Understanding Liability And Cancellation Wedding Insurance Coverage

By Mark Di Vincenzo. May 7th 2016

Weddings are often complicated events to plan and pull off, and a lot can go wrong. And a lot of money can be lost.

According to one insurer, here are 10 real-life mishaps that ruined or canceled weddings and the financial consequences:

  1. The bride got cold feet -- $15,897
  2. The rings were stolen out of the groom's home -- $15,352
  3. The seamstress lost the bridal gown -- $3,412
  4. The tuxedos were double rented -- $2,278
  5. The groom's previously approved military leave was revoked -- $32,528
  6. The reception venue went out of business -- $8,500
  7. The DJ went out of business -- $1,257
  8. The caterer failed to show -- $15,350
  9. The groom was laid off and the couple could no longer afford the wedding -- $6,500
  10. The wedding gifts were stolen at the reception -- $12,300

These dollar figures are damages that insurers paid out to wedding benefactors who decided to buy wedding insurance. But just as weddings can be complicated affairs, so can wedding insurance policies. They can cover everything from gowns to gifts to caterer no-shows, but keep in mind that like other types of insurance, they often include fine-print caveats that can keep policy holders from collecting.

Here are the most popular wedding-related insurance coverage options that you can buy:

Personal Liability

These days, many wedding venues require the wedding couple to show proof of liability insurance. This type of insurance comes in handy if guests get food poisoning or if a guest gets knocked over and gets injured or if someone has too much to drink and does something stupid. The latter type of liability insurance is called host liquor liability, which protects the wedding couple if a drunk decides to drive and gets into a car accident.

Cancellation/Postponement

This type of insurance covers non-refundable expenses when a wedding or pre-wedding parties and dinners are canceled or postponed because of reasons beyond your control. Some reasons include serious illness, injury, extreme weather, a missing caterer and a bankrupt wedding facility. When it comes to bad weather, insurers typically will pay policy holders when insurance is bought 14 or more days before the wedding and when bad weather prevents the bride and groom, the immediate family, the preacher or more than 50 percent of the guests from getting to the wedding ceremony or reception. They won’t pay if dark skies and light rain keep most of the guests away.

At least one insurer offers a novel form of cancellation coverage: “change-of-heart” coverage, if the bride or groom gets cold feet and cancels the wedding. But the company won’t pay if the bride and groom are financing the wedding or if one of them changes his or her mind less than 180 days before the wedding. One other thing: The benefactor must have “had no prior knowledge of a pending change of heart” by whomever gets the cold feet.

Gifts

Etiquette experts say the average wedding gift costs $50. If 200 people attend your wedding, that is $10,000 worth of gifts lying around. This type of insurance protects couples when gifts are stolen from cars, houses or reception halls. Deductibles usually start at $25 and go up from there.

Jewelry

Wedding rings can cost many thousands of dollars, but even an engagement ring with a huge diamond is relatively small and easy to lose. This insurance covers rings that are lost or stolen, but it doesn’t cover thefts from unattended cars unless there are signs of forced entry. Like the gifts coverage, deductibles typically start at $25.

Loss Of Deposits

Caterers, DJs, wedding planners, photographers and others require wedding couples to pay deposits, but what happens if they disappear or go out of business or can’t attend the wedding? This insurance allows you to recoup deposits if any of those things happen.

Photographs And Videos

If your photographer or videographer is a no-show or disappears with your photos and videos after the wedding, this insurance reimburses you so you can hire a different photographer, rent a place to stage the wedding photos, buy a new wedding cake and flowers and re-rent wedding attire.

Professional Counseling

This covers a would-be bride or groom who suffers from depression, anxiety or other emotional problems after their weddings are canceled.

Rented Property

At most weddings, couples end up renting a lot of things, such as tents, generators, portable toilets, tables and chairs or other property, but what happens if it breaks or is stolen? This coverage pays for that.

Special Attire

This coverage pays to repair or replace the bridal gown, the mother of the bride's dress and all other bridal party attire if they are lost, stolen or damaged, and it covers you if the bridal store, tailor or seamstress goes out of business. It also covers clothing worn by the groom and his attendants, but it does not cover watches, jewelry, gem stones and pearls, even if they are attached to a gown. To collect on a stolen item, a police report must be filed.

The bottom line is that wedding insurance isn’t for everyone. But if you’re footing the bill and paying tens of thousands of dollars, you might want to consider buying it.

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