Unless you work in event planning or public relations, the biggest event you’ll probably ever manage in your life is your wedding. Like most major events and parties, your wedding will require a hefty amount of money.
Couples can expect to spend between $19,323 and $32,205 tying the knot. From picking out the perfect dress to tasting plenty of yummy cakes in anticipation of the big day, every couple pictures a wedding ceremony that goes off without a hitch. But what happens if inclement weather blows through, a venue goes out of business, an injury occurs or another unforeseen event forces you to postpone or cancel your wedding?
Wedding insurance can protect you if something goes wrong during or before your big day. Wedding insurance may include general liability for named perils or it may be classified as a catchall policy that protects you except under certain conditions.
Though not everyone needs wedding insurance, if you plan to spend a significant amount of money on your big day, you may want to take steps to prevent financial loss.
Quick Look: The Best Wedding Companies
- Best Overall: Wedsafe
- Pick 2: Travelers
- Pick 3: WedSure
- Pick 4: Markel
- Pick 5: Event Helper
What is Wedding Insurance?
Wedding insurance, sometimes referred to as special event insurance, is a one-time, short-term insurance plan intended to protect you and your partner from forfeiting money in the event that something happens and you’re forced to put off your ceremony or cancel it altogether. The costs incurred can include deposits you put down or last-minute purchases you’re forced to make due to situations outside of your control.
For example, if you’re planning a destination wedding and the groom’s tuxedo is lost on the flight to Cabo, wedding insurance will almost always cover the cost of a last-minute replacement. The somethings that can ruin your wedding are referred to as perils by insurance companies. In the same way that most homeowners insurance policies specifically state that they will not cover flood damage without special supplementary insurance, most wedding insurance policies also have named perils that they will render your protection null and void.
Every wedding insurance policy will differ depending on your contract and company, so be sure to read the terms and conditions before you shop.
Most policies include cover the following:
- Site: This protects you and your party in the event that some unforeseeable act renders your wedding venue unable to support your reservation. From a horrible fire that makes the building uninhabitable to a venue that shuts down, site insurance will cover the cost of your original deposit as well as the cost of another alternative if you are unable to get your money back, like in the case of total bankruptcy.
- Vendors: If your caterer, florist or officiant fail to show up on the day of your ceremony, wedding insurance will usually cover the costs of postponement till a later date.
- Sickness or injury: What if you’re injured before you get the chance to say “I do?” Wedding insurance usually covers postponement in the event that an essential member of the wedding party is stricken by illness, hospitalized or otherwise seriously injured before the big day.
- Weather: Few things can strike fear into the heart of wedding planners and fiancées like the prospect of rain, snow, or hail on a wedding day. Weather insurance covers the cost of postponement if weather makes the venue inaccessible or prevents the wedding party or guests from making it safely to the venue.
- Military: Members of the armed forces may be called to serve at a moment’s notice. If you or your partner is in the military, wedding insurance will cover postponement in the event that you or your partner is suddenly called to serve.
Most policies exclude coverage for the following:
- Changes of heart: Got cold feet? Don’t expect your insurance provider to cover the bills; nearly every wedding insurance contract prohibits cancellations due to personal relationship problems.
- Watches and jewelry: Watches, jewelry, and gemstones may be excluded from your wedding insurance policy even if they are attached to clothing. If you’re very concerned about Great Auntie Jen’s priceless pearl necklace, many insurance companies offer “riders” that you can purchase individually to protect high-value items. Be prepared to produce appraisal documentation before your insurance provider will extend coverage.
- Engagement rings: While wedding bands will probably be protected under most policies, your engagement ring or rings will likely fall under the “jewelry” category and require a rider.
Though some insurance companies may include them along with their packages, you may have to pay a separate premium and deductible to secure coverage in these areas.
- Photography and videography: If your wedding photos, your wedding video, your photographer’s negatives or any other crucial piece of your wedding memory puzzle is damaged, lost, or stolen during the ceremony, photography and videography insurance will often cover the cost of restaging and reshooting the event. Photography and videography policies may also cover your deposit if an outside factor forces you to postpone your ceremony.
- Personal liability: Covers the cost of legal representation, medical bills, or fines should you or one of your guests be injured during your wedding ceremony. Personal liability insurance also often covers the cost of damage done accidentally to the venue.
- Attire: Covers the cost of last-minute special attire replacements in the event that they are lost, damaged, or stolen. Attire insurance will also provide compensation if the bridal or tuxedo store goes out of business before your big day. The definition of attire usually includes any outfits, shoes, and non-jewelry accessories worn by the bride, groom, and any member of the wedding party.
- Gifts: In the event that your gifts are stolen or destroyed during the wedding, gift insurance will help you replace the items that were damaged or lost.
Who Needs Wedding Insurance?
Couples who get married outside of the United States can seriously consider getting wedding insurance. In the United States, it’s fairly easy to extract money from a vendor or venue that fails to live up to its promises — this is the purpose of a contract.
If a business or contractor doesn’t deliver on your wedding day, you can sue using the contract as evidence. Venues in the United States are also usually required to maintain a certain level of bond or liability insurance to compensate you if something goes wrong or the business goes bankrupt.
Every country does not have these types of consumer protections in place, which makes wedding insurance a must-have for destination weddings.
If you’re having your wedding at home, your homeowner’s insurance probably covers most of the things that could go wrong with the venue that is your backyard. Homeowner’s insurance will compensate you if there’s a fire or burglary that puts your wedding at risk.
The best car insurance policies will also protect you from anything stolen from the inside of your vehicle. Even if you have booked a venue for your ceremony, check with the venue owner and ask about what types of insurance the venue already has — most businesses already have safeguards in place that protect the site and, by extension, your wedding.
Occasionally, for very high-value weddings, a venue owner may require that the couple maintain at least a certain level of insurance. This is usually only seen if you’re expecting a very large number of guests or your reception will span multiple days.
The Best Wedding Insurance Companies
Best Overall: Wedsafe
WedSafe is one of the most popular wedding insurance providers in the United States and Canada and offers comprehensive packages that cover both the nuptial ceremony itself and your reception. WedSafe processes and pays claims quickly, and you can even get your hands on a comprehensive and inclusive cancellation and liability package the day of your ceremony.
If your venue requires wedding insurance, your venue is probably concerned with liability insurance — an area in which WedSafe really shines. WedSafe offers an expansive range of liability coverages that can protect you and your party with up to $5,000,000 worth of coverage, enough to get you the go-ahead at even the most extravagant of venues.
The company offers an impressive selection of liability options, including everything from general damage liability to host liquor liability if your reception gets a little too crazy.
Want multiple types of coverage? WedSafe even offers bundling discounts for the most well-prepared event planner. With a simple claims process and quick online processing, WedSafe is viable as both a carefully chosen liability selection as well as a last-minute insurance package.
Pick 2: Travelers
Domestic event insurance is a must-have for international or destination weddings and few companies offer globetrotting newlyweds in the coverage range that Travelers does. Most wedding insurance companies limit their coverage to the continental United States and the Caribbean and tack on significant fees for island-goers.
However, Travelers supports weddings across the United States and all of its territories (including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) along with Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos and most of the Caribbean (Cuba and Haiti are excluded) with no additional international fees. Cruise weddings departing from any one of these destinations are also included and supported, and their customer service is available 24/7, so you’re covered no matter your time zone.
One of the most unique aspects of insurance from Travelers is its lack of deductible; you won’t be required to make any minimum payment when you file a claim. This is a stark contrast when compared to other wedding insurance providers who may charge anywhere a deductible $50 to $1,000 before they’ll write you a check.
Though smaller wedding parties pay a higher premium with Travelers, larger wedding parties are usually able to secure an average rate with exceptional benefits.
Pick 3: WedSure
Not to be confused with WedSafe, WedSure is a competing wedding insurance provider that stands out with customizable packages and flexible coverage options. Its website is intuitive, and most couples can secure a quote in as little as 15 seconds. Liability options from WedSure range from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 and its plans also feature nine additional coverage options.
The company has a “choose your own deductible” policy that makes its insurance more affordable than competitors. If you want a lower premium, simply choose a higher deductible and vice versa.
WedSure is also one of the only wedding insurance providers to include a “change of heart” peril in its list of situations, which is almost unheard of. While this option may not feel romantic, choosing WedSure is by far the best option for couples who have any doubts.
Pick 4: Markel
Markel’s event insurance is comprehensive and generous. Insurance from Markel will compensate you or your venue for up to $2,000,000 worth of damages and you can get a discount when bundling cancellation and liability insurance together for a single, affordable package. Policies start from just $75 and most people can fill out a claim in just a few minutes online.
Markel’s policies are flexible, which can be especially beneficial for wedding parties concerned about a technicality that gets in the way of their special day.
Is your reception party still dancing after midnight? No worries; Markel’s policies don’t specify a curfew, so you won’t have to purchase an additional day of coverage for a few hours. Markel’s liability insurance packages are also guaranteed to meet the needs of your money, so you can get a full refund if its team isn’t accepted by your site’s manager.
A holistic and solid choice for wedding insurance, Markel’s easy-to-use claims application forms, and customer-focused services make the company a great choice for weddings of all sizes.
Pick 5: Event Helper
Event Helper is not simply a wedding insurance company (it insures every type of event, from triathlons to truck shows) but the company knows what wedding planners look for when searching for a policy. Event Helper’s policies are available from $40 and you can secure a quote instantly on its website. You won’t find destination wedding coverage through Event Helper, but its domestic wedding packages are simple to understand and will cover most of your bases.
There are no limitations on the number of locations for Event Helper’s insurance policies. If you’re having your ceremony in one location and your reception in another, Event Helper will offer you additional certifications of liability insurance for each additional venue at no extra cost.
Event Helper’s insurance policies meet almost 100 percent of event space requirements; if your venue rejects Event Helper’s insurance coverage, its team will work with the event space on your behalf and offer a full refund if a solution cannot be reached. Easy, fast and affordable, insurance from Event Helper is basic, but its policies will suit the needs of most wedding parties without breaking the bank.
The best way to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need is to collect a number of quotes from competing providers before making a decision. Most wedding insurance companies allow you to purchase coverage up to 48 hours before your wedding day.
Even if you’ve already secured a venue, it can be beneficial to see what your options are. The last thing you want is an unexpected surprise on one of the happiest (and most expensive) days of your life.