What Is Wedding Insurance?

Definition and Examples of Wedding Insurance

Wedding insurance
•••  Aksakalko / IStock

Wedding insurance is a type of event insurance that protects you from losses in certain situations involving your wedding day. These include unforeseen events caused by damage or injury at a wedding, extreme weather, problems with the venue or vendors, and specific 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 protecting 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 various potential losses associated with your big day. Broadly speaking, these events generally fall under liability coverage or cancellation coverage.

Liability Coverage

Before buying wedding insurance, always ask the venue whether it covers event liability, as that 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 an additional cost.

Cancellation Coverage

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

  • Vendor Issues (revoked permits, 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 will send you a check to cover it.

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

Some insurance companies offer customized packages where you can choose the amounts of coverage for specific 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.

Examples of Claims Paid by Wedding Insurance

There is a consistent record of claims being paid for various cancellation issues. Although the reasons behind the claims vary by year, the data suggests that cancellation insurance often comes 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

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 that if the lack of funds is due to an unexpected job loss after purchasing your cancellation policy. Each wedding insurance company views this risk differently, so inquire 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 otherwise pull out of a wedding. One company, Wedsure, is an exception to the rule. However, the limited "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. The policy also will not pay if the change of heart occurs less than 365 days before the first covered event.

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

Homeowners insurance covers your personal liability and personal property. Find out from your insurer what happens if gifts get stolen or if your grandmother's necklace disappears off your neck during the wedding. These items may be covered but are possibly 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 a 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 wedding cost and what is at risk. At the very least, it's worth discussing with your partner and anyone who is 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. Make sure to ask a few key questions when you're looking at coverage options:

  • Ask the venue what it covers.
  • Ask your homeowners insurance provider what it covers or whether you can add a rider to your policy.
  • If applicable, have your parents contact their homeowners insurance company to ask whether 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.