Wedding insurance and what it covers
Last updated: January 1
Special event insurance, sometimes called "wedding insurance" can help protect your investment in a private event such as a wedding. When you purchase event insurance, you have two coverage options: event cancellation and event liability protection. Here's a look at how those coverages may help protect your wedding day.
Special event cancellation coverage
Special event cancellation coverage may help protect you from financial loss if your event needs to be canceled or postponed for a number of accidental or unexpected reasons, including weather that prevents the majority of guests from attending, a serious illness to the couple or immediate family and the bride or groom being called for military deployment. If you have to reschedule your reception because the banquet hall has no power after a big storm, but the caterer has already prepared the food, special event insurance will typically reimburse you, up to your policy's limits, for lost deposits and nonrefundable amounts for both the venue and the food.
Event cancellation coverage may also help reimburse you for payments to a vendor, such as a photographer or DJ, or costs associated with a honeymoon if the wedding is canceled or postponed. And, even if your wedding takes place as scheduled, it may also help provide coverage if your photographs or videos are lost or damaged before you receive copies. The costs to replace lost or damaged wedding gifts, repair or replace of special attire and jewelry, like a tuxedo, wedding gown or rings, may also be covered.
Special event liability coverage
Special event liability coverage may also help protect you if you're found legally responsible for damage to the venue or an injury to someone at the event. If one of your guests damages a wall at the banquet hall, or if your photographer trips and sprains his ankle trying to get a shot you requested, the resulting repairs or medical bills would likely be covered. Keep in mind that liability coverage is usually limited to a 24- to 48-hour period that ends when the reception is over. Coverage limits may vary by policy, so be sure to read yours so that you know how much your insurance covers.
Contact a local agent or read your policy to learn what types of event coverage may be available to you.
What is not covered by wedding insurance?
While it may be helpful if a vendor goes belly up or you have to postpone your wedding due to severe weather, special event insurance does not cover everything. For example, if there's a mix-up with the cake, wedding insurance is not likely to provide protection. It's also important to note that a change of heart by either the bride or groom is not typically covered, so don't expect to be reimbursed for any expenses you've already incurred or any cancellation fees if the wedding is called off due to cold feet.
Also, while event liability coverage may help protect equipment rented from your venue, it generally does not cover damage to equipment rented from an outside company.
Other wedding insurance considerations
If you're eloping or having a small gathering, you may decide you don't need event insurance. If you're having a larger event, though, special event insurance may help give you peace of mind as you invest in your wedding day. Consider talking to your vendors about any insurance coverage they may have, and look into what kinds of liability coverage you may already have through your insurance company, credit cards and warranties.
If you're going to purchase special event insurance, it's a good idea to do it as soon as you start incurring expenses for your wedding. Keep in mind, though, that there may be restrictions on when you can purchase cancellation coverage — often no later than 15 days before the event but no sooner than two years prior. You may be able to purchase liability coverage up to one day prior to the event.
Hopefully your wedding goes off just as you planned, but having special event insurance just in case may ease your mind so you can concentrate on getting ready for your big day.