Recently one of my brides asked if I thought wedding insurance is a smart purchase or an unnecessary extra expense. This is an excellent question because the larger the wedding industry gets, the harder it is for engaged couples to determine which “wedding extras” are essential or a waste of money. According to TheKnot.com, a basic wedding insurance policy typically costs between $155-$550 and will cover venue deposits, vendor no-shows, and the inability for an essential bridal party or family member to attend the wedding due to weather, illness or military deployment. A supplementary policy will need to be purchased if you want the insurance company to cover (1) the total cost of re-staging your wedding should your photographer/videographer be a no-show or the original negatives/video are damaged or lost; (2) your wedding bands*; (3) special attire (wedding gown, groom’s tux, etc.), and/or (4) your wedding gifts.
[*Your engagement ring is not covered by wedding insurance. When your fiancé presents you with your gorgeous engagement ring, your first call after you phone your parents with the good news should be to your insurance agent to purchase Personal Article Insurance. This is insurance I urge every engaged couple to purchase.]
In my opinion, there are four instances when a couple should strongly consider purchasing wedding insurance:
DESTINATION WEDDINGS REQUIRING AIR TRAVEL
If your wedding is taking place outside of the U.S. (Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, etc.) and the vast majority of your guests and bridal party will purchase expensive plane tickets to get there, your wedding investment should be protected from unexpected flight delays on account of weather or political discourse. When U.S. travelers booked their European vacations in April 2010, I doubt any of them thought that an Icelandic volcano eruption would keep their flights grounded for nearly a week. [Note: Travel insurance and wedding insurance do not cover the same losses. Discuss with your insurance agent which of these policy types best protects your wedding investment.]
SEASONAL/REGIONAL WEATHER IS A CONCERN
Nothing is more romantic than saying “I do” while standing on the white sandy beaches of the Carolina Coastline or atop a breathtakingly beautiful peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains, unless of course Mother Nature decides to serenade you with a hurricane or blizzard on your wedding day. If you are getting married during a month when the locals regularly describe the weather forecast as “iffy”, purchasing wedding insurance is a sensible way to defend yourself against Mother Nature’s twisted sense of humor.
ILLNESS/DEATH IN THE FAMILY and MILITARY DEPLOYMENT
Planning a wedding naturally increases an engaged couples’ feelings of stress and anxiety, but emotional stress is compounded exponentially when there is a chance that your nuptials may need to be rescheduled due to an essential bridal party or family member’s serious illness or possible military deployment. Finding room in your budget to purchase wedding insurance will at least bring your anxiety level down a notch knowing that you will not be out a significant amount of money should you need to change your plans at a moment’s notice.
Just like other forms of insurance, deciding whether or not to purchase it is a personal decision that requires you and your fiancé to weigh the benefits and the risks. If you do to decide to purchase wedding insurance, I recommend getting quotes from 2 or 3 insurance agents and ask them to thoroughly explain what is and (even more importantly) what is not covered by the wedding insurance policy.