In this chapter, you’ll find handy tips about insuring your wedding and what factors to consider:
- Why you should take out wedding insurance
- Types and prices of wedding insurance policies
- What a standard wedding insurance policy covers
- Exclusions to wedding insurance policies
- When to take out wedding insurance
- Where to find wedding insurance
- Paying for your insurance and the length of your cover
- Safeguards for your wedding insurance policy
- Making a claim
- Alternatives to wedding insurance
Is it worth taking out wedding insurance?
With only 1 in 4 brides and grooms choosing to take out wedding insurance (according to the ABI), is it really worth it or is it simply another way to extract money from the newly-weds on their special day?
In this chapter, we consider why you should take out wedding insurance. We continue with an in-depth look at these insurance policies: different types of cover, the prices of premiums, what a policy includes, common exclusions, when/where to take out a policy, paying for it and the length of your coverage. We conclude the chapter with safeguards for your insurance policy and how to make a claim. Finally, we answer the question: are there any alternatives to wedding insurance?
Why should you take out wedding insurance?
The average cost of a wedding is around £20,000-£25,000 although some couples spend considerably more and others considerably less. The question you need to ask yourselves is whether you’d be able to afford to get married if your wedding had to be cancelled and you had to re-book everything. Ultimately, this depends on your budget for the wedding. If you’re planning a simple ceremony and only inviting close family and friends, then you probably wouldn’t need any insurance. On the other hand, if you’ve been planning a lavish event with hundreds of guests, then wedding insurance might be necessary.
Wedding insurance doesn’t only cover you for cancellation but also protects you if part of the day goes wrong. For example, if your photographer doesn’t show up or equipment failure means the photos are ruined, your insurance provider would underwrite all the costs of re-enacting the wedding day to be recaptured on film including the hire of wedding outfits and travel costs.
Your decision about whether to take out cover for your wedding also depends on your character and how concerned you are that something might go wrong.
Types and prices of wedding insurance
When shopping around for wedding insurance, you’ll find that most insurance providers offer various levels of cover which correspond to how much your wedding budget is. If you’re still in the planning stages, you can find online wedding cost calculators, which will enable you to work out how much cover you’ll need. When taking out a policy, make sure that the policy is flexible so that if you find yourself going over budget, your wedding cover can also be increased without any penalty payment.
The most basic policy will cover you for wedding expenses up to £5,000-£10,000 and the premiums can cost anything from £17-£60. The highest premiums are £88-£300 but this policy will give you cancellation cover up to £100,000.
What is covered in a standard wedding insurance policy?
A standard wedding insurance policy will cover you if your wedding needs to be cancelled because one of the immediate wedding party falls ill or because a bereavement would make it inappropriate to continue with the ceremony. It will also rearrange the wedding if the venue is double-booked or because an event like a flood or fire makes it impossible for the wedding to be held there. You’re also covered if a storm and/or flooding prevents you or more than 50% of your guests from attending.
You’re protected if one of your suppliers (for the cake, flowers, cars, band, etc.) doesn’t show or goes bust. The loss or theft of any part of the wedding will be reimbursed including your wedding gifts. Apart from paying to re-enact the wedding in case something happens to your photos, the insurance policy will cover you if there’s accidental damage to the wedding outfits making them unwearable. Your policy might offer you optional cover for personal liability for injury to a third party or damage to their property including legal expenses and personal accident cover. If this is an add-on to your main policy, check with the venue you’ve booked as many already have such a policy in place.
Whether to take out wedding insurance depends on how much you’re planning to spend on your big day.
Wedding insurance policies can protect you if part of your day goes wrong as well as covering costs for cancellation and rearranging the whole day.
There are different levels of insurance cover depending on your wedding budget.
A standard wedding insurance policy covers you for problems with the venue, weather, suppliers going bust/not showing as well as the loss, theft or damage to gifts, flowers, etc.
Exclusions to wedding insurance cover
There are a number of exclusions that you should be aware of when considering whether to take out wedding insurance. The first is that neither the stag/hen do nor the honeymoon are included in this policy; this would require travel insurance. Also, this type of insurance is intended to protect you from unforeseen events beyond your control. For this reason, deciding you can’t afford to get married after all or the bride or groom changing their mind aren’t covered by this policy.
Your honeymoon would not be included in your wedding policy; this would require travel insurance.
Finally, this insurance is if a venue/supplier lets you down; you aren’t covered by poor service or poor quality of goods. For example, if you have complaints about the wedding breakfast.
When to take out wedding insurance
Weddings are often planned months in advance so if you wish the safety net provided by insurance, you should take out a policy as soon as you start paying out deposits for the venue, caterers and so on. Don’t worry if you make down-payments before you’ve purchased the policy as these will be automatically included in your insurance cover for the wedding.
Where to find wedding insurance
Although wedding insurance used to be considered a specialist market, it’s now offered by many general insurers. You can also do your research online as there are a number of price comparison sites which allow you to check the prices of premiums and what coverage is included in the price. Like other insurance policies, the cheapest isn’t necessarily the most comprehensive and you will have to check that it covers the most important parts of your wedding day.
Apart from specialist wedding insurers, you’ll also find that a number of High Street stores also offer this coverage and so do bridal shops. Premiums for this kind of insurance depend chiefly on the amount you’ll spend on your wedding and there aren’t any ways to reduce them. Your excess (your contribution to any insurance payout) should be a standard £50 per claim so make sure you aren’t being charged any more than this.
Paying for wedding insurance and the length of coverage
Unlike most other insurance policies which might last a year, you’re paying for the coverage of a one-off event. This means that you must pay the premium in one upfront lump sum instead of in instalments.
Although your wedding lasts one day, the length of coverage depends on your insurance provider. You might be insured for up to 7 days beforehand to allow for unforeseen circumstances in the lead-up to the wedding while some policies allow a further 24-hour coverage after the wedding itself for the loss or theft of your wedding presents. The only exception is if the ceremony and reception are being held on different days. In this case, they must be held within 31 days or your cover will be invalid.
Insurance for the honeymoon and stag/hen do are excluded from wedding insurance policies and so is your personal decision that you can’t afford to get married or don’t want to.
Wedding insurance should be taken out as soon as you start making bookings although pre-bookings are still covered by the policy.
Wedding insurance can be purchased online, from High Street stores, bridal suppliers as well as from specialist and general insurers.
Wedding insurance is paid in one upfront payment and the cover could last longer than the 24 hours of your wedding day depending on your insurer.
Can I insure my wedding if I’m having a destination wedding?
Yes although the policy limits and exclusions may be different. According to John Lewis, 8% of the wedding insurance policies they sell are for overseas weddings.
Can I insure my wedding if I’m holding the reception in a marquee?
Yes. There are specialist policies for weddings held in marquees, which cover the marquee itself as well as its décor, fittings, furniture, etc.
If I find I can’t afford to get married because I was made redundant, does my wedding insurance cover the cancellation charges?
Yes but usually as long as you were made redundant at least 8 weeks after taking out the policy.
Are there any exclusions on the health conditions which could lead a wedding to be cancelled?
This cover for ill health doesn’t include any pre-existing health conditions which you or your wedding party suffer from.
Safeguards for your insurance policy
You should read your policy very carefully so you know what the limits of your financial cover are as well as the general exclusions. You should also keep all receipts for what you have spent on the wedding and have a written contract with your suppliers. Without these, you won’t be able to make a claim from your insurance provider. Also, you should know exactly when the next payment is due; if part of your wedding is cancelled because you neglected to pay in time, you won’t be covered by the policy.
You should keep receipts for what you have spent on the wedding and have a written contract with your suppliers. Without these, you won’t be able to make a claim from your insurance provider.
Check the maximum limit for one item on your insurance policy. If you have expensive wedding gifts, they might not be covered. When it comes to claiming for theft, your insurance provider can refuse to pay if they felt that you were negligent. For example, any items stolen from a car (unless they were out of sight in a locked boot) won’t be replaced. Therefore, you should make sure that you’re security-conscious and never leave belongings unattended to avoid becoming a victim of theft.
Making a claim on your wedding insurance
When taking out a policy, check how quickly claims have to be made since some insurers stipulate that claims must be made within 48 hours of the wedding. If you’re planning to leave on your honeymoon immediately after the wedding, see if a claim can be made later, by email or whether a relative can make a claim on your behalf.
You’ll find a claims line number on your policy documents which you should contact with your policy number. In order to process your claim, your insurer will need proof of payment in the form of the original receipts, invoices, contracts and credit card/bank statements. To claim for stolen property, you’ll need to have reported the loss to the police within 24 hours and have a crime reference number. You will also need purchase dates and receipts and under what circumstances the items were stolen. For damaged property, you’ll need written confirmation from an expert that it’s beyond repair.
Alternatives to wedding insurance
If you pay your wedding suppliers by credit card, you’re already protected by the Consumer Credit Act for payments of £100-£30,000. Problems with goods and services constitute a breach of contract and so your credit card provider will reimburse you. In this case, you won’t need the financial assistance of your wedding insurance. Similarly, the chargeback protection of Visa or Mastercard covers you for amounts less than £100 or payments made by debit card. The main difference with credit card payments, however, is that although your card provider can get the money back from the retailer, they aren’t legally obliged to do so.
You may find that your wedding gifts are already covered by your home contents insurance policy. Before deciding whether to take out wedding insurance, it’s worth speaking to your home insurer to see how much cover you’d have under your pre-existing policy.
As you can see, these alternatives can protect certain aspects of your wedding day. Only you can judge whether they are sufficient compared to the comprehensive cover of wedding insurance.
You should keep all receipts and contracts for your wedding suppliers and know when payments are due.
You should never leave belongings unattended to avoid becoming a victim of theft and having your insurance claim rejected.
You may have a deadline on making claims and you must supply evidence in the form of receipts, a crime reference number, etc. to support your claim.
There are various alternatives to wedding insurance: the protection afforded by credit cards, the chargeback scheme as well as your home contents insurance policy.