Weddings are a pricey affair. From the dress to the venue, the cake to the flowers and all of the added extras (floral balloon arch, we’re looking at you), the number of invoices flooding your inbox can seem endless.
With big costs comes the need for wedding insurance. To put your mind at rest, it’s probably best to get some kind of wedding insurance cover in place. While it’s unlikely anything will happen and your day will go completely to plan, it’s good to know you’re covered in case of the unexpected.
To help you make sense of wedding insurance plans, including what’s covered and what’s not, we’ve put together this handy guide.
1. Coronavirus & Wedding Insurance
Most insurers including John Lewis, Debenhams and WeddingPlan have stopped selling wedding insurance while they assess the risks involved with Coronavirus. If you have a policy in place already, it should remain unchanged however not all policies will cover cancellation due to the virus and you will need to double check with your provider.
According to Which?, the following companies will cover cancellation from your venue or other services: Debenhams, John Lewis, Emerald Life and Wedinsure (in certain cases).
All companies contacted by Which?, including Debenhams, John Lewis, The Insurance Emporium, Wedinsure, Events Insurance and Emerald Life, will not cover cancellations due to government travel restrictions to the venue.
Cancellation due to illness of the couple, a close family member or bridal party member is likely to be covered but only if the policy was purchased before the person became ill. This will not apply for a person/s in self-isolation after coming into a contact with an infected person. You will also not be covered in the event of vulnerable guests being unable to attend the wedding due to COVID-19 shielding measures.
The best course of action to take if your wedding is booked in the next one to four months is to discuss postponing your wedding with your venue and suppliers. You will not need to claim on your insurance if you can successfully rearrange your big day. Venues and suppliers themselves will be hit hard by the lockdown and ban on weddings, so will be eager to make up for lost earnings by keeping as many bookings as possible as postponements rather than cancellations.
If you don’t have wedding insurance and your wedding is falling within the next few months and you paid for anything by credit card, you may still be able to get money back according to section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
2. What Is Wedding Insurance and Do I Need It?
Wedding insurance is a type of insurance that will protect you from financial losses due to illness, accidents, cancellations and other unforeseen circumstances during the build up to or on the wedding day itself.
You need wedding insurance if… you’re spending a significant amount of money on your wedding day, which is pretty likely considering the average wedding cost in the UK is now £31,974. You will need insurance if you wish to protect yourselves from losing money in the event of circumstances arising that are beyond your control.
You don’t need wedding insurance if… you’re hosting a small wedding and you have agreements in place with your venue and/or suppliers making it easy for you to postpone or cancel with little to no financial repercussions. If it would be easier for you to rearrange your day by yourselves without the assistance of an insurance company, then this may be the preferred option for you. However, in most cases we do recommend having at least basic cover in place.
3. What Does Wedding Insurance Cover?
Every wedding policy is a little different, so it’s best to check the small print before signing up. However, most wedding insurance policies do cover the following:
The venue closing or cancelling your booking – this covers floods, fire or financial problems at the venue that mean it can no longer honour your booking. This will likely come under ‘cancellation cover’ in the insurance document.
Cancellation due to illness, accident or death of bridal party or close family members – you will be covered if you or your spouse-to-be, your maid of honour, best man or close family member is taken ill as long as it’s not linked to a pre-existing medical condition. The same people will be covered in case of accident or death as well as being unexpectedly called for jury service or being posted overseas in the military.
Cancellation due to extreme weather – if 50% or more of your guests cannot attend the wedding due to serious weather conditions, you should be covered but double check the small print as many policies differ slightly on this.
Supplier no-show or damaged goods – if one of your suppliers doesn’t turn up or they provide damaged items (such as dead flowers or a damaged wedding cake) you should be covered. Note that a written agreement with your supplier will be vital to your claim, so make sure you get one when booking! You’ll also need to double check your individual policy to find out which suppliers they cover as not all policies will be the same.
Lost, stolen or damaged items – your wedding bands (although not your engagement ring, so add this to your home insurance), wedding cake, flowers, wedding attire and wedding gifts should be covered. You will need to check your individual policy for any caveats though, for example, gifts left unattended will not be covered and flowers and cake are often only covered until the wedding reception.
Wedding photograph or video faults – if there is a technical fault and your wedding video or photos cannot be developed, you will be covered. An insurer should cover you to hire outfits etc again and reshoot key images. Note, you won’t be covered if you simply don’t like the photographs or the photographer is not very good.
Personal liability and legal action – if damage is caused to the venue or a third party is injured on the day, you should be covered. If the accident occurs and is the fault of a guest, you will not be covered. Legal costs of the couple in case of court action due to an event at the wedding that causes death or injury will also be covered.
If you would like to add public liability to your insurance, so that guests are also covered in case of causing injury to third parties, you can upgrade your policy to include this. You can also add cover if you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, in case of a thunderstorm ruining the experience, or cover for a marquee erected on land belonging to someone other than the marquee owner. Marquee cover will protect you in case of damage to the structure itself as well as anything inside including tables and chairs. If your marquee belongs to the venue owner or is a fixed, permanent structure, it will be included as part of your existing venue cover.
Image: Photo Bart
4. What Does Wedding Insurance Not Cover?
Cold feet! If you or your partner decide to cancel the big day because you’ve changed your minds, you won’t be covered. You won’t be covered if you decide to cancel because of a minor incident either, for example, a table centre decoration is damaged. Although you should be covered for a missing or damaged item.
You won’t be covered if you can no longer afford the wedding except in the case of redundancy, but your policy may require you to have been made redundant a certain length of time after taking out the policy. You will also not be covered if you’re ill with a pre-existing condition on a basic insurance plan, although this may be something you can include for an added cost.
Weddings abroad are not always covered by standard wedding insurance policies, so always double check before purchasing or look into finding a specialist policy for destination weddings.
5. Does Wedding Insurance Cover My Honeymoon?
No, wedding insurance won’t cover your honeymoon, you’ll need travel insurance for this. Cover for your honeymoon will be the same as holiday cover, so you can use tools such as Compare the Market to find the best deal for you. It’s best to purchase your policy as soon as you book in case of cancellations. Remember, if you’re going skiing or taking part in any other risky activities while you’re away, make sure you have insurance that covers you for this.
READ MORE: The Ultimate Honeymoon Checklist
6. How Much Does Wedding Insurance Cost?
It depends on how much you’re spending on the wedding and the type of cover you would like. You can expect to pay as little as around £20 for a basic policy and up to £300 or more for comprehensive cover for large weddings. If you need to insure your marquee separately or would like to include something like public liability, you will need to pay a premium. Cancellation cover up to £32,000 (enough to cover the average wedding cost according to our survey) would be around £90 to £100.
To begin researching wedding insurance policies and comparing the best deals on the market, the first thing you’ll need to do is write down all of your expenses and come up with an approximate wedding cost figure. You’ll also need to note any extras you may need, such as outdoor wedding or pre-existing medical condition cover, then you can start looking at appropriate policies.
7. When Should I Buy Wedding Insurance?
You should buy your wedding insurance straight away as the sooner you have it, the sooner you’re covered, plus it doesn’t cost a penny more to book early. You can purchase cover up to two years in advance and this would cover a venue closure or family illness months or even a year ahead of the day, so it’s definitely worth having.
Image: Bluebirds Bakehouse
8. What Is The Best Wedding Insurance to Buy?
You can buy wedding insurance from our partners, WeddingPlan. They offer nine different levels of insurance with policies starting at just £19.44. The nine wedding insurance options ensure that every wedding, from micro-weddings to lavish affairs with 100s of guests, receives the right level of cover. WeddingPlan offers insurance for both weddings in the UK and abroad, so no matter where you plan on saying ‘I do’, you’ll have peace of mind. Note: WeddingPlan have suspended new wedding insurance policies while they assess the risk involved with the COVID-19 pandemic.
9. What Will Actually Happen If I Claim On My Wedding Insurance?
It depends on what it is you’re claiming for. A torn bridesmaid dress or some missing on-the-day wedding stationery will usually result in a small payout appropriate to the cost of the item. If your wedding venue is closed due to damage, your insurer may simply pay for a new venue directly, rather than handing over a lump sum to you.
Remember, claims will come with an excess fee, so you will receive the full amount minus the cost of the excess.
10. How Can I Lower My Risk Of Needing To Claim On My Wedding Insurance?
Keep safety in mind – if you’d love a firework display but feel your dad could do just as good a job as the professionals, we urge you to reconsider. Fireworks come with their own unique set of risks, often not covered by wedding insurance, so it’s best to call in the professionals who will likely have their own specialist insurance. Likewise, for any other potentially dangerous entertainment.
Choose reliable suppliers – read reviews, check qualifications and meet your suppliers face-to-face before booking to ensure they’re totally legit and reliable. The better and more experienced your suppliers, the less likely it is that something will go wrong.
Check in with suppliers often – make sure you keep in touch with your suppliers and go over the details to ensure you’re on the same page and the products/services being delivered are exactly what you expect.
Put a Plan B in place – ask your suppliers what they have done in the past in case of illness or a problem in their supply chain. It may be that they have a network of fellow suppliers who would be able to step in and help.
Pay deposits on a credit card – paying with a credit card is always safer than any other means thanks to section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, however this should not be thought of as an alternative to wedding insurance. For extra peace of mind, do pay deposits with your credit card but don’t neglect your wedding cover as credit cards won’t be able to help with things like illness or personal liability.
Wedding insurance sorted? Tick off the rest of your wedmin to-do list with the ultimate wedding checklist!