wedding day. 

And what could go wrong? That’s what the wedding insurance industry has carefully thought out for you. 

The best wedding insurance policies offer customized coverage that’s geared to the specifics of your unique wedding.

Wedding insurance generally falls into two different categories.

The first is liability insurance, which protects you if someone is hurt or someone’s property is damaged during your wedding. Some traditional wedding venues, like hotels and catering halls, carry their own liability coverage.

But particularly if you book a more unusual venue, you may be required under your contract to purchase liability insurance yourself. Be sure you understand your reservation agreement completely when you sign it. 

If you own a home, the liability coverage contained in your homeowner’s policy might extend to events you host outside your home. Check with your insurance agent. There’s certainly no need to duplicate coverage you already have. 

Be sure to ask if your policy includes host liquor liability insurance, which would cover you if an injury related to overconsumption of alcohol occurs during or after your wedding. If not, you’d be well-advised to purchase a separate wedding policy for that purpose. Let’s face it. All of us have met that wedding guest who overdoes it.

The second category of wedding insurance you might want to consider is cancellation coverage. 

If your wedding is postponed or canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, cancellation coverage can help you recoup a lot of the money you’ve committed to hosting your wedding. What kind of circumstances are covered? 

If a hurricane leaves the stunning beachfront where you were hoping to take your vows strewn with uprooted palm trees, most basic cancellation policies would apply. 

The same will be true if you or a member of your family falls ill and you need to postpone or cancel your wedding. It’s terrifying to imagine, I know, but If your caterer decides not to show up, wedding insurance can even take the sting out of that.

Those are just the basics, though. Many wedding insurance companies allow you to totally customize your policy. You can elect coverage for your rehearsal dinner, your honeymoon, and even your engagement ring. After all, what if you drop it into the ocean when exchanging your vows on the deck of a yacht? 

There are specialty policies designed for destination weddings, which can be among the most complicated to plan. If two-thirds of your guests are coming from New York and they’re waylaid by a snowstorm, you can decide to postpone your wedding. Your insurance will cover the costs of hosting your event a few days later. Destination policies usually cover your wedding gifts, too, should any of them get lost en route to home. 

Keep in mind that wedding insurance companies often require you to purchase your policy some weeks before your wedding day. If you’re considering coverage, plan ahead and start comparing policies and quotes now. Many companies make it easy and allow you to get a quote, purchase, and make claims online. 

Unlike other types of insurance, wedding insurance is a one-time cost.

You pay the premium in a lump sum when you sign up. You can obtain a liability policy for under $100 from most companies. Like other insurance policies, wedding liability insurance costs more when you elect more coverage. Typical coverage caps range from $500,000 to $5,000,000.

For cancellation coverage, you can expect to pay upwards of $400, but as a portion of your total expenses when you host a wedding, that’s a drop in the bucket –– especially if you’ll know that you could be covered if something goes wrong and you lose all of that.

And with everything else you have to worry about, how much is peace of mind worth to you?

The team over at Consumer’s Advocate spent the last few weeks putting together a wedding insurance guide with the goal of helping people better understand what they cover, and whether or not you really need it. You can check it out here!