Event insurance which is sometimes called wedding insurance because it is designed for events like weddings! When purchasing, usually you have the option to select liability or cancellation/postponement insurance or both. Different companies cover different things, so it’s important to call the insurance company and to read the terms to ensure you are selecting the correct coverage.
Special Event Cancellation Insurance- this is the one I always suggest at a minimum for all couples. Unfortunate things can happen at any time that are out of your control, and weddings are no exception. Cancellation insurance is most commonly used in these circumstances to cover:
- Sickness or injury to the bride or groom.
- Damage to the event location prior to the wedding.
- No shows by vendors for the event
- Loss or damage of wedding items like the wedding gown.
- Written military leave of absence.
Here are examples of when this insurance would be helpful:
Example 1: A couple has been planning their Caribbean destination wedding for over a year and sadly their destination gets hit or is about to get hit by a hurricane. Most of the vendors try to reschedule the wedding because they don’t want to "half do" your wedding with limited power, water, and added stress on the staff because of evacuation notices(postponement), or if the destination does get hit and the damage is really bad so vendors/venue end up having to cancel (cancellation).
Example 2: A couple has been planning their Caribbean destination wedding for over a year and sadly their destination wedding planner in the destination country disappears. This planner has taken all their money, but has not booked any of the vendors as promised (with the money you sent) and the planner is no where to be found! Also, the planner doesn’t live in states and doesn’t have insurance OR a contract so there’s really no way to take legal action or track them down. You now have to book all your vendors, plus hope that the vendors are available, but with what money?
Example 3: You pay a vendor and they don’t show. Simple.
Liability Insurance- As an event /wedding planner, I have liability insurance that covers myself and my staff, but a couple may consider this option in the event a wedding guest does something silly at the venue and causes damage. That bill is going to the couple…not the guest, so liability coverage would give you protection in those instances.
It may be interesting to know that with most special event insurance claims, 44% involved vendors who didn’t show or deliver, 28% property damage, 8% sickness and 6% things like military deployments and problems with bridal party attire. It is also important to know that “change of heart” is not noted in those percentages because it is usually not covered or an insurable circumstance…so do your research, plan site visits and make good choices!
Here are a few companies that provide special event insurance:
Travel insurance is usually offered through travel insurance agencies, the air/cruise line itself or through certain credit cards. As with any insurance, the coverage varies based on the options you choose. Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance reimburses you non-refundable travel costs if your trip is cancelled or seriously delayed due to a natural disaster, illness, or the carrier goes out of business.
In conclusion, as a wedding planner who specializes in destinations, I highly recommend wedding and travel insurance. If you are spending so much money on something, you should be thinking of the best way to protect your investment! Most vendors require a large deposit, sometimes 50% up front. This is pretty standard in the wedding world. This means that a lot of money is going to be spent in the beginning of planning. If you have a year engagement (also standard), that is a year for something to go wrong. If you have coverage, and you lose a deposit due to factors beyond your control, you will want a safety net to get you that money back. Anything can happen, even when working with the best of the best, so it’s always smart to have protection.