“With this policy, I thee wed!” Better safe than sorry. Yes?
Wedding Insurance is exactly what it sounds like – an insurance policy that covers your wedding and financially protects you against misfortune and mishap. Wedding Insurance policies are relatively inexpensive – a basic policy costs between $180 and up – and can help you have peace of mind.
Contrary to popular belief many people think that the main reason you should purchase is because of the weather. The Greater Phoenix area has more than 325 days of annual sunshine.
Probably the most confusing and often debated weather event in Arizona is our so called “monsoon”. During the wet monsoon (July, August and September) we get 32% of our normal yearly rainfall. Average monsoon rainfall (July, Aug. and Sept.) is 2.45 inches.
As the average cost of weddings rises, now about $27,000 in the US, wedding insurance becomes more of a necessity.
According to Travelers, more than 40 percent of its wedding insurance claims filed during the past two years involved unforeseen problems with vendors and venues, some of which went bankrupt in the worsening economy. Most often, these problems stemmed from caterers, photographers, wedding planners, and other vendors. In some cases, vendors failed to show up on day of the wedding, went out of business suddenly, or experienced some other financial setback.
Travelers also said that 22 percent of its claims were the result of a key family members (parent or grandparent) not being able to attend at the last minute for reasons such as sickness, untimely death, and travel delays. Nineteen percent resulted from broken, torn, or lost items such as dresses or rings. Lastly, the insurer said that 15 percent of wedding insurance claims stemmed from weather events such as hurricanes and tropical storms as well as water-damaged property. You will not find this kind of extreme weather in the Greater Phoenix area.
Most companies require a minimum of a 14-day purchase of the insurance policy for anything to be covered.
What Is Usually Covered?
Be careful, not all wedding insurance policies are alike, and the cost for a policy naturally depends on the coverage limits you need. Wedding insurance is inexpensive and considering what you are covering it is worth the cost. Some of the areas covered in a typical policy include:
• Weather. Generally, if the policy is purchased more than 14 days before the wedding and extremely bad weather prevents the celebration from taking place or a majority of the guests from attending, the cost of rescheduling the event is covered. You should note that stormy skies and light rainfall alone won’t qualify as reason enough to cancel your wedding.
• Key People. If people crucial to the wedding are unable to attend due to illness or injury, the cost of postponing the event is covered.
• Service Providers. If your caterer doesn’t arrive with the food, for example, or the ceremony or reception site burns down or goes out of business, you’re covered for the cost of your non-refundable deposits paid and expenses incurred so that you can reschedule your special day. Some policies will also include coverage for the increased cost of replacement items or services, if they are available, to avoid a postponement of your event.
• Military or Job. Military personnel may be shipped out at a moment’s notice. 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 – i.e. the bride’s company suddenly relocates her to another city.
Here are a few other things you should consider when shopping for Wedding insurance:
• Sudden Illness or Death
• Call of Duty
• Unemployment (if acknowledged by the state)
• Extreme Weather
• Bankrupt Vendors
• Damaged Gifts
• Wedding Attire
• Unexpected Expenses (ie: generator rental in extreme weather)
• Alcohol Related Accidents
NOTE: I had one wedding where the photographer went out of business and the bride and groom did not receive any wedding photos. Insurance may have been a solution. No photos, but at least they could get their money back.
What Is Not Covered
• Cancelling due to cold feet
• Cancelling because of something you already knew when you took out the policy
There are a number of additional areas that can be covered by a wedding insurance policy (either as part of a package, or as add-ons at an additional charge). The options include:
• Photographs & Video. If your photographer fails to show, if the film used for your photos is defective, or if the negatives are lost, destroyed, or improperly developed, this coverage allows you to reunite the wedding party for a re-shoot.
• Gifts. This coverage is designed to protect you against the theft, damage, or loss of your wedding gifts.
• Wedding Attire. If your wedding gown or the attire of one of your attendants is lost or damaged, this coverage will provide for repair or replacement.
• Loss of Deposits. If one of your vendors goes bankrupt or ceases doing business, this coverage will reimburse you for any deposits you may lose as a result.
• Personal Liability. More and more, wedding couples are expected to carry their own liability insurance to protect their ceremony and reception sites against damage to property and injury to guests. Without such coverage, you may be left vulnerable to expensive bills and/or lawsuits.
• Rented Property. If you are renting a tent, tables, or chairs for the wedding, this coverage will pay for repair or replacement of the rented property.
Before you buy wedding insurance, check with your each of your vendors to see how well they’re covered – your reception site or your caterer may already have their own insurance, so you wouldn’t want to pay for overlapping coverage out of your own pocket.
Most couples will end up owing money for their wedding. If you do not have life insurance, a good “term” life insurance policy might be another good idea in case something happens to one of you.
So, to sum it up. . . wedding insurance coverage is an important element of planning your wedding. Just as a bride-to-be carries auto insurance and takes part in the health insurance plan at work, insuring the various components of the most important event in her life makes sense. Not unlike automobile insurance, wedding insurance plans are geared to cover replacement costs. If covered elements of the wedding are damaged, stolen or go amiss monetary reimbursement might allow for repurchasing those items or rescheduling the event. It’s something to think about.
Bonus Article: Read, “Getting Married in Arizona? Here’s the Latest Scoop!”
Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.
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