What Is Wedding Insurance?

Definition & Examples of Wedding Insurance

man tripping and flying through air with wedding cake
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Wedding insurance is a type of event insurance that protects you from losses in some situations. These include unforeseen events caused by damage or injury at a wedding, extreme weather, problems with the venue or vendors, and certain circumstances that may prevent your wedding from occurring.

When you have spent a lot of time and money preparing for your wedding day, you may worry about how to protect that investment. Learn more about what wedding insurance is, what it covers, and how it works.

What Is Wedding Insurance?

Like other types of event insurance, wedding insurance is designed to protect you from a variety of potential losses associated with the big day. Broadly speaking, these generally fall under liability coverage or cancellation coverage.

Liability Coverage

Before buying wedding insurance, always ask the venue if they cover event liability, as this provides critical protection for the day of the event. If the venue doesn't have coverage, you may need to provide your own. Wedding event liability coverage may cover different things, for example, bodily injury and property damage.

Depending on your choice of venue and the laws in your state, you may also need to add host liquor liability insurance, which covers alcohol-related incidents for which you may be held accountable. Some wedding insurers will include this as part of their wedding liability insurance policy automatically, others will require that you add it for a cost.

Cancellation Coverage

Wedding cancellation coverage protects you from the costs of having to postpone or cancel your wedding due to several common risks. Most of these are covered by wedding cancellation insurance, so if you opt to buy wedding liability-only coverage, many of these will not be included, but may be optional add-ons for a liability plan.

  • Vendor Issues (permits being revoked, bankruptcy, or failures)
  • People getting sick or injured
  • Property damage that makes the venue unusable
  • Extreme weather
  • Military deployment
  • Dress damage or wedding attire coverage

How Does Wedding Insurance Work?

As with other types of insurance, you'll need to choose your coverage limits and deductibles when you set up your wedding insurance policy. These will determine how much your policy costs, what events it will cover, and how much you'll have to pay out of pocket if something happens.

For instance, you might choose a policy that covers $25,000 for expenses related to inclement weather. If an unexpected storm rolls in the day before your wedding and you have to buy a tent, your policy would send you a check to cover it.

Military deployment may or may not be covered by all wedding insurance, but is usually mentioned when it is. For example, USAA offers cancellation coverage for members of the military that includes deployment.

Some insurance companies offer customized packages where you can choose the amounts of coverage for certain items, and others include coverage based on a package deal. When you look for the best wedding coverage, compare the various options to get your best value.

Example of Claims Paid by Wedding Insurance

There is a consistent record of claims being paid for various cancellation issues, and although the reasons behind the claims vary by year, the data suggests that cancellation insurance does often come in handy.

AON, a provider of wedding insurance under the WedSafe product, released the following data for claims made in 2019:

  • 23% for venue property damage
  • 18% for injury or accidents
  • 16% for vendor problems
  • 5% for loss, theft, or damage

In 2020, the data will likely be different as we see the impact of claims due to the coronavirus. People who purchased insurance prior to the onset of COVID-19 may be able to file a claim if the pandemic affected their wedding plans.

What Is Not Covered by Wedding Insurance?

Wedding insurance does not usually cover you if you suddenly can't afford your wedding. However, some wedding insurance cancellation policies may cover this if the lack of funds is due to an unexpected job loss that happens after you purchased your cancellation policy. Each wedding insurance company views this differently, so be sure and ask about it if this is a concern.

Wedding insurance is typically for things that are not within the couple's control, so it doesn't cover when people get cold feet or pull out of a wedding. One company, Wedsure, is an exception to the rule. However, its "Change of Heart" coverage is only available as an option in the cancellation insurance package and would not pay the bride or groom. This coverage only applies if the wedding is funded by a third party who was not involved in the decision to call off the wedding.

Some wedding insurance policies cover liability for 24 hours, and others only cover you until midnight or 2 a.m. If you have rehearsal dinners or other events, ask how many events they cover, and what happens if your wedding runs past midnight.

Alternatives to Wedding Insurance

Wedding insurance is not personal insurance, so your home insurance is not intended to cover a wedding. However, many home insurance companies may be able to offer you riders or event liability policies and help you get the right insurance coverage for your event.

Home insurance covers your personal liability and personal property. Find out from your home insurance what happens if gifts get stolen, or if your grandmother's necklace disappears off your neck during the wedding. These things may be covered, but subject to the deductible on your policy. Some credit cards may cover certain losses, as well.

Do I Need Wedding Insurance?

A lot of time, effort, and planning go into the wedding day, and a wedding insurance company is familiar with all kinds of things that can go wrong. By having a policy, you're protecting yourself, your spouse, and your family from significant potential losses. The cost of wedding insurance is minimal compared to the cost of the wedding and what is at risk. At the very least, it's worth discussing with your partner and anyone financially invested in the wedding.

Key Takeaways

Wedding insurance can help prevent you from sustaining financial losses if something goes wrong, property is damaged, or people get injured at your wedding. Making sure to ask a few key questions when you're looking at coverage options:

  • Ask the venue what it covers.
  • Ask your home insurance provider what it covers or if you can add a rider to your home policy.
  • If applicable, have your parents contact their home insurance company to ask if they have any coverage, especially if they are the ones paying for the wedding or the venue. 
  • Compare the coverages from different wedding insurance companies to understand what they cover and under what conditions.

Article Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Liability Insurance." Accessed June 23, 2020.

  2. FindLaw. "Social Host Liability." Accessed June 23, 2020.

  3. Wedsafe. "Wedsafe." Accessed June 23, 2020. 

  4. Wedsure. "Tons of Optional Coverages for Your Wedding." Accessed June 23, 2020.

  5. Insurance Information Institute. "Special Event Insurance." Accessed June 23, 2020. 

  6. USAA. "Frequently Asked Questions." Accessed June 23, 2020. 

  7. Wedsafe. "Bliss Busters: Top Wedding Insurance Claims of 2019 from WedSafe." Accessed June 24, 2020.

  8. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Coronavirus Resource Center." Accessed June 24, 2020. 

  9. WedSafe. "Wedding Cancellation/Postponement Insurance Frequently Asked Questions." Accessed June 23, 2020.

  10. Wedsure. "Coverages A to Z." Accessed June 23, 2020.