March 27, 2020
Hi, everyone! How is the COVID-19 quarantine going for you? For Braid N’Hairpins, it is not going so well. We have had to cancel or reschedule 8 weddings between mid March through the end of May. Just like most of you, we are feeling the pain of being out of work for the time being. With no other source of income, business bills and salon rent still have to be paid. As a makeup artist San Antonio, I am missing seeing my clients and doing what I love!
Seeing the heartbreak of so many weddings cancelled or rescheduled, it got me to thinking about wedding insurance. I can’t imagine how overwhelming cancelling or rescheduling a wedding can be. I think now would be a great time to talk about wedding insurance, why you need it, what it covers, and what companies offer the best coverage. Having wedding insurance can really save your day!
Wedding insurance falls within the category of special events insurance. When you purchase wedding insurance, you are protecting yourself in the event of a cancellation or postponement, as well as any liabilities associated with the wedding. (6) Wedding insurance protects a couple’s investment from circumstances beyond their control and reimburses expenses incurred. (1) Wedding insurance doesn’t just cover the wedding itself. You can structure your liability coverage to include events within 48 hours of the wedding such as the rehearsal dinner or day after brunch. You can also structure it to cover deliverables from your vendors such as the cake, flowers, or dress. All the things you may be writing checks for through the planning process can be insured. (6)
Why do I need it? A lot of time, effort, and planning go into the wedding day. A wedding insurance company is familiar with all kinds of things that go can wrong and by having a policy, the insurance company will have your back if something goes wrong. The cost of wedding insurance is minimal compared to the cost of the wedding and what is at risk. (2)
What could possibly go wrong to cause me to need wedding insurance? According to Travelers Insurance, these were the top reasons for wedding claims in 2018:
1. Vendor issues 41%
2. Property damage 22%
3. Weather problems 18%
4. Illness and injury 5%
5. Military deployments 5%
6. Other unexpected glitches 6%
When should I get it? You should look into getting wedding insurance as soon as you start planning your wedding and have an idea of the venue. Sometimes the venue that you select, whether you are serving your own alcohol and other aspects of your day, will dictate what kind of insurance you need. (2)
There are two types of wedding insurance:
1. Liability coverage
2. Cancellation coverage (2)
What wedding insurance covers:
1. Site: Check first to see if your wedding ceremony and reception site are already covered. If it is not, wedding insurance can cover the cost arising out of unavoidable cancellation such as damage or inaccessibility to the sites.
2. Weather: Any weather conditions that prevent the couple, any relative whose presence at the wedding is essential, or the majority of the guests from reaching the premises where the ceremony is to take place may be covered. Insurance covers rescheduling the wedding and all the details involved due to unpreventable weather conditions.
3. Vendor no show: What if essential wedding vendors such as the caterer or officiant fail to show up? A wedding insurance policy usually covers cancellation or postponement for these reasons. (1) As a San Antonio makeup artist, I and my team have never failed to show up. You will not need wedding insurance to insure that we show up!
4. Sickness or injury: Wedding insurance may also include sickness or injury to the couple or anyone essential to the wedding.
5. Military or job: Wedding insurance can cover postponement of the wedding due to the bride or groom suddenly getting called to military duty. This can also apply to a last minute corporate move, such as the bride’s company suddenly relocating her to another city. (1)
Additional coverage that you may want to add to your policy:
1. Photography: Some policies pay to retake the photos after the fact if the photographer fails to appear or the original negatives are lost, damaged, stolen, or not properly developed. A policy may also pay costs of rehiring a photographer and the purchase of a new wedding cake or flowers for the restaging.
2. Videographer: When a videotape produced by a professional photographer is damaged, a policy usually pays a certain amount to have either a video montage created, a video compilation of the photographs, or, if possible, a retaking of the official video at a restaging of the wedding.
3. Gifts: Gift coverage pays to repair or replace nonmonetary gifts that are lost, stolen, or damaged. A police report is usually required for stolen gifts. The damage or theft generally has to take place within a limited time period of the wedding date in order to be covered.
4. Attire: This coverage pays to repair or replace a bridal gown or other special attire when it is in your possession and is lost, stolen, or damaged.
5. Personal liability: Personal liability covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an accident that occurs during the course of your wedding.
6. Medical coverage: This covers reasonable medical expenses (up to the policy’s limit) for each person who is injured during the covered events from a cause of loss, which would be covered by your personal liability.
7. Honeymoon: Before purchasing travel insurance, check first to see if your credit card or homeowner’s policy covers you if your luggage is lost or stolen, your trip is delayed, or you have to cancel. If not, you can buy a trip policy only. (1)
8. “Host liquor liability insurance”: This covers alcohol related incidents that you may be held accountable for. (2)
What wedding insurance does not cover:
1. A change of heart. Cold feet do not qualify for coverage.
2. Watches, jewelry, or semiprecious gemstones or pearls
3. While your wedding ring may be covered, your engagement ring most likely will not be. You can check if your homeowner’s insurance policy covers this. (1)
4. If your wedding includes fireworks, bounce houses, live animals, or other attractions insurers find risky, you could be declined for a policy. Some insurers may still offer you a policy but exclude problems involving these types of attractions. (5)
*** When it comes to pandemics or epidemics, things get a little tricky. If you get cancelation insurance, you need to actively determine if COVID-19 is covered. The insurance company could cover cancellations due to epidemics but specifically exclude this one. Don’t assume your policy plan is all encompassing and ask questions when discussing your policy with an agent, even the questions that seem obvious. Stop and think about what keeps you up at night, and whatever it is, make sure it is covered. (6)
What are the best wedding insurance companies? According to Nerd Wallet, the top four are Traveler’s Wedding Protector Plan, The Event Helper, WedSafe, and WedSure. (5)
So what do you think now about wedding insurance? As a makeup artist San Antonio, I suggest investing in it. I have seen so many wedding cancellations and wedding rescheduling due to the COVID-19 that I completely recommend it to my brides for peace of mind during this turbulent and precarious time. Stay safe and healthy out there! We will get through this!
1. “Wedding Insurance 101”. Julie Komorn. www.theknot.com/content/wedding-insurance-101.
2. “What is Wedding Insurance?” Mila Araujo. www.thebalance.com
3. “Wedding Insurance 101”. Daniel Bortz. www.nytimes.com
4. “Five Ways to Protect Yourself Against Unexpected Wedding Catastrophe”. Brooke Lea Foster and Lauren Sloss. www.nytimes.com
5. “Wedding Insurance: What’s Covered, Who Sells it, and Prices”. Lacie Glover. www.nerwallet.com/blog/insurance/wedding-insurance
6. “Everything You Need to Know About Special Event Insurance for Your Wedding”. Samantha Netkin. www.brides.com