Thousands of planned weddings everywhere were upended by the coronavirus pandemic. The situation also brought to the attention of couples affected the fact that there was such a thing as wedding insurance. For couples now planning their weddings in the near future, one of the top questions they head in with is about whether they need to make room in their budgets for wedding insurance.
If you're thinking about buying insurance on your wedding, there are a few things you should know.
There aren't many underwriters remaining
When you shop for wedding insurance, you get to choose between a couple of basic types of policy: protection against wedding date changes or cancellations, and protection against liabilities that may arise out of the event.
With liability insurance, you receive coverage against accidents that may happen during your wedding that result in injuries to people or damage to property. Cancellation or postponement insurance, on the other hand, is about helping you get back the money that you lose on the deposits that you pay to vendors. Cancellations for any reason beyond your control -- the couple or an immediate family member falling ill, getting deployed on a military tour, and so on -- should be eligible.
Unfortunately, with insurance providers absorbing huge losses on pandemic-related wedding cancellations, many have now withdrawn from the market. They also now classify the coronavirus outbreak as a known and foreseen event, and are no longer able to cover cancellations that occur as a result. You might still get wedding cancellation insurance, but it would only come into force if your wedding was canceled for a reason other than the pandemic -- a power outage at the location where your wedding was planned, for example. In addition, many insurance providers have lowered the level of coverage that they are willing to offer for cancellations.
Getting liability insurance is still a good idea
Liability insurance helps you pay for unforeseen liabilities at the wedding venue. For instance, if a wedding guest were to slip and fall at the venue, and sue you in the aftermath, or if damage were to occur to the venue, say, because someone dropped something heavy and cracked a floor tile, you could be on the hook for damages. Rather than bliss out after the wedding, you'd be deeply worried about being able to come up with what you owed.
Fortunately, liability insurance for events tends to be inexpensive -- about $100 for a wedding with 500 guests, with hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of coverage.
Cancellation insurance is somewhat more expensive -- about $250 for coverage worth $50,000. It hasn't become more expensive since the pandemic began, chiefly because such insurance now does not cover losses arising out of the pandemic. If a wedding guest were to contract COVID-19 at the wedding and were to sue you as a result, you couldn't turn to your insurance for help with the lawsuit.
Finally, you won't need liability insurance if you decide to get married at home -- your home insurance or renters insurance would already offer liability protection to some extent.
The idea to take away is that it's a good idea to buy both cancellation and liability insurance for a wedding that you're planning, but you do need to keep in mind that the coronavirus pandemic may no longer be covered. You will be protected, however, against other kinds of unforeseen events.